Yet again, despite attempts to investigate and analyze the behavior from a psychosocial perspective, the issue is also a legal one that that straddles the issues of private and public social norms. The book Glory Hole also contains an article, "Public Homosexual Activity and the Law," which ends up being a critique of the sodomy laws, which outlaw private homosexual sex and ironically force gays in to the public bathrooms, during the period and also the methods of enforcing public decency. This article really attacks the use of the police officer decoy (still a threatening presence today), claiming the practice is hypocritical:

This "decoy" method of law enforcement has lately come under a lot of scrutiny by the courts which would violate the individual's constitutional rights. It would seem that society's interest in protecting the public against lewd solicitation is endangered just as much if the solicitation is made by a private citizen or a vice squad cop.

The article also describes a scenario which could resemble the Senator Larry Craig bathroom scandal that took place several years ago, except the "closet queen" Craig was doing the foot tapping:

The undercover police officer seeks to provide an opportunity for a homosexual to either commit a lewd act or to make a solicitation for such act. In order to invite such solicitation, the undercover cop may sometimes spend lengthy periods of time at the urinals or sinks of a public toilet; he may sit in a stall and tap his foot or clear his throat to attract the unsuspecting homosexual's attention.

Congressperson Larry Craig is definitely a throwback to this era, a conservative married guy whose only outlet for his sexuality was the bathroom. In Craig's case, the hypocrisy (given his public persona and anti-gay voting record) was obviously more on his part rather than on the part of the arresting officer.

Larry Craig mugshot
Larry Craig


One wonders if the sexual revolution of the 1960s and post-Stonewall 1970s, and the ensuing AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, really made any change in the  glory hole dynamic describe above. Gay bathhouses (and bookstores today) in the 1970s often contained glory holes, but they were more a sexual fetish tool, for those who are turned on by  that type of sex, located in an environment that was not really public like an actual bathroom.

What the 1970s and 1980s did contribute to the now-iconic glory hole was a slew of porn movies that showed really hot, enticing glory sex. Yes, the sex in these films was obviously staged and thus lacked the danger and anonymity of the real event, but art can often improve on its imitation of life.

Jim Rogers & Michael Braun in Dangerous (1983)
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Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Lon Flexx

Lon Flexx, born David Lee Anderson, was one of those performers who did so much and died so young. He wasn't wild and at times unfocused like the great nineteenth century opera singer Maria Malibran who would ride a horse all day and sing all night and also find time to visit a hospital for dying children, or like THE Judy, who could sing and dance and act all night but killed herself to do it. Lon, as one Bijou reviewer notes, “might have been fucking like Whitney and Bobby on a crack binge, but at Little Jackie-O always shone through the sweat.” 

Lon made over thirty gay porn films, the bulk of which were made between 1989 and 1992, including two Bijou classics, He-Devils and Tough Guys Do Dance. He made other films such as Sleeping Under the Stars (according to one gossipy source, Lon wore a hairpiece in this one), Heat in the Night, and Davey and The Cruisers

One memorable scene in He-Devils features Lon Flexx dreaming of beefcake Alex Stone in a railroad tunnel. Alex strips from macho clothing and fondles his chest and tits. Rubbing his tits hard, Alex jacks off as the camera offers larger-than-life close-ups. Both Lon and Alex take to beating off in this red-lighted segment. 

Later, after Lon wakes, his buddy and traveler, Michael Braun, imagines himself with lovely Lon in a bathroom of a hotel. Uncut and handsome Michael sucks Lon off before being fucked up the ass. Their oral sex is excellently photographed, too, with lots of saliva dripping from cock and mouth. 

Tough Guys Do Dance cover

In one scene from Tough Guys Do Dance, called “Phone Call From a Stranger,” a young man in a tuxedo (Lon Flexx) is seen cruising dark alleys when a nearby pay phone rings. He answers it and a mysterious voice instructs him to come to an apartment across the street. He arrives to find a nude man masturbating. The man reveals an extraordinarily large cock. The young visitor slowly strips out of his clothes and joins the stranger for sex that is sensuous and also somewhat threatening. 

The consensus about Lon's legacy is that he was passionate, not mechanical, in his performances. He combined, as he shows in the scene from Tough Guys Do Dance, sensuality and power. 

Lon Flexx in Tough Guys Do Dance

And perhaps the power came from a confidence about his own sexuality. In an interview with Manshots magazine in October 1990, he mentions how he danced with other guys in a straight bar after helping in a fundraising drive for a local opera company (class act, he was!) when he was going to the University of Oklahoma. Not exactly the jolly tearoom for gays, especially in the 1980s.


Lon reflected, “We danced all night – and sure we got some stares, even some gawks, but nobody said a word to us. And at the same time, at the other college, guys were getting beat up for just attending gay meetings on campus. People don't mess with you when you feel strongly about something. I never forgot that, and that's how I decided to live my life.” 


And he lived his life with power and passion and integrity, but we lost him too soon, as he succumbed to something unfortunately more powerful, AIDS, at the age of thirty. 



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