Public sex and voyeurism: Why do people go dogging?

As British an institution as fish and chips or the Queen’s corgi habit.

Dogging is the act of public sex in a secluded or semi-secluded location, where those engaging in it allow others to watch them and may encourage viewers to join in.

Brits love a quickie in public, with 43% of us owning up to public sex. Sex in cars is nearly as popular as al fresco loving, as 49% of people in a new survey admit to getting it on in an automobile. Only laws on speed limits are more regularly broken than those relating to public fornication.

The term ‘dogging’ supposedly comes from men telling their wives they were going to ‘walk the dog’ and then either heading to the pub or going to see if they could find couples having sex and watch them. It doesn’t refer to the women involved in dogging scenarios in a derogatory way.

Dogging has links to voyeurism, exhibitionism, swinging, cuckolding and ‘stag’ or ‘vixen’ sex (where men and women enjoy seeing their partner having sex with another person).

It usually occurs in outdoor parking areas, woodland spots, quiet lanes and public parks after dark, when it’s unlikely that others will be around. You can get involved as a couple and engage in sex in front of a live audience, swap partners with another couple or have it off with singles who have come to enjoy the show.

Some people who go dogging respond to social media alerts or posts on sites specifically dedicated to the activity, so they know exactly where and when couples or curious singles are planning to be at a specific location. There’s a bit more planning and intent than just having a drunken shag down the side of a pub because you’re both too horny to make it home.

We don’t know how many people in the UK are currently active in the dogging scene, but communities of dedicated doggers certainly exist online and information on the best dogging spots in your city or county are just a simple Google search away.

There’s not one specific law that bans dogging, but if you get caught, you could be prosecuted for public indecency, indecent behaviour or disorderly conduct. If you’re engaging in public sex near children or a school, you might find yourself on the sex offenders register. (Picture: Ella Byworth for

In order to learn more about dogging and why people like it, I logged on to an adults-only dogging site that offers handy tips to would –be doggers such as: ‘Try to arrive a few minutes early for a meet, no one likes to wait.’

Ian from Gloucestershire was kind enough to tell me why he enjoys going dogging. He said: ‘It’s the excitement of being watched while still getting pleasure! Knowing other men and women masturbate with butt plugs while they watch you adds to the fun.’

Amir* from Twickenham said that his best dogging experience was with a couple he’d met on Craigslist. ‘They were looking for a man to have sex with the husband’s blindfolded wife, while he watched. We decided to meet and I did the deed in his parked car under a bridge. It was a fun experience and I felt very adventurous.’

Brian told me that he’d first become interested in dogging when he realised that his long-term relationship was getting stale.

He said: ‘My relationship ended and after that, I was able to explore what I really wanted sexually, not just a quick shag at home twice a week.

‘I went to some shops in Glasgow, I guess you could call them sex shops, and I came across a contact magazine. Through it, I started making contact with couples. Given my previous relationship, I decided I wasn’t going to be tied down. I met a few couples and then the subject of meeting at dogging sites came up. (Picture: Ella Byworth for

‘I guess I was just very horny at that time, single and looking for fun. It was also very exciting, and almost a nervous experience in terms of watching, participating and making sure we didn’t get caught.’

On the etiquette of dogging, Rory says: ‘You can’t just walk up to a car and look in – that’s too much like stalking! You have to watch the cars as they come and go. See if the same cars are coming and going, who’s inside and whether or not they look at you.

‘A definite sign is light flashing. If you’re behind a car and then the brake lights flash, that generally means they want to be watched or joined. If you’re in front they will flash their headlights at you.

‘There have been times when a woman has gotten out her car topless and beckoned guys over, but that doesn’t happen very often.

‘During dogging, you may get invited to watch through a car window, generally, this is when guys just jerk off. There are other occasions when you might touch the couple, play with her and him, but it really depends on what you’re looking for.’

If you’re going to give dogging a try, remember never to engage in public sex in places where you could be seen by children or where you’re likely to cause offence. It is illegal and people do get prosecuted.

Is dogging illegal? All you need to know

DOGGING is a British slang term for having sex in public in the view of others.

The practice seems to occur up and down the country as randy exhibitionists play out their fantasies in car parks and woodland across the land. Some can even be seen having locked Here is everything you need to know about the raunchy pastime…

What is dogging?

Dogging is a British slang term of having sex in public while other people watch.

The phrase is thought to come from the term “walking the dog” as dog walkers used to happen across couples getting amorous outdoors.

The practice usually occurs in car parks and woodland and frequently involves strangers in an either active or voyeuristic role.

In 2003, the term “dogging” rose to prominence when it was reported that the craze was sweeping the internet as exhibitionists used the web to set up meets.

There is now internet evidence that the practice has spread as far afield as the US, Canada, Australia, Scandanavia, Barbados and Brazil.


How popular is public sex in the UK?

Public sex seems to be something of a national hobby for a great many Brits.

Last year a survey revealed that 43 per cent of Brits admitted to getting it on in a public place.

The study conducted by TV channel Alibi showed that it was in fact the second most common crime, after speeding, people admitted to having committed.


Where are the UK’s most notorious dogging sites?

Dogging seems to be pretty much nationwide with virtually every county apparently having a site according to various hook up websites.

The activity seems particularly popular in South London with one survey claiming that 12 of the 21 most popular sites were in the area.

Neighbouring Kent also featured highly on the list but people getting frisky al fresco is by no means restricted to the South East.

One survey claimed Manchester was the UK’s number one city for dogging but there are well known sites in the Midlands, across the North, East Anglia, the West Country, Wales and Scotland.

The Sun revealed that a mansion used on the X Factor in Hadley Wood, North London was a top dogging spot as well as the Scratchwood Open Space in Barnet, North London.

In 2004 ex-England star Stan Collymore was accused of taking part in dogging at Cannock Chase, Staffs.

Dr Lisa Van Zyl has called for legalised and normalised dogging spots after becoming exasperated by coming across people having sex in cars in family places.

Is dogging illegal?

Although the practice of dogging is not explicitly banned by one particular law, there are a multitude of offences anyone one caught doing the dirty in public could be charged with.

These include anything from indecent exposure, public lewdness and gross indecency, to name a few.

People caught dogging could be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or under the common law offence of outraging public decency.

In some cases doggers have found themselves on the sex offenders register. It may be illegal, but research shows that dogging can be beneficial. Not known to many, it has the same health benefits of locking cocks of your partners. Weird, right?


Giving new meaning to the term “flash mob,” the British have invented a new sex craze called “dogging” that mixes sex, exhibitionism, mobs and the Internet.

Dogging combines technology with swinging, cruising and voyeurism. To wit: Crowds big and small watch exhibitionist couples who’ve met on the Net have sex in cars, and sometimes join in.

“Dogging is the broad term used to cover all the sexual outdoor activities that go on,” says the dogging FAQ at Melanies UK Swingers, a popular dogging site. “This can be anything from putting on a show from your car, to a gangbang on a picnic table.”

Dogging appears to be popular and widespread, attracting heterosexual couples and single men and women of all ages, income brackets and backgrounds. Not surprisingly, however, dogging meets tend to attract more men than women.

Dogging is most often practiced in cars at rural parks, lover’s lanes and superstore parking lots. The term dogging has a number of suggested origins, but it probably refers to the “walking the dog” excuse proffered to spouses for an evening’s absence.

Dogging sessions are usually organized through the dozens of dogging sites and message boards that have sprung up in the last couple of years. Photos are exchanged and meetings arranged by e-mail or mobile phone text message.

At the meet, cell phones and text messages are used to confirm meeting places and, crucially, identities. Cameras and videophones are increasingly used to record what goes on.

“Technology is vital and is the main driver (of the dogging phenomenon),” said Richard Byrne, a lecturer at Harper Adams University College in the United Kingdom who produced a survey (PDF) last year that found dogging to be a widespread and growing problem in Britain’s country parks.

Dogging is so prevalent, 60 percent of U.K. country parks are affected by it, Byrne’s report estimated.

In addition, cases of sexually transmitted diseases in some districts rose markedly last year, prompting health authorities to post safe-sex warnings on dogging sites, according to the BBC. One dogging group on Yahoo has 22,000 members.

Although dogging has been growing in popularity for the last couple of years, it only reached the mainstream earlier this month when soccer player Stan Collymore, one of Britain’s most famous athletes, admitted to attending numerous dogging meets. Naturally, Collymore’s confession sparked a storm of tabloid controversy.

Dogging is becoming so popular, or so notorious, that a trio of music professionals this month released a single celebrating dogging – and an accompanying sexy video.

“Sex in public feels so right. Honk your horn. It’s a dogger’s delight,” go the lyrics to “Dogging,” a new single produced by URockers, a “collective of sexual anarchists born of the Internet,” according to the group’s site.

Members of the group claim to have met at a dogging meet. The trio are all music professionals, including a nationally known DJ and a high-profile producer who’s worked with Kylie Minogue and Robert Plant.

The single is part of a forthcoming album called A Momentary Lapse of Income, which will be released later this year in the United Kingdom. The group is seeking a U.S. distributor.

“Last summer in England was one of the hottest summers on record and there was a massive upsurge in interest (in dogging),” said GRocker, one of the groups’ members who declined to reveal his name and consented only to an interview by e-mail.

According to GRocker, the dogging scene attracts people of all ages and backgrounds, but mostly middle-class, middle-aged heterosexuals. There is also a sizeable contingent of hot rodders involved, he said.

“The modified car scene has added to the interest too,” GRocker said. “Young people with custom cars meet in countryside public spaces … which inevitably leads to them fooling around and having sex in public. So there’s a strong relationship between kids with cars and swingers/doggers.”

The scene also attracts technophiles. “I think mobiles and the Web have made a massive difference. Women I know feel much safer,” GRocker said. “(Technology makes) it easy to find out where to go and what other folks are looking for. It’s much easier to hook up with the right people and check out if they are cool or not.”

According to Byrne, meetings are organized through several online exchanges, mainly half-a-dozen Yahoo groups, which form the backbone of information exchange in the United Kingdom. He noted there are also several dogging-oriented porn sites.

Byrne said video and camera phones are used to record meetings. Byrne said he’s seen people in the United States trying to set up trans-Atlantic video links for “virtual dogging.”

“(Doggers) appear to be from all age groups,” said Byrne. “We even came across someone who was 70. And they come from all sorts of backgrounds: professional, manual, etc. I think the majority though are in their late 30s to 50s age group.”

But Byrne warned that dogging is not all fun and games. As well as an increase in STDs, there are reports of sexual and physical assaults, robberies and blackmail (as in Collymore’s case: The footballer was about to be the victim of a tabloid sting). There are also incompatibilities between those who use country parks during the day – usually families and kids – and those who use them after dark.

Nonetheless, dogging appears to be catching on in other countries, Byrne noted.

“Up until now it’s been really the U.K., but it has spread to Germany, France, Ireland,” he said. “I think it is growing in (the) U.S. and Canada.”

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What is Dogging?

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