German Students Demand Installation of Gloryholes Installed On Campus, Cite “Benefit to Queer Community”

Jack Hadfield

Students at a German university grouped together to request that lecture buildings have “gloryholes” installed inside of them, citing the potential benefit to “queer” communities on campus. The student body resolution, which was struck down by vote just hours ago, has attracted widespread mockery on social media.

According to the Presse-Augsburg, a group of students at the University of Augsburg submitted an application to the administration to install three “gloryholes … in the lecture hall centre opposite the entrance,” which “should be built by the Department of Space and Construction and maintained by building management.”

Gloryholes are holes in walls or other partitions, most likely to be seen in rows of toilet cubicles, that are used primarily between individuals to engage in anonymous sexual activity. They are primarily associated with gay male hookup culture.

Affixed to the application was a list of specifications, including that the “[gloryholes] should be soundproof and opaque.” It continues: “They should be designed to be as barrier-free as possible, the height should be adjustable, [and] there should be wall handles that can be held on to. The lights should be dimmable and a possible knee padding should be installed. In addition, condoms, dental dams, lubricants, and disinfectants should be provided free of charge in the gloryholes. Trash cans are also needed.”

The students claimed that building the gloryholes would result in queer students at the university feeling that they’re more accepted, since “kink,” or sexual activities which are non-standard, is “understood to be a non-heteronormative practice,” and that “clear queer positioning would unleash potential for improved participation in everyday university life for queer students… and increase their sense of security… and well-being.”

Appealing to the kink, diverse, and queer communities, the application also noted a general benefit for the wider student body, arguing that regular access to sex would allow for stress reduction in the “often stressful university life.”

After information about the application began to spread across the campus, the Ring of Christian Democratic Students, a Christian student group, published an open letter to the head of the University, Dr Sabine Doering-Manteuffel, slamming it as “inappropriate” and highly scandalous.

“Such an idea not only contradicts the principles of educational institutions, but also represents a serious violation of ethical and moral standards,” the group said. “Installing [gloryholes] in a university, a place that should promote education, research and personal development, would be absurd and irresponsible. It’s hard to imagine how such an idea could even be considered. The university should focus on creating a safe and conducive environment for the learning and personal development of its students.”

While the proposal was ultimately rejected at a student body vote today, news of the application sent a wave of mockery and confusion across social media.

“What do you mean in the lecture halls?! I mean, I know what ‘lecture halls’ are but where’s the hole? At the front behind the lecturer? At the back? Wont everyone be facing the other way? Are we sure ‘glory hole’ isn’t German for air conditioning or something [because] I don’t understand,” one user said on X (formerly Twitter).

“They should be calling for students that feel the need to have these gloryholes installed be removed from the University,” another said.

Journalist Anabel Schunke called attention to the request earlier this week, publishing a copy of the application and sarcastically remarking: “I’m really glad that you can still learn something at university.”

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