Skip to main content

11th November 2020

Let’s talk about sex, BoJo: Shagging bans, dogging plans, and can you bang?

Can we have a shag in lockdown? What about in Wales? Or in a forest, with strangers? Pippa Dennis explores the rules for sex under lockdown
Let’s talk about sex, BoJo: Shagging bans, dogging plans, and can you bang?
Photo: Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition @Unsplash

Blurred (guide)lines

I didn’t realise the nation had committed to the priesthood. At least, that was until everyone’s favourite Prime Minister reigned supreme over our sex lives and called for a month of enforced national celibacy.

Does Boris have the authority to do that? 

Government Guidelines highlight that how much control we have over our sex lives is now dictated by whereabouts in the UK we live. Well, that’s very empowering.

The new rules don’t change much for us Manchester students, who have already either honourably forfeited our sex lives or opted for risky romps, sneaking partners past nosey neighbours. 

It’s not that Tier 3 wasn’t already serious enough, but something about ‘National Lockdown’ screams ‘this is actually really bad guys’.

So, we can’t meet socially indoors with anyone outside our households, and therefore sex inside continues to be a no-go. It looks like the only banging we’ll be getting is from the Fallowfield fireworks down the road…

The Booty Call Bubble

Some parts of Scotland can have indoor sex. The country is currently under a five-tier system. Level 0-1 is the goal to be scoring for some bedroom touring, as it allows for mixing indoors.

The system states that any level higher than 1 restricts reproducing under a roof, so Scottish hands are also tied depending on the postcode. Having a low-risk postcode is the new golden ticket for sorting your sex life. Talk about sexual liberation.

Wank free Wales?

An article for the BBC highlighted advice from The Terrance Trust which boldly stated “your best sexual partner is yourself”. It’s an important message, echoing a Rupi Kaur poem to ‘love’ yourself because you are your own universe, and all that. However, could Wales escape the dry spell?

Whilst currently in a firebreak lockdown, this ends on the 9th November. Then, the support bubble system is back in business. The ‘temporary extended household’ scheme means that those in Wales who live alone are allowed to meet indoors and ‘have physical contact’. Yes that’s right, physical. Are support bubbles about to become the new booty calls?

Recreational Sexercise

According to the new national restrictions guidance for England, enforced on the 5th of November,  you can exercise or visit outdoor public places with “the people you live with, your support bubble or one person from another household”. 

The guidance specifies that public spaces include: “Neighbourhood streets, parks, beaches, countryside, public gardens, allotments, and outdoor playgrounds.”

The nation have taken this to mean we can all get grinding on the grass. Because if there’s ever a time to be shagging outside, it’s definitely the middle of winter. 

Dogging is defined as “the practice of watching or engaging in exhibitionist sexual activity in a public place”. Apparently, it’s pioneered by our Prime Minister. It seems Johnson is opting for dogging over doggy.

Russell Howard posted his sketch ‘Boris Johnson Promotes Dogging’ to his YouTube channel in late October. Here he joked about the grey area of recreational exercise, and the indoor sex ban. He said: “Can I bust a nut in a hut, give head in a shed, deepthroat in a motorboat?” – and he has a point. 

There’s lots of ambiguity, probably because the Government assumes no one is actually considering outdoor sex. However, the nation took to Twitter where #dogging began trending, and where Howard said: “The economy’s in tatters and he’s promoting dogging.” The dogging debate ended up overshadowing the actual announcement and continues to be a running joke surrounding the sex ban. 

So: dogging, doing the dirty in the dirt and some potential booty call bubbles are what we’re left with. 

Insecure Income: What about Sex Workers?

In all seriousness, the sex ban is detrimental to the livelihood and or safety of sex workers. The English Collective of Prostitutes described the effect on sex workers leading to some of the most vulnerable women in society losing their incomes overnight.

The website highlights an estimated 70,000 sex workers in the UK, many of whom have had to risk catching Covid or face starvation. Furlough was not offered to sex workers, leaving vulnerable workers forced to be in “precarious situations” where they “accept more dangerous behaviour from clientele” and also risk catching the virus. 

The website reports that the sex workers “most impacted” are those without “an established client base or online profiles”. 

So, whether you’re complaining, abstaining or getting on with some nailing, stay safe during the pandemic – wear protection! Boris isn’t going to budge any time soon in the fight to get Covid cases down. Unless he gets wind of a new dogging spot near Number 10.

More Coverage

The post-diss bliss…or is it?

The promise of post-dissertation freedom was quickly squashed by essay deadline demands, and the desire to do anything but re-open my laptop is taking over

200 years of the University of Manchester… celebrating white male alumni

As the University of Manchester prepares its bicentenary celebrations, it’s time to address the less-celebrated alumni, and question why these individuals have received less attention

Why are we still talking about ‘women who have it all’?

The ‘women who have it all’ narrative is alive and kicking in 2024, but instead of being empowering, it’s a patriarchal trope designed to pit one against another

Stick or twist: Why do students choose to stay in the south of Greater Manchester?

The universities along Oxford Road churn their students into Manchester city centre, and south of the city. As students turn into graduates, why do we disregard North Manchester and stay in the same southern areas?