Dating incarcerated man Chatraw

Even kissing in visits is hard for us — some couples need to be hosed down!

We’re both very wary of Big Brother watching.”When I speak to Nina, she tells me that she was “just thinking about Valentine’s Day.” Her husband is currently serving his sentence in a category D prison — otherwise known as an open prison in the UK — and will be eligible for home visits once it’s been signed off on by a parole officer.

Other conditions fall onto the visitors themselves.

Their relationship to the inmate, their background, and their criminal history will be closely scrutinized before any conjugal visitation order is granted.

Without the physical intimacy, couples must rely solely on verbal and written communication to maintain a romantic relationship.“We’re really struggling to keep the spark in our relationship,” says Nina*, a 33-year-old mother of two from London.

Her husband is serving seven years for fraud and has been in prison and away from the family for nearly two years.“Telephone calls and letters are monitored, so we never have phone sex or anything like that.

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But, she notes, “making a thing of it like that can highlight the loss for anyone who doesn’t have their loved one with them, so we try to keep it modest.”Those lucky enough to get visits on Valentine’s Day won’t get any special treatment, however.There’s no room for romance anymore.“We let Valentine’s Day pass us by — it doesn’t seem as important as the other special occasions that the kids are involved in.It’s kind of a selfish holiday for us.”Keeping the romance alive with one half of a couple in prison is no easy feat.Jendella, 27, from London, says that it’s weird how quickly you adapt to a sex-free relationship.“That doesn’t mean it’s easy,” she says, “it just means you get used to it.”“Staying loyal would probably be a lot harder if I didn’t have a child.And as Valentine’s Day rolls around, it can be particularly difficult to handle the emotional stress of a partner behind bars.“As with any holiday, visits get requested and snapped up super fast,” says Lauren, a prison officer from the UK.“That leads inmates who haven’t been lucky enough to get some time with their loved one to become even more agitated.iant tacky teddy bears are in every shop window, heart-shaped boxes are being sold in phenomenal numbers, rose petals are being scattered on beds, and candle-lit bubble baths are being run.If you walk up and down your street, you might even hear the sultry crooning of Marvin Gaye as “Let’s Get It On” is blasted from a bedroom window.I’m not good at writing love letters or sending pictures — he’s always complaining about it.He sent me a card last year and I’m sure he’ll do the same again, but I’d rather wait until he’s out to celebrate.

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