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2006-03-17Pete Writes: Suddenly, the tone was dramatically lowered...

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RIBALDRY ALERT! THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE CONTAINS DESCRIPTIONS OF MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE, MISOGYNISTIC AND GENERALLY QUITE MEAN ACTIVITIES! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

I know a guy and this guy, in turn, knows some other guys. These other guys used to hold an event called a 'Rodeo', which ran thusly: one of the other guys goes to some hideous meat market-style drinking pit, where he picks up the first girl he can find who is willing to sleep with him. The one other guy then takes her back to his flat where he proceeds to start boning her.

Unbeknownst to the lady the other other guys (?) are all hiding in the room, in the manner of those playing popular birthday party game 'Sardines' - in wardrobes, under beds and so on. Eventually the one other guy manoeuvres the lady into the doggy position. After a little while he grabs her arse and shouts "RODEO!" at which point the other other guys leap out and start counting to ten in unison.

The object is to hold on for as long as possible.

I only mention this because the guy I know mentioned it when we were talking about the subject of this week's column. It's not really relevant but it is one of those tales of such breathtaking cruelty and outrageousness that you feel compelled to share it with others. But I bet you laughed and it's a lot better than 'Donkey Punching' (don't ask) which you could probably go to prison for.

No, this column concerns dogging which is, I've discovered, an altogether friendlier activity. I haven't actually been dogging myself, you understand — I don't have a car — but the internet has once again furnished me with enough knowledge to write 1500 words of blah. Dogging, for the benefit of the more sheltered section of my readership, is the practice of having sex with strangers in parked cars before an audience of masturbating middle-aged sales reps. It's the biggest craze to hit Britain since the invention of the space hopper and my God is it spreading fast; every night car parks and lay-bys all over the country are filled with happy, fat, pasty groups of people having furtive sex. It was Stan Collymore, the dickhead ex-Aston Villa player, who started it, or at least made it famous. In March 2004 he admitted to going dogging on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, much to the annoyance of his wife. No one else cared much; by that point his playing career was going downhill faster than Eddie the Eagle so the world of football was rocked only minimally. Stan said that depression made him do it. He displayed the level of self-disgusted contrition that a famous person caught with their cock out is expected to display (but don't you just love the ones who come out and say "yes, I was discovered in a manwich on Hampstead Heath with two transsexual Filipino hairdressers. And what of it?") and quietly dropped off the radar. But someone, somewhere, was taking notes.

The best thing about dogging is that is quintessentially, unequivocally a British phenomenon. How can you tell? Because it's seedy and dirty and illicit. Only a nation as sexually repressed as ours could have conceived of such an idea. Gratifyingly, other countries have started to pick up the habit, proving once again that British smut is superior to the smut concocted by any garlic-stinking foreigner. Another cultural export that we can feel proud of. Picture the scene: a lay-by, somewhere near Basingstoke. The wintry moonlight is shining off the row of pale white arses crowded around a 1986 Nissan Sunny. Inside the car Kathy, mother of two, is entwined with Tony, a spot-welder from Basildon. To one side Derek, Kathy's husband of some twenty years, videotapes the whole thing for posterity. Tony's expression is quizzical; he's wondering which of the assembled middle-aged men has just come on the back of his leg. It's the picture Constable never painted.

If I sound like I'm taking the piss out of doggers...I probably am. But no malice is intended. I'm not the kind of cat to go passing judgment on how other people spend their free time. We have a longer working week than pretty much everyone else in Europe, so every moment of leisure should be appreciated fully. As long as all the obvious caveats about safe sex, verbal consent and the like are followed then I really couldn't give a toss either way; if you want to drive 40 miles on a dank November night to watch your wife have sex with a lorry driver then you knock yourself out, pal.

The dogging community has got it together enough to write up a dogging ten commandments (which can be found at www.dogging-central.com, a site I highly recommend). As well as the aforementioned stuff about condoms and 'no' actually meaning 'no' there's rules about tidying up after yourself and not leaving gates open. It's like a cross between the Countryside Code and the rules on an Amsterdam hooker's front door. And you know that at least one couple involved in the average dogging has a flask of tea in the boot. Instead of 'dogging' it should be really called 'sex rambling'.

What a strange country we live in. But don't worry; in a few years dogging will have been happily assimilated into the national psyche, just another of those quirks of British life that quietly go on but aren't really discussed, because if you discuss one then you have to discuss another, and another, and on and on until we all end up looking quite silly. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: British Sexuality. First naughty seaside postcards, then Carry On movies, then Benny Hill, then the Daily Sport and now dogging.

Still, at least it gets you out in the fresh air.


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