Toilet Bowl Phone Sex

How do inmates communicate in certain prisons?

They build a telephone network.

By draining the toilets in their cells… and using the plumbing as a speaking tube. The “mic” is an empty toilet paper roll or curled up book of jail regulations.

Unsurprisingly, with both men and women in the same prison (though they don’t interact) the result is a lot of toilet bowl phone sex.

Well, and arguments. Arguments that end with a flush.

There are some limits to this system. It only works between one or two adjacent floors, and certain cells are designated “phone booths” where the toilets are rarely used as designed.

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/07/01-0

“Life behind bars in Union County jail and some other American penal institutions revolves around an improvised system of cell-to-cell communication through the plumbing. Known as the “bowl phone,” it crudely replicates the speaking tubes in ships that sailors once shouted through. Drained metal toilets are used as megaphones to build friendships, carry out courtship, fall in love—although the lovers may never meet—have phone sex, pray and carry out religious conversion, pass news about court cases and families and exchange gossip.

The bowl phone is a window into the tiny, often unnoticed rebellions of the oppressed. In jails and prisons across the country, filled mostly with poor people of color, behind the backs of the guards, out of sight from the wider society, lies an unseen, subterranean network that sustains the embers of defiance.

“You have to plunge the phone,” explains Pabey, a 30-year-old Latina who has black, short curly hair with raspberry streaks.

“You take a piece of cloth,” says Blount, a small, wispy African-American in her 40s. “You take the water out [of the bowl]. You keep pumpin’ the water out until it get lower. Then you take the little cup or somethin’. You take a little sock or a little cloth or somethin’. You pump it out with the cloth, the water out. And as you’re doin’ that it’s the water’s going out. It’s goin’, it’s goin’. It don’t take but like about a minute.”

“But like three seconds,” Pabey says.

“Yeah, it don’t take that long,” Blount says. “You scoop the rest of the water.”

“With [empty toilet paper] rolls you make a mic,” Pabey says. Some prisoners prefer to curl up the book of jail regulations and stuff that into the drained toilet.

To send or receive a call, a male prisoner one or two floors below must similarly prepare a bowl phone. It is difficult for the parties to hear each other if they are separated by more than two floors.

To keep the lines of communication open, bowl phones are seldom used as toilets and rarely are flushed. Cells designated by prisoners become, in essence, public phone booths, known by their cell numbers.

Pabey says that to start a conversation, “You do the knock.” With her knuckles she raps out on the table a distinct series of taps that in the jail identified her to other prisoners. “Everybody has a different page,” she says. “It’s called a pager. Like, it’s, the knock is the page.”

“It’s like a code,” Blount says.[…]

“Girls come and be like, ‘You talkin’ to my man on the bowl?’ ” Torrado says. “I be like, ‘Girl, that ain’t your man! Next time I hear you talkin’ to my man it’s gonna be a problem.’ ”

“Eventually a woman literally sticks to the person that she’s dealin’ with,” Pabey says.

“That’s where the complications come from,” Blount says. “ ’Cause you fall in love with that person.”

“I did it over there,” Torrado says. “I met my boyfriend through the toilet bowl. We been together nine years.”

“Toilet bowl love,” Blount mutters.

“This one girl used to be loud, but I done used to let her talk for a long time,” Blount says. “She was a bowl ho ’cause she stayed up—I mean day and night—and be, ‘Hey, blah blah blah’ ’cause you be on, yeah, you be talkin’ to different people you a whore. You a ho, on the bowl.”

Pabey offers an example of jailhouse romance: “[Say] I’m datin’ Todd. We’re on the mic. I’m like, ‘Hey, baby, whatchu doin’,’ you know what I mean? ‘How was your day?’ Whatever. And then, without knowing, Todd gets released.”

Blount lets out a gasp of empathy.[…]

I ask what most of the prisoners like to talk about.

“Sex,” Pabey and Blount answer at once.

Most “bowl sex” takes place at night when, as Pabey says, “the freaks comes out.”

“Now, mind you, if it’s my aunt and her dude talkin’ on the bowl, you’ve got to let the other female know,” Pabey says. “Courtesy. So it’s you and your dude on his bowl, and he’s tellin’ his roommate, ‘Yo, you gotta go.’ You feel me? So you have to give that person courtesy. And, you get it in.”

“He be like, ‘Baby, how big is your boobs?’ ” Torrado says. “ ‘How big is your butt?’ ‘32.’ ‘Wow, baby. Keep telling, keep talkin’.”

“And they be like, ‘Baby,’ they be like, ‘Open up, baby, talk nasty to me,’ ” she says. “ ‘Baby, what do you want me to say?’ ‘Anything, baby, say anything, to—.’ ‘OK, baby, come here, baby. Let’s do this.’ ”

“Imagine me lickin’ on your … ,” Pabey offers.

“He be like, ‘Oh, baby, I’m startin’ feelin’ hot already down here, baby,’ ” Blount says.

“They be like, ‘Hold up, I’m about to bust a nut off-a this fool,’ ” Pabey says.

“I be on my bed readin’ a book,” Pabey adds.

“Me too!” Blount says. “I be laughin’.”

“And I’ll be like, ‘Yo, this bitch is crazy,’ ” Pabey says. “She’s like, ‘Baby, yeah, stroke it harder, stroke it harder. And I be like, ‘What the fuck?’And he’s like, ‘Baby, I’m about to bust. I’m about to come.’ ”

She mimics the moans of an orgasm.

“And I be like, ‘Ah, shit,’ ” she says. “And then we’ll bust out laughin’. ‘Oh, you’re two minute. Uhhh.’ She be like, ‘Leave my baby alone. Leave my boo alone.’ ”

“A girl could be sittin’ there talkin’ to a guy through the toilet bowl but still gettin’ her coochie licked by another girl,” Pabey throws in.[…]

Arguments can be terminated with a flush.

“And they be stressin’, bangin’ the wall,” Torrado says in describing male partners’ reaction to a flush.

“Yeah, that’s the flush, that’s it,” Blount says.

“They be bangin’,” Pabey says as she knocks furiously on the table. “They’ll send another guy to another bowl and be like, ‘Yo, tell my fuckin’ girl that she better get on the phone!’ ”

She bangs again on the table.

“ ‘I want her right now,’ ” Torrado says. “And then you be in the bowl, ‘What, baby? Baby, I didn’t mean to hurt you, baby. I’m sorry, baby.’ ””

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