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Weekly Q&A

Would you get naked on VH1? Camille Straughn talks Suicide Girls, supportive parents and ‘Dating Naked’

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Nice to meet nude: Straughn out of her Dating Naked wardrobe.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Naked couples yoga. It’s hard to imagine anything more physically awkward, but for the sake of this exercise, we’ll try: naked couples yoga with a complete stranger surrounded by a camera crew for a national television show.

Yup. That’s just one of the dates that local cocktail server and Suicide Girl Camille Straughn (aka Bradley) endured as a contestant on VH1’s new reality competition Dating Naked. The 25-year-old says she didn’t find love while nude kayaking or practicing downward-facing please-don’t-film-that, but she did leave the show with a few surprising epiphanies—and a plan to move back to its beachy location in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

How did you get involved in Dating Naked? I had just gone through a really rough break-up. ... I got this email, and it didn’t say that it was Dating Naked; it just said a dating show on an island. And I’m like, oh my gosh, yes. Get me to an island. Get me somewhere else. So, I responded to it and then one thing led to another and I found out it was Dating Naked. I’m already naked all over the Internet, so I didn’t have a problem with it.

Obviously, you’re really comfortable in your own skin and being naked. How did you feel on the show? I thought that I was going to have no problem with it. I was more … I don’t want to say embarrassed … but just nervous. I was blushing the whole time. It was a very different dynamic than what I’m used to. Usually, I go, I take my clothes off, I work, I put them back on, I go home. But this was actually going on three different dates with three different men completely naked. It was definitely a lot harder than I anticipated it to be—no pun intended on that one.

I imagine eye contact might be an issue—like you have to maintain eye contact or you’ll be violating some unspoken rule. I immediately just tried to keep my eyes up. Honestly, I didn’t really want to look that much. I tried so hard to just keep eye contact, not break focus and just concentrate on what they were saying.

And it’s not just the two of you feeling awkward. Were you surrounded by a full camera crew, all fully dressed? There’s this whole camera crew, and a lot of them were really attractive. I’m on a date with this guy and there are all these hot cameramen around, and they’re clothed. They’re filming all of this. It was really funny.

What were the dates you went on? I think the worst was the naked yoga. That one was hard for me to stomach. My first date, we went kayaking through some mangrove swamps and then out to this really rad sailboat. Getting into the kayak was a little weird. My second date, we played pool. I don’t play pool, so having somebody teach my how to play pool while they’re naked was definitely like, Oh my God, moving my butt forward, I don’t want to touch it. I don’t want to accidentally make anybody uncomfortable. And the yoga date was actually partner yoga, so he was balancing flying in the air on top of my feet, with his dick hanging between my feet. It was so awkward. Where you would normally touch someone you don’t want to because you don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable.

What did your mom say when you told her you were going on the show? My mom is extremely supportive of me, thankfully. When it came out [that it was naked dating] ... she just goes, “Well, how do you feel about that?” And I told her that I was on the fence, but that I thought I wanted to go for it, because I thought it would be an experience. She gave me her full support, and I said, “Please don’t watch it, thank you for supporting me, I love you,” and that’s it.

Tell me about being a Suicide Girl. What does that entail? Basically, we’re kinda like Playboy for alternative girls. It’s not anything trashy or anything like that. Everything’s shot very tastefully, and it’s an amazing community of people. I’ve met my best friends either as models or members on the website. It’s a big social networking website. We go to ComiCon every year, we do really fun events, we have a burlesque tour. It’s just this really amazing community of these really strong, beautiful, awesome women, who are confident in the way they look even though it’s not typical.

And of course, everyone who does nude modeling has to have a first naked photo shoot. What was your first time like? My first time that I shot naked was about seven years ago, when I was 18 or 19. ... I was very lucky. He wasn’t creepy. He was one of the most professional, nice people I’ve ever met and made my first experience with doing all of this so much easier. At the same time, I look back at those pictures and I can definitely tell I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve definitely come a long way in seven years as far as being confident in front of the camera, knowing what to do and knowing what’s flattering. What’s flattering when you’re naked and clothed are two very different things.

One of the ideas behind Dating Naked is that if you strip off the clothes, people will be forced to get past the small talk and get real faster. Was that your experience? I was very surprised at how much more quickly you were forced to open up to a person, because a lot of that BS and superficial stuff is stripped away. They told us that was going to happen, but I kind of thought that it was lip service until I actually went on these dates and you were forced to get real a lot quicker and to get on a deeper level a little bit faster. It definitely did change my perception of things. And I think coming back here and dating again that I’ve carried some of that forward as far as being a little more straight forward with what I want and cutting through the BS a little faster.

Anything on your episode that we should watch out for? Oh God, there’s so much. I would like to say that the moment that is in all of the trailers, where I’m having to do that stupid Titanic BS, they made me do that. I did not want to do that. I had no interest in doing in that. I know it’s corny and really terrible, and if you look really, really close I’m flipping off the cameras.

Dating Naked airs at 9 p.m. Thursdays on VH1. Straughn’s episode airs Thursday, August 7.

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