Monday, October 3, 2011

When The Lights Go Out: Glossary of Terms


So as not to have the heterosexual men and women that read this book be COMPLETELY lost in the sea of slang terminology used particularly by the Black gay male inmates, I have added a glossary to help guide you to interpret each term in the context of the interviews provided. Here goes:

Aga:  A form of pig Latin developed by African American gay men in the early days of the ball scene to communicate when amongst heterosexuals, in this context heterosexual inmates, without details of the conversation being revealed.

Ball scene: A circuit of “balls,” or pageants, wherein gay men compete against each other in a myriad of categories, from “best face” to “fem queen realness,” to all types of vogueing categories. Many fem and masculine Black/Latino gay men in prison have been or are associated with this scene at one point or another in their lives on the street.

Boots: A Black gay slang term typically used at the end of a sentence to add emphasis to the intensity of the subject of the sentence itself. For example, “Girl, I was drunk boots!” means that the individual was highly intoxicated. Derived from the phrase, “to boot,” an old idiom to describe “in addition to,” or “besides” the verb highlighted in the sentence.

Butch queen: A gay male who exhibits a masculine veneer or outer appearance, but conducts himself in private in a manner not unlike an effeminate gay male.

CO: Abbreviated term for correctional officer. Also called the police.

Cunt:   Black gay slang/slur to anecdotally describe a female. Typically not spoken or said in a malicious context. Also used to describe, in equally as shady a manner, other gay men of whom the “queen” does not approve.

Diking:  Black gay slang for two effeminate gay men (queens) sleeping with and/or dating each other, akin to lesbian sex. Usually used in a “shady” or condescending manner.

Fem queen: An effeminate gay male, often displaying some or all of many inmates’ preconceived stereotypes of gay men in general (speaking in what most would consider a “feminine” voice, flamboyant mannerisms, etc.).

Fi-Fi : Another slang term for “pocket pussy,” or a homemade device made by heterosexual inmates to simulate the walls of a vagina.

How to make a Penitentiary Pussy (Vagina) aka Pocket Pussy aka Fi Fi:                 

There are several ways to make this device, and I will show you the most effective way that I know in my personal experience, and that of other inmates I have interviewed. You will need the following ingredients:

1 towel (you can set it on top of a light to heat it up before using…nothing like a nice, “warm” feel when you begin your fantasies)
1 latex glove
Vaseline (used sparingly)
Lotion (to give it that “wet” feel)
Rubber bands (if you want a tight grip)

Please take the towel and lay it flat on a table or some other sturdy surface. Lay the latex glove at one end of the towel, with the opening to the glove exposed, laying about two inches outside of the edge of the towel. As you begin to roll the towel, with the latex glove inside it, as you would roll a newspaper, please keep in mind that if you want a tighter, more “virginal”  feel for your “fi-fi” or “pocket pussy,” then you  should roll the towel in as tight a manner as you possibly can.  If you want a looser and more open feel, then roll the towel accordingly. Once you have rolled the towel up, with the latex glove out in the manner listed above, then you can take the Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly and begin to lubricate the opening of the glove in the manner you feel most appropriate for your taste. Some men enjoy a wetter simulated vagina, in which case you can put both Vaseline and a touch of lotion in the glove to give it that “soaking wet” effect.

Fish: Black gay slang/slur to anecdotally describe a female. Typically not spoken or said in a malicious context at all, but can and is considered offensive to most natural-born women.

Geesh: Regional term used to define a male who dresses in a full woman’s outfit. For example: “I got up in geesh to walk K street, honey,” translates to, “I got dressed up in a woman’s outfit and walked down a street to turn tricks.” It can be used in place of, or interchangeably with the term, “up-in-ems.”

Get my life: An expression meaning, “I thoroughly enjoyed myself.” To use as an example in a sentence: “I went to the club last night and got my life. I didn’t get home until seven a.m.” It is an affirmation of a pleasurable and enjoyable experience.

Girl: Slang terminology with multiple meanings, but generally used anecdotally in casual conversation. Also used to describe effeminate gay men in prison or those men who, for whatever reasons, have entered into relationships with men and have assumed the “bottom” or anally receptive position in said relationship.

Gunning: The act of public, open masturbation by heterosexual inmates when observing female correctional officers and staff.  An inmate pulls his penis out, no matter where he is, and begins to fantasize about sexual intercourse with the female whom he is watching.  Looks, age, size, and position are irrelevant in the inmate’s mind when engaging in this practice. The inmate is only interested in the fact that that female has a vagina. This practice, if caught, comes with stiff penalties, and if convicted, carries, in some states, a criminal charge and registry in that state as a sex offender.

HAART: Acronym for "Highly Active Anti Retroviral Treatment", the medical term to describe the now well known "HIV/AIDS cocktail", taken by hundreds of thousands of HIV positive patients throughout the known world. Its effectiveness in keeping HIV positive patients healthy has greatly improved over the years, and is now streamlined to minimize the harmful side effects that plagued earlier versions of the treatment.

Hooch: Also called jailhouse wine. It is a homemade alcoholic beverage made by inmates typically using some form of fruit, sugar, and yeast (when they can steal it), and allowed to ferment for about two days until the yeast eats up the sugar, thus creating the chemical byproduct of alcohol.

Institutionalized: The syndrome often spoken of by inmates that develops when an individual has adapted overly to the prison environment, and has not learned to effectively transition that adaptation once released from prison. For example, in the movie “The Shawshank Redemption,” one of the supporting characters was released after serving decades in prison. He had no way of figuring out how to cope with the changing world of which he was now a part. For him, prison represented a safe zone, one that he had become so accustomed to that he couldn’t handle being free. The character committed suicide. His was an extreme case of institutionalization.

Jody: Penitentiary nickname for a man or men on the street who provide sexual fulfillment to the girlfriends or wives of inmates while those inmates are incarcerated.  Men who are incarcerated use this term to play upon other inmates’ insecurities in relation to the fidelity of their wives or girlfriends.

Lifer: One serving a life sentence.

Meat on the gate: Can be used interchangeably with the term “drop it in the hole,” depending on the region, and is a reference to the solicitation of oral or anal sex in exchange for some benefit, either money or drugs.

Pocket pussy: Artificial apparatus made by heterosexual and bisexual inmates to simulate a woman’s vagina while incarcerated. See the term “fi-fi.”

Prison MAC: Term used for using candy or other colored confection as makeup, primarily M&Ms dipped in minute amounts of water and applied to the lips, cheeks, eyelids, etc., in the same way as the popular “MAC” make-up on the street.

Same-Gender Loving: Politically correct term for the LGBT community in the twenty-first century.

Swole: Prison lingo for a dish made by inmates consisting of Ramen noodles, cheese, pickles, either a singular meat product, or variety of meats and seafood items, and depending on the inmate and his culinary acumen, many other things as well. Generally extremely high in sodium and carbohydrates.

Trade: Multi-purpose term used initially to describe a hetero-identified man who may occasionally engage in same sex encounters for a price, i.e. a pair of sneakers or money. Over the decades, generations of gay men have re-defined this elusive term in many ways, but among the most consistent definitions include: a thuggish , hyper masculine male completely undetectable to the heterosexual world, that messes around with other men, as well as women; sometimes interchangeable with "DL"; Can also be used to describe a masculine man's penis endowment. "Chile he had trade(dick) down!"( meaning he had a large penis).

Up-in-ems: Black gay slang term to describe a drag queen or trans-gendered person dressing in a full female outfit and makeup. Regional term used in the Eastern Coast prisons and by some Black gay men.

Visitation method: When an inmate gets a visit from a relative or friend from the free world, who slips him drugs via a latex glove or balloon. The inmate swallows the latex-wrapped package of drugs, as latex is highly resistant to many of the acids in the stomach and intestine. The inmate, hours later or perhaps the next day, gets the drugs out of his body by “taking a shit,” and then, with a latex-glove-wrapped hand, sifts through the fecal matter until he finds the package. He then cleans the latex package off, unravels it, and begins to smoke and/or sell it.

Werk or werq: A Black, gay, slang derivation of the word “work,” usually spoken by some gay men to emphasize appreciation and awe for a high level of skill and talent  in an individual or group. Popularized in American pop culture by drag queen icon Rupaul (“You betta werk, bitch!”).

Slang terminologies may vary greatly depending upon region, facility, and security level of prison. This glossary is to aid mainly heterosexual men and women who read this book to understand the language and terms from non-hetero inmates. The definition itself is more important than the term, and I respectfully ask that you keep that in mind when referring to this glossary.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful article.
    When i buy pocket pussy I am the happiest man in the world really, cause I don't have stupid and boring relationship and I fu*k all the time anyway :D



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