Dogging (sexual slang)

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Vandalised 'Dog On Leash Only' sign amended to refer to dogging, Kennington Park, London, 2012

Dogging is a British English euphemism for engaging in sexual acts in a public or semi-public place or watching others doing so.[1] 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.[2]

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.

In September 2003 the BBC[3] 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.[4]

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,[5] Poland,[6] Sweden,[7] and New Zealand.[8]



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 in such circumstances.[9][10]

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[11] for dogging locations as part of Policy M78 Managing Public Sex Environments policies in section 9.5.1. The police force states 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."[12] 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.[1][13]


"Amomaxia" is the act of having sex or making out in a car.[14] It does not necessarily include the exhibitionist or voyeuristic aspects of dogging.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Here’s the Pub, Church and Field for Public Sex". New York Times. October 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-08. "Unhappily for many people here, it is also famous for being featured on lists of good places to go “dogging” — that is, to have sex in public, sometimes with partners you have just met online, so that others can watch. So popular is the woodsy field below the ridge as a spot for gay sex (mostly during the day) and heterosexual sex (mostly at night) that the police have designated it a “public sex environment.” … Public sex is a popular — and quasi-legal — activity in Britain, according to the authorities and to the large number of Web sites that promote it. (It is treated as a crime only if someone witnesses it, is offended and is willing to make a formal complaint.) And the police tend to tread lightly in public sex environments, in part because of the bitter legacy of the time when gay sex was illegal and closeted men having anonymous sex in places like public bathrooms were routinely arrested and humiliated."
  2. ^ "'Dogging' hotspot to be policed". BBC. February 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  3. ^ "'Dogging' craze sex disease risk". BBC. September 8, 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  4. ^ Kahney, Leander (2004-04-19). "Dogging Craze Has Brits in Heat". Wired Magazine. Condé Nast Digital.
  5. ^ Gray, Martin (2007-02-04). "Tenner på risikosex". Aftenposten. Retrieved 2007-08-20. "Fenomenet "dogging" brer om seg og er i ferd med å få fotfeste i Norge."
  6. ^ "Uprawiają seks w centrum Warszawy". 2007-10-09. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11.,11,item.html. Retrieved 2007-10-09. "Łazienki, park Szczęśliwicki i Skaryszewski to ulubione miejsca doggersów. Umawiają się przez internet, by na oczach przypadkowych przechodniów uprawiać niezobowiązujący seks."
  7. ^ Abrahamsson, Karin (2008-07-14). "Sommarens heta sextrend". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 2010-06-12. "Träffpunkter och nätverk för dogging finns över hela Sverige."
  8. ^ "The Wellingtonista After Dark: Spot the Dog". 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2010-05-01. "(On the topic of dogging) What is it? Who does it? And where oh where does it happen? We'll let people out themselves on the second question but we can definitely help y'all with the third one."
  9. ^ "Police leniency call on park sex". BBC News. 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2010-05-01.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Policy M78 Managing Public Sex Environments Policies". Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  12. ^ Jen Johnston (21 September 2003). "Councils voice concern over new sex craze". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on Sep 22, 2003. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  13. ^ Andrew Parker Neil Syson Lucy Hagan (2 March 2004). "Colly on the Prowl". The Sun.
  14. ^ Schmidt, 1967

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