Prison Relationships: Should They Be Banned?

In the state of Washington DOC, inmate to inmate relationships are not allowed. If there are any suspicions of two men being romantically inclined to one another they will be seperated. Obviously this rules out sex as well. Sex of any form is unacceptable.

Let me pose a question to you, if you were a woman locked up in a men’s prison, would you abide by these rules? The same goes for a man in a woman’s prison, would you or even could you remain abstinent? This is a tough mental space to put yourself into without having experienced it first hand. I have to say it’s incredibly difficult over a long period of time. Some would argue that its as simple as following the rules and that they have to be obeyed at any cost. Some would argue that love conquers all. What if you meet your soul mate (if there is such a thing)?

As someone who lives this argument with myself every day I have to say that it’s extremely frustrating to deal with this. Here is my viewpoint on it officially: There is nothing wrong with two consenting male adults having intimate and or relational contact with one another if they can do so in an agreed upon manner. Two men should be allowed to date if they want to and no one should have anything to say about it at all other then “wish you well”.

DOC obviously disagrees with this. For whatever reason they prohibit inmate relationships. I don’t know the official reason but whatever the excuse is, its non-sense. They may be legitimately worried about prison rape and strong arming and disease prevention or maybe even the drama associated with inmate having to see exes and not being able to get away from them??? Maybe, but it’s still (at least in my mind) a flat out bigotry based attitude.

Men and women inmates are separated for this reason. It’s not for safety sake, it’s because of the relational problems that can occur from them being together. However, gay men can be thrown together with 2000 suitors and we are expected to remain stronger than our female counterparts…because we cant be separated, we have to live here, at least now we do. I get that we committed the crime and now we must do the time, totally agree. However, love is a basic human instinct and I want it.

I want to be able to love another man openly and confidently and because I can’t it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong when in fact my feelings are natural and instinctual. It’s not me who should be feeling sheepish when I find another man attractive. The sheepish ones should be the bigot’s who wear a badge who think it’s ok to stop to consenting adults from getting to know each other. Try that garbage in your community and see what happens. See who actually agrees with you.

Here I sit boyfriendless, not on the pity party train, but just a statement of fact. Do I want one, absolutely. Am I going to break the rules to be with someone??? I hope that someday that rule changes with the times.

What do you think? Could you do it?

Jeff Utnage