Pick out your finest formal shoes and trim those pubes! There is to be a wedding on Dating Naked! It’s proof that this show works, guys. Everyone, head out naked to your local watering hole tonight for your shot at real love.
The wedding announcement was really the only bright spot on last night’s episode. Perhaps it was the pathetic fallacy, but everything was cloudy and dark and stormy and not at all funny. There were no activity dates, no zip lines, no potentially dangerous extreme four-wheeling excursions — just walking and talking and sitting and emoting. It was so boring, it was almost like everyone were clothed.
But nonetheless, to the recap: First up, we have Greg (the jock), a big, lumbering giant who feels “misunderstood.” He wants a healthy relationship but seems to attract crazy girls, psycho exes, and the occasional catfish (yes, Greg, your singledom is all the fault of other people). Ashley, his compadre, is a self-described artist/art therapist/nature-lover/flower child/intense lover. By her own admission, she likes to “get raw,” and that seems to scare people off. Is there a man out there who can handle all of her soul-shine and the full intensity of her chakra? Only time will tell.
Ashley meets Greg and comments that he’s got a surprisingly small package for a man of his size and stature. (That blur does look preetty small.) Greg sees Ashley, and checks her out using Giant Greg’s Blink Method for Checking Out Girls. (They just think you’re blinking! But you’re really lookin’ at their boobs! Patent pending.).
His takeaway: “She’s got a whole lot of bush.” Neither of them, then, is into the other at all — great, let’s hang out naked!
They head over to a nice porch and proceed to draw each other naked in various vague tribal headgear. “This is like Titanic, but … the opposite,” Greg says, expelling a sigh heavy with ennui. We sigh, too. Ashley, as aspiring art therapists are wont to do, wants to show Greg her “art” — which includes breaking plates and gluing them back together “to represent how we break our hearts and glue them back together.”
The rest of the conversation goes as follows:
Ashley: Spirit animal, spiritual, univerise, aura, connection, armpit hair.
Greg: Me jock. Me like to break shit. Ha.
Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day.
Well, it is absolutely a better day for Ashley, who meets her soul mate, Alika. He also has horrible tribal tattoos and is a spiritual teacher and sexual healer. "What’s that?" Ashley asks. Alika explains that he’s healing the world through mutual masturbation and stimulating female ejaculation. It kind of sounds like a tough job, because you have to describe your life’s work with enough earnestness and wide-eyed sincerity to prevent people from calling the cops when you offer a business card and a 20-percent-off coupon.
He and Ashley have a surf date, during which he teaches Ashley how to really surfbort. The two stand together on their first try. “That was incredible,” he says, panting, shaking off droplets of his exertion. “It’s so rare when people … stand ... together, their first time surfing.”
"I can give you a session later if you like,” he offers. They plan to reach mutual standing again later.
Meanwhile, giant Greg’s date is comically bad. I could write a book about this, but I’ll just give you the highlights: (1) Angelica, a nice girl from Long Island who hasn’t been naked since she got her diapers changed, has also never seen a penis in real life before, and (2) Angelica spends her date barfing. It’s unclear whether Angelica is vomiting because of the choppy sea, because she’s so nervous about being naked, or because she's having a psychosomatic reaction to Greg’s aggressive helicoptering:
Greg finally gets his Titanic fantasy. This date is a wreck. But she reappears later, fully clothed, gamely trying to make the most of her day. She explains that she was just unprepared for the realities of presenting herself naked on television. Wrong crowd. Listen, Angelica, if you came here for a pat on the head, some pants, and a juice box, you came to the wrong place. You’re among two hippies and a guy who spends his life flexing in the locker-room showers — everyone here is comfortable with nudity. Nobody’s got time for your “clothe-mindedness.” Take it off or pack it up.
Oh okay. Bye.
Now it’s just Greg, Alika, and Ashley hanging out. Greg tries to go full bro, but Alika starts explaining his recent “Explosive Sexual Healing Workshop” and crowds him out with potent sexual energy.
Dad goes to bed alone with his puns and sadness, while the Love Children engage in some earth mother foreplay by discussing gratitude, for before Ashley cashes in her gift certificate for her sex therapy.
Finally the Gods are kind to Greg. His date is Tessa. She’s tall and normal. She has a nice haircut. She is easily forgotten. But, she laughs at his weird stories — even the ones about being catfished, which, like, dude, you have to stop bragging about. Their date is lame. The producers set up a romantic dinner in the ocean. Not by the ocean — these two are eating dinner literally half-submerged the whole time. I hope someone was fired for this genius idea.
Anyway, Greg is so happy! He just wants to marry Tessa. And nobody throws up. Gold-star day.
Ashley’s date is with J.R. She sizes him up, decodes his tribal tattoos, and accepts him as her own tribe. On their hike, he stops and picks a flower, and puts it in her leather headband. It’s a tender moment. Ashley looks up at him, her doe eyes filling with tears. She feels like a child, safe in the womb, and J.R. is her mother. She knows she feels for Alika, but is this another who could fill her loving cup with all the joys of the universe? J.R. gives her a slow, soft kiss. Her soul weeps with the Earth, and she sees his true being. But now her heart is confused because she’s invested — in J.R, in Aliki, even (in some small way) in giant Greg. She’s way too invested. Because it’s a reality show and she’s known this guy for 20 minutes.
Back to the pool.
J.R. quickly reveals that behind those tribal tattoos, he's no sensitive hippie soul. He's actually a sexist jerk. You see, someone started their period on one of the couches and the dude-bros sit around making jokes about blood and semen. For no actual reason, J.R. says, “Here’s some blood-semen, bitch” and offends Ashley’s sensibilities. The show goes from Dating Naked to Fighting Naked (just like real life). Ashley, so worked up, utters the worst insult in the hippie language: “Stop. Please,” she says. “That’s not who you are.” Those are words you can’t take back, Ashley.
She goes to mediate for several hours in order to make her final choice. Meanwhile, forgotten Tessa is about to friend-zone Greg when he invites her to his room. Sensing her hesitation, he offers the saddest compromise: “I’ll go wait, and if you don’t come I’ll just read my graphic novels.” Guess what Greg did last night.
At the final ceremony, Greg chooses Tessa, the only person he could possibly choose. Tessa says yes, only because she couldn’t say no. (Man, this show really does mirror real life.) And now it’s Ashley’s turn to choose. Even though she was up all night communing with her dolphin spirit animal while meditating (Eeeee? Eeeee eee? Eee), she’s still conflicted. She wants to choose Alika. But she needs to know his heart. Can he, the arbiter of female ejaculation, commit to her and her alone?
He can. They rush to each other’s arms, and she gives him a hippie necklace, marking him for life, just like she’s seen lovers do at Burning Man. That was a proposal, you see, for Alika and Ashley are getting naked-married on a very special episode of Dating Naked. The most insufferable couple on the face of the Earth will become one soul on September 18. See you then!
Most-awkward naked activity of the episode: Anything Greg did.