Masked Singer

How 'The Masked Singer' Can Save Your Sex Life

Yes, the Fox competition show can actually help you in the bedroom—and no, we're not kidding

Courtesy: Fox

Valentine’s Day can lead to some desperate measures from those of us who don’t have anyone to share a $200 prix fixe menu with. Rather than trolling through texts from exes or engaging in some social-media stalking, maybe it’s time to look to an even more unlikely source for romantic guidance: The Masked Singer.

Yes, The Masked Singer—the Fox reality show hosted by Nick Cannon, who now splits his time between approximately 27 talent competitions, and who I imagine will be taking over HQ Trivia hosting duties from Scott Rogowsky any day now. Masked Singer is the show that dares to ask the question—would you be more interested in hearing selections from The Greatest Showman if they were sung by a giant peacock? And before you turn your nose up at love lessons from a mutant menagerie singing “I Gotta Feeling,” ask yourself, is that any worse than what you were doing last year in the wee hours of Feb. 14?
Like most reality talent contests, The Masked Singer has a lot of energy—more energy than you could probably wring out of your entire experience with dating apps. Never has a group of men and women in oversized animal costumes been greeted with the kind of wild excitement the Masked Singer contestants get from the judges, outside of a furry convention (and I've heard those gatherings get intense). The show’s panelists—including Jenny McCarthy—might not know who's under those animal masks. (There's a rabbit getup, natch.) But they also know that as you move through the proverbial box of Russell Stover chocolates without the guide, it’s way more fun to imagine you’re about to bite into the coveted caramel center, than it is to worry whether you’re about to get a taste of dreaded strawberry cream.

And this candy metaphor, layered on top of a reality-TV metaphor, is all to say it’s easy to go into any search for love (or even just a hook-up) with a sense of cynicism or dread. But maybe before you sigh or sneer at the thought of opening Tinder, think of Nicole Scherzinger’s (of Pussycat Dolls fame) face lighting up as the peacock first sang. Is Justin Timberlake under that mask? Probably not. Is someone with JT-level charisma destined to be your next match? It’s not likely. But that’s no reason not to be hopeful.
The series isn't just here to remind you to adopt a carpe diem attitude as you approach any potential romantic entanglement. It's also here to offer a message of caution. Like the Masked Singer panelists, we all like to think of ourselves as amateur detectives as soon as we pull up Tinder. He’s playing with a puppy, but is it his puppy? Well, I guess he at least likes puppies—or is he just assuming I like puppies? A hippo might say rapper to the esteemed Masked Singer panel, but liking hip-hop, or simply wearing boat shoes in a Bumble profile, does not make you a musician or the owner of a boat. The real clues don’t come from the cryptic biography given in either situation; it’s not until they actually perform that you get the clearest picture of who they might be. You might think you’re learning plenty from a potential match’s collection of photos, but you should really wait until the conversation starts to assess whether they’re worth your time.

What you probably don't need to figure out if they're right for you is input from a third party. Or a fourth or fifth. Your friends might seem like they have all the answers as they’re looking over your shoulder while you swipe. They’re sure they’ve seen that girl before; they know what listing Moonrise Kingdom as your favorite movie really means; they’re pretty sure that underneath that hat, that’s really Zac Efron. But just because your group of friends collectively has more dating experience than you, doesn’t mean you should ignore your own gut reaction to the next photo that pops up on your phone. Getting a friend’s guidance every once in a while can be fun. But ultimately, you’re the one who has to go out on the date (or let your costumed-singer guess be known on Twitter).
Maybe the true lesson of the show is the simplest, and yet apparently easiest to ignore—when it comes to your sex life, height is kind of meaningless.
Maybe the true lesson of the show is the simplest, and yet apparently easiest to ignore—when it comes to your sex life, height is kind of meaningless. Along with their bios full of misdirects, the only stat we’re given for the singers beneath the masks is their height. It’s unclear what the viewer is supposed to do with this information. Do most celebs have a strong association with their exact height? Are there some kind of obvious clusters of medium-sized versus slightly taller, vaguely famous people meant to pop into our collective consciousness?

Likewise, it’s time to ditch any dependence on the height stats that sometimes dot even otherwise barren dating profiles. For example, Daniel Radcliffe is 5'5", and he seems lovely. Measure a prospective match not by their measurements, but by the content of their interests section.

The trick here isn't so much mining The Masked Singer for a panacea for your lackluster sex life—it's being open to advice and inspiration from all sources. Maybe you watch The Voice one night and realize you're always the last one to turn toward love, perpetually waiting for another option to come along. Or maybe you tune into American Ninja Warrior and realize you keep slipping up on the same obstacle to a relationship, and that if you're going to get any further, that's where you need to put your energy. There's no one-size-fits-all collection of relationship tips. But if you keep watching, the universe will intervene and give you the help you were looking for. And that help might come from a giant singing unicorn.