Guilty Pleasures, and Dogging

The curious thing about this piece in yesterday’s tehgraun is how few of the pleasures these intellectuals list — country music, Elvis Presley, Trinny and pro-wrestling, baseball, and so on — ought to induce guilt in any way, shape or form. (The odd inclusion is James Wood’s nomination of car magazines, but that stands out because it’s hard to see how they could be pleasurable.) Still, I don’t suppose that this crowd was going confess an interest in horse-porn or dogging to a random journalist.

Thinking of dogging, as I suppose we all do from time to time, is this still something that the Great British Public pursues at night in motorway laybys, or was it very much an early-millennium fad? And if it has faded from the scene, did fashions just change, or did the police develop some effective anti-dogging strategies when they weren’t investigating cash-for-peerages? Or something else?

0 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures, and Dogging”

  1. Going to the/a source, the message board at dogging.co.uk is quite busy, and they report 267 members yesterday. Whether that’s new or active, that’s a fair few…

  2. The late Derek Jarman was into dogging, or whatever the exact equivalent was called when performed on Hampstead Heath in the 1980s/early 1990s.

    But the Guardian was about thirteen years too late to ask him.

  3. I thought the word dogging was reserved for heterosexuals. But maybe I’m wrong.

    And 267 out of 60 million doesn’t really suggest an active preoccupation of the Great British Public.

  4. Well Chris, dogging still provides me with considerable entertainment during vacations. No, i am not confessing to peculiar sexual indulgance. Rather, my friends and I have developed the art of dogger-annoying.

    There are several good spots where i live, mostly along the beach, where men and sometimes women meet up for some late-night, in-the-dark loving. We worked out that driving up behind them with the lights off, then switching to full-beam works quite well, as does persuading someone to get out of the car, creep over, knock on the dogger’s window and try and run away. Except nobody will do it anymore because last time we locked the doors and said we were leaving them at the mercy of the doggers.

    But generally doggers are relatively placid, and are just embarrased that non-doggers have caught them. You have to be careful though, because ocassionally you accidentally get a boy-racer with his girlfriend. In fact i once had a near-death experience after making that mistake.

    But yes, doggers are more prolific than you might think, at least in the North West….

  5. I’m extremely disappointed that the dogging website isn’t called ‘Dogger Bank’. What is wrong with these people?

    I must say, Chris, that the missing comma in your list – “Trinny and pro-wrestling” – seemed a very guilty pleasure indeed.

    Can anyone make anything of Hitchens’ contribution?

  6. I suspect that dogging is one of those phenomena that has a small devoted following, yet gets spun by the media into an “epidemic,” only to fall by the wayside when some new thing catches their fancy.

  7. Thanks for Chris — I’m glad to have the concept of dogging added to my mental furnishings. (I’d always assumed that the term referred to dog racing. How very disillusioning.)
    As for Hitchens: Yes, the fact that he claims not to actually indulge in his listed guilty pleasure is a bit odd. Presumably, he doesn’t do anything he feels guilty about — which would be laudable, save for the implication that he feels no guilt about any of the things he does. Still odder, perhaps, and somewhat sad, is that his ‘guilty pleasure’ seems to give him very little pleasure indeed.

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