Apparently men are *checks notes* 'rawdogging' flights?

Before we get into it, I'd like to formally apologise for the hectic headline of this piece, I hope it didn’t startle you. 

If you've been spending your time on TikTok, or like me, doom-scrolling for three hours every night, you might have seen some interesting videos of men on flights. These men are rawdogging, or if you prefer... bare backing flights.

The word "rawdogging" originally meant having sex without protection. It has now been co-opted to describe someone who does anything at all without tools or forms of preparation and it’s mostly men who do this.

Listen to this episode of The Quicky, that unpacks the strange new trend of rawdogging flights. Post continues below. 

For example, I would refer to some of the men at my office as people who rawdog work. These men just walk into work with only their keys and wallet in their pockets and nothing else. No bag, no emotional support water bottle, no computer, not even a jacket — they’re rawdogging their 9 to 5. 

On TikTok, there are hundreds of videos posted by men, sharing footage of themselves on long-haul flights doing absolutely nothing but staring into the abyss. The only form of entertainment they choose is the flight path map.

@oiwudini 🧘🏻‍♂️ #fyp ♬ The Only Thing They Fear Is You - De8ed

In the comments are mostly women expressing shock and confusion and sharing how they could never do that. 

Women are most likely to indulge themselves in flights with "little treats" like podcasts, music, movies and books. They might do some work, they might plan out their to-do list, they might have a little nap. They won’t however, just do nothing. They can't be alone with their own thoughts. 

This isn’t me. 

Don’t tell anyone but I’m with the men on this one… My name is Emily and I rawdog flights. 


Just me and my thoughts thanks.

I’ve always hated flying. I feel nauseous the whole way, I can’t sleep, my tailbone always hurts, I hate being shoulder-to-shoulder with a complete stranger; I don’t want to use the bathroom and I get anxiety over eating at specific times and having my tray table take up 70 per cent of my seat real estate. 

Just writing out that paragraph has given me goosebumps. 

The only thing I can tolerate is sitting completely still and dissociating from everything that’s happening.

Watch: Horoscopes at the airport. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Like these men, I occasionally watch the flight path. Seeing the plane slowly move across the globe is the only thing that keeps me from having a full breakdown because I can physically see the progress we’re making to our destination.

Although I think my reasons for rawdogging flights aren’t as stoic and masculine like these men on TikTok, I’m embarrassed that something I do to keep me calm has now turned into this meme-ified trend. Afraid that everyone else was as chronically online as I am, on my last flight, I had convinced myself that if I was visibly rawdogging, someone might film me and post my rawdogging ways on TikTok and I’d live the rest of my life in rawdogging shame. 

When I got on the plane, I put my laptop on my tray table, I put my earphones in and I had a book in my lap. Looking back, I definitely overdid it and it was pretty obvious that I was a rawdogger cosplaying as an indulger. 

Never again. 

If you ever catch me rawdogging in public, please, keep it to yourself.

If you want more culture content from Emily Vernem, you can follow her on Instagram @emilyvernem.

Feature image: TikTok/charlie_sutherland/jdrunsfar

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