Chus Martinez - On Dogging
Dogging is a British English euphemism for engaging in sexual acts in a public or semi-public place or watching others doing so. There may be more than two participants; both group sex and gang banging can be included. As observation is encouraged, voyeurism and exhibitionism are closely associated with dogging. The two sets of people involved often meet either randomly or (increasingly) arrange to meet up beforehand over the Internet.
Dogging started in the later part of the 20th century, in the UK, with locations mainly being public car parks and lay-bys (usually on quiet country roads) with activity normally taking place after dark. Doggers would usually leave their interior lights on in their cars so that other doggers would know that they too were doggers. Some would flash their headlights at other cars or flick the interior light on-and-off briefly. These are the most common signs to show that one is a dogger, and are also the signs used by gay men who use lay-bys as cruising grounds for sexual activity. Many dogging locations are used by both straight doggers and gay men.
The dogging craze dates back to at least the 1970s in the home counties surrounding London. It appears to be suburban in origin and related to the sexual fetish for cars described by the author J. G. Ballard in his novel Crash (1973). Crash is a story about symphorophilia or car-crash sexual fetishism: its protagonists become sexually aroused by staging and participating in real car-crashes.
In September 2003 the BBC reported on the ‘new’ dogging craze. They cited the Internet and text messaging as very common ways of organising meetings. The original definition of dogging – and which is still a closely related activity – is spying on couples having sex in a car or other public place.
There is some evidence on the Internet that the ‘craze’ has recently begun to spread to other countries, such as the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and New Zealand.
In Great Britain, dogging comes under laws related to voyeurism, exhibitionism or public displays of sexual behaviour; however, the laws on dogging are ambiguous. Prosecution is possible for a number of offences such as section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, indecent exposure under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or for the common law offence of outraging public decency. However, ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) policy is that arrests are a last resort and a more gradual approach should be taken. Some countries may also have laws regarding permitting, or being reckless as to whether, a minor watches, or becomes exposed to, sexual activities.
Kent Police force routinely monitors sites such as swingingheaven for dogging locations as part of their law enforcement policy. Kent constabulary say they have no control over these lists; however, they use them in relation to law enforcement in the locales listed.
The Sunday Herald wrote in 2003, “The term dogging originated in the early 1970s to describe men who spied on couples having sex outdoors – these men would ‘dog’ the couples’ every move and watch them.” An alternative etymology posits dog-walking as the origin of the term; audience members, and indeed participants, could use the ordinary exercise of their pets as cover for their sexual assignations. A related perversion is Amomaxia, this is the act of having sex or making out in a car. It does not necessarily include the exhibitionist or voyeuristic aspects of dogging.
Via Chus Martinez