Dogging (sexual slang)

Dogging is a British euphemism for engaging in sexual acts in a semi-public place (typically a secluded car park or a cinema) or watching others doing so. Frequently, there are more than two participants; group sex and sometimes even gang bangs can occur. Observation is encouraged, thus 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.

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. This can become habitual and is a paraphilia known as voyeurism. Dogging once attracted mass media attention, to the point that it has become difficult for couples to casually park at a recognised dogging site without almost immediately being surrounded by a circle of rather pushy (and sometimes rather intimidating) single males. This led to harassment of members of the public on some occasions, police involvement, and a tendency for some couples to move their activities to other locations and towards 'soft-swinging'.

Although mainly thought of as a purely British phenomenon, there is some evidence on the internet that the 'craze' has recently begun to spread to other countries (such as the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Barbados, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Poland).


Carping is derived from the activity of dogging. A carper is a person who engages in conversation with another person on a mobile phone (or through online chat) who is in the act of gratifying themselves either publicly or privately.

Many of the more experienced doggers (people who put on shows) invite carping by writing their telephone number on a cardboard box or large piece of paper and placing it on display inside their vehicle.

Carping is also the definition of one who chats with another while watching them perform live on a web cam. Although the original definition of the word came from the actual physical event, online dogging has adopted the slang for its own use.

Siren silencing

With increasing frequency, dogging participants are dispersed (or "silenced") by faux police sirens, often provided by local residents frustrated with the misuse of public areas and lack of authority control. These disgruntled residents are often referred to as "Roys", taken from the contemporary term Killjoy Roy.

Etiquette and safety

At first, there was a strict code of etiquette regarding approaching/not approaching parked cars, but this has now largely been broken. This has also caused distress to other 'non-dogging' couples who have unwittingly entered the same car park looking for privacy, leading to police involvement in some places.

In the light of this, many couples (especially those who prefer mutual voyeurism to casual group sex) have increasingly transferred to meeting new friends via the internet-organised 'Soft-Swinging' (i.e. same-room sharing/watching) scene and now do their 'dogging' in a more 'social' atmosphere in the relative safety, comfort and privacy of each other's homes.


In most jurisdictions, dogging would come under laws related to voyeurism, exhibitionism or public displays of sexual behaviour. Some countries may also have laws regarding permitting, or being reckless as to whether, a minor watches (or becomes exposed to) sexual activities.

In the UK, the laws on dogging are ambiguous; one interpretation holds that if all people involved (taking part and watching) are consenting adults and no unsuspecting passer-by sees, that the act is not illegal.


The word 'dogging' (in the main UK sense of 'stalking' or 'pursuing') was used in the 1970s to describe the practice (mainly among sexually curious adolescents and more adult 'Peeping Toms') of sneaking-up on couples having sex in cars in isolated 'lovers' lanes' and watching them whilst remaining undetected. Nowadays the word describes practices really more accurately described as 'outdoor swinging' and consensual mutual voyeurism/exhibitionism. Like many colloquial words (see 'Posh', 'Pommie', 'Limey', 'Chav' etc.) the word 'dogging' may have fallen victim to retrospective fake etymology (after the craze 'surfaced') for the sake of filling titillating and 'mock outrage' column-inches in bottom-market ('redtop') newspapers. Known explanations are:


"Amomaxia" is the act of having sex or making out in a car (Schmidt, 1967). It does not necessarily include the exhibitionist or voyeuristic aspects of dogging.

See also


External links

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