You might have heard about Undressed. The match-making experiment has been a huge hit in Italy and is headed to Australia later this year. A locally produced version of the matchmaking show in which strangers shed their clothes and their inhibitions will screen on SBS VICELAND – and promises to be unlike anything previously seen on Australian television.
For the uninitiated, each episode of Undressed features two pairs of strangers going through a similar, yet entirely unique, experience. The couples meet in a room furnished only with a double bed and a large-screen TV. Instructions and questions flash up on the screen, guiding the strangers through the process.
The first directive is for the participants to strip each other down to their underwear. As the experiment continues, the couple get into the bed, and answer a series of probing and deeply personal questions. The aim is to foster as much intimacy between the two in as short a time as possible.
At the conclusion of the proceedings, each person is given the choice to stay and get to know their counterpart better or to leave. If they choose to stay, the cameras are switched off at that point.
A relationship counsellor will be on hand
Each participant will undergo psychological testing before being approved to appear on Undressed. One of the professionals who’s helping with the matchmaking is the director of Sexual Health Australia, Desiree Spierings, a sex therapist who comes with some pretty impressive credentials.
As well as her numerous degrees – a BA/Psychology from Macquarie University, a PG/Dip in Psychology from Macquarie University and a Master of Health Sciences/Sexual Health from Sydney University – Spierings was also an on-screen expert on the ABC’s Making Couples Happy. So you might say she knows what she’s doing, and can vouch for the credibility of the research into accelerated intimacy which inspired the show.
A different tone
It might sound like Undressed is about titillation – and that may be a side product of watching strangers in their underwear getting to know each other – but the series has a much deeper focus than that.
Yes, Undressed is risqué and sexy – we’re making TV, folks, not filming a statistics lecture. That said, there is a strong emphasis on the science and psychological theory of two strangers engaging in accelerated intimacy.
Are you more likely to fall in love because you’re literally stripped and vulnerable, sharing your innermost thoughts and fears, and confiding in someone you’ve only just met?
Plus, due to the unique approach SBS has taken with the local version of Undressed, a number of other issues will also be examined, primarily the preconceptions and prejudices that exist in Australia concerning race, sexuality and disability.
Undressed is sure to attract a lot of attention, and will no doubt offer up all manner of unexpected revelations about inter-personal relationships and the nature of intimacy.
Undressed airs Thursdays at 9:30pm on SBS VICELAND.