Nothing wrong with a little bump n’ grind

Daggering: it’s the dance sensation that’s sweeping the nation. Well, the nation of Jamaica. Originating in the Caribbean, daggering is a vulgar and sexual club phenomenon which, at its most simple, involves a man thrusting into a woman from behind (both fully clothed) with fairly significant force. All of this happens on the dancefloor. The moves get more complicated and very much more athletic than your run-of-the-mill bump and grind.

It’s got so popular that several artists have produced songs specifically for the phenomenon; DJ double act Major Lazer are a noteworthy proponent. Their most famous track, Pon De Floor, is a daggering staple (possibly unbeknownst to Beyonce, who included the hook from Pon De Floor in her recent hit ‘Girls’).  Major Lazer even feature bikini-clad girls being daggered at many of their live shows and in their music videos.

Their promotion of daggering goes well beyond just the music. Major Lazer collaborator Skerrit Bwoy has helpfully produced an educational video to help daggerers with some of the more complex moves.

First off, there’s ‘The DJ’ (given a difficulty rating of four) which involves a fairly standard doggy style dry hump, the man spinning an imaginary vinyl on the small of the woman’s back while clutching his ear with the other as if holding headphones. Followers of the trials and tribulations of England international Emile Heskey may notice similarities to his trademark celebration. These similarities are purely coincidental (pending further investigation).

If you’re ever out in Oxford and see a man repeatedly swinging one leg over his counterpart’s arched back (while thrusting into her from behind, of course) then you, my friend, are witnessing The Step Over. Be warned, this has a difficulty rating of eight – strictly for non-beginners.

The most complicated move Skerrit Bwoy proposes is The Jump Off (difficulty rating of nine). While the idea of someone jumping from a high distance into the splayed legs of a woman lying on the dance floor seems too dangerous, too degrading and too downright dirty to be true, any self-respecting daggering highlights reel on YouTube, of which there are plenty, features this niche display of aerobatics.

This questionable dance craze hasn’t reached Oxford quite yet but it has already made a splash in the UK press due to some fairly unorthodox participants. A curious bobby at this year’s Notting Hill carnival was filmed getting a little carried away with his Caribbean counterpart, albeit in a fairly tame display.

It was during the New York Labour Day carnival when things took a more serious turn when a pair of police officers were caught taking part in some increasingly intense daggering with several carnival participants. Fox News noted that, while this was going on, three people were shot dead and two officers wounded just a few blocks from the procession route. There is, however, little evidence that the policemen would have been able to do much about the incident, even if they had left their libidos at home.

While incidents at home are pretty isolated, the practice is so rife in Jamaica that the government were forced to take preventative measures. In an effort to protect public morality, their Broadcasting Commission has declared that: “there shall not be transmitted, any recording, live song, or music video which promotes the act of ‘daggering’ or which makes reference to, or is otherwise suggestive of ‘daggering’.”

The Jamaican Star newspaper is concerned that a “more modern and common sense” approach should be taken to avoid daggering going underground which they ominously describe as its “real economy”.

Public morality isn’t Jamaica’s only problem. Kingston surgeons have reported a dramatic increase in penile fractures. Don’t try this at home.

October 2011
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