Just when we thought that 2020 couldn't get any stranger, along comes a news release that makes you question everything you thought you knew about the world. Members of my family are finally coming around to the idea that masks are a good idea, but I have no idea how to explain to them about glory holes.
Jokes aside, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control added some new recommendations for socially distant sex to its website yesterday, what they said trended on Twitter for hours. In an article called COVID-19 and Sex , the BC CDC offered some ways that you can lower the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 during sex with others. Most recommendations are fairly common, including suggestions such as: ask your partner(s) if they’re feeling unwell or have any symptoms and choose sexual positions that limit face-to-face contact. However, they also suggested that people "use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact."
Yes, that's right, they recommended glory holes as a preventative measure one could take to avoid exposure to COVID-19.
In case you don't know what they are, gloryholes are defined on the Urban Dictionary as such: "A glory hole is a hole made in a thin wall or another type of partition where a man can insert their penis for sexual stimulation by an anonymous person on the other side. They can be found in bathrooms in the stall wall, in private rooms found in adult bookstores, and in dark rooms and labyrinths in bathhouses."
Masks were not left out of the mix either, it was recommended that you wear one when engaging in sexual activity since "heavy breathing during sex can create more droplets that may transmit COVID-19."
As surprised as I was to read this publication, I wanted to take note of something the BC CDC notes at the top of their article.
"Sex can be very important for mental, social and physical well-being; it is a part of everyday life. People can, will and should continue to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic. Messages that discourage or shame people from sexual contact can be harmful and may discourage people from seeking essential sexual health services."
I feel fairly certain that this article was written with high-risk people in mind and not your average, married couple. The BC CDC included the link to guidance for sex workers pdf as well. Interesting to note that there is no glory hole recommendation.
Also, though not so open in their language, many health officials have made the same recommendations in their publications.
“Make it a little kinky. Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact,” the NYC Health Department: Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) said.