FEATURE

Sex talk
Speaking of Glory Holes


Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

Back in the days of the Gold Rush, "glory hole" was miners' slang for an excavation that paid off big. These days, though, most glory holes provide another sort of treasure.

Glory holes, in queer parlance, are dick-sized openings in partitions, walls, or doors through which a stiffy in search of service can be shoved. Often as not, an obliging mouth on the other side will do the honors. Glory hole sex at its most traditional is public sex; a hole drilled between men's room stalls provides a view of adjoining action, or a quick path to flesh-to-flesh contact. This sort of thing is illegal and otherwise risky, and yet seems unlikely to ever disappear.

Another glory hole hotspot is the adult-bookstore arcade, where looking-to-get-off guys pump quarters into video booths; though less dangerous than men's room meetings, bookstore boinking is still more or less shady. But since the rise of private sex clubs, glory holes have enjoyed new popularity; many fuck palaces feature spots where pleasure-seeking patrons can safely stick willie through a wall. Clubs specifically devoted to oral sex often feature row after row of little booths joined by crotch-level holes, and some even boast split-level cocksucking venues, featuring raised platforms where horny guys can be serviced by the suckers standing below.

Then there's the industrious do-it-yourselfer who'll drill a glory hole through a closet door and service tricks' dicks in the comfort of his own home. One guy remembers, "I made an online date, and when I showed up at my trick's house, there he was in the next room, barely glimpsed through a hole in the door. I came and went and never did see his face."

Those not into this sort of sex might find it depersonalized, even dehumanizing. Enthusiasts, though, might reply, "Yep, so what's your point?" Sure, glory hole play takes anonymous sex just about as far as it can go. There's nothing you know about the other guy except how his mouth feels or what his meat tastes like. "It's sex stripped down to its most basic components," says a man who given his share of glory-hole blowjobs. "And I really don't see what's wrong with that. Sometimes I don't want to fix breakfast, make small talk, or even know what the guy looks like. I just want to get off, and glory holes provide sex in the very abstract." Glory holes are also, needless to say, boons to guys in the closet, or guys cheating on their partners; no muss, no fuss, no identification possible.

Many gay guys, as well as the straight majority, look askance at reducing a guy to his cock. Indeed, if hole-in-the-wall sex is an unsatisfactory, obsessive substitute for less fleeting sex and more rewarding emotional bonds, then a reassessment is surely called for. There are safety issues, too; it's tough to negotiate protected sex through a two-inch hole. Anal sex through a glory hole is particularly iffy, not to mention acrobatically awkward.

But done cautiously, legally, and safely (or at least some of the above), playing through glory holes can be a part of a well-rounded sex life for adventurous guys who get just-plain horny and want to fuck some face or suck some dick. An affair through a hole in the wall might not lead to a meaningful relationship, but at least you don't have to worry if your hair looks its best.

Now go feed the hungry.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion



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