The Disturbing Untold Truth Of Dating Naked

Dating Naked is a VH1 reality show that debuted in July 2014. The idea behind the series is to pair up heterosexual singles, but, as you've probably guessed, the program has one major twist that sets it apart from its TV competition: the participants are all completely naked. That's right — the men and woman that appear on Dating Naked have to strip down for a chance at love, exposing their bodies in an attempt to snag a second date. Yeah ... no wonder this series has been called "the most awkward show on television."

As one might expect from a show as unique — and, at times, as cringeworthy — as Dating Naked, the series was bound to have a few hidden secrets. From shocking scenes that led to scandalous lawsuits to a questionable casting process, there's a lot most viewers don't realize goes on behind the cameras of the reality TV production. Keep reading to learn the untold truth of Dating Naked. 

Mosquitoes bite people everywhere. Everywhere

The first season of Dating Naked was filmed in Panama, a beautiful tropical location. Beautiful except for the bugs, that is.

Former host Amy Paffarth told USA Today, "The bugs are insane. We have all been eaten alive. We've tried everything. You've got the natural remedies from the locals — try coconut oil, try this cream my husband makes. But it's just going to happen no matter what you do. My remedy is wearing pants."

Paffarth also confirmed that, as suspected, the naked date contestants had bug bites "in interesting places."

For participants who couldn't wear pants, like bachelorette Diane Poulos, the bites were "much worse than you can imagine."

The sunburns are ridiculous

As one might expect, sunburn often proves to be a serious issue for these contestants. In addition to exposing yourself to armies of insects, cast members also exposing their bodies to all the elements. During an interview with The Daily Share, Paffrath said the sunburns were "ridiculous," adding, "Where the sun don't shine — it shines on our show."

Season 2 contestant Kerri Cipriani told the Tampa Bay Times that sticking to a strict regime of constantly applying SPF 30 cream kept her from getting too crispy. However, her counterpart on the show, Chris Aldrich, apparently didn't fare so well. "[He] had some gnarly burns (on his rear)," she said. Ouch!

The production team sees the goods before the world does

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Paffrath gave us a glimpse at the casting process. "It wasn't about us saying, 'Hey, we want to check out your goods,' it was about making sure the contestants were OK with being in a room full of people and being naked. It's very different when suddenly the cameras are out."

Meanwhile, during a Reddit AMA, former Dating Naked cast member "Jack" revealed that his agent connected him with the opportunity to appear on the show. We suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that Jack, like many of the cast members, were models. Many, but not all... 

A crew member joined the fun

One of the ways reality TV producers try to coax a more natural performance out of their cast members is to tell them to pretend the crew isn't even there, but for the cast of the first season of Dating Naked, this was probably easier said than done.

According to cast member Jaidyn Cayden, a member of the crew got in on the action when he ditched his threads in the spirit of camaraderie. She told E! News, "Amazingly, only one of us got hookworm. And that was just a cameraman who said he'd get naked too to make us feel more comfortable." 

Perhaps now would be a good time to reinforce that you should not try this at your job. It probably won't go well, even if you manage to not contract a deadly parasite while making copies in the buff.

Dude, where's my blur?

All nudity (except for the occasional butt) on Dating Naked is blurred. However, that hasn't always been the case, as one unfortunate contestant found out the hard way.

Jessie Nizewitz, a then-28-year-old New York model, was a cast member on the third episode of the first season of Dating Naked, which aired on July 31, 2014. After the show, Nizewitz reportedly received a whole lot of social media notifications and text messages from family and friends informing her that her, um, womanhood, was featured on national television. Apparently, the video editors had not properly censored a scene where Nizewitz is wrestling naked with her date on the beach.

Nizewitz filed a $10 million lawsuit against Viacom in 2014, citing emotional damages and stating that broadcasting her genitals had cost her a relationship. In March 2015, the lawsuit was dismissed by a New York Supreme Court judge. Viacom successfully argued that Nizewitz's lawsuit violated the contract she signed before appearing on the show.

Shamelessness is a prerequisite

Cast member Jaidyn Cayden checked her humility at the door long before her first naked date. In an interview with E! Online, Cayden revealed she was "discovered" by show producers at place called Big Ball Hal's where, in her words, she was "showing everybody the WSU tattoo I use to hide the scar from my c-section."

"You are meant to be on this TV show," a producer allegedly told her. Indeed. And she didn't disappoint when she got there. Cayden was, of course, the girl who had Cheeto dust on her, uh, private parts, which she later said only embarrassed her because she had told everyone she was on the South Beach Diet.

During the E! Interview, Cayden also recalled how she once complimented Jeb's, uh, package, to which he supposedly responded by saying, "Really? I've been told it smells like bologna." It takes a certain type of confidence to be able to compliment a man's area and have them respond modestly by saying it smells like a sandwich meat. Only on the set of Dating Naked!

What is the purpose of this show, anyway?

Paffrath claims there's a purpose to all this. In an interview with HNGN, she said the nudity among participants was designed "to strip away barriers and leave them in a very raw, vulnerable position so they have nothing to hide behind."

She expanded on this concept to St. Louis magazine, suggesting nudity "allows people to get into deeper conversation." According to Paffrath, "It's more difficult to present yourself in a certain light and fake it ... It's a raw, vulnerable situation, and people bring up things that might not ordinarily be revealed until the fourth or fifth or sixth date. It's really honest." 

So, the untold truth of Dating Naked is that it's not just about gawking at hot naked folks, but rather, it's a contemplation on the concept of honesty? That's certainly interesting, but doesn't it beg the question: do you want to spend your life with someone who won't tell the truth unless they're 100 percent exposed?

The show knows what it's doing

According to VH1, Dating Naked is a show that "explores the art of romance, free of preconceived notions, stereotypes — and clothes," so it's about more than than just hoping the audience sticks around for the un-blurred butts. That sounds lovely, but the showrunners aren't naive about what draws the audience in the first place.

Speaking with St. Louis magazine, Paffrath said, "But let's face it, it is a show where people are naked, so there's a bit of voyeurism and sensationalism. But what a lot of people are saying is, 'You might have hooked me with the nudity, but now I'm following the contestants and their journeys.'"

"Just because you're naked doesn't mean it's sexual," she added. "It's more awkward and funny than it is sexy."

Contestants Beware: Editors will use what you give 'em

Cast member Diana Venus felt wronged by the show when it aired footage of her getting wasted, rejected by Mike, crying, and calling the girl Mike preferred "a butch girl with no boobs who's ugly in the face." She then headed to her video confessional looking like she got in a bar fight with a mascara brush and defiantly said, "People are like, 'Why are you single?' Oh, because no one takes me seriously, that's exactly why." After her Season 1 episode premiered, Venus aired out her Dating Naked grievances during an interview in Atlantic City. Claiming she'd become the laughing stock of the internet, she insisted "not everything was shown" on the episode, accused the show of making her "look like a ditz airhead," and revealed she didn't know Mike had dates lined up with other women (which is the whole concept of the show.)

In fairness to Venus, it's obvious the show capitalized on a low moment in her life, but one could argue that Dating Naked producers were doing exactly what reality TV crews get paid to do. Maybe they could have handed her a wet wipe before that confessional though.

The guys size each other up

Even though the show is about encouraging contestants to quickly find a deep, meaningful connection, some of the male contestants were a bit preoccupied with a competition of their own. 

"Oh, gosh. It was uncomfortable," Season 2 participant Cipriani told the Tampa Bay Times. "I will say the guys made a lot of what they were working with," she said. "They all made a big deal about how they wouldn't talk about it, but they talked about it. There were girls there with fake boobs, and no one commented. But every single guy made some sort of comment (about one another's genitalia). They all talked about it the whole time."

In fact, one cast member named "Jack" was still talking about this very same subject when he ranked himself and his competitors during a Reddit AMA. Not surprisingly, he came in first place, and we should probably believe him, because he'd already completed his naked, spiritual journey to a luxury resort, making him possibly the most honest man in the world.