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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

No sex please, we're British

This seems like lunacy, if it's reported accurately.

A local council in the UK cuts down 6000 trees over 12 hectares in order to prevent people using the site to have sex. Perhaps there was some other reason relating to the safety of the ageing trees, but some of the people involved in the decision seem to be pretty clear, according to the article, that part of the reason was to remove a place where people can meet for sex.

Now, having sex in the forest might technically be illegal, but we've all done it, and it's hard to imagine why this is a necessary law. What is the point of cutting down forests - even if originally artificially planted - just so people can't have sex in them, unseen by the public? Are we going to cut down all the forests for this reason? And were these horny people doing any actual harm to anyone?

It seems that it wasn't just young couples, but some kind of arrangement for strangers to meet for sexual encounters - a practice known as "dogging", if I have this right. Well, even if we are less sympathetic to that, the question remains: What harm were they actually doing to anybody else? Conversely, look at the environmental results of cutting down all these trees.

And I have to laugh at the excuse that the new (less concealing?) forest being planted will be better in 20 years time than the one it's replacing. Well, okaaay. Just possibly. I'm sure the local residents can't wait for those two decades to fly on by.

As I say, lunacy.

H/T Udo Schuklenk


NewEnglandBob said...

Haven't these prudes ever heard of night time? Sex will still happen there but in the dark.

Charles Sullivan said...

Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.

ColinG said...

When I first heard the term 'dogging', in vaguely hushed tones, I assumed it was something *way* more depraved than just going to a recognised place to meet strangers for sex. We used to call that 'clubbing'.

Sean Wright said...

Perhaps the Tasmanian tourist bureau can take advantage of this. TASMANIA we have forests ;)

Roger said...

Everyone does seem a bit confused: on top of everything else, woodland like this was planted during and just after WWII with the express purpose of cutting them down as future cash crops anyway. In WWII there was a shortage of timber for pit props in coal mines and such woodland was planted with the express purpose of removing the need to import wood for that purpose. There arenow no coal mines in theUK, so the wood is no longer needed.