Murray Original article Faceless sex: The popularity of glory holes is due in part to the anonymous sex that these architectural elements allow. This post-structuralist theoretical reflection seeks to understand the specific nature of anonymous public sex among bath- house patrons, focusing on the links between desire—architecture—place— sexual practices. Drawing on interviews with glory hole users gathered during an ethnographic research project in bathhouses, this essay goes beyond traditional public health discourse to offer an original perspective on anonymous public sex.
Save A glory hole in a lavatory A glory hole also spelled gloryhole and glory-hole is a hole in a wall, or other partition, often between public lavatory stalls or adult video arcade booths and lounges, for people to engage in sexual activity or observe the person in the next cubicle while one or both parties masturbate. Glory holes are especially associated with gay male culture, and anal or oral sex, but may also be used by bisexual or heterosexual men, or by men who do not identify as gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. The partition maintains anonymity. Some gay websites offer directories of glory holes.
Motivations[ edit ] Numerous motivations can be ascribed to the use and eroticism of glory holes. For some, the sheer anonymity is itself arousing. Utilizing a gloryhole is also an easy way to mitigate any perceived physical shortcomings. One social theorist has described the attraction of this form of sexual encounter thus:
I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all. It may have come from the mining industry, where the opening to a mineshaft containing the " mother lode " would be considered to be the "glory hole". It could also have its roots in one of several meanings from seamen and shipbuilding. One common idea is that it originated in ancient days as a spy or peep hole, and grew larger as men sought more contact, but only enough contact as to perform sex acts upon the genitals of another man. The theory of use was that, although heterosexual men would seek the relief to be found on the other side of a glory hole, they did not wish to lose their anonymity, or to engage in any other physical contact with another man.