We’re almost at the end of the first season of Dating Naked, and it’s like the nakedness doesn’t even faze me anymore. Does it faze anyone? We’ve reached a post-naked era on this show. Now it’s all about feelings and emotional nakedness. Dating Naked, you’ve changed, man. It might be time to break up soon. (But not before you take me to the Naked Wedding, obviously.)
There are three ways to deal with “feelings” on this show (four if you count me co-watching Gilmore Girls on my laptop while Dating Naked plays in the background), and all three are equally represented in this episode: (1) Avoid them with the emotional intelligence of a sociopath or small child, (2) sleazily feign hippie emotional intelligence for sexual gain, and (3) this genius response, given by one contestant: “I’m drinking tequila with my balls out and you’re asking me if I’ve been hurt.”
Let’s see which one wins in the end, shall we?
Our first and central daters are Juliet, a professional dancer who is originally from Essex. She’s a quirky, which is shorthand for “I freak people out,” but she has a fun accent. It’s very classy. This episode was like Dating Naked: Downton Abbey Edition. Juliet wants to connect on a deep emotional level. Her first date is with Sean, a former Marine from Clearwater, Florida. He’s a “good package” and knows that intimidates people. So rather than date some “dummy girl” he’s “semi-pleased with,” he’s cool with waiting it out in singledom until he finds the most perfect lady in the world. Sean, prepare yourself for an epic wait.
To the beach, you crazy kids.
Sean is really picky and doesn’t like Juliet’s British accent. Juliet immediately notes that he has a small penis, so this union is already doomed. For their romantic date, they climb into giant plastic hamster wheels and chase each other on an obstacle course. Despite his ex-Marine status and his need to prove how masculine he is, Sean can’t handle the obstacle course and loses to Juliet. He takes it very well. Instead of helping her out of her weird hamster ball he does this:
(See: small penis.)
Since Juliet won, she gets to select a “romantic activity of her choice.” In this case, I would think “getting away from Sean” would be the best option but for whatever reason she chooses “a full-body oil massage.” It only takes a few chilling moments of contact before she decides “feelings talk” is a better route, and asks Sean to open up. What Sean wants us to learn about Sean: “I constantly educate myself. I speak fluent Spanish. A lot of things are interesting about me. I ran a marathon. I didn’t train for it.” And then after Juliet politely excuses herself, he also wants us to know this fact: “I’ve dated hotter girls.”
(See: microscopic penis.)
Juliet’s second date is a fellow Brit named Cole who also lives in L.A., so by law of the universe, of course they know each other. Like, are friends in the real world. This is going to be awesome or horrible but probably both. Cole is a comedian who describes his personality as “disturbing and a bit weird.” Juliet is totally into that. Since she already knows him, she decides their naked canoe trip and trampoline-jumping date is the perfect time to ask him about, wait for it, feelings.
Ask and you shall receive, Juliet. While sipping cocktails, crotch out, Cole reveals both his scrotum and the fact that he bailed on his wife and kid to follow his mistress to L.A. It get’s really dark for a second. The only saving grace is that both of them have British accents, so I can pretend this is some strange period drama from BBC One. Rather than run screaming, naked, into the night. Juliet has a feelingasm and decides she will sleep with Cole later.
Meanwhile, horrible entitled Sean whips out his little penis and prepares to meet his second date. He hopes it’s a hotter girl, because, really, he deserves all the good in life. I meant that sarcastically, but the producers seem to actually think so, because Sean gets to hang out with Lovey, a beautiful sex-positive nymph of a human. Universally, Lovey is a divine creature. But not to Sean. His assessment: not his type, but nice breasts. Ugh. In the span of their date, Sean insults her weight, reveals that he’s never had a one-night stand (read: bad at sex. See: angst over small penis), and tells her that “pretty girls are a dime a dozen.” Her shade-throwing skills are advanced:
He ends the date, but Lovey decides that she has been brought to this island to help that emotionally stunted, sexually challenged little man and so will have sex with him later.
Back at the pool that night, Juliet puts the moves on Cole. She asks him to come sit in the hammock with her. When it breaks under the weight of Cole’s emotional baggage, he says to Juliet, “I hate you. You made me do this.” (Probably the same thing he said to his ex-wife, too.) Juliet’s “moves” involve digging into Cole’s childhood trauma next. So while they’re drinking and swimming and hanging out with all respective wangs out, Juliet tries to get him to talk more about his sad divorce and the child he left behind. Cole’s response:
Bravo, Cole. Meanwhile — and I truly don’t get this — Lovey is really trying to administer that sexual healing to Sean. Sean is scared. He’s scared. While Lovey is lying next to him, he knows it is only a matter of time before she finds out what the others already know: that he has never felt the touch of an adult woman. When he says he’s choosy, he means he is terrified of his own inadequacy. He could have a moment right now, he knows, a real breakthrough, if he could only turn to Lovey and say: “Help me.” Instead, he blinks and kicks her out.
Sean wakes up and talks himself out of his funk from the night before. “Lovey was too aggressive for me. And not at all hot. I deserve better,” he says. He heads to the beach, where he meets Jackie. And it’s like the heavens open up. Sean has found his dream woman in Jackie — she once modeled for Playboy. I feel so bad for her because she seems like a nice girl, but is now forever ruined by the mark of Satan (Sean).
He decides he’s gonna flirt. He read in his PUA handbook that “girls like it when you push the limits,” so proceeds to shoot his date in the face with a Super Soaker until she can’t breathe and then pours a drink on her. Surprisingly, Jackie is unimpressed.
Juliet also woke up with a feeling in her bones. She just knew her third date was going to be “the one.” She sees Patrick, who is a delicious piece of naked man-butt, and starts speaking like a Cockney prostitute. “Aright, Guvnah, le’ts go get a li-il di-rrty.” I love that about her. Juliet is so blinded by Patrick’s good looks she misses some warning signs. She asks, “Why are you still single?” And Patrick, who once read an Amazon review for The Secret, knows exactly which self-help buzzwords to use to feign emotional intelligence but also get laid: self-knowledge, self-expression, meditation, universe, and finally, you have good energy. They make out, and Juliet, thinking she’s found the emotionally evolved man of her porny dreams, decides she’s going to sleep with him later.
Back at the Villa, everyone is hanging out naked except for Cole. He shows up late, fully dressed in a nice leather jacket, and gives Juliet some flowers as penance for shaking his butt in her face. It’s a very sweet moment. But Juliet doesn’t really care because Patrick is there. And he is nude.
Sean gets shut down, because finally, some justice in this world.
In a twist, though, Juliet tries to pull her “move” on Patrick who out-feelings her! He says, “Let’s just be present,” which means, I’m going to go sleep with Lovey. And then he tells Lovey, “You have really good energy right now” — the mating call of horny, sleazy, transcendentalists. Of course it works, and Juliet is left to cry alone. Cole, dark and twisted Cole, observes the situation and understands that finally this is the right time to address feelings. He goes to her, wearing his leather jacket and no pants like a biker Donald Duck, and offers her a foot massage to help with her sads. (Cole feels sad a lot, you know? He knows what to do.)
At the final ceremony, Juliet chooses Cole, and according to the epilogue, they’re still dating! Sean chooses Jackie, of course, so she loses. But, in a moment of happy self-respect, she declines to spend another second with him.
Sean, left standing naked and alone, deals with his feelings the only way he knows how: “I’ve dated hotter girls, you know.” (See: small penis.)
Most-Awkward Naked Activity: Justifying this tattoo.