Life of the Law is proud to feature contributions to our magazine from inmates at San Quentin State Prison. Today, following the latest episode of our podcast on conjugal visits, Rahsaan Thomas briefs us on a different kind of conjugal visit.
You love him with all your heart, and he loves you. He’s your one, your soulmate, and no other man makes you feel like he does. The chemistry makes his body your favorite food. You don’t just love him, you crave the comfort of his loving. The only problem is, he’s serving a long stretch in prison and doesn’t qualify for conjugal visits. So the question is, do you have sex with him in a prison visiting room?
As crazy as that may sound, it happens. The right corner spot in the visiting room, the right long skirt, the right correctional officer working, and the right people at the nearby tables — and on occasion, couples do manage.
Disrespectful and distasteful as that may sound to some, there are some arguments for it.
Conjugal visits, according to a 2012 study out of the University of Florida, have a number of positive benefits. They reduce the rates of rape and sexual assault in prison. They strengthen marriage ties and lower recidivism, and they aid in rehabilitation by making good conduct a requirement to receive special visits.
Yet despite these positive benefits, conjugal visiting is allowed in only three states: New York, Washington and California. Mississippi and New Mexico ended their programs this year because, they said, of the cost. California limits conjugal visiting to those with less than eight years left on their sentence and prohibits them for people serving life terms, even if their sentence has the possibility of parole. Therefore, sex in a crowded visiting room is the only way some couples can meet each other’s needs.
So you’re not a prostitute, and he has the utmost respect for you, but you love each other and need each other like medicine. He still has fifteen years more to serve out his sentence, so is it okay? Let’s be real. Are you going to go a decade without sex for the love of your man? If not, is cheating better than risky public sex in a visiting room? Each woman or partner must ask those questions of themselves.
And so, public, illicit intercourse happens.
For those of you into the “at any time, and any place, I don’t care who’s around” Janet Jackson mentality, be careful. There are penalties for those caught. Loss of visiting privilege can range from 90 days to a year. Privileges can even be taken away permanently. In some states, the visitor engaged in visiting room sex may be charged with indecent exposure and labeled a sex crime offender.
Those who do take the “ride” say it is possible to get away with it under the right circumstances. They say wearing a long, loose fitting skirt works better than a short one. Short skirts reveal too much of your x-rated areas when it’s going down. The long skirt covers everything. Mini-skirts attract too much attention when you definitely want to be low-key. They have other tips, as well: Having somebody serve as a “blocker” helps. They can double as a lookout and reduce the odds of being caught. Also, they warn to abandon mission if a “super cop” correctional officer is on duty, or if grandmothers and/or kids are in the area.
Finally, if you’re going to take the risk, make sure he’s worth all the trouble and deserves your loving.
Image: San Quentin Inmates / Marin County