SEEDY strangers are using sites near to some of the North’s top tourist spots to go ‘dogging.’
Advocates of the kinky practice, which involves adventurous couples performing sex acts in cars or in secluded areas while others watch, have targeted popular family locations like St Mary’s Lighthouse, in North Tyneside, and Beamish, in County Durham.
But the activity falls through a legal loophole, as public sex is not an offence unless it is witnessed by someone who is “outraged” by what they see.
That “get out of jail” card means police forces and councils trying to crack down on the bawdy behaviour have had little success.
Among the scores of dogging sites spread across the North uncovered by the Sunday Sun some are in remarkable places.
That includes, according to one dogging website, Doggingafterdark.com, a play area in High Spen, Gateshead, where couples should “walk the dog for a few minutes on a Sunday morning for some no strings attached action.”
While on Teesside, raunchy ramblers are getting their kicks below the flight path of Durham Tees Valley Airport.
“The bottom of the west end of the runway and is often used by couples for sex sessions late at nights,” users of the sites suggest.
Another reputed site for the act is near to Beamish Museum where an online writer simply states to other doggers, “Beamish backroads loads of action.”
The popular Washington Wildfowl Park is also near to an alleged dogging site with nearby car parks described as “quiet areas where you don’t get disturbed.”
Many people have heard of dogging, or know places where it apparently happens, but very few know what goes on in this secretive world. Dogging Tales, is an intimate and compelling documentary told through doggers themselves, who share their experiences of a mysterious, little understood neck of the woods.
Filmed over ten months, the documentary follows a range of people whilst attempting to gain insight into why men and women engage in or watch sexual activity in front of strangers in public areas under the cover of darkness.
Part of the True Stories strand, showcasing the best of feature length documentaries, Dogging Tales is directed by award-winning photographer Leo Maguire – who made his critically-acclaimed debut in 2012 with Gypsy Blood: True Stories(Best Newcomer at Grierson Awards, Bafta-nominated for Photography).
The first interviews with doggers take place in the ‘real world’ – as their day draws to a close and they consider their life, families and relationships. As they prepare to go out they begin to slowly shed their daily personas in anticipation, and Maguire accompanies them on excursions to lay-bys, woods and picnic spots around the UK that often double as dogging locations after dusk.
Going beyond the ‘caught in the act’ image often portrayed in the media, the documentary delves into the physical and psychological realm of dogging. The characters allow themselves to be filmed during their sexual encounters but, in subtle yet revealing interviews, they also open up about their attraction to dogging: how they were introduced to it; why they may feel a lack of fulfilment without it and how their relationships are enhanced or damaged by it. Not just about sex or fetishistic behaviour, this is a human story about alter egos, connections and acceptance.
Next on Channel 4 Thu 04 Apr, 10PM