Going back to the glory hole: An (extra)ordinary story of meeting shame, doubt, and arousal in the therapy room

Seamus Prior*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this essay, Seamus Prior recounts the personal journey he undertook in response to a disturbing moment he encountered in his work as a gay psychotherapist with a gay male client. In the moment he experienced shock, confusion, and dissociation and, in the days that followed, he traced the origins of his experience back through his life course. His writing explores the lifelong process of unravelling shame in relation to sexuality and the continuing havoc that internalised homophobia can wreak on the relation to self and others even in maturity. His story interweaves the personal and professional, demonstrating the myriad ways in which they interpenetrate in his chosen occupational field. It is a search for relation and encounter, between a man and his sexual subjectivity and between one gay man and another. It concludes with a powerful advocacy for non-exploitative intimacy founded on an ethic of care and puts acknowledgement of vulnerability, and acceptance of our flawed yet evolving sexual and embodied subjectivities, at the heart of the meeting between two gay men.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Everyday Lives of Gay Men
Subtitle of host publicationAutoethnographies of the Ordinary
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781000482263
ISBN (Print)9780367676834
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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