Rogue Male: Sex and survival for the newly single man.

“Newly-single man” gets plenty of Google hits. Check the first hundred titles and you’ll note authors who are preachers, agony aunts – maybe even lawyers. The advice is sincere and politically correct. But ROGUE MALE is different. It’s got sting.

This risqué read is available on Kindle. It combines scabrous sexual comedy with evolutionary psychology, and sees the human sex drive as the legacy of primate ancestors. For curious women, there’s a chapter to honour them. But ladies, don’t let your man catch you reading this book!


The little shirts of Venus, as a Portuguese friend used to call condoms, are the sine qua non of sex for singles. And it’s a crying shame that the nicest thing in the world should require such comical appurtenances. But coverage is vital, Senhor, because sex is not really a private matter between two people.

Herr Doktor Sigmund Schlomo Freud, AKA the cigarillo-chomping charlatan of old Vienna, came up with the audacious notion that any act of sexual congress is a process in which at least four people are involved. Freud was referring to parents on both sides of the relationship.

From a virological perspective, many more than four participants are involved. Your latest encounter was the tip of a pyramid, built of commingled bodily fluids. Your latest sexual partner and her previous mate form the immediate lower level, one layer down from the tip of the pyramid. And that level is underlaid in turn by earlier courses. Numbers double and redouble until we reach the base of the pyramid: 128, 512, 4096, 524288. Totted up over the last six months, the tally can easily surpass the entire sexually-active population of Dallas. And in a sample that big there’s a lot of HIV, to say nothing of lesser bugs such as Papillomavirus, Gardnerella und so weiter. Gardnerella, by the way, is an infection that confers a fishy smell on the lady unfortunate enough to have acquired it. It’s the source of all those revolting old anti-female jokes, and must have been fairly rife in earlier, less-hygienic centuries.

If I started listing all the nasty things that can leap out and colonize your unshielded fifth limb, it would take a longer book than this to finish the tale. So take my word for it, my friend, and take cover. Better latex than never, as the actress said to the bishop. Condom etiquette behooves the gentleman to say the right and rational thing, should the lady profess a reckless craving to ride bareback. He should make the point that she doesn’t know where he has been, and that he’s only protecting her good health. She will usually see sense, and such examples of womankind are few and far between. Many rational single women travel prepared for all eventualities, and in that case the rogue male who gets lucky should gratefully don the article she offers him.

Let me admit a gap in my experience. I have never engaged at close quarters with a partner who was wearing a female condom. I don’t wish to condemn the device out of hand, and stress that these remarks are not intended as criticism of an invention which – for all I know – has brought joy and security to multitudes. But I can’t help imagining that the thing must make penetrating a woman feel a bit like achieving connection with a plastic blow-up doll. And rogue males will have nothing to do with those ridiculous, pathetic, inflatable masturbation aids.

Let’s not mince words, compadre. For anyone but a full-on latex fetishist, a condom is a vile thing to wear. Even so, modern males are luckier than a famous Scot, the great rogue male writer James Boswell, circa 1760, wearing an abrasive linen and gutta percha contraption during his knee-trembling encounters with the “tuppenny uprights” of the London night.

One alternative to condomization is a non-penetrative encounter, which is not to be sniffed at. A lot of women actually prefer the amatory tactics of the “drive in” generation that discovered sex before the sixties began to swing in earnest with the pill. In those days, disease was less prevalent, and the big worry was pregnancy.

Evolutionary biology is full of fancy chemical contraceptive measures. Most of them are applied by the male, to ensure that the genetic material of his rival – who enjoyed the lady’s favors before him – never fertilizes her. So Johnny-come-lately’s precious genes become his gift to posterity, and his predecessor hits an evolutionary dead end. But such built-in contraceptive measures don’t happen among primates.

Only humankind uses chemistry to prevent conception. Some age-old methods still work well, like a 5% solution of fresh lemon juice in water, applied to the moving parts. That old recipe is also fatal to the HI virus within a few seconds. They proved it in an Australian lab.

So when can a boy give up contributing to the population of Coney Island whitefish? Only in a stable, exclusive partnership with someone you’d trust to trim your short hairs, wielding a cut-throat razor. And that would be after both of you have tested negative. A poet I once met in a pub told me how he handles the situation. First of all he gets tested, then he encloses his certificate with a love poem and enough cash to pay for her HIV test. Very galant.

Condoms can actually lead to hazardous sex, as I once heard from a fellow who took a maniac to bed. He had no inkling that she was howling mad until they got to close quarters in his bachelor quarters after a long night’s partying. Possibly she was on drugs – or she might have been one of those lucid drunks who are quietly non compos mentis. That was his speculation.

Now for the horror story. Take a deep breath and read on, my lad. The pair are merrily in medias res, as the lawyers say, when the madwoman suddenly fixes him with a demented light in her eyes and orders him out. My friend is a modern chap, and well aware that a lady is entitled to change her mind at any juncture, even at that point of no return which vulgar Aussies used to call “the vinegar strokes.” So he sits back on his heels and awaits further instructions.

“Take off that stupid thing – I want a child!” she cries, deftly seizing the reservoir of the condom between forefinger and thumb, and attempting to remove it with a single sweeping gesture. But it refuses to budge, given the downward angle she’s pulling at and the upward-rearing rigidity of my friend’s best friend. Latex has amazing elasticity, and the condom stretches at least 12 inches – before she loses her grip and it snaps back, dead on target. Catapulted in the vitals, my acquaintance suddenly takes a deep breath and assumes the fetal position, his eyes watering profusely. A plaintive moan escapes his blanched lips.

Such a scene does not bear thinking about, so let’s not dwell on the hazards of night hoods. Let us rather move on to wooing and pursuing women. Because a condom is useless if you have no one to share it with.