Gibraltar: Burgess’s vain search for sex

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-19-04-53On the rock, writes Burgess in Little Wilson and Big God,

there were to be no women. All had been evacuated to zones of safety like Belfast and Greater London. There had once been regulated brothels in Gibraltar, but a pious Lieutenant-Governor’s wife had had these abolished. ‘You’ll have to wank, lads,’ said a sergeant sadly.

Carnal relief could be found across the frontier in La Línea de la Concepción, where ladies of the night abounded, though Burgess felt it

shameful to engage in a simulacrum of love for money, and I still feel shame at having carried an urgency over the border to discharge in a wretched room smelling of garlic and cheap scent.

He attempted to find female companionship in Gibraltar, without apparent success. He pursued Gibraltarian women, visiting them in their homes, but once it was discovered that he was married,

I was kicked out at once as a philanderer, and there was no more tea in tiny flats on Castle Steps or Hampton Ramp.

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