Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Naked Unattraction

If you wanted an index of how we have fallen past Caligula or any other off hand pseudo measure of commonly used for decadence, find the TV show called “Naked Attraction”. The premise of the show is simple. Someone who wants to meet a potential mate examines the naked bodies of potential mates, in slices of visible nakedness.

There is something inescapably dreadful from seeing a woman or man comment on the genitalia of another live human. That's neither a prudish nor joyless approach: it would be tasteless to objectify a corpse the way this show objectifies the living. That the participants strip naked for public objectification with full consent is not ameliorating the nastiness. How informed that consent might be is another issue: the damage done to them cannot quickly be calculated. TV has a permanent life on phones and other devices so that long after they have moved on there is still that video of them being examined like butchered meat for entertainment. He's got nice tackle, Mavis and those ginger pubes are trimmed nicely...

There are too many cliches, too many saws that that rehearse the the wisdom that we are not just our bodies. It can be argued that the brutal reductionism of judging people merely on their naked bodies is an extension of what we already do to each other, judging by physical appearance. That there is a bad cold going around does not mean pneumonia is a welcome infection.

The reductionism that steals the mystery and the privacy from sex and relationships, that reduces sex to a matter of hygiene, is bad for us. Even in a gay bathhouse a man in a towel is sexier than the finest man parading naked but it's not just the immediate that this destroys but the very notion of human value, of relational rather than transactional sexual relationships. Yes I care about you because I liked how your balls hang darling is a recipe for finding better hanging genitalia not for the sort of permanence that makes for happiness or successful society.

Property porn does property buying and conversion for those who don't, food porn has replaced cooking for the fast food guzzling public, this tacky show is a form of that other huge genre, relationship porn for the loneliest generation.

You can bet the show's producers pride themselves on their courage and their pushing back of boundaries. Instead they are setting narrow, tight boundaries to the human soul, to love, to relationships. Their show will thrive briefly, its mixture of prudish fascination with the naked bodies of its victims and the audience drunk on spectacle and in need of titillation will give it a currency but nothing stays the same. I expect they will need to show not just equipment but proficiency shortly as the show is passed out by even more explicit and even more wrong relationship test shows.

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