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risk management

How Scared Must I Be After 10 Seconds of Unprotected Glory Hole ‘Fun’ in a Sex Club?


Matt Siegel previously wrote about visiting a SoCal sex club for an editorial assignment. In Part 2 today, he shares what happened when he decided to stick around … and enjoy the menu. (It is graphic and includes visual descriptions of sex. Potentially NSFW.)

Why do my gay brothers insist on referring to sex as “play?” I play with children and puppies. Giving a blow job is not some whimsical, innocent action. It is work, that’s why the word “job” is in it. Blow, Hand, Rim—they’re all jobs and I am employed full time in Accounts Receivable.

As part of my dedication to journalistic integrity and ethnography, I choose to take Glen up on his offer to “stay and play” at the sex club. I decide to participate.

In low-risk behavior, of course.

Is anything “low risk,” you ask? Well, name your risk. For me, HIV is the risk I’m trying to avoid. If you’re trying to avoid herpes, Gonorrhea Pearlman (Cheers reference), syphilis, warts, chlamydia—everything is high risk unless you’re in a latex body suit. And then you run the risk of chafing. For all of the ambiguity surrounding the risk levels of various sexual practices between men, can we agree that receptive anal sex without a condom runs the highest risk for contracting HIV? (Fine: Receptive anal sex without a condom while sharing needles runs a higher risk.)

I feel duped. I had not signed up for anal sex. I thought there was an understanding: glory hole = blow job.

The never-ending corridors of sex clubs would be a great place to power walk. Old queens could lace up their Reeboks and head down to the local encounter establishment at 5am for a few laps. I can only troll these corridors so many times, passing the same faces over and over again, without wanting to throw in the cum rag.

I select a man and follow him into the adjoining glory hole.

By:           mattsiegelpic Gay life ain’t no place for sissies. But it should be. The Unabashed Queer (Government Name: Matt Siegel) serves to affirm the vast array of queer identities. Originally from Atlanta, Siegel realized his independence above the Mason-Dixon Line at Northfield Mount Hermon School and subsequently, Sarah Lawrence College. In a marijuana- induced haze, Siegel came to Los Angeles and has found himself employed in the homes of Adam Carolla, Arianna Huffington, and Jill Clayburgh. How queer is that? Read Matt's blog here.
On:           Sep 7, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , ,
    • nikko

      True true.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Coke

      Same thing has happened to me – look down and there’s an ass. Panic. It oughtta be against the rules, but there are no rules.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 5:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Synnerman

      Thank you for sharing your story.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim

      Just think! If you hadn’t been so sleazy and had random sex through a hole-in-the-wall you would never have had this lovely experience. Why should you or any man that knowingly partakes in high risk activities be worthy of sympathy? I keep my pecker in my pants except when I am in a committed relationship. It’s a choice, we all make them every day.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M Shane

      Funny , everyone here in Minnesota who has AIDS since we have a very high population and no clubs and few bars gets it from their partners.

      Sex clubs shuld be a place where somone is especialy aware. I had sex in clubs rampantly during the first decades of Aids and never got anything. not even crabs.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChristopherM


      Oh please Judge Judy. You sound just like some church lady protesting with Fred Phelps. People fuck up…all people. If you can’t have sympathy for that, then you must not be a very good friend.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile

      Oh dear, all this talk of glory holes, sex clubs, and other unholy things…….I’m heading to my nearest church for a hook up!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sebastian


      Sep 7, 2009 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Father Christ-on-a-Stick

      @InExile: I’ll see you in the confessional now, my son.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 7:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phoenix (I'm Clutching My Pearls...And My Lube)

      @ M. Shane:

      I think most people are more likely to have unprotected sex with their partners/long term relationships because they trust them. Whereas a hook up isn’t likely to be trusted at all and therefore people are more likely to be cautious.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Phoenix (I'm Clutching My Pearls...And My Lube)

      @ Matt Siegel,

      In regards to the crapping thing: Dude, you know they make incontinence undergarments right? They make them so they look just like underwear now. I know you might find it embarrassing to shop for them but as a former pharmacy employee we’ve heard it all and no request for anything we sell is shocking. If you’re still embarrassed, just say you’re buying them for your grandfather.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile

      @Father Christ-on-a-Stick: I just got back, I confessed, and the nice minister said it was OK. It made me feel uncomfortable as his hand inched up my leg, I told him I was married and could never do a man of the cloth. He continued to unzip me and I yelled for the sister, she made him stop. He said I was forgiven for reading Queerty. :)

      Sep 7, 2009 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er

      I’ve heard of PEP. Don’t ask me how, I’m sure you can figure it out.

      I’ve also had some dude try to sit on me (without asking or intimating) and I was like “whoa, what r u doing.” Freaked me out.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 9:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ggreen

      Shame on you Matt you have engaged in activity not approved my ChiChi Larue, the Glenn Beck of gay porn. Ms LaRue has been telling gay men how to have sex for years, but I hear it’s one of those do as I say situations. All gay sex must be as generic and passion free as one of her lame videos or else.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 9:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike Barton

      ShamWOW! LOL!

      Sep 7, 2009 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimmy

      “Glen, the manager, says sex club sex is safer.”

      safer how? if you add up the numbers, say you fool around with one guy, then that guy fooled around with 3 guys, and who did they fool around with? it brings the “when you sleep with some one, you sleep with who ever they slept with” into one night.

      granted every one knows the risk when they go, but i’d say the chances of getting something (clap/syph/etc) from one guy you take home from the bar is far less then at the sex club.

      Sep 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rasa

      We all have our lives to live — the way we want to do it.

      No judgements. No rules, even.

      For me, it’s been a rough road at times as I’ve begun to question “What am i willing to risk in order to scratch the itch?”

      For awhile, I wasn’t even that aware of things like consequences or risks or addictive/compulsive behavior…

      “Do what you want — with no restrictions!”

      (Who wants restrictions?)

      But when things began to crash (literally), it was either “find someone to blame” or “find a way to shrug it off” or…. “Wake up!” — or (even worse) “Take responsibility for my own life”…

      For some people, it’s all about “celebration”– especially after dealing with a lifetime of repression and oppression.

      And for some others, it eventually has to become about “recovery”— because the “Celebration” turned out to be “Fool’s Gold”…

      And even worse, the gold turned out to be poison.

      Good luck to you–

      or as Charles Dickens put it,

      “God bless us, everyone!”

      Sep 8, 2009 at 1:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lynn David

      Almost makes me nostalgic for 1980….

      Sep 8, 2009 at 4:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy

      @M Shane: M SHANE, this is now the second thread where you’ve noted, “since everyone here in Minnesota who has AIDS since we have a very high population and no clubs and few bars gets it from their partners.”

      Are you suggesting that your “rampant promiscuity” reduced HIV transmission?

      Sep 8, 2009 at 6:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TomChicago

      In addition to the “clean” misnomer you cite, there is another prejudice against those who are poz, when “disease-free” is linked to “drug-free” to form “DDF”. It’s an unfortunately glib, superficial association to make.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 7:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      If this was a situation where straight guys were sticking their dicks through holes for women to suck, you’d be referring to the women as sluts. But because this is a male-male scenario, suddenly it assumes some higher moral standing as if “this is what men do, it’s fine”. Give me a freaking break!!!

      One can only surmise that gay men are just as hypocritical as straight men. We really aren’t that much different from them.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff

      Thank you for sharing your story. It reminds me that random sex these days JUST IS’NT worth it!

      Sep 8, 2009 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • z

      @Phoenix (I’m Clutching My Pearls…And My Lube): Another problem, though, is that too many people rush to trust their “long term” partner and take the condoms off.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dgz

      @z: also true.

      Physicians recommend 3-6 mos. wrapped with a monogamous partner before considering unprotected sex. it can take awhile to test positive after contracting the hivvy, especially with the rapid test that most use today.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • T

      There is one key ingredient I think missing from a bathhouse/sex club encounter = communication… especially at glory holes since there is a wall (literally) between you and the other participant.

      I wish we could all get over this fear of honest communicating… yes it may not always end in a lay but it will in the long save more lives.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim in SF

      “On top of the physical discomfort, there was the shame I experienced at the hospital when the nurse clearly didn’t believe my story. I felt like just another reckless homo in her eyes or maybe I was just projecting my own shame.”

      I fail to see why the conversation went beyond “I believe I may have been exposed to HIV and I want to take any available prophylactic medications.” Is it really any of her business how it happened? I highly doubt she even asked, but if she did, I’m even more puzzled as to why you would feel compelled to give the whole story about how some bathhouse queen sat on your dick, unbeknownst to you.

      Is it possible you volunteered a bunch of information about the situation in order to separate yourself from people who are exposed to HIV through intentional butt sex? Or is it possible you were just nervous as hell and let your mouth run?

      Just curious. How old are you, anyway?

      Sep 8, 2009 at 6:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim

      Can I just tell you, ask a person who did HIV testing for 3 years, your doctor was right, you probably didn’t need the drugs.

      HIV is spread 2 ways, blood and semen. If you had no open cuts on your dick, you didn’t have some guy bleeding your dick or rubbing semen on it, there was almost no risk.

      I know your argument was there was you want 0% risk… but if you know anything about statistics 0.00001 is still 0.

      Most people who do get infected have a number of other factors like an STD, not enough lube that causes abrasions, drug use that leads to long fucking. Without him bleeding on you AND you having some sort of sore or cut that he would have to get ALOT of blood into, you aren’t going to get infected.

      However, most guys don’t know about this because we’ve had a generation of AIDS scaring the shit out of anybody to do anything without a condom, and now there is a condom backlash and we wonder why…

      Sep 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MackMichael

      Wow, I had no idea that having lots of anonymous sex without condoms was so darned safe! Gosh, I wonder how the 524,000 people died who were supposed to have died from Aids? I wonder how in the heck 1.5 million people have been infected in the US, or the 33.2 Million people who are infected world wide got HIV? What did the 5700 people who die each and every day do wrong when it is so safe to have condom-less sex with multiple partners? What are the 5 people who are being infected this very minute, the the five people who were infect in the last minute, or the 5 people who will be infect in the next minute are doing wrong? Every 15 seconds a person between the ages of 15 and 24 contract HIV, even though it is really really really hard to get. Now I’m going to be up all night trying to figure out how all my really healthy young buddies in the 1980’s and 1990’s got the virus that would end their lives, because golly…it is so really hard to contract.

      Well, I’d ponder more, but I’m certain that many of you need to get out there and fuck as many guys as you can without a condom, so have at it, because absolutely nothing will happen to you!

      Sep 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      @M Shane: you said “Funny , everyone here in Minnesota who has AIDS since we have a very high population and no clubs and few bars gets it from their partners.”

      I just did a quick search of Minn. on the Damron guide and it looks like it has it’s share of Bars, Clubs, Cruisy areas, etc… It looks like there could be lots of people there having one nighters, not to mention the people that travel for vacations etc….

      Bars (10)
      Nightclubs (7)
      Cafes (10)
      Cruisy Areas (2)

      St. Paul
      Bars 2
      Nightclubs 1

      Cruisy Areas 1

      Nightclubs 1

      Adult Bookstore 1

      Bookstores (1)
      Men’s Clubs (1)
      Erotica (1)

      Cruisy Areas (2)

      Sep 9, 2009 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Coke

      @M Shane – and that’s not to mention Craigslist and all the other “dating” sites.

      Sep 9, 2009 at 9:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay

      I totally agree with @Tim

      You did not need and should not have been given the medications. 10 seconds in and out does not represent risky sex that could have infected you with HIV.

      Taking the drugs when you dont need them is dangerous, it could leave you with a possible resistance to that set of drugs if god forbid you ever did need anti-retrovirals.

      Not only did you put yourself through worthless worry, but by sharing this part of your story, you are, as Tim mentioned, contributing to a climate of not just fear but of absolute petrification when gay people have sex.

      You ask if the venue itself heightened the risk, well compare the risks of having sex in a sex club; STD’s and yes a possible contraction of HIV, not from something like you experienced but from proper bareback sex, the type that the gay porn and sex industry is finding so lucrative

      comparing that with the other places to seek sexual encounters, parks late at night, cruising areas, truckstops, public toilets, where you not only run that risk of STD’s or HIV, but you are leaving yourself totally open to muggings, arrest, assault, sexual assault, rape, or even murder.

      Why any person seeking immediate, anonymous sex with another man would go anywhere other than a licensed, safe, clean gay sauna or sex club, with lube, condoms, showers and safer sex information available is beyond me. Yes you are risking your sexual health, a risk that you can to a large extent control, but compare that with risking your very life anywhere else.

      Sep 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill

      being a married guy, i used to LOVE glory holes. would just get handjobs and a blowjob with a rubber on. Until someone asked me this:

      “If you knew the guy on the other side of the gloryhole had AIDS, would you still have sex with him because you’re wearing a condom? ”

      Of course, my answer was HELL NO !. Then he asked me “how do you know he doesn’t have it?”


      Nov 30, 2009 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan


      Nuff said.

      Jun 28, 2010 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nikko

      Thanks for the link, RYAN. That site has lots of good information like THE MAN2MAN ALLIANCE. However, I do think they err in that anal pleasure can still be intensely erotic, masculine,and relatively safe. I love man ass, penetration or not, though I haven’t practiced it in over 5 years. I’m std free. I love male love, and and the gay scene has just about destroyed male love to being a shrill, destructive voice that scares all men away.

      Jun 29, 2010 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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