Share via Email The tabloids have been getting all excited about a new sex trend called 'dogging'. This apparently refers to an activity whereby two lovers throw dignity to the wind and do all sorts of worrying things in public while strangers gather round to watch.
If you didn't catch this amazing vanity project in its first and last week of release, then bad luck. Unless J-Lo's mother happens to own a cinema in Slough, you're unlikely to see it. What charms me about both these acts of shameless exhibitionism is that the mechanisms are so cutely old-fashioned. Sex in a parked car with lechers peering in?
Famous couple on the big screen for six quid a ticket? And this in an age in which website designer Scott Wright from Sussex has been able to post his wedding video on the internet www. We are all voyeurs or show-offs these days, and technology hasn't followed the public mood so fast since the invention of the printing press coincided with the first person saying: Yet doggers and Hollywood stars, it seems, have grasped twenty-first-century voyeurism while being stuck with ancient methods.
It's a form-content gap - as if your old aunt was desperate to hear the new Dizzee Rascal album but wanted it on 78 vinyl. The Daily Mail warned that 'dogging locations' were all too easily found on the internet, but I had no luck at all. One link simply took me to an Australian website featuring forklift trucks and heavy-duty loading cranes - which may be highly erotic to an Australian but didn't do much for me. The closest site I could find was one that advised me to stand underneath a certain bridge at Baker Street Underground station if I wanted to look up women's skirts.
Evidently this practice works on the basis of good old-fashioned word of mouth. And Gigli would have done, too, given a bit of time. I was lucky enough to see it and, make no mistake, it is not one whit less embarrassing, awkward or ill-advised than any other couple leaping from the privacy of their bedroom to hump and pillow-talk right under your nose. The film has been rightly celebrated for Lopez's eye-watering invitation to oral sex: But even as a straightforward seduction line, it's not exactly up there with 'Come up and see me sometime' or even 'Mrs Robinson, you're the most attractive of all my parents' friends'.
It's the equivalent of Lauren Bacall murmuring, 'Just put your lips together and blow', while sprawling on a bed with her legs apart. As though La Lopez had phoned her agent and said: I want a project that gets my genitals in the frame, too!
It's been a good year for this kind of mistake: OK, only Madonna was visible on screen playing a spoilt heiress forced to submit to the whims of a macho Italian sailor after a shipwreck while Guy Ritchie remained behind the camera - but the idea of her husband directing her to crawl around, licking a bloke's feet and saying, 'Please, let me have some fish, master!
Meanwhile, Eyes Wide Shut, which featured the startling sight of Tom Cruise grasping Nicole Kidman's breasts, did about as much at the box office as it did for their marriage. I have nothing against couples making films together, if that's what rings their bell. I just think they need to accept that it's only a celebrity sprinkle on suburban wife-porn, and market the product accordingly. Ben and J-Lo could have kept costs down by getting it on in a car park near Wimbledon Common - and every person who paid to see Gigli could probably have fitted around the car.