Inflight ‘raw dogging’: The bizarre new travel trend that’s creating a buzz

Inflight ‘raw dogging’: The bizarre new travel trend that’s creating a buzz


Michael Ceely once spent a four-hour flight just zoning out – no magazines, no movies, no podcasts, just looking out the window and watching the flight map.

Ceely, a therapist in California who specializes in working with men, believed it was a form of digital detox and meditation. But a growing contingent of young men on the internet are doing the same practice but branding it in a very different way: it’s called “raw dogging.”

“I was tired of the usual routine of watching a movie or reading a book (onboard) so I said, ‘I’m just going to kind of stare off into space, and use it is a Zen meditation.’” Ceely says of his experience chilling out on a plane.

He says that it can be difficult to get some men to embrace meditation, mindfulness, or anything else that could be considered “spiritual.” While he tells CNN he’s not familiar with the term “raw dogging” being used in this particular way, he can see why the eyebrow-raising moniker appeals to a certain kind of traveler.

“Men do like challenges,” he says. “It’s definitely more socially acceptable for men to brag about something like this. Also I think it might be more of a male psyche kind of thing: I like a challenge, let me see if I can get through this. It’s an acetic practice, but branding it with bro-speak.”

Some men have taken the challenge beyond just eschewing in-flight entertainment, skipping on-board food and drink or even getting up to go to the bathroom.

The trend has been popular on social media, with TikTok users one-upping each other for who has gone the longest stretch with the fewest amenities. A British DJ with the handle oiwudini got 1.3 million likes on a video where he bragged about traveling on a seven-hour flight without headphones, sleep or other creature comforts. One commenter called the experience “an incredible dopamine detox.”

Some women are getting in on the experience too. TikTokker Veronica Skaia said that it’s her preferred form of traveling. “I just stare into the abyss and watch the little GPS plane,” she said in a video that got 9,905 comments.

In GQ, reporter Kate Lindsay traces one origin of the unfortunately named trend to the Apple TV show Hijack, where the character played by Idris Elba is on a plane without his phone or any devices. However, on the show Elba’s character doesn’t have much time to stare off into space, as he’s busy trying to negotiate with a group of terrorists who have hijacked the plane he’s on.

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