The door banged open at 8am as usual, but this time there was a bedraggled looking fellow standing outside looking sheepish alongside the officer. My latest cellmate had gone to court this earlier this morning,and would be going to another prison afterwards, and I had rather hoped to have had the cell to myself for a couple of days, however it was not to be. “You’ve got a new cellmate” I was told and the poor fellow ambled in looking sideways at me.
Within five minutes of arriving he had sat himself on his bed and rolled a cigarette, and this time I’d had enough. I’d now had four different cell mates in the space of 4 weeks and the last two had been OK, but now with this one being a smoker I was pissed off, and I told them! “Calm down!” The officer said when I’d finished. You’re moving across to H lowers. I’ll come and collect you at lunch time.” Why the fuck had they not told me that when they had brought the poor unsuspecting sucker into my cell? This, to my way of thinking was just further evidence of the staff deliberately doing things to fuck with our minds, but again, when I thought about it, they were simply too thick to think further ahead than their lunch break.
Anyway, I had got what I wanted and was moving onto another wing finally. I hated it here and couldn’t wait to go. I went back to my cell and started packing. “You didn’t have to move man, the poor critter next to me said, “I would have gone somewhere else if you don’t like me.” causing me to regret behaving like a Prima Donna for once! it was not this guy’s fault, he was in the same boat as me, and judging by the look of the scars on his face, he had been the victim of a fairly severe beating fairly recently, so must have been feeling vulnerable to boot. I assured him that it wasn’t him and that I had applied weeks ago to move to the other wing, but secretly I hoped that the next cellmate he got was better than his last!
They came for me at noon, and escorted me the 20m across the hub to the other wing and I walked in to see Paul standing near the doorway. He was a rather funny guy I had met a couple of months earlier in the library. He was also in for Possession with intent, and had been arrested in circumstances as unfortunate as I had - a broken tail light on his car! He had a flamboyant personality, and the only other person I knew who was openly gay at the time. “Hello! How are you!” he said, and then to the officer “this must be my new cellmate! Follow me.” Leading us down the landing to his cell, before the screw could stop to check otherwise. I liked Paul immensely, he was hilariously funny, and I figured better the devil you know, as he obviously had decided as well.
This was an arrangement that was to work well. We both had similar taste in television, and were both out of the cell for a fair amount of time during the day. He was employed in the gardens and regaled me with tales of hilarity regarding the inefficiencies of the prison and its gardening prowess. The worm farm however had to be the most fantastic exercise in futility of all time. Paul was very excited about this. He was about to be given 500 ‘babies’ to look after! Evidently, the governor of the Prison had decided that they had a good chance of winning the Prisons best garden competition. The garden as it was now, was pretty unremarkable - in fact it looked downright boring and amateurish, but this was about to change. It seemed that if the prison introduced an eco-friendly aspect to it, they would stand a much better chance, so they had decided to buy 500 worms and create a worm farm! This apparently would give them a distinct advantage over their rivals.
I explained to Paul the extent of the Maidstone gardens, which ranged from formal rose beds to woodland swathes and all using recycled compost, with vegetable gardens and annuals borders throughout every available space, and manicured lawns in between. From what I had seen so far in the establishment of HMP Thameside, they were lucky to even mow the grass more than once a month, and it regularly looked rough and unkempt. We had a good old laugh over it all, before Paul told me that the reason for the irregularity of lawn mowing was that they had nowhere in which to store petrol securely, so every time they wanted to use a petrol powered machine they had to make a separate request for fuel to be purchased! Somehow I doubted their ability to win garden of the year!
It was now December and I looked ahead with dread to Christmas in Gaol. By this stage I had almost finished my Business start-up course - as I had suspected, there wasn’t anything in it that I hadn’t already learnt but it served to reinforce everything, and I had now been offered the job of Peer Mentor for it. I enjoyed working with the other students and helping them to understand it all, and figured I would be quite happy with it until my release. I had also finished both books and was madly editing them as much as possible before they were finally given the go ahead to be sent out. Andy had been looking at them for some two weeks now,and still I hadn’t heard anything however I guess it was dependant on how quickly he could read, and being prison staff, it was not likely to be fast!
I had received a letter from Peter, apologising for the tardiness in reply. He had evidently been in a spot of trouble and had to beat a hasty retreat. The Prison had bundled him into a taxi and shipped him across the country from Rugby to a prison just outside Cambridge, because he had received death threats. Someone had Googled his name and found all the details of his trial on the Internet, which had necessitated the urgency of the move - his life had been literally in danger! In my reply I had questioned how they had been able to find out such information so quickly, but then had supposed that someone had asked a girlfriend or a mate to look it up for him, but no, the reply came back with derision. “I fear you are looking at this with a great deal of naivety” He replied. It had apparently taken them less than three hours from finding his name, to getting the required search results. The Prison had conducted a search of this guy’s wing soon afterwards and found 47 phones and 26 knives on a wing of 80 occupants. So much for adequate searching! In a prison of 1200 inmates, it worked out that there was one phone for every two prisoners.
I had also written to George, after a little bit of detective work. He had written to Neil, to pass on some information relating to the library, and although no one had been allowed to tell us where he had been transferred, I had caught a glimpse of the envelope and seen the postmark, and guessed that he must have been in the same place as Peter. He had also written to me and our letters had overlapped in the post. He was not in a good way. Although he was also a foreigner, he had been more diligent than I in securing permanent residency, and in fact had changed citizenship by marrying an English girl. Since he had been in prison fora white-collar crime, his wife was now filing for divorce, and he feared she had turned his daughter against him. She was of course claiming the house they had bought in East London together so he was now left with nothing. He had lost his job, and £70k salary, and had now been transferred to a prison miles outside London, putting paid to any hope of reconciliation with his wife owing to the distance required. He now also had fears of what would happen to him on his release as the OMU were now placing the onus of finding accommodation on him. All his remaining family were abroad and he had no one to turn to for help, and he was a bona fide British citizen. I was glad that I was leaving, and resolved to do my best to find accommodation for both him and Peter.
Meanwhile, I’d had some good news for once. First of all I received a letter from Quality assurance, confirming that they had finally paid my compensation for the items which and gone missing during my beating, and offering me a one time discretionary payment of £120.00, on the condition that I signed the attached letter waiving any right to further claims. The total amount was £401.86 but it had never been about the money. It had taken them over seven months to finalise, and had required four complaint forms, 2 complaints to the IMB and a letter to the Prisons and Probations Ombudsman, for something that had been the fault of the prison in the first place. I wondered what the outcome would have been if I had not been so diligent or bloody minded about it. It was pretty much tantamount to theft, from people who were vulnerable to begin with. It was so difficult to have money sent into prison as it was, so it was disgusting that this company saw no harm in riding rough shod over those in its care and stealing their last few pence from them in the process.
The second piece of news was far more significant. I had heard from my Polish cellmate on J lowers, before his departure that I could claim back all the tax I had paid to HMRC on my departure. For the past three years I had resented the British Taxation office for extracting this from meas I had always been ‘Non-Dom’ and had never had any desire to be anything else here, so it had hurt that they had changed the goal posts in order to get their hands on this money, but now, I was almost being rewarded for my misdemeanours by having all this paid back and it amounted to a total of over £2 million. Of course in return for this they wanted me to sign a form denying all claim on the British Government for any pension, or benefits or Healthcare but this was no problem to me at all. I had never been dependant on them for any of the above, and in fact couldn’t think of anything worse than being dependant on them for handouts, meagre as they were. From where I was standing it was an excellent deal!
Meanwhile Hasan had been missing again, this time for the entire month of November, and by now in December I’d had enough, but I couldn’t just walk away from him, he was sitting in possession of all my belongings, so I had to keep him on side, but I was no longer prepared to put up with these lies and dramas. It was difficult enough to manage things from in prison and hard enough to get things done without a cunt like him fucking everything up constantly, and I had come to the end of my tolerance. Both Edd and I had been trying constantly to get hold of him by phone and as usual he was rejecting our calls and he had answered Edd once saying he would speak to me, but as yet nothing had happened, so I decided to write him a letter, and this time there was no holding back. ‘Answer your fucking phone’ I wrote. ‘You’re behaving like a fucking baby’ I told him I was pretty certain he was on some drug fucked bender, and that it was none of my business, but I also reminded him that he had made a commitment to me to complete certain tasks, and questioned whether it was fair to treat me like a cunt when I had no way of defending myself. I then softened it all and told him I knew how difficult it must be to be working on all this on his own, and that I totally understood his need for downtime, and knew that what he did in his own time was his own business, however all I had ever asked was that if he was not available, he let me know, so that I didn’t worry.
In Prison as I’m sure I’ve said before, it was hard enough coping with daily life and dealing with imbecilic staff, but when something goes wrong, it is magnified by at least 10 because you are rendered completely and utterly powerless to act. I then informed him of the progress regarding the books and left it open to him whether he wanted to continue or not, but suggested that it would be a huge help to me if he could at least let me know, either way. The email came through two days later, as usual full of apology, and saying that he had argued terribly with his parents who had travelled from Khartoum to rescue him from himself and had then refused to offer any assistance unless he travelled back with them. He had apparently escaped and was now in his flat and would be available on a new phone number if I wanted to call. What option did I have?
I had however, already decided that he was about to be kicked to the curb as soon as I had a viable alternative. I spoke on the phone to him and smoothed everything out, sympathising with him and accepting his apology but frankly I didn’t believe a word of it. He had been on a six week fuck fest, ignoring me completely and I just didn’t need it! These people thought they were so clever in deceiving me, and they had all assumed that I would have no option but to take it on the chin, but, as I told Paul, I had a long memory, and now I felt absolutely no compunction in throwing them all under the bus and exposing them all here in minute detail. I would sit back,and bide my time, but when the moment was right I would destroy them. As far as Hasan Al-Ahmar was concerned I would guarantee he never got another fuck in this city for as long as he lived!
We very quickly resumed our daily phone calls and He assured me that he had arranged the Amazon account, ready for the books. He also had a non-web-based email address in the shape of a BTinternet account with which to send the manuscripts so I was able to pass that on to IT. He assured me that he was ‘working’ on the Travel book manuscript, and I was still at a loss to see what could possibly be so wrong with it that it would necessitate days and days of work. To my way of thinking, all that needed to happen was to collate the chapters in order onto one Word document, run a spell check to check for formatting errors, and then it would be ready for publication - in total a maximum of two days worth, if one moved extremely slowly. Either his pace was glacial, or something was not right.
Of course because of the issues of the past few months, I now no longer trusted anything he said so it was clear that he had to go. At least with him I hadn’t been so reckless as to provide him with the passwords to my bank accounts, as I had with Edd, but it was a bit of a case of shutting the gate after the horse had bolted as Edd had already drained the account some months earlier, but still, at least any further income either from the books or from other enterprises would be preserved for me to use rather than relying on anyone else.
On my arrival back at HMP Thameside in August I had added Santander’s 0800 number to my phone account, so I could phone the bank and get a balance at any point I liked. The big issue was that the Police had confiscated my wallet with all my cards in it, and when I had tried to have the Santander ones re-issued, I had needed to change the address. This could be done either online or over the phone, with access to the mobile phone with which the account was registered, as they needed to call the number back as a security precaution before they could make any changes. This of course was out of the question as we were still having no luck whatsoever in retrieving the devices.
Conscious that as this was a prepaid account I had asked Edd to use £20 of the money he had appropriated from my account to top it up to prevent it being closed, but he had not done it, and told me he had. Luckily, this was not the one registered with the bank, and apparently my other account with EE was still current, so I asked Edd to order a replacement Sim card, which could be inserted into any cheap phone, and used to receive the call from the bank. As usual he had then launched into a litany of lies over the reasons this could not be done, but in reality was just too lazy to be bothered. As usual, there was no direct benefit to him so he couldn’t care less. I found this extremely frustrating because I’d had the same phone numbers for the past ten years, and simply through pure laziness I was going to lose them both, as well as all my WhatsApp messages and contacts in Britain and abroad, which and been amassed over many years. I also wanted to be able to retain my British phone number once abroad because it was the only number on which a lot of my work colleagues and associates could reach me, and the way I saw it he was playing God with my life.
The prison service makes a big deal about who can and cannot be added to a phone account, and they insist that each number is vetted thoroughly, usually by calling the number before making it available for an inmate’s use but I had proved time and time again that this was another lie. I had mistakenly added an incorrect number at one point and it had been added in a matter of minutes! I’d also had no problem at all adding an 0800 number for the Bank, however when I tried to add an 0800 number for Gmail, in order to retrieve the password for my email account which had mysteriously been changed by one of my so called friends, they had denied me access, forcing me to rely on someone else, trusting them with my passwords and personal details in order to pass the security questions needed to make the necessary changes. In a similar fashion they now allowed me to add Louis Vuitton to my phone account, enabling me to order Christmas presents for friends and staff, as they already had my credit card details, but when I tried to add the Police 101 number to report my property stolen, they refused access. When I messaged them explaining why I needed it, they referred me to the Police liaison officer, but when I tried to book an appointment with them, they wanted to know what it was about. When I explained this, they then said that they were not there to facilitate personal property claims. Another incidence of going around and around in circles!
Christmas was looming closer and closer, and with it, Gay Pride month, and with this in mind, we were becoming increasingly adamant that we needed to use this opportunity to start the LGBTQ support group within the prison. Neil had given us his full support and volunteered the use of the library for the monthly group meetings,and I had designed a flyer, on publisher in my cell, in the absence of access to the media suite. Peter had sent me copies of the membership form and code of conduct for a similar group that operated in his prison and I had used this as a basis for our own. Neil and I had discussed in detail how the group should run, Somehow, Marina, the Equalities and Diversities officer got wind of what we were planning and suddenly, after months and months of avoidance and neglect, now that all the work was done she suddenly claimed ownership of it as an equalities initiative. I didn’t care who took the credit for it, so long as it got done, but it was a great source of amusement how pathetically these people could behave - they were supposed to be adults for God’s sake.
Meanwhile, Liz Truss had announced her ideas about reform of the prisons system. I had felt when I met her in the library that she was really committed to making a difference in this role, but unfortunately she had been listening to the wrong people. Craig Thompson and no doubt other Prison Governors had given her a list of their priorities but these were not necessarily in the best interests of the prison system, or the welfare of the prisoners. One could almost guarantee what would have been on their lists - More money and more staff, but from what I had seen within the system in the three prisons in which I’d been held, none of them were making good enough use of the money or personnel they had, that the government should donate more!
Sure enough, Ms Truss had announced moves to increase pay for prison officers by £5000 per annum, and to recruit ex military personnel to fill the staff shortages. This was wrong on so many levels, but not surprising, given the dialogue that had been touted over mainstream media of late. It seemed that as usual nothing would be done to solve the problems and I was even gladder to be leaving the Prison, and the Country.
Double Bubble is the third book in The Chemsex Trilogy - a series of books written by Cameron Yorke about his experience with Chemsex, addiction, and imprisonment in the UK.
We are serialising Double Bubble on Mainly Male. This is the 32nd instalment in the serialisation. Go back to read earlier instalments.
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How do you masturbate?
We ask men to share with us their jack-off techniques.
I caught up with Twitter buddy Suffolk Lad and asked him a few personal questions.
Can you remember the first time you jacked-off?
I’d probably just turned 13. I can remember I was still sharing a bedroom with my brother. We had bunk beds. I remember I was rubbing my hard penis on the duvet.
How did you feel when you first jacked off?
The very first time I came was quite a shock.
Did you talk about it with anyone?
It was never spoken about. Wanking felt like my dirty little secret. I never discussed it with anyone. That was over 20 years ago — it’s just how things were.
Did you try any different techniques in those early years?
I tried a few different ways but ended up sticking with what gave me the most pleasure.
Can you remember the first time you talked to someone else about jacking off?
The first time I spoke about wanking was with a guy that I met online — we’re great friends now. We chatted for ages about the pleasure it gave us and how we did it. Obviously we had a bit fun from there.
What’s your preferred way to jack-off currently?
I enjoy I straight forward wank. I play with myself a bit — balls, nipples — and I have a bit of porn to hand. Then I just bust one out — it’s the best way.
What jack-off hints or tips would you give a young guy just starting to explore his sexuality?
Enjoy yourself. It’s all about self-pleasure. Do it as you feel you need to. There’s no right or wrong way.
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