Glory Be

I have talked about you in many different ways. Initially with amused dismissiveness, then contempt, sorrow, blind optimism in the beginning of 2013, restrained happiness, and now, naturally, as if you were dead.

“Someone once told me I was most beautiful when I was comfortable. And so, since then, I’ve chosen to believe it.”

The stranger gets back to me, tells me he likes my words. Who cares? They’re mostly yours, anyway. I tell him candidly, even though I posted an ad in casual encounters simply labeled, “queening and 420,” that it takes time for me to feel comfortable — “especially with a dude.” Who isn’t you, I think. I already know this will go nowhere. I keep typing anyway. “I feel like that should be explicit — that I’m not going to want to open my legs to you, like, tonight. I mean, maybe. That’s happened before. But it’s really no fun.”

I opt to stay home and masturbate until my fingers prune and fatten up like vienna sausages. To curtail my fixation on letting my pussy live in the past, along with the rest of me, I close the video I have of you jerking off while watching a video of me doing the same. I need to find an end to this mise en abyme.

Since an attempt to be better does not always translate into a promise to be good, I turn to gloryhole videos.

Gloryholes — known as “faceless sex” when wearing its church clothes—can be found in bathroom stalls, adult video arcades, and JC Penney dressing rooms. But they all meet at the intersection of desire and avoidance, where I am firmly planted, spinning my sign so furiously that there’s no telling what I’m promoting.

After a few dozen viewings and a wish to understand the architectural mechanics at play, I get curious enough to look up, “How to make a gloryhole.” Less in the practical spirit of, say, “Canning your own vegetables” and more in the misted reality of, “Did dinosaurs have souls?” I’m directed to, where there’s an ebook I can purchase for $9.95.


On the other end of what is usually a thin piece of plywood or drywall and, in all cases, an emotional barricade, there’s audible porn and a body (presumably). Aside from titles (Married Army Stud, Russell 3rd Grade Teacher, 24 Year Old Verbal Guy) and circumstance (straight and uncut, fan from Rosarito, hairy butt), everyone involved knows nothing more than the fact that there is a penis threading its way through a hole somewhere in the world. This is premeditated anonymity paired with a baffling amount of trust.

The guy on the receiving end usually wears a ski mask or sunglasses — but never both — and handles the dicks like wounded birds. Gentle and meticulous, but detached. Depending on how married or straight they are, the production is rather short-lived and always ends with the guy backing away slowly and out of view like a contestant getting booed off the Apollo stage.

Looking into the camera for the last few seconds before turning it off, there’s sometimes a flash of a smile. Like he’s sharing a secret with you. And, in a way, he is. I know the shape of his nose, how he likes to wear tank tops, that he has nice hands. The intimacy dammed in by particle board inadvertently finds its way to me and I suddenly feel free from you.

I smile back.