Owen Conor and Nicki Swift
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.
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.
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.