Daniel H. Harris

Daniel H. Harris

By: Daniel Harris, Contributing Writer

Men who publicly masturbate in prison to add spice to their fantasies used to be a rarity. Twenty-four years later, that is no longer the case.

Back in the day, it was predominately black prisoners exposing themselves. White and Hispanic gangs refrained because their gangs enforced discipline with its own group to assure they didn’t indulge.

It used to be common for prisoners to fight, even kill, each other when one accidentally saw the other jacking off in public space or in the cell they shared. Masturbation was kept private through violence.

Something changed. Over time it became more acceptable as white and Hispanic gang members decided that if they couldn’t stop it, they would join in. Without the fear of violence, public masturbation escalated.

Prisoners could be seen in any common space; day rooms, chow halls, recreation yards, and school rooms with their hard-ons in their hands. The most frequent stroke artist carried “Jack Kits” everywhere they went so they would always have lubricant and a clean-up rag available in case an opportunity presented itself.

Most of the ladies that worked here in Texas prisons reacted as Officer Y did. As a middle aged religious lady of Hispanic descent, she was soon traumatized and only continued to work because she needed the job. When she first started working, she was so overweight and out of shape that she’d have to stop halfway up a single flight of stairs and hold on to the handrail until she could catch her breath.

At first we all laughed at her, but she soon won the respect of many of us by her show of perseverance. Unfortunately, she was too kind hearted to write men disciplinary reports for exposing themselves in front of her, which would mean they’d be punished for their conduct. She had soon garnered a reputation for being “Good”, which meant there would be no consequences if they exposed themselves. Whenever she worked, it was considered a free-for-all of sexual denigration, and that destroyed Officer Y’s ability to do her job effectively.

My first encounter with Mrs. Y was in ad-seg [a form of solitary] on McConnell Unit. My cell was right by the door to the next section and I had been at the cell door waiting for her to get to my cell as she did her security checks. I wanted to tell her I wasn’t going to recreation or shower so she could mark it on the clipboard and I wouldn’t be woken up later to ask if I wanted to shower or go to recreation.

She stood 3′ feet from my cell, clipboard in her hand, waiting for the picket officer to see her and open the door for her to go to the next section.

She couldn’t get any further away due to the bars of the dayroom cage being right in front of my cell. It was 6:30 a.m. and I had been up all night. I was ready to get some sleep as I tried to get her attention by calling, “Mrs Y, officer, ma’am.” She ignored me and it was her job to see what I wanted. Making those two little marks on her paperwork would actually make her job easier and save her work.

Every time I called her she would squirm, duck her head, and try to wiggle further into the corner away from my cell. When the picket officer finally saw her and opened the door to the next section she ran through it and slammed the door behind her as she entered the next section.

I lost my temper at being so blatantly ignored. “You stupid bitch!

Get your fat ass back over here!” I screamed in fury.

Surprisingly, that got her attention and she came right back through the door and walked up to my cell door where she said, “You called me a B-I-T-C-H.”

“Yeah, I called you stupid, too. What’s really sad is that you’d rather answer to that than your name.” When I pointed that out she was rightly embarrassed.

After me talked she knew I was not one of the prisoners who wanted to expose myself to her or anyone else and admitted she shouldn’t have judged me by the actions of others.

From that day forward, she would always call me Mr. Harris and stop by my cell to chat. I tried to tell the perverts she wasn’t enjoying their sort of show, but as long as she didn’t write disciplinaries they would continue to take advantage of her kind hearted nature. They really didn’t care what she liked.

As exhibitionism became normal behavior, a few women began to enjoy the show. Though they didn’t take a stitch of clothing off, you could tell they were gratifying sexual urges as they watched.

In 1999 I was assigned to Close Custody and housed in B-Building on McConnell Unit. My cell window looked out on the outside recreation yard where Officer Q had been assigned to sit at the picnic table outside the fence of the recreation yards and supervise both 7 and 8 buildings’ recreation yards. When I saw her, I knew there was going to be a show.

Ms. Q is a large, luscious Hispanic lady with wide hips, thunder thighs and massive breasts. Add in her pretty face, plump lips and a reputation as a freak that loved to watch men jack off — and a party was guaranteed. It was mesmerizing to watch her exude sex appeal with her legs spread wide while she licked her lips and watched the men line the fence to look at her crotch and have her watch them.

As I watched, her flesh would sometimes quiver and her legs would slap shut as she squeezed her thighs together and rocked with her eyes glazed over in blissful ecstasy.

The men were so close together they could have jacked each other off. Though I couldn’t see their exposed portions because their backs were to my window, I could see their elbows rise and fall in rhythm as their hips thrust, ass cheeks clenching, before they would shake their spent seed upon the ground and tuck their wilted members back in their pants.

Dozens of men took a turn at the fence with at least ten men in the process of satisfying their lust at every moment of a two-hour long recreation period.

One spent the whole time sitting on a basketball jacking off a couple of steps behind the line of masturbators. I’ve always wondered if he was turned on by the woman’s presence or the sight of so many men’s asses all a wiggle in their pants. Wish I had asked him.

It’s not just female guards who get to see the floor show. Because I’m gay, and admit it, prisoners often pull their hard-ons out and show them to me to introduce themselves. Makes me wonder if this was how they approached women in the world before they came to prison. Maybe they just don’t know how else to tell me they like me.

At one time such behavior would have pissed me off and the fight would have ensued. I’m older now and not so prone to be offended. At my age, I’m proud to get a rise out of the young studs. I would try to explain to them that it would be more courteous to at least say “Hi” and see if I’m in the mood, but they would never understand. The only ones that upset me these days are the ones that act like I don’t exist and never say a kind word to me until they feel frisky and expose themselves as a conversation starter.

One of the wilder examples I’ve witnessed was after I was released from ad-seg by transfer from Estelle High Security to Ellis Unit. The major assigned me to Close Custody. A few days later I was escorted to medical in handcuffs per policy for my custody level. On returning to the wing, the officers removed the handcuffs and left me to walk to my cell alone. It was a long walk to 19 cell. Of the twenty cells that housed prisoners, there were dicks sticking out through the bars of 17 of them, as the men masturbated.

Later I would learn that the sexy, young, white lady that was working in the picket opening and closing cell doors was known to be “Good” due to her not writing discip1inaries for men exposing themselves to her and spending time watching them jack off.

With each cell being 5′ feet wide, the guy in 21 cell was more than 100 feet from where the female officer stood as she rolled cell doors opened and closed. Each man held a mirror outside the bars in one hand as he stroked himself through the bars with the other. The mirrors were supposedly to watch the female officer, but the more cells between a masturbator and the lady rolling the doors, the less chance she could see his dick and the more chance that he was going to be watching the other men’s hard-ons in his mirror.

Even following the convict’s code of conduct, keeping my eyes down, away from the cell fronts, I couldn’t help but see what was going on. As my sexuality was unknown on Ellis Unit, I realized the guys didn’t think there was anything wrong with their conduct and wouldn’t have been offended if they were in my position. It had become completely acceptable to expose yourself in public on a level I found outrageous.

Women like these are the exceptions. Their attentions fuel the flames of desire to incite the sexual deviants. They should share the blame for the devastating psychological rapes of female staff that occur daily. Medical staff takes the brunt of this abuse. It is nearly impossible to get a nurse to stop at your cell if you have a question about your medication or treatment. They are all trying to move fast and dodge the dicks. Medical services suffer for it.

Though I’m gay I pride myself on being unobtrusive. All prisoners use mirrors to check and see where the officer is and what is going on. When I check the run and see a man’s dick hanging out the bars I politely stop looking.

Exceptions prove the rule. There was once when I lived in 16 cell on L-Line at Eastham Unit when I at first thought it must be a prank of some sort. It was blunt and brown, over 3″ inches thick, and as it got harder and he stuck more through the bars I became sure it was real and over a foot long. I should have stopped looking. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. Though I have seen many, this one was awesome and I was tempted to request a more intimate viewing opportunity. Damn fool could have made a fortune as a porn star.

Society seems to think prisoners’ sexuality will be checked at the prison gate and put on hold until they are released. That’s an unreasonable expectation when so many of us are incarcerated in our sexual prime with no hope of release until those raging rivers of hormones have dried to a trickle.

Is it fair to sentence anyone to a life devoid of sexual love and expression? The sharing of physical pleasures between consenting adults bring on mental and emotional maturity. Can we expect prisoners that are denied access to all forms of healthy sexual expression to return to society rehabilitated when the conditions of their confinement has turned them into emotional cripples?

A prisoner that once styled himself “Freaky-J” came back to prison with a horror story of his inability to get aroused unless his beautiful wife pretended not to know he was watching her and was masturbating behind their bedroom door.

Stories of prisoners having their paroles revoked for exposing themselves to their female parole officers are numerous and persist.

Even before I was incarcerated in Texas, I encountered this situation. In 1991, I stopped at the rest area east of Dallas on I-20. When I came back from the restroom, my common-law wife, Beanie, was furious. A young white guy had exposed himself to her. It was funny to me at the time because Jeanie was so serious when she said, “He could have been nice and talked to me and I would have helped him get a nut.”

Now that I’ve spent so many years in Texas prison, I have to wonder if he had ever been to prison here. Whatever the cause, I surely know exactly how Beanie felt that day now.

It is certainly time to harness these sexual energies and use them for the benefit of prisoners and society. Abstinence isn’t a realistic goal. Sex is going to happen with or without the state’s consent. Why not assure that all sex is consensual and make the prisoners earn it?

Conjugal visits would help those that have partners that want to come have sex with them in prison. Many states do this and it works. There is no reason why Texas can’t do it, too. If every prisoner without a disciplinary infraction is eligible for a conjugal visit every 90 days, you would soon see a lot of model prisoners. Let them earn extra conjugal visits when they get work time credit. For a really good time that included some sex, they’d surely be more productive workers.

Many of us don’t even get regular visits and so don’t have any hope of getting a conjugal visit anytime soon. Why not let us earn a night of privacy we can spend with alone, or perhaps with another prisoner. Instead of the “quicky” we all grab between head count checks, we could spend the time truly making love to a friend.

For those that are not into sex with their own gender, there could be nights alone with a sexually erotic movie. Since Texas does not allow any sexually explicit magazines, not even Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition, a chance to see nude women would be nearly as much of an incentive to most prisoners as conjugal visits.

Just selling condoms at the commissary would make a big difference. Many of us would be willing to help our fellow prisoners relieve their sexual tension if we had condoms so we wouldn’t have to worry about catching diseases or passing on the ones we already have.

There are many ways this could work out where we would earn our free nights by following the rules, working and getting educational certificates.

Sex has to stop being against the rules because sexual expression is normal and healthy. Provide outlets and times for those expressions and then let us earn the right to take part in them. Denying these urges is like denying a hungry man food and it forces a prisoner to be disobedient. Instead, he should be rewarded for obedience by giving him what he wants and needs. Sex.

It’s for smarter men than I to make the idea viable and figure out the logistics to enforce it. But I AM smart enough to know that the current system is broken and it’s time to make changes that reflect the new sexual mores of society.

One thing we know for sure, anything would be an improvement over the current state of suspended sexuality that turns petty criminals into incorrigible deviants and then returns them to society where they may become your neighbors.


Daniel H. Harris #00622851

MICHAEL Unit

2664 FM 2054

Tennessee Colony, TX 75886