Sex in prison

In Thinking With Your Dick 9, a few too many episodes of Oz prompt Dick to ponder sex.

Dick: i’ve been watching oz lately, and i have to say, i’m struck by how quickly things get gay in prison.  what do you know about the rate at which people give up on jerking off and just start doing each other in jail? seems a little hasty in this show…

Debby: That’s a tough issue. There’s little reliable data on it – some reports say that around 6 or 12% of men have had sex with other men in prison, others put it closer to 70% (big difference). Most researchers think the numbers are significantly under-reported maybe because the men don’t consider it sex – as in many cases it’s rape or a way of trading sex for protection, drugs, freedom (time out of the cell), etc. Sometimes it’s for pleasure/release, too. I don’t know how quickly men have sex with each other in prison, consensually, but I’ve read reports of younger, smaller guys (in particular) being raped or coerced into sex (oral or anal) very early on in their prison sentence. Perhaps within a day or two or less; I don’t know. Howver, the STI rate (including HIV and hep C) is very high in prison and some prisons refuse to give condoms or lube out to prisoners, even though they know there’s a lot of sex going on. Perhaps more than you wanted to know.

Dick: that seems like all i wanted to know.  you should tell that to the folks writing oz. it would change a lot of plot lines

[To read past Thinking With Your Dick conversations, click here.]

In his own words, Dick is a 27-year-old heterosexual college grad who works in TV and lives in New York.  He’s slept with approximately 15 women, most of whose names he can remember, but only a few of whom he’s ever had sex with more than once, and in full disclosure, one of them poured a beer on his head at a bar shortly after they got busy. He has two fantasy football teams, a two at a time netflix account, a used nissan, and a wardrobe consisting mostly of clothes from the Gap. He considers himself a decent pickup basketball player, better than average golfer, and is proud to have run a marathon in under 3:45.  Dick has an above average tolerance for alcohol, but realizes this could be a problem in the future.  He is curently dating someone, but if she ever read this that would probably change. He is by no means an expert in sex, love, or therapy.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

  • Cheryl

    There was an incredibly interesting this american life about prisons called ‘lockup’ and one of the acts was a reading of a pamphlet written by ex-con Stephen Donaldson for heterosexual men who are about to enter prison, about how to “hook up” with a stronger man who’ll provide protection in return for sex. Worth a listen.

  • Cheryl

    There was an incredibly interesting this american life about prisons called ‘lockup’ and one of the acts was a reading of a pamphlet written by ex-con Stephen Donaldson for heterosexual men who are about to enter prison, about how to “hook up” with a stronger man who’ll provide protection in return for sex. Worth a listen.

  • Debby

    Ooh, thanks for the tip! I love This American Life.

  • Debby

    Ooh, thanks for the tip! I love This American Life.

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