Thursday, April 14, 2016

How Dating Naked helped Nudists Everywhere

The social taboo that surrounded nudism for generations has begun to disappear as we drift into the modern age. Long gone are the social norms that say that the human form is something to be ashamed of, or something to keep hidden, rather than be exposed. The negative mindset towards nudism, nudists, and the entire clothing-free lifestyle has transitioned into a more accepting direction. This change in public opinion could be a result of many factors in our modern lifestyle, but there is one factor that rises above the rest; television. 

In the past couple of years, multiple reality television shows have aired that feature the word “naked”. These shows air on major television networks such as Discovery, TLC, and VH1. Some of the most popular of these nudie TV shows are: “Naked and Afraid”, “Naked Castaway”, “Naked Vegas”, “Buying Naked”, and “Dating Naked”, which all include *you guessed it* naked people. Whether these people were trying to survive in the wild with nothing but their birthday suit, or if they were simply purchasing real estate in a nudist community, these programs began a catalyst that drew in some serious ratings.

“Dating Naked” first aired on VH1 in 2014 and it took the nudist-themed television industry by storm. It is a reality dating show that pushes the limits of our dating norms and social conventions. Two contestants, a man and a woman, must strip down so that they are completely naked. The contestants are matched and switched between two naked suitors each. These couples get to interact with each other in extremely beautiful and exotic beach environments, while they learn to adapt to the fact that the person that they are conversing with is completely naked. Romance, drama, and laughs arise from their interactions, and by the end of the episode the contestants must choose between their two suitors.

“Dating Naked” is unlike any other dating show that has come before it because it contrasts the traditional view of what dating is; it takes it to another level. Whenever people go on “normal” dates, they naturally hope to see their significant other naked by the end of the night, but with “Dating Naked” their naked body is the very first thing that you see. This change in the “natural order” really shakes up our modern conventions of courtship. The contestant has to learn to get past their sexual barriers and learn how to connect with others in their most vulnerable state. This proves to be quite the culture shock and contestants usually have a little difficulty adjusting to it. It's difficult for the first-timers to adjust to this new way of dating, simply because it feels unnatural to connect with someone in a non-sexual way, whilst naked. Once the contestant is finally able to overlook the conventions that they are used to, which usually only takes a few minutes of comfortable conversation, they are finally free to truly get to know their suitor without distraction.

We all know that nudism hasn't always been generally accepted or spoken about, nor is information on the nudist lifestyle ever shared with “normal” people. People who enjoy the clothing-free lifestyle usually move to communities in which they only interact with people who share their beliefs. This causes nudism to be considered as something unusual, simply because no one ever talks about it in a “normal” setting. This causes a great divide between people who wear clothes every day and the people who choose not to.

“Dating Naked” does a wonderful job of mashing those two lifestyles together by introducing nudist principles in “normal”, modern homes. It isn't a just some show on an obscure television channel, only to be seen by a select audience; it's on VH1 which is a major television network. Airing shows like “Dating Naked” and “Buying Naked” on major networks conveys acceptance of this once taboo lifestyle. This increase in coverage on nudist principles and clothing-free ideals can cause a serious shift in public opinion towards the nudist lifestyle, which will be beneficial to all.

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