Hookups, Body Issues and Hygiene: The Women of Naked and Afraid Tell All
The show's females answer PEOPLE's Burning Questions
People always have a lot of questions about Naked and Afraid.
Here at PEOPLE, we feel like it’s our public duty to answer some of these burning questions. Let’s begin with the lightning round:
Where do they go to bathroom? (Anywhere they want. It’s the jungle.) Are they really left alone? (Yes. Each night, production goes to base camp, leaving the participants alone with a diary camera.) Do they get paid? (Yes, but just a few thousand dollars. It’s all about the experience, not the cash.)
With those questions out of the way, let’s move on to certain gender-specific questions that the female survivalists often get. To help us out, PEOPLE asked this season’s Naked and Afraid XL participants Alyssa Ballestero and Stacey Lee Osorio to weigh in on these (sometimes very delicate) questions.
Do You Hook Up With The Guys?
“That’s the biggest question I get,” says Ballestero. “The answer is no. That’s not what happens out there. Everyone is dirty and tired; it doesn’t really happen.”
“You have no libido out there at all,” adds Osorio. “It’s really not a sexual experience.”
Do the Women Get Feminine Hygiene Products?
“That’s one of the biggest questions I get,”laughs Osorio. “Everyone wants to know what we do when we’re on our period! The show does allow us to have tampons. It’s not only a sanitary hazard, but it’s a safety hazard, because you don’t want to attract predators.”
Related Video: When Was the Last Time You Were Naked and Afraid?
“And you don’t always get it when you’re out there,” adds Ballestero, “so it’s not a really big deal.”
Are There Body Image Issues?
“Oh, God. I have tons of self-esteem issues,” says Osorio. “I have small breasts; I have really bad stretch marks from my pregnancies. I have a mutilated foot from a lawn mower accident and I’m missing a couple toes. And my hair was out of control out there! Yeah, you don’t want people to see the stuff that you try to hide under your clothes. I had to remind myself that I’m beautiful because the people in my life think I’m beautiful.”
“I know this sounds ridiculous, but I’m a pretty shy person,” adds Ballestero. “I don’t just take off my clothes for any reason. It was awkward, and the crew was like, “Oh, don’t worry. We’ve seen it all before.’ and I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, but you haven’t seen me before!’ ”
What Do You Tell Your Kids About Being Naked on Television?
Let’s face it: most of us wouldn’t be thrilled if our kids decided to get naked on a reality show. How do participants talk about this with their children?
“I was just honest” says Osorio, who has two kids. “I asked them if they thought it was going to be weird that mom was going to be naked on TV, and they shrugged their shoulders.
“But they understood that this is not a sexualized experience,” she continues. “It’s anything but sexual! So I made sure they understood that it was a survival situation where I was being pushed to my limits. They were okay with that.”
Do Your Boyfriends or Husbands Get Jealous?
“People ask my fiancé if he’s worried,” says Ballestero. “They’re like, ‘Aren’t you scared that she’ll see another guy and want to hook up with him?’ But he knows that it’s not that type of situation. He always tells them that he’s more worried that I am safe and healthy.”
The new season of Naked and Afraid XL premieres on Sunday (10 p.m. ET) on the Discovery Channel.