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1. IS THERE SUCH A THING AS GLORY HOLE ETIQUETTE?
Well, there seems to be. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any websites or literature to research it, although a woman in Kentucky with a similar interest told us there is a site, but she never got back with us to let us know where it is. Gay websites we looked at didn't seem to address it unless we just didn't know how to navigate around one properly and adult bookstores don't seem to acknowledge their existence. All that leaves us with is personal experience, all of which comes from West Virginia.
Rest assured though, based upon some threads on the boards, there are other states that have them. They apparently also exist in public restrooms, but we've never seen any and don't know anything personally about them, only what we've heard. This piece is confined only to glory holes found in adult bookstores.
2. WHAT EXACTLY IS A GLORY HOLE?
For the uninitiated, a glory hole is simply a hole in a wall separating two adjoining video booths. Glory holes can vary in size, but all serve the same basic purpose, ie. to allow a man to slip his penis through the hole from his side to the other booth.
Some are small, round holes just large enough to accommodate a penis and nothing more. In some bookstores, they can be larger, rectangular or square cut-outs big enough for a person to place his or her head through if so inclined. Why so large? While the glory hole is large enough to allow two people to engage in oral sex or masturbation, one person at a time, the larger ones allow easier access not only for the same purpose, but can also allow for anal intercourse, or vaginal intercourse if you happen to be female, or on the outside chance you meet a woman there. Not that you have to do any of this. We have to believe that while the larger holes when used for oral sex gives one person better access to the instrument of destruction, and surrounding parts poking through, they would also add to the exhibitionist and/or voyeuristic nature of the experience for both parties.
3. WHAT ABOUT THE BOOTHS?
A typical video booth is small. Generally, each comes with a small wooden seat for one person or a wooden bench that can seat two people somewhat comfortably. The smaller glory hole is slightly lower than waist level for the typical man so if you're extremely short or tall, good luck being comfortable using one. The larger holes center just below the waist area, but because of their size, height isn't really a factor.
In some bookstores, rather than a completely wooden barrier separating the two booths, a glass partition, starting about chest high and opaque in color extends above the wooden wall to the ceiling. By pressing a button on your side of the wall, you are sending a signal to the person in the adjoining booth you want to be able to see him, or in rare cases, her. If the other person is agreeable, he or she can push their own button and magically the glass clears to give each person an unobstructed view of the other.
4. HOW CLEAN ARE THE BOOTHS?
This can vary from bookstore to bookstore. When it comes to gritty, a place in Wheeling comes to mind. The movie screens in the booths are cum-splattered, the floors sticky or wet, and wadded up wet paper towels or tissue litter the floor. It's kind of weird because a mop and bucket are visible in a corner, but it doesn't look like anyone has learned how to operate these hi-tech tools at this place.
On the other hand, some are very clean. It appears to depend on the management. One place south of Parkersburg, under new management, seems almost fanatical about cleanliness. An employee seems to be constantly around with a mop, bucket and bottle of glass cleaner. Under the prior management, that was't the case.
Some places do provide a roll of paper towels which you can tear off and take in a booth with you. We suppose you should do your part and use them to clean up any mess you might make, but leave the Windex at home unless you don't want to watch a blurred porn flick. If you were interested in movies only, you probably wouldn't be in a booth with a glory hole anyway.
Also, there's nothing to prohibit you from taking your own stuff. If you think you're going to be on your knees, take a small towel or any other cleansing items, like maybe hand-wipes. It's probably just a matter of preference. The male half of this tandem doesn't worry so much about dirt and grime while the female half does.
5. WHAT DOES IT COST?
Not all that much really. All you're paying for is the movie you choose. Still, while the cost is nominal, 25 cents to get the movie of your choice started, there is a kicker to this. You are paying to have a movie on in increments. In some places, you can get 100 seconds for a quarter and watch the timer countdown every 10 seconds, ie. 100, 90, 80, etc. down to zero. In other places, you get a digital numeral that counts down the same way, eg. 5,4,3,2,1 and finally zero. When the time runs out, the movies goes off until another quarter is dropped in the slot.
Does it matter? It can. When you get 100 seconds for a quarter it comes to $9.00 per hour if we did the math right. The point is, you know exactly what you are getting. The problem with the digital counter is you get a certain number of seconds for each count, but those don't seem to be as long. Unless you take a stopwatch, it's difficult to know what you're getting for your quarter, but it seems to be about half the time as the timed segments.
Some bookstores require that you buy tokens at 25 cents a piece, usually five dollars worth. Don't be concerned if you run out though. We haven't found a single coin mechanism that doesn't take quarters after you run out of tokens.
Does anybody really care if you have a movie running? You bet! If you go, arm yourself with a generous supply of quarters. Once inside the booth, when you drop your first quarter in the slot, a small light comes on outside of your booth.
This does two things. First, it lets other patrons know the booth is occupied so someone can go to the opposite booth adjoining it to check you out. Of course, to those without a discerning eye that can't tell the door is closed and locked, it means someone may start pulling on the door trying to get in.
Second, what it also does, is let some employee, that does have a discerning eye, know the booth is occupied but the movie isn't playing. Does he care? Yep, that's his job. You may just hear from outside, "Start dropping some quarters!" Or worse, pounding on the door telling you to "drop quarters" to "Open the door!" Worse yet, a stern command to "Open the door!" accompanied by hard knocking.
Embarrassing? Maybe, maybe not. Just pay attention to the timer, have enough quarters and keep the movies going. Movies-that's plural. You'll have a selection, depending on where you go, of 10-16 movies in almost every category imaginable. Gay male, lesbian, BDSM, interracial, strictly oral or group sex. You name the theme, they'll probably have it available. Check the wall when you first walk in. With the exception of one place, the movie selection is there for you to review along with the corresponding number so you can turn to that channel in your booth to watch the Academy Award winning movie of your choice.
6. WHERE DO YOU FIND GLORY HOLES?
Well, by asking other people or just checking out adult bookstores. In West Virginia, it seems every adult bookstore has them. One thing you can count on, the stores certainly don't advertise them. You won't see ads in the newspapers, Yellow Pages or on billboards saying, "Come Check Out Our Glory Holes." The fact is, it's as though they don't even exist.
With one exception, we haven't been to a place that doesn't have two signs up. One always warns against loitering which means get in a booth and start shoving quarters in. This doesn't seem to be enforced all that much and as long as you're walking slowly around in circles, that seems to be good enough. The second sign you'll see forbids sexual contact of any kind, or solicitation; that it will not be tolerated and subject you to being asked to leave the premises or to prosecution.
A legal thing no doubt. After all, it seems almost nonsensical to have such a sign outside a line of booths that have a little hole to the next booth, unless we have this all wrong and they are really for passing cigarettes, mints and popcorn between fellow movie goers.
7. WHAT KINDS OF PEOPLE FREQUENT THESE PLACES?
The simple answer if you go is people like you! If you're first thought is only gay men hang around these places, that would be wrong. Sure, gay men will be there, but so will the bisexual and bi-curious. And, don't kid yourself, some, maybe quite a few, are certainly straight. The fact is, you'll run into all types of people. Some will be blue collar and other will appear to be businessmen. Some will be muscular, some obese and some are in between. There will be those that appear dirty and dressed kind of ratty and others that look very clean and seem overdressed. It may not always mean anything, but some men will have a wedding ring on.
Why would a straight guy go? A couple reasons probably. If you are going to be on the receiving end of oral sex from an anonymous stranger by sticking your penis through a little hole, are you really going to know if those are male or female lips on the other side. In a way, not really, although that probably denies reality. If all you see are men milling around, chances are those lips are attached just outside the oral cavity of a man. Ah, but the fantasy is still there and it plays a role. That warm little mouth could belong to your favorite actress or model if that's what you choose.
On the other hand, we have seen females hanging around. Generally, they'll be there as the other half of a male/female couple or, in some cases, with one or more other women. We recall at one place a woman, with a man, came in. She was dressed like a hooker, but wasn't. The assumption was the guy with her was her husband or significant other. Whatever he was, he was there to watch her engage in sex with other men. They chose a booth and went inside but left the door open. Before long there was a line of men waiting to take part in an oral gang bang that later turned into sexual intercourse for some of them at the suggestion of the man she was with.
Three things about this. First, it had the makings of a loving wives story on this site. Second, the management didn't seem to care, yet had to be aware because of the layout of the store. Finally, not all men frequenting glory holes are gay. In fact, the booths seemed to empty out while she was there. It certainly wasn't a gay man's paradise that day.
As an aside on the gay vs. straight or somewhere in-between issue, the male half here, getting a can of pop one time, was asked by a man if there were couples in the back and, the female half, sliding her long, slender and very obvious feminine finger through a glory hole doesn't seem to have a problem getting a response from men.
Still, if you're a single guy looking to find a gal-pal, you'd probably have a better chance at a church social. These are not places where you'll find your future wife nor are they places where you'll probably build lasting relationships.
Of course, you could run into someone you know. We wouldn't worry about it too much. They have just as much explaining to do as you do, especially if there doing research. Depending on your age, we can only imagine one thing worse; hearing a voice from the other side saying, "Hi, Dad!"(or Mom, whichever sounds worse to you)
Those damn little hunks of rubber that take away from the pleasurable experience of sex; should you use them? That's a personal decision obviously, but let's get real here. They may not be much fun, but they could save your life!
Sure, the stories written regarding glory holes never mention them, but in a story, it wouldn't be very erotic. It's like a porn movie. You want to see that hot cum squirting all over her face instead of it blowing up the end of a rubber! But, this isn't a movie or a story. This real life. Common sense should prevail.
It may also depend on what you decide to do. If you're goin