When it came to dating, Ania Crosby, 21, decided to strip back to basics - literally! She peeled off her clothes on national TV for a new dating show, in an attempt to find her perfect match. Ania, from Preston, Lancashire, shares her story...
There was no way I was doing it. Appearing on TV, completely naked? Fat chance! It was early this year and I’d been contacted by television producers.
They were filming a new show for Channel 4, in which participants had to strip off to meet potential dates. I’d recently appeared on E4’s Tattoo Fixers, when I’d had a script tattoo on my ribs transformed into a pretty moth.
The producers had seen me on it and thought I’d be a good contestant on the new show Naked Attraction. When I told my friends, they were surprised I’d turned it down. ‘You’re not exactly shy,’ one said. ‘We’ve all seen you naked!’
There was no denying that. I was confident about my size-6 figure and would often strip off in front of my mates to apply fake tan. And, the more I thought about it, the more I realised I had nothing to lose.
I’d been single for a while, was keen to meet Mr Right, and was having no luck with dating app Tinder.
So I agreed to meet with the producers. ‘Participants choose their dates based on how they look naked,’ I was told.
It was purely about physical, sexual attraction. And, when you’re stark naked, you’ve nothing to hide.
So I agreed to take part.
Weeks later, in March this year, I travelled to London for the filming of the show. For round one, I was faced with six men. (Or, rather, six pairs of legs and six willies!)
Their top halves were behind a screen, and they were naked from the waist down! I had to stifle a laugh.
‘Oo-er!’ I giggled. I didn’t know where to look. I’m no prude, but the whole thing felt so bizarre.
So I had the fellas turn round, and I eliminated the one whose bum I liked least. Next, the screen moved up and the men’s torsos were revealed. ‘He looks nice and strong,’ I gushed, admiring a pair of tanned biceps.
Eventually, I whittled the men down to just two. By now, their faces had been revealed. Both seemed confident in the buff… Then it was my turn to strip off – it was about to be the moment of naked truth!
Peeling away my clothes, I felt surprisingly unfazed. I’d no inhibitions as I bared my bum and boobs on camera. And both men seemed impressed!
Finally, I chose Jamie from Essex for my date. The following day, we met up for a drink – fully clothed!
The date was lovely, but Jamie and I didn’t have the spark you need to make it work.
I’d already told my mum Louise, 52, about the show, and she hadn’t had a problem with me stripping off on TV. ‘I’ll just fast forward the naked parts,’ she joked.
When the episode eventually aired in August, I watched it with my mates. But, as the opening sequence started to roll… ‘I can’t look,’ I cringed, holding a pillow to my face.
Friends and family were proud of me for putting it all on show, though – and I even received messages from strangers
on Twitter. What a strong, independent woman, someone said.
And my phone didn’t stop beeping with loads of Tinder matches. I think I’ve just seen you naked, someone else wrote, and I had to laugh.
Since then, I’ve been on a few more dates. But I’m conscious that now people have seen me starkers, it’s taken some of the mystery out of dating. So I’m hoping I can meet someone who hasn’t seen the show.
Maybe they won’t recognise me with my clothes on, anyway!