Incarcerated Women and Sex; Situational Homosexuality

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine. Brian is a man who spent almost two decades in prison in intervals in between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. That was 20 years ago and it always amazes me as to how in the blink of an eye he relives those moments. When he talks about the days when he was incarcerated he seems to slip into a trance-like state and recollect memories so vividly and clear. Yesterday we were talking about the sexual deprivation in prison and how it

affects relationships during the reentry phase.

He spoke at length about how men were raped, or pressed into having sex with other men, but interestingly it was rarely a gang rape. He seems to think if those men fought harder they might not have been raped, or pressed into having sex. For females it is totally different. I’d venture to say 90% of the women serving time engage in sex with other women. My friend calls it “situational homosexuality.” Most of these women are not gay, but end up becoming what I would consider, “bi-sexual”. Brian and I talked at length about how women willingly have sex with other women in prison. Women engage in homosexuality without the presence of force, or rape because they have a passion for being nurtured and nurturing. Whereas, many men are incarcerated in the prime of their lives and their overbearing sexual cravings are perverted by incarceration and the absence of the female presence.

Then, these men and women are released back into society and they attempt to pursue normal, healthy relationship with the opposite sex. For men the ability to be the provider, protector and exert sexual prowess has been stunted by the retardation that occurs in the incarceration phase. Many of them lack the life skills, and maturity to step up to the plate. Consequently, their relationships end up being unhealthy; this can lead to domestic violence, and recidivism. Most women do not return to society necessarily craving sexual penetration so much as they are attempting to fulfill the need to be needed and comforted by the perceived strength and presence of a male. The desire to regain that sense of femininity that is lost in the culture of incarceration is significant for women who have experienced “heterosexual” sexual deprivation. I have so much pink in my bedroom right now it looks like a Pepto-Bismol bottle threw up.



About Lashonia Etheridge-Bey

Lashonia Etheridge-Bey is a Public Speaker who can candidly and articulately speak to the consequences of youth violence, the effects of incarceration and the challenges of reentry into society. Read Lashonia's Full BIO Here 

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