'Dogging' is either a "new sex craze" (according to the Shropshire Star) or an "ancient tradition of anonymous sexual fun" (in the words of Dr. Tuppy Owens of the Sexual Freedom Coalition). Primarily practiced in the U.K., dogging involves outdoor exhibition and/or voyeurism in car parks, wooded areas, and the like. The term originated in the early Seventies (making it neither new nor ancient, you'll notice) to describe men who would spy on couples having sex outdoors. Nowadays, couples not only encourage these 'doggers' to watch, but often perform for their enjoyment, and even invite them to join in.
Probably the phenomenon has become a craze because sites have popped up on the Internet explaining the 'etiquette of dogging', as well as where to find dogging locations all over the U.K. Some interesting etiquette examples include: "Please come prepared for safe sex", "Ascertain that particular spot is for you-- is it couples or gay action you're after?", and "Only join in if you're asked, or if you see the interior lights of the car flashing".
Meanwhile, health control authorities are cautioning that dogging may be responsible for a rise in sexually-transmitted diseases, while the much-debated Item 77 legislation threatens to make public sex illegal. (You mean it wasn't?) Me, I say let sleeping dogs lie... or whatever else they want to do.
Dino sent me this link, which really has nothing to do with anything important, but is nevertheless cool and somehow compelling. Check it out if you feel like tripping.
Post-Partum Digression: part 5 of an 11-part essay
The Fourth Month
Approximately 610 unsmoked cigarettes later, we were back at the hospital, my husband busy trying to sort out the administrative confusion caused by the misrouting of my ultrasound request from the doctor’s office to the lab. Somewhere along the way, the date of conception had gotten messed up so that it now seemed I had conceived while I was in Manila and Dean was away in Hong Kong. Aside from the fact that this implied that our baby just might be the Second Coming via Immaculate Conception, this also raised the question of whether I needed an abdominal ultrasound (which would only require moving a microphone-like probe around on the surface of my belly) or a transvaginal ultrasound (which would involve using a cylindrical probe to boldly go where only two men had previously gone before).
I ended up on my back in one of the ultrasound rooms as I watched the technician smear lubricant on something that looked, in size and shape, very much like a smooth, high-tech plastic tent peg. “This won’t hurt a bit,” the tech said soothingly, triggering still more flashbacks of losing my virginity.
“Can my husband come in?” I asked faintly, as she moved efficiently yet somehow menacingly towards the stirrups portion of the examining table, where my view was fortunately blocked by the skirt of my wear-it-while-you-still-can minidress.
“As long as it won’t bother you,” she answered, which struck me as mildly ridiculous. Listen, lady, I wanted to say, if it bothered me to have my husband looking at what you’re looking at now, I probably wouldn’t be in this room in the first place.
So Dean was summoned, which at least had the effect of making the proceedings seem somehow more appropriate. (Yes, I know I am a sick puppy.)
I lay there trying desperately to appear nonchalant in front of the technician, who probably performed such procedures every day, and likely didn’t give a damn what kind of look I had on my face. As a matter of fact, as soon as rod A had been inserted into slot B, no one in the room was paying any attention to me at all, focusing instead on the ultrasound monitor, which was angled (rather impolitely, I thought) just out of my field of vision.
Hey, you two! Remember me? I considered asking. You know, the one who’s being skewered here in the name of science?!
And then the baby jumped.
It was not much of a jump, in truth. Not even as impressive as the leaping arowana fish we had seen a few nights before on the Discovery channel. And since ultrasound images are, by nature, fuzzy, grainy hazes that only medical professionals can truly understand, all that could really be made out on screen was a flurry of motion, as one concentrated group of pixels suddenly twitched amid all the other pixels.
I didn’t even see it myself. But I did see my husband’s face as he saw it, and as I watched him watching, his features going suddenly gooey, the thought struck me that my best friend and lover was going to become a daddy.
Then the logical second epiphany hit, as if for the first time: I was going to be a mommy. I would have fainted, but I wasn’t quite sure how one segued from feigned nonchalance to unconsciousness.