What is a typical day like in prison?
I wake up at 4:55 a.m. each and every morning. Why? Well, in part because I can, because I have the freedom to choose at what time I’m going to start my day. This is not true of every day mind you, as many things can change an individual’s schedule or routine. That said, I get up that early because, when my door most often unlocks, at about 5:15 a.m., I don’t want to be in the cell where I’ve been for the last number of hours.
I most often choose to eat plain oatmeal with peanut butter, (unless it’s Sunday when the chow hall typically serves eggs, potatoes, and toast) because in part I don’t want to experience any more of the chow hall that I reasonably have to, and because I can afford to eat oatmeal (at $1.00 per pound) and peanut butter (at $2.15 per 16 oz. container) for breakfast.
Work starts at 6:00 a.m. and I count myself as extremely fortunate to have what we call an industries job. This is an eight hours a day, five days a week, job in the penitentiary’s industrial laundry. We process linen from the surrounding hospitals, colleges, institutions, etc. Between one million and one and a half million pounds of linen gets processed through our facility every month. I work in the maintenance department, which is responsible for keeping the equipment running smoothly, maintaining operation of the machinery, scheduling down time for repairs, etc. This job also pays exceedingly well (comparably speaking) as, instead of the average monthly income of around $45.00, I earn roughly $150.00 monthly. This has allowed me to maintain regular contact with family through phone calls at 0.16 per minute ($4.80 for a 30-minute phone call), purchase some items to make life more livable by supplementing the food provided from the chow hall with items from canteen/commissary, as well as pay off my restitution and court fees over the last 17 years of roughly $15,000.00 so that, should I one day regain an opportunity to live in the community, I’ll be able to start that life without monetary debt.
Typically I’ll have lunch around noon, which most often gets eaten in that place I’d rather not frequent, the chow hall. Our menu rotates every three months (by seasons) with few exceptions, and while that isn’t horrible for a couple of years, when you start passing decades by, it gets redundant and the desire to consume food outside of what gets offered day in and day out grows. I’ve come to think of what I eat as simply fuel.
Between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock I’m off work and might try to get outside for some sunshine if I’m lucky enough, maybe some exercise, jog around the track or just walk some laps with someone who I need to catch up with for however long. Otherwise it’s reading, studying for work and educational purposes, etc.
Dinner is around 5 p.m., that same chow hall that I’d most often rather not go to, however I don’t want to suggest that the food is so bad that we can’t eat it because that’s not the case. Many here are well overweight; it’s simply the choices those individuals choose to make in how and what they consume, what level of activity they participate in—whether due to their abilities or basic drive—and what medical conditions may exist in their lives.
During the evening hours I try to write letters, read, call family and friends, maybe attend a function or fundraiser if I’m fortunate enough be involved in something of that nature, educational opportunities, youth outreach programs, etc. For many, however, it’s nothing more than watching TV or staring at a blank wall. Again, I’m fortunate, both in my personal agency and my outlook on life.
When I’m asked about what prison is like I offer that it is an extremely lonely place, where every moment of every day is dictated for you, and where there’s tremendous opportunities for self-reflection. In the movies, on TV, and through media coverage, you see individuals that get swept up into the justice system and there’s this emphasis on the crime, the trial, entry into prison … then there’s a few portrayed scenes of prison, walking the yard with the tough guys, pumping iron, watching your back in the shower room, etc., and lastly this great experience of being released from prison, back to spending time with family and friends, BBQs in the summertime, and so on and so forth. It’s all very event orientated, without the day-to-day experiences put on display. In part that’s because you can’t show the day-to-day loneliness, the feelings of exclusion, the feelings of shame and cowardice that accompany an individual’s incarceration. The realization that we’ve not only victimized our actual victims through whatever offense/s we’ve committed, but we’ve additionally victimized our own families, the community, society as a whole, our friends and loved ones, everyone that we come in contact with. The courts, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, juries, corrections officers, police, detectives … and the list goes on and on.
So what do I hope to get across here? For starters, we as prisoners are human beings, individuals who have failed society for whatever reasons and though no excuse relieves us from our poor life decisions, without hope and help to be better people, without redemption, society is all but lost in its entirety through our bad behaviors. In a discussion group with college students not long ago, after describing some of the opportunities available here in the penitentiary in which I reside, one student asked me if we, as prisoners, deserved such opportunities. I paused before answering that society needs us to have such opportunities, because if we do not come out of prison with more skills and a more productive mindset then we came in with, we are destined to once again fail.
This is a day in the life of a prisoner … one who considers himself extremely fortunate in countless ways and for just as many reasons.
What is a day in the life of a porn star like? How is the life of a girl different from a guy?
PAY / SCENE RATES: Yes, female performers are often paid higher than male performers, at least to start with. New girls can get $600-$1000 starting out for a boy/girl scene. But the average female performer gets “shot out” within 3-6 months and then leaves porn altogether, because there is no more money to be made for her. I see this all the time. To last longer than that 6 month “introductory” period you have to be really good at what you’re doing, and have something unique that makes studios want to keep hiring you. It’s also important to have a large and loyal fan base clamoring to see new scenes. Doesn’t matter how hot a girl is, if there aren’t devoted fans writing to studios and posting on message boards saying how badly they can’t wait to see her next scene, the girl won’t be getting hired and she will disappear.
Male performers are generally a much smaller pool. There is less competition among male performers than females. Their job is hard – they have to get hard on command, stay hard as long as the director needs them to in order to finish the scene, NOT cum early, and cum on command. All in an incredibly hot room, often with no A/C, and bright lights all around. And often with multiple other (clothed) dudes (crew members) watching. A desirable, popular male performer will be paid $500-$1000 for a boy/girl scene, depending on the studio and what their budget is.
BEST CASE SCENARIO (not necessarily typical by any means) DAY IN THE LIFE:
As a female performer, an ideal day for me filming a boy/girl scene goes like this. Often enough a day can be drawn out to over 10 hours long. This is the best case scenario for a day on set shooting a boy/girl scene:
- 9am: Wake up, get my suitcase together.
- 10am: Drive 30 mins-1hour to set, arrive for my 11am call time
- 11:00: Do my paperwork, get in hair/makeup for 1.5 hours
- 12:00: Shoot a set of solo stills, which usually takes about an hour
- 1-2:00: the male talent arrives between 1-2, and does his paperwork while crew re-sets lights
- 2:00: shoot intro video for scene, may take up to 2 hours depending on complexity of scenario and set-ups
- 4:00: shoot boy/girl sex stills
- 5:00: shoot boy/girl video, including cum shot
- 6:00: If there IS a softcore version to be shot, then we’d shoot the softcore photos and videos now. That would take another 1.5 hours.
- 6:15: If there is NO softcore stuff, then we’re done for the day, talent collects their checks if it is same-day pay, otherwise the check is mailed after 2 weeks.
As you can see, female talent always arrives several hours before male talent, but we finish the scene at the same time. IMO it’s only fair that female talent is paid more than male talent, if you look at it on a per-hour basis.
Also, a lot of male performers can and will book two boy/girl scenes in a day. Because there is a smaller pool of male talent, guys who are in-demand can easily shoot 10-15 boy/girl scenes a month, while it’s almost unheard of for female talent to shoot more than 4 boy/girls in a month. (Personally I have averaged 2 per month since the beginning of my career – so one could say that shooting B/G scenes just pays my rent).
There are a multitude of challenges that might get in the way of talent being able to work regularly.
PHYSICALLY, we depend on our bodies staying healthy to even be able to work. If I just get a cold, I might be sent home from a shoot because my nose is running and I’m sniffling a lot, for example. If I shoot a bondage scene one week that results in bruises on my thighs, then my B/G scene the following week will likely be cancelled, because I cannot appear on camera with bruises on my skin. The studio would send me home and call in another girl to substitute in my place.
Many female performers have their own boundaries for what they can do physically and how often. For example, I cannot film more than 1 boy/girl scene in a week, because the sex is so intense and usually with a much-larger-than-average sized penis. My vagina needs a few days to recuperate.
MENTALLY, Being in such a highly competitive industry can be challenging. You really have to develop a thick skin and not let anything get to you. I’m a curvier girl, so if I sat around all day wondering why my petite peers get jobs that I don’t get, I would go nuts. Out of necessity I’ve had to work on developing a very thick skin so that I don’t take things like that personally. Personally, it’s my toughest challenge.
MOST OF MY WORK takes place on the internet – on social networks like twitter, via blogging and posting on message boards, and via email communications with my fans. I get 100+ emails every day, and I read and respond to every single one (even though it might take me a week or two in some cases). In order to retain my loyal fan base and create new fans, I have to keep myself out there in front of them. It’s several hours of work every day which I am thrilled to be doing – but it’s not necessarily “easy” money, as another user’s answer claimed. Remember this: I’m only shooting a handful of scenes every month, and the rest of my work every day in between is not actually paid, it’s me managing my daily business (the aforementioned social networking/email communications, shooting my own scenes at home for my membership site, and editing videos) and laying groundwork to hopefully get more opportunities in the future.
The minority of my income is from being hired to film scenes. The majority comes from a plethora of smaller, more consistent income streams that require constant upkeep such as managing multiple online stores (like clips4sale and FreeOnes) where I sell video clips, auctioning off or selling my own merchandise online, creating custom-ordered videos for fans, and from fans joining my official membership site, which I update 2x per week with new content.
What’s It Like To Try Ecstasy?
I am a forty-something professional man, happily married. My wife and I arranged to take e one Monday evening during the Christmas / New Year break with some close friends of ours, an older couple whom we have known, loved and respected for about fifteen years. They were “old hands” and my wife had done it once before. We had agreed that this would be the night I tried e for the first time. While I had some slight trepidation, I knew I would be OK as I trusted them all completely.
Sitting comfortably in our cosy living room, Café del Mar and similar CDs playing in the background, we began at 8 pm. I swallowed one white tablet with water. My male friend then asked us what intentions, if any, we each had for the session. Mine, I decided, was “to lighten up a bit,” as for the last few years I had been having an incredibly heavy time with multiple illnesses and levels of stress that had left me feeling completely beaten up by life. I had become tense, withdrawn and sullen — still able to function and superficially OK, but hardly my old self.
Over the next hour nothing much happened except that I found myself talking quite openly and confidently with the others, moving very easily into interesting conversations. This was a little unusual for me as I am normally quite shy and overly self-conscious in social situations and it takes me a while to loosen up. In fact, it unnerved me for a moment when I first noticed it — Is this really me talking? — but I soon realised that nothing was coming out of my mouth that was in any way inconsistent with my intelligence or my best intentions, and that I was still very much in charge of myself. What had happened, I realised, was that my neurotic self-checking filters, the ones that have to inspect and approve everything I say before I say it, several times over, had dropped away, creating a clear passage for my natural self-expression. I began to trust the e.
The next thing I experienced was a striking shift in my visual perception. I don’t mean a hallucination or a distortion, but a wonderful step up in the aesthetic quality. For a moment it was like being in one of those nostalgic TV ads where the world looks all gold and sepia. ‘Everything’s gone amber!’ I blurted. But then I found that my vision was becoming beautifully enhanced. It made my normal visual experience seem like cheap, fuzzy CCTV footage in comparison. Now I was seeing the world anew in sharp, lush, top-quality Technicolor!
I also began to feel very warm, flushed, and a faint sheen of sweat was now appearing on my face. Yet it was a surprisingly nice sensation, like the kind of cosy toasting you get as you sit in front of a log fire. Well, so far it was pleasant, but not much to write home about.
On the one-hour point I was given a half-tablet top-up, this being judged appropriate by our more experienced friends. Very soon, things became much more interesting. I felt a new kind of energy frothing up inside me, coursing through my body like champagne bubbles. It went far beyond those levels of energy I was used to occasionally getting from meditation. This was wonderful! And it felt so good! So this is what they meant by being ‘up’! Mmm-mmm.
I also began to move in time to the music. The music! Oh, the music! Wow! It sounded so good, so organic! It demanded movement from my body, and my body yearned to dance. Royksopp’s Melody A.M is now forever etched in my bones as a think of great joy and beauty. At this point, though, I became aware of a pressing sensation in my bladder. I could have just ignored it, but I was aware of the concerns with fluid management on e, so I decided to go upstairs for a pee. It was great moving up the stairs so lightly, my constant back pain of recent years having totally disappeared.
But standing in the loo waiting to pee was somewhat disconcerting. It seemed the little muscles down there that would normally do the business had gone offline. Clearly my bladder was full, yet the plumbing wasn’t cooperating. Yikes. The pressure was building. What to do? I decided to just sit on the toilet and wait. And after a few moments, it all came together. I somehow just relaxed and it began to flow. Ahh, nice. Before returning downstairs I decided to take a look at my face in the bathroom mirror. What huge pupils! And what a lovely, smooth, pink glow to my skin. Hey, where have all my wrinkles gone?
Just at that moment there was a new frothing up of energy. It spilled into my head, my face, and found its way to the muscles around my jowls and cheeks. And then it made me do something which was, strangely, almost against my will. It was awakening nerve endings that seemed to have lain dormant for ages. It almost hurt as some inactive facial muscles stirred back into life, but here it came.
I smiled the biggest smile of my life.
Looking at myself smiling back at myself, I felt like a little infant just smiling for the sheer joy of being. The more I smiled, the happier I felt. And the happier I felt, the more I wanted to smile.
This was a huge turning point for me, as I had forgotten what it was like to be really, really happy and relaxed, and I had become resigned to spending the rest of my life in some low emotional flatland. Now I realised just how depressed I had been. I also realised that whenever I indulged in alcohol or chocolate, this innocently joyous state, this ecstasy, was the state I was really seeking to be in. Only those things had never really brought me anywhere near it. So why bother with them at all? This was the real deal.
When I trotted back downstairs I was beaming from ear to ear — no, make that from temple to temple, my smile was so big! Everyone looked up at me with delight as I walked into the room. ‘I’m BACK!’ I cried. And I wasn’t just meaning back in the room.
We then went into a phase of enjoying closer contact with each other, having intimate conversations and embraces in different pairs. After a while of enjoying the words and hugs of my male friend, I felt a clear urge to make contact with my wife. It was she who had had to tolerate my depressed, withdrawn state for so long. She needed and deserved a break. I told her that I had a heartfelt desire not only for her to see me being in this state, to enjoy me being at my most open, relaxed and happy, but also for me to carry as much as I could from this state back into my normal life. She was so delighted for me, and relieved for herself.
This was another huge turning point, as we returned to our old close contact and had the deepest mutual understanding we had had in years. We spoke some important truths to each other, all honestly intended and lovingly received. Some heavy weight of recent years had fallen away. It was just us again.
And so it went on into the wee hours. Warmth, joy, intimacy, peace, insight, contact, bliss. Such a delicious and utterly productive way to spend a night. After a couple of hours there was a clear moment at which I felt the effects begin to diminish – pretty much like when an aeroplane begins its descent. There was a long way to go back down, and it was a little disappointing to think it would be over soon, but the glideslope was very, very gentle. And the next day, though I felt a bit spacey and found it very difficult to concentrate, I was otherwise fine.
The uplifted state stayed with me and took a long time to fade — at least a couple of weeks. It had unleashed in me a rush of joy that was still accessible when I focused on it weeks later. That little tablet and a half helped me contact joy, revamp my relationship, recover my self-esteem, and have key insights