The Gloryhole FAQ (explicit language)

The website Cruising for Sex publishes The Gloryhole FAQ [explicit] by ‘Lilfuzzyg’. A glory hole is

a small hole, at least fist-sized, placed in a fairly thin
sheet of plywood or metal partition. The hole is placed
about hip high for the average guy and is large enough
to place a man’s penis through to let the person on the
other side perform whatever sexual activity he pleases
on it.

Understanding the glory hole phenomenon is useful when evaluating statements made by commercial sex shop operators such as Capital Video. For example, at Capital Video’s license violation hearing in Springfield on June 18, they made much of the fact that they recently installed metal sheets between the viewing booths in their Apremont Triangle store. However, Lilfuzzyg, “an avid attendee of gloryholes”, suggests above that metal partitions can be holed just as wooden ones can.

Here are some other observations from The Gloryhole FAQ:

…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 an adult theatre 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…

If you are not familiar with the terminology,
the question “Are you clean?” is not referring to your state of cleanliness. Rather,
it refers to whether you have a potential to be diseased. If you
respond “Yes”, it means that as far as you know, you are not going
to give the guy a disease or you have limited yourself to partners
who also say they are clean. If you say “No”, you either know you
have some disease or you are not sure if you have some disease or
you do not bother to check with the other guy to see if he is “clean”.
Needless to say, anyone can lie about this so be careful…

Booths normally take quarters, dollar bills or tokens. The amount
of video time you get for that money varies wildly.

Almost universally, no matter where I have been, patrons of these
stores are not allowed to:

  • Be in a booth and not have the video running (that is, not spending

Spend money and you will generally be left alone.
These places have to stay in business and it is no one’s God-given
right to hang around there for free. It is not a public area –
it is a place of business. If you don’t have the money, go elsewhere.

Also, if you get into a booth together, it is generally accepted
that both people put money into the slots…

OK, how do I find gloryholes?

Gloryholes come and go all the time and they can
be found in the largest cities, rural locales, and, well, just
about anywhere. Look for places offering video
booths, couples booths or “buddy” booths…

How can I tell if an adult bookstore tolerates activity
in the store?

This is probably the best question I get asked. Remember
that the following advice is a guideline — not a guarantee.
The store tolerates activity if:

  • You see gloryholes in booths.
  • Some or all of the booths are out of the line of sight of the
    store clerk (watch for cameras though!)
  • The doors to the booths are lockable.
  • You see people allowed to loiter a short while
    in the aisles…

[Glory hole sex] is sex at its most basic and
raw form. It is sex with someone you do not know or love..

When Capital Video general counsel Lesley Rich declares that some Capital Video viewing booths have retractable “buddy windows”, glory hole devotees can reasonably infer that Capital Video welcomes sexual activity in their booths. Glory holes have been such a distinctive feature of Capital Video’s Springfield store they are mentioned prominently in its citation on, a website that helps members cruise for casual sex:

Most booths in arcade have glory holes, many times you can share a
booth, have recieved some of the best blow jobs in my life here. Always
some action going on. It’s got 20 booths, 3 large glory holes, several
peep holes

The phenomena of glory holes and high-risk sex at Capital Video’s Springfield store do not appear to result from a mere transient ’employee breakdown’, as claimed by its project and construction manager Anthony Nota (Gazette, 6/19/07). They are in fact longstanding and well-known features of this establishment. Springfield mayor Charlie Ryan should keep this perspective in mind as he determines the fate of Capital Video’s viewing booth license this summer.

See also:

Gazette: “Porn store’s viewing booths raise stink in Springfield”
During the hearing, Nota himself said one of the holes in the
Springfield viewing booths had been made with a drill, something that
we presume would make a lot of noise. More generally, Internet comments
from patrons suggest that Capital Video’s stores in Springfield, Kittery, Maine and elsewhere
can be popular places for people to meet up for sex, at least when the
store management chooses to be lax. And being lax is profitable. As one
patron puts it, “theres more money going in the machines with lights off and holes in the walls…”

“We agree and will not dispute that in October and December certain
things occurred on the premises that should not have occurred,” said
[Northampton attorney Thomas Lesser, representing Capital Video]…

‘There were seven booths that contained holes in them that appeared to be 2 inches wide,’ Stathis said…

‘It’s a never-ending battle,’ said Nota, of preventing customers from altering the booths. ‘We do our best…’

Massachusetts Health and Human Services: HIV-AIDS Epidemiologic Profile Fiscal Year 2007

October 2006 Fact Sheet
1999 to 2005, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS increased by
30%… As of the end of 2005, a cumulative total of 27,631
Massachusetts residents have been diagnosed and reported with HIV
infection, with or without an AIDS diagnosis. Of these, 11,665 (42%)
have died…

Male-to-male sex and injection drug use are the
leading reported risks for HIV infection among people living with
HIV/AIDS, accounting for 33% and 27% of all infections, respectively…
Among males diagnosed with HIV infection, the proportion of HIV
diagnoses with male-to-male sex as the primary reported exposure mode
increased from 41% in 1999 to 53% in 2005.

Geographic Distribution
Top twenty cities/towns in Massachusetts by rate of HIV infection diagnosis (2003-2005):

  1. Provincetown
  2. Springfield
  3. Boston
  4. Holyoke

NoPornNorthampton Reaches Out to Springfield Neighborhood with Advice on Adult Enterprises
Comments on shed additional light on the environment
inside the store. Squirt is a website that helps members
cruise for casual sex. Of all the Squirt listings for Springfield, the store currently has the most comments…

a1buttmuncher, 12/5/06: They have been cited by the city and had to
close up the holes and they are keep a close eye on the back. The
lights are up and if they see you opening doors they will throw you
out. They are very serious I witnessed the manager throwing out a guy I
saw there all the time. Be careful and discreet or you will not place
to play during the cold winter months. I agree that it is not really
worth the time with the bright lights and no holes but they will be
back eventually. Be Patient!

Many Porn Shops with Viewing Booths Likely Fall Short of OSHA Standards
In 2006, compliance appears to have been an issue at Capital Video’s
porn shop in Kittery, Maine. This porn shop contains 16 viewing booths.
We recall last year’s testimony from Kittery’s police chief (emphasis added):

Chief said their informant told them that on numerous occasions he had
tried to clean but had not been given any information on how to wash
the areas properly.
Police Chief Strong said he believed the
collection of material they made, along with the lab results, showed
beyond a reasonable doubt that there were body fluids being exchanged
or deposited that other people were exposed to…

Sexual Ecology: Porn, Promiscuity, and AIDS (explicit language)
Rotello observes that all infectious diseases are ecological. The human
behavioral environment is as important a factor as the biological
properties of the virus. Variations in technology and culture explain
why the same virus will remain rare in one population but start an
epidemic in another. Epidemics depend on the infectivity of the virus,
its prevalence in the community, and the rate of contact between the
core group of infected people and the general population…

“…Based on the evidence, I have no doubt that if owners of commercial sex
establishments had to file ‘epidemiological impact statements’ proving
that they would not harm gay sexual ecology before they could get or
renew their licenses, very few would be allowed to operate.” (p.199)