Glory to the Hole

Hole in bathroom stall used for anonymous sex
hole

By Robin Gracia
Opinions Editor

The Walter Stiern Library at California State University, Bakersfield has many uses. It can be used as a computer research lab, a haven to study and a repository for thousands of books.

It’s also a place to potentially meet for various sexual activities.

The digital age has revolutionized the way that students meet and hook up, with sites such as Craigslist leading the charge. It takes less than 60 seconds to place an invitation for sex online for any category one would like – same sex, group, women seeking men, and much more.

“Studying late at CSUB” was the title of the male-for-male casual encounter personal ad which was posted on Oct. 3 by an unidentified 25-year-old. “If anyone wants to stop by for a quickie let me know…looking to [expletive] or receive head.”

This is the most recent listing on Craigslist soliciting sex at CSUB.

This is the most recent listing on Craigslist soliciting sex at CSUB.

Another ad, titled “CSUB library”, which was posted in the male-for-male personals on Sept. 27, asked: “Anybody want to play? I’ll be on the fourth floor in the bathroom from now till 5ish.”

A third post was made on Sept. 25 simply titled “CSUB”, again in the male-for-male encounters page. It said: “4th floor of the library today. Be there from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. hanging around looking to suck, understall, etc.”

The fourth floor of the university library is a quiet floor, meaning that noise is kept to a bare minimum to ensure that students are able to study without distraction. Seldom are library staff members on the fourth floor, and there is no type of security to be seen.

Inside of the men’s room on the fourth floor is a small hole which connects one stall to the other. On first glance, one could almost mistake it simply for damage to the wall which maintenance has overlooked. However, to the savvier eye, it’s identifiable as a glory hole.

The glory hole, shown above, was found on the fourth floor of the Walter Stiern Library.

The glory hole, shown above, was found on the fourth floor of the Walter Stiern Library.

The glory hole is roughly an inch and a half wide, capable of accommodating a vegetable such as a carrot or small squash. A glory hole serves as a way to receive oral sex with total anonymity.

Here’s how it works: one person sits inside a stall and waits for a participant. When someone occupies the adjoining stall, a signal is usually used to ensure that both individuals would like to engage, such as tapping one’s foot underneath the stall door. Should both people be willing, one of the men puts their penis through the glory hole for oral sex.

It’s a simple system; however, it comes with many risks.

“There’s always a concern when you’re having anonymous sex, such as STDs,” said Erika Delamar, CSUB’s assistant director of student health services. “You have no idea – you’re not doing any communication with your partner.

“Communication is a big key when it comes to preventing STD transmission. ‘How many partners have you had?’, ‘Have you been tested?’, ‘Do you have an STD?’ These are simple questions you should be asking people that you’re having sexual activity with.”

Of the three most recent posts on the Craigslist casual encounters page, only one of the posts made any reference to sexual safety.

“DDF and HIV negative,” were the last remarks by the 25-year-old student who posted the “Staying late” ad. The term DDF is slang used in personal ads indicating that the writer is disease and drug free.

As Delamar points out, you can never really be sure.

“How do you know they’re clean unless you’re asking or unless they’re bringing test results?” she said.

Possible health ramifications aside, there’s another side to fooling around on campus: the legal aspect.

According to Martin Williamson, the university’s chief of police, there are municipal codes and statutes that define acts, such as receiving oral sex in the men’s restroom, as criminal.

Williamson said he was aware that a “peephole” did exist in the fourth floor of the library; however, it existed over five years ago and he was unaware of any recent activity. He also said that, despite officers doing stakeouts and routine surveillance in the past, no cases or arrests were made.

“Safety is UPD’s number one concern,” Williamson said. “If it is called for, we will take proactive enforcement.”

Both glory holes have been covered by maintenance as of today. The closure of both holes, however, does not guarantee that a new one will not be created or possibly relocated.

The hole has been patched with a piece of metal to deter future use.

The hole has been patched with a piece of metal to deter future use.

No matter the nature or the orientation of sex one is engaging in, being aware of what services are available on campus is extremely important. Regular testing, using condoms and having open lines of communication with potential partners allows for greater sexual health and education. The cost of protection and testing should not deter students from seeking assistance.

According to Delamar, students can apply for the California Family PACT card at the Student Health Center, which covers the cost of doctor’s visits and testing. All visits and any testing are completely confidential.

Condoms can also be purchased by the dozen by the pharmacist at the Student Health Center for $1.50, which is touted as “the cheapest in town.”

Having sex responsibly, as well as in a non-public place, is arguably the best way to engage with another individual, casual or otherwise. College isn’t like Vegas – what happens in college doesn’t stay in college.

6 Comments on this post.

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  • Whitney Weddell
    8 November 2014 at 1:36 am - Reply

    I am troubled by the publication of this article, and the ensuing publicity on local tv. I hope this does not lead to anti-gay hate crimes on campus. Was it just a slow news week? Or, are we going to have an article on dorm sex in the next issue? Maybe locker room antics after that? The sensationalism of this article and the picture accompanying it is shameless. Hope you sold some papers.

    • Steven Barker
      10 November 2014 at 4:55 am - Reply

      Hello Whitney! My name is Steven Barker, and I’m The Runner’s News Editor this quarter.

      First of all, I want to thank you for sharing with us your thoughts on this article. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to interact with our readers.

      I’m curious about your comments regarding the ‘sensationalism of this article.’ As described by the university chief of police, sexual acts involving the glory hole are illegal. This illegal activity involved the vandalism of CSUB’s property, and this illegal activity was taking place on our campus. That in itself constitutes good news value for the story.

      To continue on, there are no anti-gay quotes from anyone involved in the story. Our writer even includes an encouragement to seek testing for sexual health, as evidenced by the sentence: “The cost of protection and testing should not deter students from seeking assistance.” She provides information regarding some services by our Student Health Center shortly after.

      That being said, could you talk more about what is sensational about this to you?

      • Liz
        12 November 2014 at 2:53 am - Reply

        I concur with Whitney. The news coverage of this alleged “glory hole” was included Ch. 23, citing your article, with 3 students making specific homophobic references. Please note from this article, “According to Martin Williamson, the university’s chief of police, there are municipal codes and statutes that define acts, such as receiving oral sex in the men’s restroom, as criminal.” The Chief is referring to sexual activity in the library, period. He is NOT referring to “this glory hole,” nor has any other confirmation been made this is a glory hole. A Craig’sList ad say it is, so it must be true? The National Inquirer says the Loch Ness monster is real, and that Elvis was spotted shopping at WalMart last week with Marilyn Monroe, so is that also true? Damage to this partition is 1 1/2 inches by your own description, rough, rusted, jagged, and dangerous to put ANY appendage in there. Let’s call it for what it probably is, most likely damage from where a trash container was broken off with age or wear and tear.

  • Vincent Malfitano
    9 November 2014 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the website is really good.

  • Wendell Ricketts
    13 November 2014 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Apparently Gracia or The Runner’s editors removed the ignorant and offensive comments of an earlier version of this article; to wit: “You don’t know who you are meeting up with on the other side of that stall, you don’t know if they have a clean bill of health, if they are HIV negative or if they have protection.”

    Aside from the fact that Gracia doesn’t understand that singular nouns take singular pronouns, the very silly, very 1980s idea that anonymous sex is by definition unsafe was evidently too embarrassing to leave in the text. As for the line about how “you don’t know if [the other person has] protection”: No, you don’t. Which is why you bring your own.

    But the sentiment remains, both in the vague and unhelpful statements of Erika Delamar (who also can’t manage to get her pronouns … um … straight) – “As Delamar points out, you can never really be sure…. ‘How do you know they’re clean unless you’re asking or unless they’re bringing test results?’ she said.” – and in the Gracia’s closing lines about “having sex responsibly.”
    If that’s the best Gracia and Delamar can do to broach the subject of safe-sex education and human sexuality, I worry for the health of Bakersfield students.

    It’s revealing that Gracia used a very tiny news items as the opportunity to write an hysterical and sex-negative piece that’s 1/3 about the glory hole and 2/3 about STDs. Why?

    How does Gracia know that whatever sex has taken place at that glory hole was unsafe or irresponsible? Will Gracia now be advocating for the policing of dorm rooms and the restrooms of bars and discos, where straight people are notorious for having casual sex?

    And what is “responsible sex,” by the way? Gracia never says clearly. Of course not. Because the whole point of using a word like “responsible” is to badger and shame people; in the context of health education, it means precisely nothing and has no utility whatsoever.

    What’s more, the article’s emphasis on “security” (and tacit criticism of the fact that “there is no type of security to be seen” in the vicinity of the 4th floor bathroom) is frightening in its implications. While people may object to the idea that sex is going on in a public bathroom, they are hardly placed in danger by it. There’s no need for security”—unless Gracia intended to raise the specter of predatory homos stalking innocent men in the bathroom.

    With this disgraceful, misleading article, Gracia missed a great opportunity to talk about sexuality—and an even greater occasion to get over a troubling squeamishness about sex.

  • Bryon Balbuena
    14 April 2015 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Many thanks

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