Dogging (sexual slang)

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Not to be confused with doggy style.
Vandalised 'Dog On Leash Only' sign amended to refer to dogging, Kennington Park, London, 2012

Dogging is a British English slang term 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]

In September 2003 the BBC[3] reported on the 'new' dogging craze. They cited the Internet and text messaging as 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 begun to spread to other countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, the Netherlands, Denmark,[5] Norway,[6] Poland,[7] Sweden.[8][9]


In Great Britain, dogging comes under laws related to voyeurism, exhibitionism or public displays of sexual behaviour; the laws on dogging are ambiguous. Prosecution is possible for a number of offences such as section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, exposure under section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or for the common law offence of outraging public decency. 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.[10]

Some countries may also have laws regarding permitting, or being reckless as to whether, a minor watches or becomes exposed to sexual activities.


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."[11] 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]

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  1. ^ a b "Here’s the Pub, Church and Field for Public Sex". New York Times. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 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. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "'Dogging' craze sex disease risk". BBC. 8 September 2003. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  4. ^ Kahney, Leander (19 April 2004). "Dogging Craze Has Brits in Heat". Wired Magazine. Condé Nast Digital. 
  5. ^ Masser af sex på landsdelens rastepladser | TV MIDTVEST
  6. ^ Gray, Martin (4 February 2007). "Tenner på risikosex". Aftenposten. Retrieved 20 August 2007. Fenomenet "dogging" brer om seg og er i ferd med å få fotfeste i Norge. 
  7. ^ "Uprawiają seks w centrum Warszawy". 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2007. Łazienki, park Szczęśliwicki i Skaryszewski to ulubione miejsca doggersów. Umawiają się przez internet, by na oczach przypadkowych przechodniów uprawiać niezobowiązujący seks. 
  8. ^ Abrahamsson, Karin (14 July 2008). "Sommarens heta sextrend". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 12 June 2010. Träffpunkter och nätverk för dogging finns över hela Sverige. 
  9. ^ "The Wellingtonista After Dark: Spot the Dog". 20 July 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010. (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. 
  10. ^ "Police leniency call on park sex". BBC News. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  11. ^ Jen Johnston (21 September 2003). "Councils voice concern over new sex craze". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 22 September 2003. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 


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