Emily Vorgstrom stood before the crowd of
students, assembled to hear her
recount her wartime experiences as an internee in the Far East during
World War II. It was something she found herself doing more frequently
lately, for the passage of time had seemed to reawaken an interest in
those long-ago events among the younger generation. Emily had become
active in social and political affairs in recent years, and had developed
a talent for public speaking. Her war experiences were a frequent topic
she was asked to discuss.
She had addressed this group of students for nearly an hour, going over
the events through which she had lived, and its relevance to present
times, at least as she saw them. She always enjoyed the interest the
audience showed, particularly younger ones. This time, her husband Dan was
in the audience, listening to her recount stories he had heard many times
before. He thought Emily was a good speaker, something he was
uncomfortable at doing, and was content to hear her tell of events they
had both shared.
Emily had been born Dutch, and had grown up in the East Indies (then under
Dutch rule) in the years before the war. As a young woman a bit over
twenty, she had met her husband, Dan Vorgstrom, when he came as an
American technician to work in the Indies in 1940. They had married there,
and had been swept up in the events of 1941 and 1942 when the area was
overrun by the Japanese invasion. Under the occupation, most of the
foreign population was rounded up and held in internment camps.
This had happened to Emily and Dan. As a young couple, without children,
they were taken into custody and soon dispatched to be held in a prison
camp for internees. As was the custom of their captors, men and women were
separated and held in different places; or, as was the case with Emily and
Dan, in separate compounds of the same camp.
After describing the historical events of the war, Emily usually described
what the camps were like, and how they were treated, for this seemed to
interest the audiences the most.
Emily had been taken into the women's compound, along with about a hundred
other women, mostly Dutch, British, or Australian. They ranged in age from
little girls to old women well over seventy, and there were a few small
boys with them. Boys were kept in the women's unit, with their mothers or
family members, only if they were younger than about six; older boys went
into the men's compound. The women had to work, not so much for their
captors, but to sustain their own lives. They were provided rudimentary
supplies, a quantity of food rich in rice (the staple of the area), some
vegetables, and once in a while a chicken or a few fish. The food kept
them above starvation level, but it was hardly abundant. They had to do
cooking and cleaning. The water supply consisted of system to catch
rainwater. In the wet climate, it provided them adequate water to drink
and cook, but there was little left for bathing or washing. They had a
makeshift shower for bathing, but of course no hot water. The women soon
limited themselves to two cold showers a week.
There were a few nurses among the inmates, and they tried to attend to
medical needs with whatever supplies they could find. Grooming and hygiene
was minimal, as they had little to work with. Each woman, if she was
lucky, had come with a small bag of clothing and whatever she could scrape
together when she was arrested, and some that had been picked up away from
their homes had nothing but what they wore. Cosmetics were quickly
nonexistent. A few of the women had razors, but the blades soon became
dull and unusable, and the women found no way to sharpen them. They gave
up shaving legs and underarms, and hairy legs and bushy armpits became
badges of being internees.
While the men were in a separate compound and no visiting was allowed,
there were attempts to communicate. Sometimes a guard could be induced to
carry a message from one to the other. At one point the two compounds were
close enough that rock with an attached message could be tossed, by a
strong thrower, from one to the other. Sometimes voices of men could be
heard by the women, but any unduly loud yelling was quickly quelled by the
guards, so little communication was done in this way.
Frequently Emily was asked about the abuse she endured. She was quite
frank about it. While there were rumors of women being raped or physically
abused in other places, she had not seen it in the camp she was in. It
probably happened, but it was not rampant. The abuse she received was more
subtle. The camp commander, a minor tyrant she thought, enforced
discipline among his troops. They were not permitted to enter the women's
barracks except in
cases of disorder or a suspected infraction of rules. While the soldiers
usually stayed out of the buildings, the women soon realized that
suspected rule infractions seemed to occur at times the women could be
expected to be dressing or undressing, when soldiers would burst in
unannounced and proceed to search the area while the women hastily tried
to cover up.
The guards were all male soldiers. Emily never saw a female among them.
Thus all of the inspections were by men. While it did often occur,
surprise inspections were made in other private areas. If an inspection
was to be made of the shower facility, it was invariably made while a
woman was using it. An inspection of the toilets never seemed to occur
unless two or three women had just gone in to use them. Thus the women
were subjected to little assaults on their privacy.
The camp commander also had his own methods of discipline for the
prisoners. While the women gave him little trouble, realizing their
fairly helpless situation, some did answer with sarcastic remarks or open
insults. If displeased, the commander would prescribe discipline. One
woman, after such an incident, was ordered to drink a large amount of
water, well over a
liter, and then compelled to stand in an open area for a prolonged period,
under the watchful eye of her guards, and with no opportunity to relieve
herself. Eventually, when she could hold it no longer, she wet herself in
her dress, much to the delight of the soldiers. Another woman, after
giving the commander some particularly harsh back talk, was ordered to
strip in the
middle of the compound and made to stand there naked, exposed to
everyone's view, for over four hours.
Frequently the commander would summon inmates to his office, situated in a
small building. To be summoned was not a happy event, for it frequently
implied a suspected rule infraction; but often it concerned merely matters
of camp administration or work assignments. The women were not viewed as
sources of military intelligence, but were often interrogated on their
personal histories and skills. Whatever the reason, the commander seemed
to enjoy humiliating the women he needed to talk to.
Initially, women summoned to the office were simply required to leave
their shoes outside the door. The women saw this as a simple observance of
a common oriental custom. However, soon the commander decided that this
was not enough to humiliate the women into proper respect, so he extended
the rule. Each inmate entering the office had to remove her dress (or
whatever outer garment she had on) outside, under the watchful eye of a
guard, and leave it with her shoes before entering. Thus she was made to
enter in whatever underwear she had on. A few of the women had slips, but
for most, this meant going in dressed in panties and a brassiere, both
increasing ragged as time went on. This not only humiliated the woman, but
encouraged her to be cooperative so as to get the matter over as quickly
as possible. If she was not compliant in whatever was asked of her, he
would commit the final assault on her modesty by commanding her to remove
her underclothes and hold them in her hands, behind her back, while she
had to stand in front of his desk naked, until the business was completed.
While Emily had asked about her husband during her confinement, she
learned little. Requests to visit were simply not entertained, although
the women often asked. Probably the men did, too.
When Emily finished her recanting of the story, she took questions from
her audience. Today, she was asked by one young lady, "Did you ever see
your husband while you were in the camp?"
Emily responded, after a bit of hesitation, "Yes, just once. We did have a
visit". She turned to another questioner, but the young lady persisted,
"How did you manage that?" It was obvious that Emily wanted to get away
from the subject, for she just said "The commander allowed it, but just
once in all that time, " and she then went to the next question.
Emily enjoyed these opportunities, but they ended eventually, and Dan
greeted her as she prepared to leave. "I thought you were getting in deep
water, there, with that one question, but you handled it well. You got
away from the subject, fast!"
"Do you blame me? What was I going to tell her?" "Emily", Dan went on,
"are you ever going to tell people about that visit we had? Don't tell me
you have forgotten it!"
Emily smiled at her husband of over forty years, and answered, "So long as
I live, I will never forget it! It was the most romantic incident of that
awful time. But how could I ever talk in public about something like that?
What would our grandchildren think if they ever heard it?"
"I think, my darling wife," said Dan, "they would relate to it a lot
better than you feel they would. You might be very surprised!"
As they left for the trip home, Emily reflected on that visit of forty
years ago. How, indeed, could you ever discuss it with her family or
friends? But, then, again, how could she ever forget it. She and Dan
shared a memory of that time, often so tragic and awful, yet with its
remarkable moments. Her mind went back to a morning in 1942.
Emily was summoned to the commander's office. This, she knew, was never
good news. It was morning, on this warm tropical day, and she approached
the office with trepidation. Outside, she performed the required
abandonment of her modesty, as she shucked off her dress and placed it
beside her shoes at the door, while a soldier watched, his eyes missing
nothing. Then, in a ragged bra and panties now showing some small holes,
she entered, fearful of what was coming next.
The commander kept her standing before him a few minutes, before he
addressed her. "Mrs. Vorgstrom, correct?" "Yes", she replied. "Mrs.
Vorgstrom, your husband is Dan Vorgstrom, right? " Again, she gave her
"as you are aware, he is held here also. It has been three months, now
that both of you have been here. Would you like an opportunity to visit
Emily gaped. This was unheard of. She wondered what kind of conditions
were about to be attached.
"Mrs. Vorgstrom, we are going to let you have a visit with your husband
today. You can not only talk to him, you may touch him, embrace if you
wish, stay with him as long as you want, so long as you both abide by the
This was unbelievable. To actually be with Dan, to see him, even be in his
arms. But what would be the rules? "And what are the rules?"
"Quite simple. I will turn you over to one of my officers, who will
arrange it. We will allow you to be together in a designated area. Of
course, you cannot be alone. There will be some of the men who will keep
their eyes on you. You will have to comply with some instructions on how
you are to dress, and until the visit I can allow you no food, only water
to slake your thirst. During your visit, you must remain in the designated
area, you will both have to remain standing at all times, and of course,
you must attend to your toilet functions while you are outside the area,
not during the visit. As long as you comply with these rules, you will be
allowed to continue your visit."
Emily could not understand why they were allowing this. Somewhere, she
suspected, there would be something they weren't telling her. It sounded
like they were trying to insure they refrained from any intimate embrace,
by insisting they stay on their feet and comply with a dress code.
Probably they wanted to tease the two of them a bit by letting them meet,
but denying them any intimate contact. She didn't care. All she wanted was
the chance to see Dan. She did wonder why he had mentioned "toilet
functions" - were they going to have them meet in a bathroom, or something
Later, Emily would reflect that she was probably chosen for this visit
because there were few women there who had husbands near her age. While
the women were of varying ages, most of the men were either much older, or
just boys. The young men, for the most part, had been in the military
services of their countries, and had not been around to be interned. Dan,
American, had not yet been swept up in America's rearming, which came long
after Europe's war began.
This day, however, she was concerned only with seeing Dan. A junior
officer, speaking much less English than the commander, came and escorted
her out the door. As she passed the door, she stooped, attempting to pick
up her dress and shoes. She was stopped by her escort. "No - leave! Get
later!" was all he said, as he pushed her along into a small vehicle.
Emily was indeed embarrassed about her condition, but all that really
mattered to her right now was seeing Dan. She had been unable to even get
a message across the fences, although intermediaries had assured her he
was all right and still there. Now she was going to get to see him, but,
she thought, what a mess I am. She considered that she was dressed only in
bra and panties, ragged at that; she was wearing no make-up, she hadn't
had a bath in four days, her legs were hairy with over two months of
growth and her underarms were sprouting hairy bushes.
The officer took her to a larger building, where she was ordered out. She
was taken into a small room, bare except for a table and chair. "Sit" she
was told. She sat, and waited.
A soldier came in, with a large pot of water, and a cup. It was placed on
the table. He left. She waited.
After half an hour or so, the officer returned. "Drink!" he commanded. She
dipped the cup into the water and took a drink from it. Standard
rainwater, the camp's regular stuff, she decided. She put the cup down.
"More!" commanded the officer. She took another cup, wondering where this
About eight cups later, her stomach was feeling decidedly full. But there
was still water in the pot, and as fast as she emptied the cup, the
officer ordered her to refill it and drink again. He finally gave her a
bit of information. Looking at his watch, he announced, "Meet husband -
one hour. You have -- long visit!"
She took this to mean she would see Dan in a hour. But now her mind was
beginning to put together the pieces of the commander's instructions. She
was obviously being filled up with water. She would need to urinate. She
had been told no "toilet functions" would be allowed during the visit.
Would they allow her to pee before the visit? Unlikely, she thought. They
are going to make me hold this water while I meet Dan, and I will only be
allowed to stay with him as long as I can hold it!
She guessed right. In about fifty minutes, another officer came. He
motioned to her to remove her remaining clothes, and leave them on the
table. He had a long piece of cloth in his hand, the purpose of which was
not immediately clear. Helpless to resist but fearful of what was coming,
she took off the bra and panties and laid them on the table. "Can I please
pee?" she asked, almost begging. The officer pointed to her now bare
crotch with its patch of hair. "Pee? Pee?" he seemed to ask, then answered
"No Pee! Visit now - pee later!"
He produced the cloth, which he then used to blindfold her. It was placed
over her eyes, and tied. One of the officers then took her hand, and led
her, naked, out of the room.
She was really worried now. She expected to see Dan, but she couldn't
imagine how they were going to do it. She felt utterly humiliated, walking
naked and blindfolded, having no idea who was looking at her. He bladder
was becoming uncomfortably distended, and getting worse by the minute.
She was led for a time, through several doors. She could hear voices of
men, and assumed that many were around. She assumed they were probably
looking at her. Finally they came to a place where she was told, "steps!"
and her hand was placed on an object in front of her. Unsteadily, unable
to see, she was steered up several steps onto a smooth surface. "Wait!"
she was commanded.
She stood there, not knowing who was looking at her, but hearing men's
voices all around. Through the blindfold she could sense strong light, so
she knew she was standing in a well lit area, with many men around. Where
After what seemed an eternity, but probably was really only ten minutes,
an officer, speaking a bit more English, stepped to her and removed the
blindfold. She was shocked at the scene.
She was standing on a platform, perhaps twelve feet square, in the middle
of a large, well lit room. Soldiers, perhaps fifty or more, were gathered,
seated and standing, around the periphery of the room. Across from her, a
naked man, blindfolded, was being guided up the steps to the platform. She
immediately recognized him as Dan, her husband. Her heart jumped. He
looked fairly good; he had several days growth of beard and looked a bit
dirty, but it was still Dan! She wanted to reach out and grab him, but the
officer held her back for a moment.
He addressed them both, as Dan's blindfold was being removed. "You may be
together here as long as you want, as long as you follow the rules. Both
of you must remain standing at all times. If you sit or lie, even for a
moment, the visit is over. You must stay on this platform, and neither of
you may pass water, or the visit is terminated. Now you may enjoy your
visit; you may talk, touch, do anything, ANYTHING, you want, as long as
you keep the rules!"
Emily ran to Dan, and they embraced immediately. Oblivious to the many
watchers, they kissed and grabbed each other closely. Then, Emily started
to talk - she had so much to say, about how she missed him, how they were
being treated. Dan abruptly stopped her.
"Emily, I don't know what they made you do, but I know what they did to
me! They took my clothes away, and made me drink an enormous amount of
water! We can only stay as long as I don't pee, and I just want you to
know I need to, very badly, and I don't know how long I can hold out! But,
it's so great to even see you, and it's worth all the hurting...I just
want to make it last!"
"They did it to me, too," Emily replied, tears in her eyes. "I'm full up;
but I'm going to make it last, too!"
They talked and nuzzled, touched and embraced. The discomfort and
humiliation was temporarily put aside. They were again two lovers, for a
Emily's mind had flashed to those words of the officer, "you can do
anything, ANYTHING," she wondered what he was expecting. But she wondered
only for a moment, as her feelings caught up to her.
Emily had been humiliated at being nude in front of all these men, but
being nude in front of Dan was different. Suddenly she was glad he could
see her, even in the condition she was. She was a normal young married
woman, and she hadn't had sex for over three months. A prison camp doesn't
provide much for erotic arousal, and she had been concerned with other
matters, but now, she felt her hormones raging. As Dan had been brought in
naked, she had seen him standing, blindfolded, and his penis was flaccid;
but now she could feel it rigidly erect, and brushing against her stomach.
She reflected that he presumably hadn't had sex in three months, either,
and now he was looking at and embracing his naked wife.
Small wonder his organ was hard, pointing upward like an arrow about to
fly. She knew what the officer was looking for was a sex show, and that's
what he meant by "anything"! They had brought them together to give a sex
show for the men watching, but they were being frustrated by having to
remain standing, both with terribly full bladders they were forbidden to
empty! The game, obviously, was for the men to enjoy their frustration and
see what they would do about it.
Emily had been trying to converse sensibly with Dan, but she was hit with
pangs of pain from her bladder, now demanding relief. Dan had confessed to
her his own desperate need, which he was trying to control. She reached
down, seized his penis in her hand, and squeezed it.
"Gad, but you feel good!" he responded to her touch. "Hold it tight, maybe
it will help keep me from leaking! I need all the help you can give me!"
"What about me? You can't help me hold, can you?" He put his hand on her
crotch, and held it tightly. Her arousal was apparent from the wetness he
felt. "I hope that isn't pee!" he whispered in her ear. "It isn't" she
answered back, "but don't push in on me- there is about a gallon of pee
inside, and it all wants out! Dan - I need you, I need - we've got to help
Between snatches of conversation about more mundane matters, they were
both very aroused. Dan held her breasts, kissing them and squeezing the
nipples, while she protested about her appearance, "Dan, I look awful, and
I smell bad; I haven't had a bath in days, my legs are hairy, and.." "You
look great. I wouldn't change a thing. Except I wish I had a plug to put
in you to keep you from leaking - I want this to go on forever!"
"Dan, you've got a plug, a good one, and I know it fits" she answered
quickly, squeezing his penis with her strong fingers. "Emily, we can't!
Oh, I wish we could, but we have to stay standing up! What if you should
"Dan", she answered with confidence, "I need that plug in me! I think I
can manage the position - I won't fall; and, anyway, you can hold me by my
handles so I don't slip! I think if I have you in me it will be easier to
hold on - and I want you so much- so, so, much!" "Handles?" he asked,
squeezing her breasts, one with each hand, admiring her attempt at humor.
Carefully, she spread her legs, as he bent backward slightly, both hands
holding her breasts. She guided his penis into her, bending back slightly.
The onlookers began to cheer, fascinated with the performance. They
found it was a difficult balancing act, he holding her by the breasts, she
gripping him at the waist, both of them bending backward as he slid into
They held the position, neither of them moving. She made sounds of mixed
pain and pleasure, adding "Never like this - oh, I want you to hold it!
Just stay this way! Oh, my bladder! But, it doesn't feel as bad with you
there- you've got to stay, it gives me a little relief. Don't move just
He was in her, and the tightness of her body lessened his own holding
problem. She was so tight! She hadn't had sex for months, and with her
full bladder forcing her to tighten all of her pelvic muscles, it felt as
though his penis was in a vise. They tried to hold the pose. The onlookers
quieted down in anticipation.
After several minutes, she moved slightly and called to him, "Go on - I
can hold it in! Go on - it will help us both hold". She had her head
thrown back, looking upward, still feeling both of his hands holding her
firmly by the breasts.
He began to move slightly. It wasn't easy, they didn't dare slip and fall.
Her grip on him was so tight that his motions were difficult at first,
but gradually became easier.
As he moved slowly within her, she suddenly said, in a calm voice, "You
know, I can't even feel my bladder any more. This has got to be the best
way to stop it from hurting!"
"Me, too," he answered, "I can't feel my bladder either! Let's keep it
going as long as we can!"
He tried to keep his motion slow, despite the intense arousal both of them
were now feeling. Slowly she brought her head back to face him, displaying
an ecstatic smile. She moved her hands up, holding him by his sides. His
grip on her breasts never slackened. He pulled them apart, massaging them
with his strong grip, as he manipulated them.
Her orgasm came in an ecstatic explosion. Her body jerked, her head jumped
backward. He squeezed her nipples hard at the very moment, not yet
reaching his own explosive point. He continued to thrust a moment or two,
then reached his own climax with a loud moan and a sudden cessation of his
Gradually they came down from the clouds, looking at each other, still
standing there, hands on each other, ignoring the onlookers. They had
stayed on their feet. Neither had peed. They were still connected. She
still had her sense of humor. "You want out?" she asked, "I still need the
plug, you know. Bladder's still full. Oh, it's starting to hurt again!"
He slowly withdrew his now flaccid member. She immediately took it in her
hand and squeezed tightly near the tip. "Keep the valve shut - I don't
want to lose you yet!"
Sexually relieved, thoroughly enjoying each other, they stood together in
an odd posture; she, holding the tip of his penis in a tight grasp, and he
pressing his fingers through her labia, trying to press her urethra
closed. The pain of their bladders both drew them together in a common
misery, and forced them to face their coming separation when one or the
other could no longer hold it.
They kept it up half an hour or so, conversing quietly. They stood
together, hardly moving their feet, but both fidgeting and twitching
nervously throughout their lower bodies. Then came the breaking point as
he exclaimed to her, "Try holding it tighter, right at the tip; I can't
hold back any longer!" She tightened her grip at the tip of his penis,
trying hard to pinch it shut. It didn't work. There was a slight spurt
from the tip. She squeezed tighter, but it was too late. The watchers
noticed. Men moved to separate them, starting to pull him away. His urine
shoot out in a stream, falling to the platform. They grasped each other
for one final embrace, as he was dragged away, peeing furiously.
She was pulled off the platform, taken down the steps. The officer
escorted her out the door. As they stepped to the outdoors, he stood her
on the bare ground adjoining the building. He pointed down. "Pee!" he
commanded. She complied, legs spread, still standing, a forceful stream
pouring from her. She could see a group of soldiers watching. She didn't
care. She had
her Dan. They had made her stand, and she was still on her feet.
She was led back to the room where her underwear had been left. She was
allowed hastily to put on her meager cover, and then was driven back to
the women's compound. At the commander's office, she retrieved her dress
and shoes. She walked to her barracks. She had not felt so good in a long
She didn't get to see Dan again, until their release over two years later.
As Emily and Dan arrived at their house, he again asked her if she was
still thinking about the visit they had those forty years ago. She turned
to him with her usual smile, "Could I ever forget that? But, Dan, how
could I ever tell it to anyone else?"
"Would you go through it again", Dan asked her. "I'll never have to. I'm
an old lady now". They unlocked the door and went in. "It's been a long
day," she continued. "I haven't had a bathroom break since before the
program. I badly need a pee, and a shower, and I'm ready for bed!" She put
down her belongings and started toward the bathroom. Dan grabbed her,
"I need a bathroom stop, too, and I like your menu, but let's change the
order a bit. There was a time when you were willing to put off the pee and
the shower.." his voice trailed off, as he kissed her lightly. Then he
pulled her away from the direction of the bathroom, pointing her toward
their bedroom instead. As they went through the door, he turned her around
and reached to unbutton her blouse, only to find she already had it
completely unfastened, and was unsnapping her bra.. Dropping both on a
chair, she turned to him bare breasted, and gave him that smile again,
saying "At least it's going to be a bed, and not standing on a platform,
but you can still use the handles." As he followed her instructions, she
shook her head, adding, "How would you ever tell the grandchildren?"