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Glory Hole

Updated: APRIL 18, 2022
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on April 17, 2022

A glory hole, also spelled gloryhole or glory-hole, is a hole in a wall or another kind of partition, usually in a public space like a restroom, through which individuals may perform or watch others perform anonymous sexual acts. Sexual acts may also be carried out between individuals on either side of the wall.

As a practice, glory holes have likely been around for hundreds of years. The first known use of the term in print, according to the "Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang," was in 1949 in an anonymous publication called "Swasarnt Nerf's Gay Girl's Guide."

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More About Glory Hole

Glory holes are believed to have originated in gay communities - especially among gay men - as a result of homophobia and persecution. In more recent years, they have become a broader kink or sexual interest among a number of different communities.

Glory holes saw a bit of a resurgence in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as public health officials struggled to provide guidance for people looking to meet their sexual needs while maintaining a safe distance and limiting the spread of the virus.

Glory holes are used in sex work, at sex clubs and other locations. This allows people to pay for an anonymous interaction (often oral sex) with the person on the other side of the wall. Glory holes also appear in pornography, where people can enjoy the fantasy of having a sexual encounter with a stranger.

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