My first impression upon seeing this illustration from a vintage Japanese fetish magazine was boringly conventional, framed in the tropes of male-dominant kinky sex fantasies that either do not concern themselves with consent or explicitly assume its absence. She carelessly got too close to the bars, so the horny male prisoners grabbed her, stripped her, and are now fucking her! Or she’s an abject prisoner herself, deprived of clothes and forced to present herself against the bars for any men who bribe her jailor for access!

sex through the bars of a jail cell or prison cell

Only, really, why assume any of that? Not only do we not know who is the prisoner in this image, but it probably isn’t exactly easy to screw through the iron bars of a prison cell. That firm grip on her arms is practical for pulling her against the bars, and doesn’t tell us one damn thing about how willingly she might have stripped and pressed herself eagerly back against them.

So what’s the scenario? She might be a sex worker, obtained for the men by a well-bribed guard. But I’m going with a loyal and loving wife who misses her husband terribly. Allowed access — perhaps she paid a bribe, in coin or otherwise — but only to the hallway outside the cell where her husband is imprisoned with other men, she’s doing what she can to recapture some intimacy and brighten the dreary days of his sentence.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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