‘Raw dogging’ flight trend may be a way to portray masculinity online, but it likely won’t help your brain

By Elsa Silberstein

“Just raw dogged a 15hr flight.”

“No music, no movies, just the flight path.”

Doing nothing for hours on end is the quickest route to bragging rights on TikTok these days.

The latest trend doing the rounds on social media – raw dogging flights – shows people (often young men) sitting in silence during long-haul flights with no digital distractions.

Except to get their phones out and film themselves raw dogging, that is.

According to an online culture expert, the trend is indicative of modern masculinity performed on TikTok, rather than a move away from screens.

While raw dogging originated as slang for unprotected sex, it’s become shorthand for doing anything without usual preparation.

Australian music producer Torren Foot racked up 10 million views for documenting his trans-Pacific voyage from LA to Melbourne.

Torren joked he counted to one million twice, a challenge made famous by YouTuber MrBeast.

US actor Jared Leto poses during a photocall upon arrival to attend the Spring/Summer 2025 menswear ready to wear joint fashion show hosted by Vogue World as part of Paris Fashion Week at Place Vendome in Paris, on June 23, 2024, ahead of the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games. (Photo by Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

Fifty-two-year-old actor Jared Leto chimed in on the trend, adding that travelling without entertainment was nothing revolutionary.

Is raw dogging good for your brain?

Neuroscientist Mark Williams said while prolonged engagement with digital entertainment led to mental fatigue, raw dogging flights did not offer a fix.

“You’re not really unstimulated when you’re on a plane,” Williams said.

“You’re still going to have babies crying, the noise of the plane engine and all those sorts of things.”

Williams suggested focusing on one thing that consumed your attention would produce rewarding, slow-release neurotransmitters that lasted longer than the dopamine hit you got from scrolling social media.

“By doing something like colouring in, by the time you get to the end of it, you’ll probably get some serotonin because you’ve done something meaningful,” he said.

The neuroscientist said being in an environment where you were actually creating stress on your system by trying to ignore noises on the plane did not provide respite for an over-stimulated brain.

“Your attention is constantly being grabbed by that other information and being shoved into your working memory, so it’s very stressful on our brains,” he said.

TikTok bros toughing it out

But raw dogging flights was never meant to be good for your brain.

According to online culture expert Josh Stuart, the trend was a subset of modern masculinity performed on social media.

“This is the ice bath of the sky,” Stuart said.

“It’s like a feat of strength. It’s being portrayed online as like the ultimate act of being able to tap into your ‘locked-in’ mentality.”

Locked-in culture is a term coined online to describe doing one thing at a time.

When the norm has become to watch a movie while scrolling your phone, locking in refers to a new counter act.

“[Locked-in culture is like] going for a ‘naked walk’, which is a walk without headphones, or getting in the car and trying to find your way without using maps,” Stuart said.

He said the raw dogging movement was led by a centre-right demographic online, with young white men chasing a traditional hardened version of masculinity.

Christian TikToker Jakob Wendesten posted a 14-hour raw dogging feat without food, water or bathroom breaks.

“Once you post something online, sometimes you take away all the context and you don’t know which account is posted in parody or which is posted in earnest,” Stuart said.

Similar to the mental toughness challenge 75 Hard, the culture expert said raw dogging appeared to be the “new test of masculinity” online and there was likely to be more to come.

– ABC

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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