Faceless Forking: Glory Holes Unpacked
The Roam Team
Bring on the wall…
Holes might be a big old circle of nothing - but when it comes to sex - they’re quite something. Intercourse - both anal and vaginal - involves orifices of sorts, encircling a penis, dildo or other object of your fancy. Even oral sex involves a hole - and if we’re really being pedantic - a hand job requires you to make one with your hands, right? Big Os outside of the human body, though, can also lead to - well - Big Os. Introducing the Glory Hole.
What is a Glory Hole, then? Well, to reference one of the finest gameshows of all time, it’s a literal hole in the wall. In its simplest context, it’s made for a penis to be thrust through, with a receiver, unseen due to the wall, using their mouth, hands, or own genitalia to get the giver off. In the US, it can also refer to an open quarry in a mine, and apparently it can be used to describe a hideously untidy room or a small furnace for glasswork. Be warned, though: if you’re uttering those words in the context of these three things, you’re likely to, by 99.99% of the population, be considered to be talking about dicking a hole.
Glory, glory, men united
So when did Glory Holes first emerge? Way back in 1707, during a court case called the “Tryals of Thomas Vaughan and Thomas Davis”, the judge was told that a man (Vaughan) had thrust his penis through a hole in the wall, entering the cubicle of another (Davis). The first recorded use of the phrase, though, didn’t come until 1949, when the excellently titled anonymous book Swasarnt Nerf's Gay Girl's Guide defined them as a ‘phallic-sized hole’ in between two walls. By this point, their existence was widespread, entering them into the loose canon of sexual activities for good.
In the fifties, police used them as a form of entrapment to catch gay men, with the original secret recordings now hot property for fetishists. Two decades later, they had a big moment thanks to Laud Humphreys’ literally seminal texts Tearoom Trade and The Joy of Gay Sex, meeting hundreds of enthusiasts to find out why they got stuck into the scene and identifying it as a key part of gay culture.
Truth be told, they’ve played a key role in gay culture since that very first court case between the two Thomases. ‘Cottaging’ - anonymous sex between men in public toilets - happens in specific restrooms called ‘cottages’, known to the local homosexual community as spaces to frequent for sex. These have long contained Glory Holes bored through the cubicle’s walls, made for playtime between two men who may never see face-to-face.
It enabled men to meet up in public when other safe, openly homosexual spaces weren’t available and engage in casual sex; but since the eighties, frequency has waned due to steelier cubicle walls, changing attitudes towards public sex due to STIs and a reduced need for anonymous meet-ups in more progressive countries. The kink lingers, though; public sex is still a turn-on for many; a similar fetish that sees two cubicle occupants touch each other underneath cubicle separators has emerged, for drilling without the need to drill.
Nowadays, if you’re looking for a hole in one, there are three main Ps to get your dose of Ds:
Glory Holes came about as part of the world of public sex, so some still exist out in the open. Their significant depletion over the decades, though, has led to them becoming part of urban myth, with many online questioning their existence. Trawl through a few sites (incognito recommended!) though, and you’ll find custom maps signposting the most glorious holes the UK still has to offer.
As any form of public sex, especially with an unseen stranger, is risky business, the gap in the market has been filled with private glory holes. Many adult shops and sex clubs feature them in clandestine booths, while others have installed them in their own homes thanks to services like Home Glory, taking domestic DIY to new levels.
For those looking to get your fill but not yet ready to venture into the great unknown, a load of porn is dedicated to the phenomenon. Swerve the dodgy hubs and support a verified online sex worker, ensuring that what you’re watching is consensually filmed and safely enacted.
Hands, face, space
As we’ve seen, Glory Holes have moved Looney Tunes style from public spaces to private spaces to phone screens. Bizarrely, though, they had a bit of a second coming during the pandemic, with health officials in North America suggesting that it was the safest form of sex to engage in, alongside the exceptionally sexy premise of mask-on reverse-cowgirl. Others saw it as a way to avoid the rut of lockdown, bending the rules to have some form of human contact, even if you were facing an (almost) impenetrable brick wall.
If you are down to enter into this mysterious world, make sure you stay safe, especially if you’re having fun with totally anonymous strangers. Always use condoms; naturally, we recommend our 100% Natural Latex ones, protecting you from STIs but ultra-thin to ensure you feel every stroke, squeeze and suck. Although they’re already generously lubed, slather some of our Gel Lubricant for even more pleasure, applying it to your hands or glossing your lips for a slip-and-slide dream. If you’re heading somewhere new, too, let a friend know, keep a fully charged phone on you and have a blast.
And if you hear two taps of a foot next to you in the Westway Common public toilets in Caterham, well…
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