Friday, August 22, 2014

Dating Naked

Back in the day—that is, in the 1960s—television gave us The Dating Game. The show ran for a respectable number of years and was later revived in various incarnations.

The premise was simple. A bachelorette would choose a date from a selected group of three bachelors. Since the bachelors were hidden behind a screen she could not see them. She made her choice based on the way they answered her questions.

Thus, she chose based on wit, mind and personality.

It was, all agreed, a charming show. Choosing a partner for reasons that had nothing to do with looks was a great premise.

Today’s more modern version is called Dating Naked. It airs on VH-1, which used to be, if memory serves, a platform for music videos.

In the new show two people try to choose someone to date. They each have three dates, one with each other, two with two other people. During all of the dates, both parties are stark naked. Since this is television the private parts of all contestants are mostly blurred.

They are naked to each other. They are exposed to each other. They are naked and exposed to everyone on the set and in the crew. Their modesty is somewhat protected so that they do not expose themselves to the world.

At the end of the show each of the first contestants will choose another person to continue dating. The person chosen may accept or reject the advances.

Of course, the show claims that this is a more open and honest way of dating. It seems perfectly egalitarian, but still, you do not have to have had too much human experience to know that, of the two sexes, one is far more interested in seeing the other naked.

Here, equality puts the woman at a distinct disadvantage. To my knowledge the ever-vigilant Jezebelles have not noticed the sexism yet.

Most, but not all of the contestants proclaim that they are comfortable being naked, presumably because they have nothing to be ashamed of.

One notes, with some chagrin that the war against shame, the constant harping in the media about how bad shame is, how you have nothing to be ashamed of, how you should be proud of every one of your faults and foibles, has persuaded some young people that they should walk around naked in front of strangers and should proudly advertise the fact on television.

As I have been at pains to point out, those who are warring against shame do not really know what they are doing. They believe that they are helping people to overcome crippling emotions. They do not know that the first principle of shame is—to conceal your private parts.

Tell people to overcome shame and they will naturally be led to overshare, overexpose and become exhibitionists.

Which brings us to Jessie Nizewitz.

When she appeared on the third episode of the show, Nizewitz was the victim of a technical mishap. Apparently, whoever was responsible for blurring out her lady bits failed at the task and, for a brief second, Nizewitz’s sex was exposed to the world.

Nizewitz had declared herself comfortable being naked. When what The New York Post, infelicitously called the “crotch-blur” failed, she discovered that she was not that comfortable.

Viewers noticed the lapse and immediately informed the world on social media.

The Daily Mail reports:

After the episode aired, Ms Nizewitz said she immediately started hearing from people who'd seen the 'money shot,' including her parents and grandmother. 

And countless viewers posted about Ms Nizewitz on social media. A few even took screen-grabs of the moment and included them in their Tweets.

Naturally, she is suing. After all, this is America. 

Besides, a few people might have missed the shot of her exposed lady bits. 

As for the fallout, her grandmother is barely speaking to her. Her parents are annoyed. And the episode has cost her a budding relationship that she thought was headed to marriage.

The New York Post tells the sad denouement:

She added that the show cost her a “budding relationship” with a man she had been seeing for a month.

“He never called me again after the show aired. I would have hoped we could have had a long-term relationship. He was employed, Jewish, in his 30s and that’s pretty much ideal,” Nizewitz said.

I won’t prejudge her lawsuit, but I already know that were it not for the lawsuit, the story would have died on social media. Now it has been told in the international media.

If Nizewitz believes that this will restore her reputation, she has made another grievous error.

Nizewitz blames it all on the producers, and surely they were derelict in their duties. Still and all, she did choose voluntarily to bare herself to three strangers and to cavort with them in front of cameras. And she did it in front of a crew of more than a few people, to say nothing of the technicians who worked on the tape. (As you know, producing a television show involves large numbers of people, in production and post-production.)

It might have happened that her friends, family and potential boyfriends would have been nonplussed by her participation in the show. Stranger things have happened.

Still and all, participating in such a show and feeling comfortable being naked in front of strangers does not bespeak a very well developed sense of modesty.

One suspects that Nizewitz had not been dating the employed Jewish bachelor when she proclaimed her love of honest dating, but she should have foreseen that her naked antics not go down very well with the kind of serious man she wants to marry.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Here, equality puts the woman at a distinct disadvantage. To my knowledge the ever-vigilant Jezebelles have not noticed the sexism yet."

"Most, but not all of the contestants proclaim that they are comfortable being naked, presumably because they have nothing to be ashamed of."

Presumably. The oversexed bohemian flower children have always been protesting that doth do protest to their breastesses and vaginas too much.

The "Vagina Monologues" were an attempt to talk endlessly about a word that most women do not want to hear, much less talk about, yes? If a Dating Naked contestant complimented another on her engorged vulva, and the enticing sign it communicated, would this be fair game? Didn't think so.

Womyn will go on and on complaining that the old rules don't need to apply anymore in our liberated culture. It doesn't seem the trend is catching on except on TV, which exaggerates trends to the point of creating them.

The "money shot" is not an accidentally unblurred pubic area, but something else entirely. Don't worry, the real thing is coming to TV soon enough, because our prudence is so old-fashioned, and relationships work so much better when people are totally vulnerable with each other right from the very beginning.

That he's Jewish is the key benefit she can't walk away from. Given the odds of mutual Jewish encounter in the population, she just messed up a good deal. But he won't have the same problem, will he?

Sam L. said...

I am one who has not seen and will not seek to see. I am one who can easily see ways this could go wrong (OH, so horribly wrong), and she could not. Bad choices can be irretrievably bad. Like this one.

Lastango said...

An employed man in his 30's has options -- something Mz. Nizewitz might have considered ahead of time were she not soaked in a cultural ethos that proclaimed that only women have options, to the extent of being able to create their own reality.

One other thing. The man in question is, I infer, a practicing Jew. Like Nizewitz, he too has parents and grandparents. Perhaps he had some difficulty imagining how he was going to explain Nizewitz's dating show appearance to them.

He might also have been wondering what sort of stunts Nizewitz might pull in the future... especially if she fancies said antics a form of empowerment and self-fulfillment.


Stuart Schneiderman said...

Well said, Lastango. Regardless of what her boyfriend might have thought, I have strong suspicions that his mother would never have accepted her.

Stuart Schneiderman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Why is it that British media sources are doing such a superior job covering the United States? I see the links on this blog and lots of other sites referencing good, in-depth stories. The Daily Mail here, the Telegraph, Guardian, Financial Times, Economist, etc. It really shows how low American news reporting has sunk I. It's ability to cover, go into depth, and analyze events. Sad.

Tip

Sam L. said...

"Why is it that British media sources are doing such a superior job covering the United States?"

They have room for what the NYT thinks isn't fit to print.