The Timeless Allure of The Humble Gloryhole

The Timeless Allure of The Humble Gloryhole


Gloryholes have come to occupy an almost mythic space in gay erotica. Often spoken of in hushed, reverent tones, gloryholes sometimes function as a relic of our erotic past — a call back to the later half of the twentieth century, when sexual anonymity was not only a fetish, but often a necessity. Some believe modern gloryholes to be an urban legend, but, as we’re sure you know dear reader, they are very, very real.

In fact, gloryholes are having a golden age. A renaissance. A triumphant return to the zeitgeist!

Gloryholes aren’t found solely in the back of seedy sex shops, either. Good (read: horny) samaritans have created gloryholes in public bathrooms, truck stops, in parks, and all around college campuses — you just have to look out for them. Of course, you’re always welcome to make your own, too.

So how do you join in on the fun? Sniffies is the most straightforward way. A quick scan of the Sniffies map reveals a myriad of different gloryhole locations nearest to you — you’ll know there’s a gloryhole by the orange icon of a man on his knees — and user comments can help you find the best times to go. Gloryholes can be public or private, but there’s no doubt that they are ubiquitous, and that’s the thing about gloryholes — they’re always where you least expect them.


The reemerging popularity of gloryholes can be attributed to many sources, not least of which is New York City’s now infamous guidelines for safer sex during COVID, which urges readers to “be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact.”

But the draw of gloryholes is more than just pandemic precaution. It’s about the rush of anonymity — both your own and your partners. The secret knowledge of your hookup that you hold close. The electric thrill of using someone purely for pleasure. Being used as an object for pleasure. Not knowing who’s on the other end, and not caring.

Gloryhole cruising etiquette is delightfully minimal. As is common in many dimly lit, sexually charged spaces, prolonged eye contact will do most of the heavy lifting for you. And, in the end, that’s the point: gloryholes aren’t about particulars. They’re about getting off, and that’s exactly what we recommend you do.

Back to blog