Glory hole

A glory hole is visible in the wall (left) in this lavatory.

A glory hole (also spelled gloryhole and glory-hole) is a hole in a wall, or other partition, often between public toilet stalls or adult video arcade booths, for people to engage in sexual activity or observe the person in the next cubicle while one or both parties masturbate. The partition maintains anonymity. Body parts including fingers, tongue, and penis may be used for anonymous oral, vaginal, and/or anal intercourse. Erotic literature and pornographic films have been devoted to the sexual uses of glory holes.

Previously, gay guides and currently Web sites offer directories of glory holes.

Some adult theaters and sex clubs have "slurp ramps" (in Australia called "suckatoriums") - where the "suckee" gloryhole platform is a few steps higher than the floor that the sucker is standing upon, so that the person sucking through the gloryhole can suck while standing up and does not have to kneel.

Some gay men install private glory holes within their residences or other locations they control.

Glory holes are almost exclusively created by and used by men, primarily but not exclusively gay.


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: "The ultimate sexual objectification of gay male sexual encounters is the glory hole in public toilets. As a wall separates the two participants, they have no contact except for a mouth, a penis, and perhaps a hand. Almost total anonymity is maintained as no other attributes are taken into consideration. The glory hole is seen as an iconic erotic oasis in gay subcultures around the world; people's motivations, experiences and attributions of value in its use are varied.

In light of the ongoing AIDS pandemic, many gay men are re-evaluating their sexual and erotic desires and practices. Glory holes allow for a physical barrier, which may be an extension of psychologica] ones where internalized homophobia (a result of many societies' widespread disgust about LGBT practices and people). For some gay men, a glory hole serves to depersonalize their partner altogether as a disembodied object of sexual desire, either sticking through or on the other side of the hole.

These motivations might be considered characteristically male motivations, as opposed to specifically gay and/or bisexual men's motives.

What's the protocol at a gloryhole in Adult Arcade or Sex Shop?

There are very little talking in public places where gloryholes are often found. It does happen but mostly stuff happens by sight and by a few standard protocols.

If you want to be the person who helps the other person cum:

  • Go into a booth; close and lock the door, if you can.
  • Drop some money in the video machine if needed.
  • Sit down if the establishment provides a place to sit.
  • Expose your penis and get hard.
  • Wait for someone to come into the booth next to you or check the person out in the next booth by looking through the gloryhole. Don't be shy about this, almost everybody who is there is looking to be checked out by the person in the next booth.
  • If you like what you see, stick a finger through the gloryhole far enough so that the other person sees it. If you are a married guy and want to tell the other guy you are married, put your ring finger through. Withdraw it to show him you are ready to receive him. If you want him to use a protection, place it in the hole between you now.
  • If the other person wants you to play with him, he will stand up and place his cock through the hole. If he does not, he will not. If he will use the condom you placed in the hole, he will take it now. Sometimes he will just want you to watch him play with himself.
  • In general, the guy on the other side will usually pull up his pants and leave after he ejaculates. He has finished what he came there for.

If you want to be the person who cums:

  • Go into a booth; close and lock the door, if possible.
  • Drop some money in the video machine if needed.
  • Sit if you wish but standing up is the generally accepted indicator that you are not willing to play with anyone else.
  • Expose your cock and get hard. You will find it more difficult to get someone to play with you if you don't have at least a half-mast hardon.
  • Wait for someone to stick their finger through the gloryhole. If someone does not seem interested, err on the side of caution. Not everyone who goes to these places is interested in this. You can get into some real trouble by just shoving your penis through the gloryhole uninvited.
  • Put a protection on now if you want. Place your penis through the hole. Some guys will just play with you; others will suck you; a few will want you to penetrate them anally.
  • At a "slurp ramp": step onto the heightened platform and place your penis through the gloryhole; typically the other person will come up to your gloryhole from the level below and start sucking your penis while they are standing up.

If you want to take turns:

If you stop playing with someone before they cum, and stand up with yourself exposed and hard, that is a general signal that you would like to take turns. That is, it's now time for him to withdraw his dick and allow you to place your dick through the glory hole so he can play with you. Your best opportunity to make this happen is to find someone who is sitting down (looking to play with someone) and is willing to play with you (responds when you stick your finger through the gloryhole).

This will result in one of two things happening -- the other person will either oblige or refuse. The typical refusal is shown by the person sticking his penis back through the gloryhole or by leaving and looking for someone else.

On occasion, the person being played with will want to help you cum. He will signal this by withdrawing his penis from the gloryhole (usually before he cums) and putting his finger through the hole. If you want to be played with, place your penis through the hole. If you are not ready to be played with, stick your finger back through the hole after he does. You need to negotiate from there.

If you want to have anal sex:

Follow the same procedure as above, except place your ass as close to the gloryhole as possible. When the person on the other side sees this, he will attempt to penetrate you through the gloryhole. You should shortly begin to feel him pressing his penis or finger up against your anus (or nearby area). Guide his penis or finger to where you want it to be.

You should know if the other person is not at least 6+ inches long, this is a pretty difficult position and penetration may be impossible. You may have to settle for his finger.

If you want someone to follow you into a booth:

Not every adult bookstore or theatre has buddy booths; but some still tolerate people sharing booths discreetly. You need a separate protocol for that.

The clearest indicator that you want someone to follow you into a stall or video booth is making an eye contact. As you go into the booth, make direct and steady eye contact for a few seconds with your intended interest. If he returns the stare, go into the booth and leave the door unlocked. If he is also interested, he will come in shortly. Usually if he is not interested, he will break any glance in your direction the second your eyes meet his.

He should enter your booth immediately, if he just opens the door and stares, reach out and close the door, he was not interested. He just wanted a quick look. If he gets in the booth, expose yourself immediately. If he exposes himself also, you are ready.

What's the protocol at a gloryhole in Public Bathroom Stall?

Another favorite place to find gloryholes is a public bathroom stall. Any public toilet might have a gloryhole. Good bets are highway rest areas, truckstops, college campus toilets, especially the library, and shopping malls. The protocol is usually very simple.

If you want to play with someone and you locate a stall with a gloryhole, close the stall door and wait around to see who comes along. It really is that simple. It can also take some time to find a mutually interested party sitting in the adjoining stall.

Of course some guys forgo the gloryhole and improvise. For this I suggest you go to a stall at the farthest end of the bathroom. Close the door, pull your pants down and wait. When someone comes into the next stall, move your foot so that you know the other person can see it and slowly start tapping it. If the other person wants to be played with, they will kneel down and place their penis under the stall wall. They might decide to join you in your stall, something that can be usually risky. In such cases if you have a large bag or something else that could be placed in such a way to prevent others from seeing 4 legs in the stall, it is recommended that you do so.

What's the protocol at a Private Gloryhole?

In most instances, this private gloryhole will be in someone's home so you should follow the same protocal you would when visiting anyone. Be courteous and respectful. Don't do anything that might cause suspicion for neighbors and never arrive unannounced unless you've been told doing so is OK.

While this is not a firm rule, usually when a person invites you to their private gloryhole you can expect to be the top and the person hosting will be passive.

Usually, the person who visits a private gloryhole should not expect the other guy, your host, to ejaculate. Most guys who have private gloryholes are all about getting other men off. They probably jack-off later on thinking about all that cum.

Legal and health concerns

Public sex of any kind is illegal in many parts of the world; and police undercover operations continue to be used in order to enforce such laws. Adverse personal consequences to participants in glory hole activity have included police surveillance, public humiliation in the press, and criminal convictions. Gay bashing, mugging, and Bodily injury are further potential risks. For reasons of personal safety, as well as etiquette, men typically wait for a signal from the receptive partner to come through the hole before inserting any part of their genitals through a glory hole.

In addition to safety and legal risks, there is a heightened risk of sexually transmitted infections associated with having sex with infected partners. This risk can be reduced through the use of condoms, although their use in glory hole activity is not common.


Using a gloryhole can be legal in USA but this depends on where the hole is located. In a private home or apartment you should be completely legal as long as the neighbours can not see from the outside. On the other hand using a public gloryhole is at the very least frowned upon and in some places, illegal. Below are legal issues you should ponder. Note that the validity of this information varies by state in the United States.

  • Sex in an adult bookstore is NOT a private place. By law, it is usually considered a public place.
  • Sex in a car is NOT a private place. By law, it is usually considered a public place.
  • Sex in an adult theatre is NOT a private place. By law, it is usually considered a public place.
  • Sex in a public bathroom or tearoom is NOT a private place. By law, it is usually considered a public place.
  • Touching someone sexually in a public place, even if they invite you to touch them, can get you arrested. This is not entrapment - even if it was a police officer that invited you to touch him or her.
  • Exposing yourself in a public place, even if someone asked you to expose yourself, can get you arrested. This is not entrapment - even if it was a police officer that invited you to expose yourself.
  • Police officers are not required to identify themselves before they arrest you, and, in fact, can lie about their employment. As they start to arrest you, they must identify themselves but all is fair before that.
  • As a general rule of thumb, the more public the sexual activity, the more risk you take in getting arrested. On the other hand, your risk of getting hurt may increase in a private location.

See Also

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