Have you watched “Orange is the New Black” yet? It’s fantastic — utterly engrossing, funny, human, and pleasingly fast-paced. The series centers around Piper Chapman, a preppy Smith grad who’s sentenced to 12 months in prison for participating in a drug ring ten years earlier. It’s based on the real-life experience of Piper Kerman, who wrote about her time in jail in a book of the same name.
On the show, Piper’s writer fiancé, Larry, gets Piper in trouble by writing a Modern Love column for the NYTimes that divulges Piper’s observations and opinions of her inmates.
Well, the real-life Piper also had a fiancé (now husband) named Larry, who in 2010 also wrote a Modern Love column for the NYTimes about maintaining a relationship with his fiancé in jail. Unlike the TV show, the real Modern Love focuses more on Larry’s experience than Piper’s prison gossip, but it does provide an interesting glimpse into how the real-life couple dealt with the idea of no sex for a year:
“We considered every question and configuration about what goes on between a committed couple when one of them is going to prison for more than a year. Would there be conjugal visits? No. Was I allowed to see other women? No. Was she allowed to see other women? I told her to do whatever she needed.”
Oh, so she was allowed to sleep with other women (maybe) but he explicitly wasn’t? Innnnteresting.
Anyway. Read the essay here. And watch the show!