Sex Behind Bars
Interview with a Prisoner
CJ is an inmate of the Ohio prison system. We became pen pals after he ordered a zine from me back in the 90s. For 15 years he and I have written one another every month, talking about life, religion, politics, and even sex.
For most of us, the idea of sex in prison usually boils down to a rape joke, or something about conjugal visits. But imprisoning a person doesnít slow down their sex drive. Although things like dating, fucking, or masturbating may be tougher in prison, you better believe it still happens.
CJ, thank you for agreeing to this interview. First off, to give our readers an idea of who you are, can you talk about yourself just a little bit?
Thank you for interviewing me. I donít get out much, soÖ Iím a 41 year old bisexual convict in an Ohio prison. I was arrested in 1993 when I was 20 years old. Now, with almost 21 years in prison, Iíve got about 16 more until I see the parole board. Iím not going to claim to be an authority on prisons, but Iíve been around the block.
What sort of sexual experiences did you have when you were younger, before being locked up?
Before getting locked up I was basically a whore. I just love sex. My first encounter was when I was 7 years old. I was out in the woods with my buddy, Wayne. He thought it would be great to put his dick in my butt. I canít tell you why I thought that was a fine idea. I enjoyed it in the end. (yes, double meaning, LOL.)
After that experience, I became a chronic masturbator until I was in 9th grade. I would jack off looking at Penthouse or Playgirl. I wasnít confused by what I liked, but I wasnít jumping out of the closet either.
From the 9th grade in 1987, until I got arrested in 1993, I was having sex regularly with many women and men. One day I had sex with 3 different women at different times. I was into a bit of BDSM, exhibitionism, and I love porn. Sex with women was nice, but it was lacking something. What I really wanted was a hard cock.
Right before I got incarcerated, I kicked the closet door open. Unfortunately, on the other side of the door was officer Smith yelling, ďGet on your knees and put your hands behind your head!Ē While I really enjoy that position, he didnít have the same thing in mind as I did.
Are you saying there is some connection between you being arrested and you being attracted to men? Or it was just a weird coincidence that you got locked up right after coming out?
No, thereís no connection between being arrested and being attracted to men. To me, it was just unfortunate timing.
Most people are older than 7 when they have sex for the first time. Also, most people have never been to prison. Do you think there is any connection between those two things? You seem to have very fond memories of Wayne, but others reading this interview might wonder if that experience had some sort of lasting negative effect on you.
I can't really say if having sex at 7 had any sort of connection with me coming to prison. People are all the sum of their experiences, so with that in mind, everything that happens in life is what makes us who we are. While there isn't any apparent connection, I'm sure the anxiety and fear of being gay affected me in different ways. It even influenced who my friends were. In that sense we can make indirect connections to everything in life. Maybe if I was a sex offender there would be a more direct connection.
Has your sexual preferences shifted since being in prison?
Since coming to prison my sexual preferences have shifted. I find myself more attracted to men than women. Honestly, though, Iím obsessed with transsexuals. You have a beautiful woman with nice breasts and enough cock to keep me satisfied.
Are you ever around women? How often do you see females?
There are a lot of female staff here. Some are guards and case managers. There are also a lot of secretaries and administrative staff that are women. Most of the females think theyíre the shit because guys drool over them. Most of them are barflies, or just plain dumpy. There have been many instances of guys ďcoming upĒ with a female guard, but I just donít have that kind of game. I have a problem with authority, so I donít like talking to the staff.
Does ďcoming upĒ with a guard mean sleeping with him/her? Can you talk more about this? About why you think a prisoner or guard would risk this?
"Coming up" with a female guard can manifest in different ways. It can, and usually does, involve having sex with them. Another way of coming up involves them bringing an inmate drugs, tobacco, food, or pornography.
As to why a guard would risk bringing stuff in or having sex with an inmate, your guess is as good as mine. I often wonder why a woman would want to work in a men's prison at all. I feel as though they degrade themselves by taking these jobs. The exceptions are the men-haters who want to exert negative control over guys in here. Other than that, why would you want to subject yourself to being around hundreds of horny guys that would take advantage of you when given the slightest chance? Yeah, that is a similar situation to a nightclub, but at the same time the situations couldn't be more different.
How often do guards have sexual relations with inmates? Have you ever experienced that or known of others who have?
Relations do happen with inmates and staff. Many women have been walked out for having sex with somebody. I even knew a male guard that got fired for being with an inmate. Iíve known a few guys that have ďknocked off a guard.Ē I have no idea how they do it.
I also know a lot of guys that jerk-off while watching staff. One guy I know is one of them guys. Heís told me stories about sitting in his cell knowing that a female is coming around. Heíd start masturbating so she could see. Sometimes theyíd put him in the hole. But there were times theyíd stand in his door and let him jack on them. Guys like that are called jack boys or gunslingers.
There have also been a lot of incidents of staff getting caught for having sex with other staff. They get fired for being with an inmate, but not when theyíre caught with another staff member.
How long had you been locked up before having your first sexual experience in prison? What was it like?
I had been down for about 2 years before I had my first experience. In a word, it was frightening. LOL. You do not want to get caught in prison sucking a guyís dick or taking it in the ass. Our cell doors are solid steel with a 5 inch wide by 20 inch tall window in it. When we use the bathroom we take a piece of cardboard and cover half the window.
Why only half the window?
The C/O (guard) has to be able to look over the cardboard if they want to. Usually they don't, but every now and then you get a C/O who makes a security check even while you're doing your business. That's rare, so that's why guys cover the window to get horizontal.
So, the first time I had sex in prison, we waited for our pad to go to chow. While nobody was around we threw up the sign and went at it for about 20 minutes. Although I was nervous, it was a lot of fun. The guy wasnít very well hung, but it was enough to scratch that itch.
I think the general public assumes that if you go to prison, youíll be raped at some point. Is that a realistic threat?
People do get raped in prison. When I first came down I literally had to fight for my ass. If you didnít fight you were going to belong to someone. I donít really like to fight, but I was in quite a few scuffles to be my own man. I have seen guys pressured into sex or even pimped out in the chow hall bathroom. I have a co-defendant that was gang-raped. He ended up in the mental health unit. You have to be strong in here. If they (the predators) donít want your ass, they want your money or belongings. Once people see youíll stand up for yourself, doing time gets easier.
How many different sexual partners have you had while in prison?
In 20 years Iíve had 5 sexual partners in here. Iím not the whore I was on the street, but Iím very cautious in here due to predators and disease.
How often, for you, personally, or in general, do cellmates end up developing a sexual relationship?
Being cellies is the easiest way to have sex. There are many anti-gays in here that will suck dick once the doors close. Three of the guys I was with were my cellies. Iíve had a couple of cellies that sniffed around, but I didnít trust them. One, for example, was an intravenous drug user. You need to be aware of HIV as well as Hepatitis in here. Sleeping with whores in here can catch you something. Therefore, you seek out discrete guys who are careful.
Catching HIV or other infections must be a very real concern in prison, as it is anywhere. Are there condoms available in prison?
There arenít any condoms in prison. You have to be cautious in here. If youíre smart, youíll be fine.
Have you had partners with whom you had emotional connections? In other words, have you had romantic relationships while in prison? If so, what was that like?
Iíve actually had 2 long term relationships in here. The first lasted for about 10 years. I was very emotionally invested in the guy and still have love for him. We were at a close security level, and due to good behavior, we were dropped to medium security. They sent us to opposite ends of the state. We are still friends and correspond regularly. The second relationship was shorter, but ended the same way. This time, though, he just went to a minimum security and I stayed here.
It feels good to have someone to love. For me, the hardest part of prison is the loneliness. Becoming intimate with someone relieves the loneliness. I have a strong outward face that I wear outside the cell. When it was me and my guy, I can become a big softie. The last guy loved it because Iíd always be rubbing him or just touching. He wasnít always in the mood, but I could always get him to rise to the occasion.
What are some of the other risks of having sex in prison?
A major risk of sex in prison is getting caught by a guard. Youíre definitely going to go to segregation- aka, the hole. The guard will definitely let everyone know what was going on. As you can tell, Iím more of the female in my relations with men. Thatís what I like. If everyone knew that though, Iíd have a line of guys knocking at my door. Iíd definitely be doing a lot of fighting again.
There are also a lot of guys here that have prison sex, but donít consider themselves to be gay. They would never be with a man on the street. In here they wonít suck anyone or let anyone near the rear. A lot of those kinds of guys donít respect the ďpunksĒ that theyíre with. To that end, there is some domestic violence in here. Sometimes a very well-endowed guy will tear their punkís anus. Thatís really bad news. They just donít care about the guy theyíre with. As someone on the receiving end, I always try to remain in control. That allows me to keep myself safe. I often fantasize about being a complete submissive, but I havenít found anyone in here to top me. The 2 guys I trusted, that I was in a relationship with, werenít into that.
It seems to me that homosexuality is still considered a weakness in prison. It also seems like sex and rape are used as a way of showing dominance. What are your thoughts on that?
I agree that homosexuality is seen as a weakness in here. Iíve often heard guys say they wouldnít let a ďfagĒ get out on them in a fight. Some people differentiate between gay guys and fags. Gay guys just like sex with men. Fags have sex because theyíre afraid to stand up for themselves. Iíve met some rather strong gay guys that nobody would call a fag. Boxing Betty will knock you out and suck your dick while youíre unconscious.
So hereís the bottom line. Guys know how to pick their shots. If I came out in here I could handle it because I wonít take any shit from anybody. I would still have problems, but nobody would get overly aggressive because Iíd hit them in the mouth. People would talk behind my back and call me soft. They would be less apt to try me though. Predators prey on the weak and the willing. Thirty years ago navigating prison was harder for young white guys. These days the system actually protects guys more from the predators. This is Ohio, though. I know there are other states that are much harder to navigate.
Do prisoners openly admit to being gay or bi?
There are some prisoners that admit openly to being gay or bi. Often times they are the queens and divas. Every now and then you get an average guy who is open. Often times, though, everyone knows certain guys get down, but itís spoken of in closed conversations among friends. People have speculated about me, but few guys broach the subject with me. Itís that strong, outward face I wear that I mentioned earlier.
Letís talk about masturbation for a bit. Can you tell everyone what a ďfifiĒ is?
A fifi? Where do you get that from? LOL. Ok, some guys have been known to take a plastic bag and put some Vaseline in it. Theyíll roll that in a towel with the mouth of the bag coming out of the other end of the roll. For bulk they may roll a pillow or blanket around the towel. Then they stick their dick in the bag and hump away. Years ago I heard they used warm, raw liver. All that shit is too much work. Iíd rather just jack off, ha ha.
What about other sex toys? Do male inmates make their own dildos?
Guys have most definitely made dildos in here. I once saw a Corrections Officer confiscate a 15-inch double headed dildo made out of match sticks. I had only been locked up about 6 months at that time. The C/O also took about a dozen teddys, like lingerie. I was thinking, ďWhat the fuck have I gotten myself into?Ē The inmates in that instance were both queens.
The best dildo is a summer sausage. Guys will put it in a latex glove and have at it. Iím sure there are other things, butÖ Well, I canít see through walls or doors.
How often do you masturbate, and what is your typical procedure?
I love to masturbate! I like to yank it at least once a day. Iíve got some books, letters to Penthouse, that I like to read. I also have some short stories someone printed off of nifty.org for me. I prefer the gay letters and Nifty is a gay site. Otherwise I like the letters from the femaleís perspective. So Iíll read a couple stories and get into character and I take myself to hand. Without any stories, I use my imagination. I seldom think about women. My fantasies revolve around guys and transsexuals. Lately Iíve been thinking about the guy who plays Hook on ďOnce Upon A Time.Ē That man is fine!
Do guys jerk-off in the shower? Or just in their own cells? Is it a private event, or do cellmates and other prisoners know when youíre doing it?
I prefer to jerk-off in the cell. Life in a dorm is a bit different. I was in a dorm for about 7 months. Iím surprised the whole camp didnít know I was gay. The showers were wide open. You could make a curtain, but I didnít always use one. There were many days that I would spy guys rubbing one off in the shower. Itís hard not to look, but you learn how to watch without being obvious. Guys who masturbated without a curtain wanted to be seen.
Once there was this really good-looking guy pounding one out. I was in the shower across from him. For some reason I was being adventurous, so I faced the wall to wash. That put my ass right in his line of sight. Iíve got a really great ass, too. Of course I had to get in the crack to wash. I knew what I was doing, and once I started I couldnít turn around until he left. My dick was like steel. He finished what he was doing and left. We never spoke of it either, but I definitely used it to fuel some fantasies.
Anything else you would like to talk about before we finish this interview?
One thing I really hate about being in prison is that I donít feel I can be me. It took a lot for me to be brave and come out when I was on the street. Being in here has put me back in the closet. The only time Iím comfortable is when Iím celling with someone I care about. Being gay in prison can be a lot more dangerous than being gay on the street. In here you still have gay-bashers, but worse are the predators. These are the men that belong in prison. They will make someone their property. In that sense, slavery is alive in Americaís prisons. I enjoy penpals because I can be me. Itís a breath of fresh air.
I've spoken openly and honestly. In ways, it may even sound like I think prison is ok, or at times even fun. Be assured that I hate every day that I wake up in here. We make the most of whatever situation in life in which we find ourselves. We adapt or we become a statistic. Many men have claimed their own lives because prison is a terrible place. I just do everything I can to get through each day.
I want to thank CJ for being so open and honest in this interview. Itís not easy to talk about some of this stuff, but it sure is interesting to read. If anyone would like to contact CJ directly, email me at email@example.com. I can either pass your letter on to him, or give you his address.