Friday, October 17, 2008

Cottaging and Dogging

I do love the Queen's English.

If I understand this correctly, cottaging refers to having sex in public toilets. Dogging also includes other public places and seems to imply a group effort that might involve both participants and observers. Cruising, exported from the States, threatens to make extinct these two words that are so much more quaint, comfy, whimsical, homey and gentle. They are not at all like that horrid British word, shagging that conjures synthetic fibers and the inevitable rug burns.

(Makes me want to have sex in a gingerbread dog house with green indoor/outdoor carpeting and a thatched roof.)

The interesting thing about British law governing this kind of adventuring is that it is illegal ONLY if someone sees it and reports it to the police. If a tree falls in the woods....

Or, "Don't See, Don't Know".

J'adore the Brits.


henry said...

Not to get all merchant-ivory but I believe you export TO and import FROM, mio padre.

I think the term Cottages for public restrooms came up during Victorian times, when most of them were built in the still of, yes, cute little country cottages, some even with thatched roofs. In contrast, a lot of Victorian water pump stations and well houses resemble mini-neogothic cathedrals. A church for engineering, a cottage for human needs.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear Henry, I think my subject/object port agreement is OK, but I'll be doing some homework on the issue later in the day. You may yet put me in that quaint dog house.

poof said...

I realize I'm probably the last person who should be weighing in on this but

"Cruising, exported from the States"

Father Tony is here in the states and we're exporting it. Would that not make his usage correct?

As an Eastenders fan (yes, I agree, it's a soap opera but I'm fine with that - though I rarely get to watch it anymore and hardly know who most of the "current" (we're behind the British by a couple of years, I think) characters are) the character who plays Phil got in trouble for "dogging" a few years ago. I'm not sure if it was ever clear whether he was dogging man or woman but I've always liked him.

SubtleKnife said...

May I point out that in Amsterdam in the seventeenth century, the practice of going around the streets searching for a (male or female) prostitute was referred to as "cruysen"...?

(Come to think of it, this is rather a strange form of national pride, but I prefer it over flag-waving.)

OMO said...

Cruising does indeed seem to be gathering all forms of covert sexual activity under its catch-all umbrella, more's the pity.

Dogging always seems to have been more of a term associated with heterosexual practises here in the UK. Certainly when I first started finding my sexual feet (odd term that) and became rather familiar with most of the truck-stops (or "lay-bys" as we call them) in Kent, we always called it cottaging, even when a public toilet wasn't present. It only seems like later, when a couple of high-profile straight people got caught dogging, that this term came into wider use. It is of course derived from people using the excuse of taking their dog for a walk to secretly engage in sex acts, or observing others who enjoy being watched.

Cottaging is a lovely old term, quite correctly derived from when English public toilets were built to look like quaint cottages, as observed by Henry. Almost all are now sadly gone, although The Boyf and I ocassionally pass the odd one boarded up (the one on Blackheath being the most obvious). When we do we always raise a little salute to bygone, simpler times, even though I never much liked engaging in sexual acts in dirty public lavatories, always preferring a nice bit of al fresco woodland action where it was easier to see who was coming, in all ways (if you'll pardon the pun).

Downtown NYC said...

If you would actually do the homework and look up wikipedia for the most accepted definition of the words, you will see that the words be defined as follows:

the act of walking or driving about a locality in search of a sex partner, usually of the anonymous, casual, one-time variety.

Cottaging: a British slang term referring to anonymous sex in a public lavatory (a cottage or tea-room), or to the practice of cruising for sexual partners in public lavatories with the intention of having sex elsewhere.

Dogging: a British euphemism for engaging in sexual acts in a semi-public place (typically a secluded car park or a cinema) or watching others doing so.

And in particular, you might be interested in this BBC article titled 'Dogging' craze sex disease risk which is quite an interesting read I must say...!

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear downtown nyc,
while I will admit to having done the homework you recommend, and more extensively, I always find that it takes the conversational quality out of a post to simply deliver a buttoned-up summary. What fun is that?