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Explained | What is the 'raw-dogging' flight trend

The term 'raw-dogging' refers to a person engaging in sexual encounters without contraception. To 'raw-dog' a flight is then to go the entire distance without the purported protection of entertainment, sustenance, and if one avoids bathroom breaks, then even relief!
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 11:16 IST

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Airplane journeys, especially long ones, can get quite boring which is why airlines provide fliers with in-flight entertainment apart from offering food and snacks. However, a bunch of people are now hopping onto the trend of 'raw-dogging' flights, refusing to partake in any such indulgences.

What is 'raw-dogging'?

The term 'raw-dogging' refers to a person engaging in sexual encounters without contraception. To 'rawdog' a flight is then to go the entire distance without the purported protection of entertainment, sustenance, and if one avoids bathroom breaks, then even relief!

Some individuals on social media have shared that they're simply sitting and staring silently at the flight map on the screen in front of them for the entire duration.

How did the 'raw-dogging' a flight trend begin?

As per GQ the 'raw-dogging' trend began with West - a 26-year-old Londoner who asked the publication to only use his first name. He went viral in May after posting about his choice to go without entertainment for a seven-hour trip, opting to watch the flight map instead. "Anyone else bareback flights?", he had asked in the caption.

The publication reported that many responded to his TikTok post. One individual said "Yup, from London to Miami this week…pure bareback no food or water." Another added, "I swear barebacking flights make it go quicker."

TikTok is banned in India, and as a result DH could not individually verify these comments.

A closer look at 'raw-dogging' a flight

While the trend has caught on recently, it appears people have been doing it for some time now. GQ spoke to a 33-year-old staff writer who noted "I am a nervous flier and generally cannot focus on anything on a plane—movies, TV shows, books, articles, whatever—with any success." Stating that the flight map had been the writer's only in-flight entertainment for years, the individual added "For some reason I don't like processing new information when I'm in the air. I want to stick to things that are predictable and safe."

West's longest 'raw-dogging' venture has been a 21-hour flight from Australia's Perth to London. However, he stated that his practice stemmed from the frequent travel his work in the music industry necessitates. West also likened 'raw-dogging' a flight to meditation, saying "Visually, you are kind of impaired. You only get to look at the seat in front of you, to your right or left if you're at the window. All you hear is that drumming sound of the engine. It's just white noise."

The Londoner also noted that there are other benefits to 'raw-dogging' beyond the meditative value. West claimed his best ideas came from the time he spent staring at the flight map and thinking, like a good possibility for a new TikTok series. He further observed that the experience had left him refreshed.

He also noted that everyone tends to leave you alone when you're 'raw-dogging' a flight.

'Rawdoggers' on social media

With the trend going viral, several users on X have also shared their 'raw-dogging' experiences.

"You might think meditating on a flight is zen, but have you tried 'raw-dogging' your flight to achieve total consciousness?", one said.

Another shared a view of the morning sky they saw while 'raw-dogging' a flight.

Real to reel?

The 'raw-dogging' a flight trend might play out on the big screen as well in Palme d'Or winner Ruben Östlund's latest offering The Entertainment System Is Down. Billed as a social satire, the movie takes place on a long-haul flight where the entertainment system is down, leaving passengers to deal with their boredom, the Triangle of Sadness director said in an early interview. Ostlund, whose movies take a look at human nature - sometimes in trying circumstances - could include some characters who simply sit through the flight, effectively 'raw-dogging' it.

In the television show Hijack Idris Elba's character also has trouble coping on a flight after his mobile phone gets taken away by hijackers.

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Published 27 June 2024, 11:16 IST

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