Buying Naked: What Only The Biggest Fans Know About The Show

Marketing experts agree that strategically targeting and serving a niche market will yield better results than generic marketing campaigns meant to appeal to everyone. And nowhere is this more true than in the hyper-competitive world of real estate.

Florida realtor Jackie Youngblood took this advice to heart and trained her focus on a niche market few of her fellow realtors probably ever considered: nudists. Youngblood's instincts proved to be smart. Per the Tampa Bay Times, the community she calls home, Pasco County, Florida, is known as a haven for nudists and boasts several resorts and facilities that cater to them. The deep trust and high profile she cultivated in the local nudist community not only made her one of Keller Williams Tampa Properties' highest gross commissions — $150,000 — in 2012 but attracted the attention of TV producers, who saw a show in the making (per RealScreen).

The resulting TLC show, "Buying Naked," followed Youngblood and her team as they helped buyers from the nudist community (yes, they did go to showings naked) find welcoming and comfortable homes appropriate for their unique lifestyle.

Realtor Jackie Youngblood had been a nudist long before the show

If someone asked you out of the blue to visualize a realtor who catered to the nudist community, it's unlikely that you would have pictured "Buying Naked" star Jackie Youngblood. But the married grandmother of eight doesn't just consider nudists an overlooked niche market — it's a community she knows well. As she explained on the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast, she's been a nudist herself since the 90s. This has given her the trust and credibility needed to serve the often misunderstood and stigmatized community.

Youngblood emphasizes that nudists do not in fact run around naked all the time. "I never show property nude. When I'm working, I'm professional," she told the Tampa Bay Times. This is true even when working with nudist clients. Plus, as she revealed on the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast, nudists do typically own ample wardrobes and thus want spacious closets in their homes. However, ditching her clothes in her downtime is liberating. "It's our time to get away and let our hair down and not worry about being judged on what you're wearing," she told the Tampa Bay Times. "You go to the club and wear anything you want, or not. It's just relaxing."

Jackie Youngblood knew the value of discretion when working with nudist clients

While "Buying Naked" star Jackie Youngblood has a personal affinity for the nudist community, as a professional real estate agent, she also recognizes it as an untapped and potentially profitable market. In 2012, the year before "Buying Naked" debuted, communities and cruises aimed at nudists were pulling in $400 million annually, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

And as "Buying Naked" star Jackie Youngblood told "Real Estate Rockstars," there are more nudists than one might think — and they're often hiding in plain sight. "There's so many nudists out there," she said. "It could be your neighbor, it could be the person you're sitting next to in church, it could be a teacher, your nurse, your doctor, and you would never know it — unless, of course, you met them at the nudist community." 

While nudists embrace their lifestyle, Youngbloog told the Tampa Bay Times that they're mindful of the sensibilities of others, and thus she respects the confidentiality of her clients. "I make it a habit not to discuss anybody's business with anybody," she said. "And that's one reason I get as many referrals as I do."

Jackie Youngblood thought the producers were joking when they proposed the show

As a nudist herself, Jackie Youngblood takes nudism and the nudist community seriously, which is one reason she made it the core focus of her real estate business. But she knows not everyone shares her respect. All too often, nudist enclaves are treated as punchlines. So when a TV producer reached out to her to propose a reality show about her business selling homes to nudists, she assumed it was a joke, as she explained on "Real Estate Rockstars."

"A production company out of New York called me and asked if we could do a reality show on people buying real estate naked, and I'm like, 'You're kidding me, right?'" she told the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast. "I thought one of my friends was playing a joke," she continued. "But they were serious." The producers were not only serious but interested in treating the nudist community respectfully.

They first planned two pilot episodes and used their initial time filming in Florida's nudist communities to gain the trust of their members, according to RealScreen. Only after the nudists saw that their lifestyle would be depicted respectfully did the producers order a full season of episodes.

Buying Naked revealed the unique etiquette rules of the nudist community

For many viewers, one of the most fascinating things about "Buying Naked" was its revealing (no pun intended) look at nudist culture, including its unique codes of etiquette. "It's got nothing to do with sex," TLC executive producer Mike Kane told Realscreen. "It's about people living a very free lifestyle."

This freedom, however, also means respecting the boundaries of others. For instance, nudists are to avoid gawking at others' bodies (if you can't keep your eyes up, wear sunglasses) and to greet friends with handshakes instead of hugs, according to HuffPost. Another convention among nudists is to always put a towel down before sitting anywhere, presumably to protect both oneself and the surface below. 

Fundamentally, however, all these rules come down to mutual acceptance and respect. "You know you're going to be accepted no matter what size you are, no matter how you look," "Buying Naked" star Jackie Youngblood told the Tampa Bay Times. "People accept you for who you are. A breathing, walking human being."

Nudists have special requirements when buying homes

As a seasoned realtor and nudist herself, Jackie Youngblood understands that nudists enjoy creature comforts as much as their conventionally clothed counterparts. But because of their unique lifestyle, their wish lists for their homes can differ from those of typical households.

As Youngblood explained to the Tampa Bay Times, privacy is an important concern for some nudists, especially for those living outside nudist communities. "It's important because of their respect for the neighbors," she said. "They want to be able to run around naked, so if the next-door neighbor has children, or even if they don't, they don't want to insult someone."

Youngblood explained that nudists often seek out homes suitable for entertaining, including those with open layouts for easy movement between the kitchen, living room, and yard. Pools are also popular. But other desired features are more specific to the health and safety of those practicing a nudist lifestyle. For instance, many nudists request higher countertops to reduce the risk of contact or injury to any exposed private parts, and bidets in bathrooms are a non-negotiable must-have (via Meaww).

Nudists were mostly pleased with how they were depicted

Members of misunderstood communities often yearn to have their stories told fairly and accurately — and nudists can certainly be considered a group frequently misunderstood by outsiders. So when "Buying Naked" debuted in 2013, nudism advocates watched with curiosity: Would the show get their story right?

The verdict was ... yes, mostly. Executives from the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) interviewed by The Washington Post gave the show mixed reviews. On the plus side, they appreciated that the show depicted nudists doing mundane tasks, such as house-hunting, just as anyone else would — except without wearing clothes. But they felt that like most reality shows, "Buying Naked" presented an artificially enhanced image of its "real" community members.

As one of the AANR executives noted, nearly all the nudist cast members were conventionally attractive, while actual nudist communities are populated with people of all shapes and sizes. Still, they were pleased that the show didn't try to sensationalize their lifestyle. "I do like the emphasis on nudist environment; we are now recognized as a special set of people who constitute both normal and unusual in the same way," AANR president Susan Weaver told the Washington Post. "That we are normal as everyone else but have found an additional dimension to life that gives us so much pleasure."

Reviews were mixed

Just as its producers hoped, "Buying Naked" attracted curious viewers. While some critics found it a fascinating look at a little-understood subculture, others had a tough time taking "Buying Naked" seriously and found it downright cringeworthy.

These critiques, however, sometimes had less to do with the execution of the show than its underlying premise. "Americans have been clamoring for a reality show about the nudist real estate market for as long as anyone can remember," Brian Grubb, editor-at-large at Uproxx noted sarcastically. "Well finally, the wait appears to be over." Other critics appeared put off by the very idea of nudism. "I couldn't care less how naked you want to be, but wear goddamn shorts to the gym," television and movie reviewer Pete Vonder Haar wrote in the Houston Press. "It's also not criticizing your lifestyle to say you're an idiot for mowing your lawn or riding a motorcycle without protective attire (both activities being depicted on Buying Naked)." 

A unique strategy kept nude cast members safe for TV

"Buying Naked" promised — and delivered — nudity. Most of the show's action took place in nudist enclaves in Florida, and the homebuyers exploring possible properties in these communities with realtor Jackie Youngblood typically did so in the nude. Thus, the challenge for producers was how to depict these unclothed cast members without running afoul of broadcast decency regulations.

The producers decided to take a creative approach to this challenge. Instead of fully relying on blurring out private body parts, they strategically positioned decorative items in front of them. In one promotional photo from the show, for instance, a woman's breasts are blocked by a pair of large sunflowers in a vase; in another shot, a man's genitals are obscured by a strategically placed wine bottle. "Anybody can go down there, shoot and just blur it. We've tried to challenge ourselves to do it with as little blurring as possible," TLC executive producer Mike Kane told Realscreen. This required a lot of creative blocking and camera angles and contributed to the showrunners' goal of evoking a playful but respectful tone toward the show's participants.

Buying Naked was part of a trend of shows featuring nude people

"Buying Naked" wasn't the only show of the 2010s featuring naked cast members. Instead, it was part of a trend launched in 2013 by the Discovery reality show "Naked and Afraid," in which pairs of survivalists worked through wilderness challenges in the buff. Among these challenges were thorny plants and an absence of food (via The Washington Post). Also following on the heels of "Naked and Afraid" was the VH-1 show "Naked Dating," in which would-be suitors checked each other out in the nude to help determine if they were the right fit. Additionally, according to The Wrap, dozens of unsuccessful pitches were sent to networks featuring nudity as a concept.

Unlike "Naked and Afraid" and "Naked Dating," though, "Buying Naked" featured cast members for whom nudism was a regular part of their lifestyle. And as The Washington Post noted, nudism advocates found its depiction of nudism more realistic than that of "Naked and Afraid," pointing out that actual nudists tend to avoid going into such physically dangerous situations in the buff. But something about the show resonated with audiences in a way "Buying Naked" didn't. While "Buying Naked" ran for only one full season, "Naked and Afraid" has aired over a dozen seasons.

The show doubled Jackie Youngblood's sales

Long before "Buying Naked," Jackie Youngblood had already established herself as the go-to realtor for nudist-friendly properties. As noted by the Tampa Bay Times, the fact that she's a nudist herself gives her special insight into the community's needs and concerns. Among these, she told the Tampa Bay Times, are prudish lenders unwilling to finance properties in nudist communities. And as she explained on the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast, the nudist community has proven to be a profitable niche market — she not only gets new buyers referred to her by past buyers but even from other realtors who are not so comfortable working with properties in nudist enclaves.

Still, no ambitious realtor would turn down a free high-profile marketing opportunity, right? Perhaps Jackie Youngblood agreed to be featured in "Buying Naked" because she felt it could further build her business. If so, her instincts were correct. The show supercharged her already high local profile. As she recounted on the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast, while she'd sold around 25 homes the year before "Buying Naked" premiered; after the show premiered, she sold that many in the first six months.

Jackie Youngblood continued to work as a realtor after the show

Jackie Youngblood made no apologies for targeting her real estate marketing to an obscure niche group. As she told the host of the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast, the nudist community was not only a group in which she'd already built a large network of friends and acquaintances but one hungry for her specialized knowledge and personal respect for its members. Her branding in the 2010s focused on this audience — her website URL at the time was — and also attracted media attention, which ultimately led to the launch of "Buying Naked." And just as she must have hoped, "Buying Naked" turbocharged her sales, enabling her to virtually double her business. But reality-show fame tends to be short-lived, and "Buying Naked" lasted only a little while.

Although Youngblood continues to be active in real estate, her old website redirects viewers to Her bio makes no specific mention of her work with nudist communities. Youngblood does list some clothing-optional communities as areas she serves, but she doesn't label them as such.

Her social media presence likewise plays down her association with the nudist community. It's not mentioned at all on her Facebook page, and while she describes herself as a nudist and a "Buying Naked" star in her Twitter profile, her infrequent tweets are mostly new listings and client testimonials.