Pandemic got you down? Dogging might be the perfect sex solution that’s safe to do with strangers, even in the middle of a pandemic! But what is Dogging? Wikipedia surmised it best when they explain that “Dogging is a British slang term for engaging in sexual acts in a public or semi-public place or watching others doing so.” The thrill of hooking up in public is made even more exciting by the thrill of being watched. The participants involved often meet either randomly or (increasingly) arrange to meet up beforehand over the Internet. The term “dogging” took center stage in popular culture when it was reported that dogging was sweeping the internet because exhibitionists were used the internet to set up meets.
Tinder has also actually given really great pandemic dating protocols for IRL contact. “Wear a mask. Don’t rush to touch. Stay home if you don’t feel well. Meet somewhere clean, with room to social distance. And if possible, get tested.” While the advice might sound like common sense, even a timely update on the “No glove, no love” rule from the days of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, it shows just how wary people are to expose themselves to COVID-19 through hooking up. And now luckily in terms of HIV/AIDS we can buy PrEP online and proactively protect ourselves.
How did it get the name?
The Sunday Herald of Scotland wrote in 2003, “The term dogging originated in the early 1970s to describe men who spied on couples having sex outdoors—these people would “dog” the couples’ every move and watch them. Another theory for the is that dog walking is the origin of the term; since folks could use the normal excuse of walking their pets as cover for their more taboo desire to watch others hooking up.
Is it legal?
Although the act of dogging is not explicitly banned by any one specific law, there are a few charges anyone caught doing hooking in public could be faced with. Most places around the world have laws around voyeurism, exhibitionism, public decency or public displays of sexual behavior. Part of the thrill for most is the possibility of being caught. As adults you’ll have to decide if the risk is worth it for you because having sex in any public place can lead to legal repercussions. Since dogging typically takes place in parking lots and parks you can typically find a more secluded spot to minimize the risk of getting caught and legal issues arising. While a decent percentage of folks have admitted to participating in public sex of one form or another be aware there are real repercussions that can occur.
Some guidelines to minimize risks
- Not playing in front of children, or other unwilling participants. Consent is extremely important for your safety and the protection of others!
- No trespassing on private property
- Be mindful of loud noises which can bring unwanted attention
- Don’t leave trash or destroy public property
- If you’re watching, no touching unless specifically invited to
- Use the buddy system. Let a friend know where you are just in case!
Why is it a safer sex option in the pandemic?
With the risk of infection lurking in every encounter (even non-sexual encounters), local perverts are increasingly swearing off random hook-ups. But the Aids epidemic didn’t stop humans, so this won’t either. Many have been searching for a sex solution that’s safe to do with strangers? Don’t let sensationalized reports of dogging turn you off. You can participate in a more consensual and generally sexier than mainstream media would make it out to be. Think of it as the more exciting cousin of outdoor sex, but with consensual voyeurs! Let’s be abundantly clear that hooking up in public has existed since the beginning of time.
It’s like watching porn, only instead of watching it on your electronic device or tv, you watch it live through a car window while standing next to other people. Just make sure to stay six feet apart, and wear your mask! There are plenty of online forums and even social media groups you can join online, which will likely include lists of dogging hotspots and allow you to chat to like-minded perverts, if you’re looking to have some fun. There’s always risk of being caught or approached by an aggressive stranger when having sex outdoors, but if you connect with communities and seek out safe hotspots you’ll minimize your risks.
What have we learned from previous pandemics?
We know from the AIDS epidemic that socially, a health crisis as an event can disrupt the life of a community and causes uncertainty, fear, blame, and flight. The Gay community had to figure out how to navigate their sexuality in a dangerously changing landscape. Before the epidemic there was a thriving community of bathhouses, cruising, flagging and tricking. These things will never completely disappear but it was important to figure out how to minimize risks while still allowing people to express their sexuality.
Nowadays we can buy PrEP online, have access to a large variety of sex toys, cruising apps to meet people, and a ton of ways to create digital connections. This pandemic reminds me of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and I sympathized with my single friends who were suddenly saddled with unintentional chastity, their libidos on lockdown. Not to make minimize any virus but, COVID-19 has turned out to be a total sex block.
While there is little medical similarity between COVID19 and HIV; both diseases have overwhelmingly affected marginalized populations. In the case of HIV’s , the LGBTQ community, IV drug users, and people of color were largely at risk; and with COVID-19, the economically disadvantaged, immigrants, and Black and Latin communities.
In the end, the unfortunate truth is that until there’s either a vaccine, a viable treatment, or a cure for COVID-19, (like PrEP) it won’t be entirely safe or recommended to have any sort of casual hook ups, and the level of trust required needs to be higher to prevent the spread. So finding alternative ways for human connection is the name of the game. If it’s dogging, porn, or something new I haven’t even thought of, protect yourself while still remaining connected. I’m not anti casual sex, I’m anti spread of diseases.
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