Tag Archives: Autre temps autres moeurs

The Complete Philanderer

Jot 101 Rex Stout picPart one

We have seen in a recent Jot how that great Sci-Fi pioneer and social satirist, Philip Wylie, was at base a misogynist. Here is the detective writer  Rex Stout (1886 – 1975) writing in the same Bedroom Companion offering tips on how a young tyro amorist could  achieve a series of notches on his bedpost.

Stout divides his advice into four categories: Equipment, Method, Raw Material, and Keeping Score.

As for equipment, the first rule is, travel light. Keeping your baggage at a minimum increases your mobility, helps to maintain financial solvency, and prevents your abanding valuable stores and ammunition to the enemy in case of emergency evacuation…I knew one fellow, a Lithuanian who operated on the Grand Street sector, otherwise a sound technician, who went so far as to advocate carrying one’s own mattress….and a man out west somewhere ( I never met him) who suggested an air mattress was obviously an impractical dreamer. Had he ever, I wonder, outraged his lungs—indeed his entire diaphragm—by inflating an air mattress to the required buoyancy? If he had, what was he good for then? He might reply that he also carried an automobile tire pump. I retort, what are we, gallants or garage mechanics?.

After stipulating the quality and colour of the amorist’s clothing ( a suit in grey, a shirt of whatever colour  and shoe laces that don’t have food spilt on them) Stout then suggests that no hat be born, though if the wearer does take one it must on no account bear the amorist’s initials. Rings are also strictly forbidden. Continue reading