That’s right! During this pandemic, the sometimes taboo subject of gloryholes turns out to be a safer option. There can be no doubt that COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives, including how we have sex. This is painfully true for the many single and polyamorous Canadians with regard to their usual sexual practices. Coming into close contact with people outside of your household and the immediate circle has been actively discouraged by health officials. This is for good reason, as COVID-19 is airborne and highly transmittable through saliva droplets among other various ways. So, what are we to do with regard to sex? We don’t know about you, but in speaking with Ryan with cockringexpert.com, he shared that he and the many people he speaks to, still have highly active sex drives and this whole situation just (excuse the pun) sucks.
This is where BC’s Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), which is part of the Provincial Services Health Authority, comes in with a number of recommendations, including the use of, you guessed it, gloryholes. While the safest ways to engage in sex are through masturbation or remote online activities, the remainder of this blog post will focus on gloryholes. However, you can find more information about sex during the pandemic on the BCCDC site under COVID-19 and Sex.
Ryan is a Canadian-based sexual psychologist who runs an online store that sells cock rings and other male sex toys. Curious about how COVID-19 and this news from the BC Government have impacted his customers, Ryan asked his customer base in Canada about their experiences with glory holes. In speaking with 15 men about their reasons for using gloryholes, their answers varied and ranged from: the anonymity of gloryholes, to helping people avoid their body insecurities, the thrill of quick sex, and yes, even the reduced chances of contracting COVID-19 during a sexual encounter. For many LGBTQ2+ readers, gloryholes are pretty well understood within these communities. However, for some heterosexual readers and allies, we thought we’d first provide a definition to start us off on the right foot.
According to Urban Dictionary, gloryholes are typically used for anonymous oral or penetrative sex. However, thanks to the BCCDC, we now know they are also a great way to limit physical contact during intercourse. Gloryholes most typically are holes in walls or doors. They are usually in public cruising spots, sex shops, or tearooms.
So how do they work? This part is a bit graphic, so bear with us. One sexual partner slides their genitals through or against the hole so that the other sexual partner can perform either oral or penetrative anal or vaginal sex. This can be anonymous or with a known partner who the individual or individuals have interacted with previously. Gloryholes can be used by gay, straight, bisexual, and gender-fluid communities. The most common way gloryholes seem to get used, is for partners to arrange to meet beforehand over the internet at a site where gloryholes are present.
Marco, a 38-old guy, who’s a name we have changed, explained he went online after hearing the news and he saw an ad on Reddit for someone with a glory hole in Vancouver. He decided to contact the author of the ad post and set up a time. He went to a sex shop/cinema that has a glory hole in the back and had a sexual encounter through a glory hole.
“It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this. I mean I’ve seen it in porn and always thought it was hot, but I never really dared to go do it.” Marco stated. Marco has been social distancing for a while because of COVID-19 and expressed that when he heard the BCCDC was recommending people use gloryholes for sex, he saw it as a legitimate opportunity to try it out. “It was a hot experience, but I’m not sure if it was because of the idea of a gloryhole, or because of the fact I hadn’t had sex in over 3 months ha-ha!” Marco quipped.
Another interesting experience comes from Kevin (42), who’s the name we have also changed for the purpose of this article. Marco is a gay man who has been hosting a glory hole in his shed over the last few years. He has had a number of men visit him over the years and considers himself a glory hole aficionado.
To that end, Ryan asked him for his most important tip for beginners who want to visit a Gloryhole, as this will be a new experience for some of us. “The most important thing is to be clear on the expectations. People usually find out about gloryholes online (Reddit, Facebook groups, or sex apps) and that is where the expectations are set.” Kevin suggests that really almost any combination is possible: two males, female/male, or two females. Kevin further stated that “Some people are just looking for oral sex, while others want penetrative sex. Clearly communicate what you are looking for and agree on this.”
So, here is where we landed. Our recommendation is to do your own research and listen to health professionals who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe. As individuals, we are the best safeguards in ensuring we do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19. Ryan has included a great story from Global News, where Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Bonnie Henry responds to reporters’ questions about sex during this pandemic.
If you are interested in hitting up a glory hole during the pandemic, make sure to shower before and after sex, use condoms/dental dams, and lubricants. Avoid sharing saliva and other bodily fluids. However, if you don’t like the idea of hitting up an anonymous hole in the wall, you can still (safely) spice up your sex life during the pandemic. Ryan recommends having fun, try out a webcam, phone sex, masturbate with a partner, or even play with sex toys.
As Ryan’s site is focused on men, we were unable to access women or non-binary communities for their perceptions and experiences. If you have a perspective, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. Our goal is to raise the topic and we welcome readers’ perspectives. For now, stay safe and have fun!