Holes of Glory

Here’s a disclaimer. This story is about glory holes. It’s about putting glory hole play into perspective of the pandemic. So if you’re going to read the following tale, only to be offended and mortified by its contents, then well… maybe you shouldn’t read this.

But if you’ve gotten this far, if you’re purposely choosing to stay on this page, it’s clear that your libidinous psyche is drawn to a depraved and perverse story of a sexual nature. So take a moment to lock your door and to turn your screen away from prying eyes, and let’s begin.

The following true accounts began with Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, who said on July 22, 2020, at the federal government’s daily briefing on the COVID-19 response, that glory holes are a safe way for strangers to avoid the virus but still engage in casual sex.

In the first week of October, I set out to find the most heavily-trafficked glory hole in Ottawa, and to find people willing to talk about it.

“Glory holes are only useful for meeting someone – to bring them home,” said Jacques, 23, a student at Algonquin College who wishes to remain anonymous about his program of study and last name. Other personal information he’s willing to disclose is that he’s a Pisces, a wine connoisseur, and that he isn’t totally disgusted by the idea of picking someone up at a glory hole.

“It’s sexy being naked in bed wearing a face mask. At a glory hole? No. Nothing sexy about that,” he said. “Glory holes are just cruising spots. You do the fun part at home.”

The next person I talked to would disagree with his sentiment. Tommy Ramsey is a sex shop owner who has an indoor glory hole room at the back of his shop. The room fits at least over 20 people at any time, and he charges a $15 entry fee ($20 for couples if you’re bringing a friend with a mouth). To him, glory holes are a business. His business, in particular, is called One in Ten, located on 256 Bank St. He’s not currently looking to promote it. I just want you to know that it’s there.

“Our backroom opened on Monday, Sept. 28, but the government ordered another shutdown on places such as ours,” Ramsey said. “We will be monitoring the situation. We will consider reopening again once cases drop.”

As of Sept. 26, Ramsey’s XXX store remains “excluded business” in the province, deemed unsafe to open in Stage 3.

A lot has changed since Dr. Tam said what she said back in July. Indoor glory holes, it would seem, are out.

A former career college clerk who has been off work since March 2020 named Mike Duval, 37, hates the idea of glory holes.

“I’m only comfortable with phone sex, exchanging nudes and handjobs nowadays. I always wear a face mask. That’s life in 2020,” Duval said.

At least Dr. Tam’s advice on wearing face masks during sexual encounters with strangers still holds strong.

A University of Ottawa student named Jose Soares-Da Silverira, 19, hopes to practice safe casual sex by sticking with one partner.

“I’m hella bored all the time,” said Soares-Da Silverira. “At the moment, I’m looking for a friends-with-benefits thing. Maybe more. But as for meeting people, it can be tricky. Because of COVID, there’s a bigger risk about meeting in person.”

Anyway you look at it, whether you’re a lonely student or a working man who wants to flip your tie over your shoulder after work at a glory hole, it would seem these places aren’t getting much action in this pandemic.

And oddly enough perhaps, not one person I talked to associated glory hole play with pandemic safety.


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