As friends at university we would often gather to talk far into the night about our sexual exploits over red wine and cigarettes. We would laugh in amazement at the very indignity of the human body, or then sigh over the accomplished lover who somehow consciously uncoupled with us. Men and women, netted like so many butterflies, were pinned to our memories. These were shared and dissected among us – laid bare without shame – to the delight of all.
As we got older, these revelations gradually became less frequent and more inhibited. Yes, we would still talk about our love lives and share our experiences, but now with more caution and a greater tendency to suppress the unsavoury aspects. Now we varnished, to some degree, the less palatable truths with suggestions of extraordinary stamina or rose-scented sheets.
I wanted to recapture the raw, more honest storytelling of my student days, and so I conducted a series of anonymous interviews with women friends about their own, real, sexual experiences.
I was 23.
The first thing I was drawn to were his earlobes, don’t ask me why. They were the kind that didn’t attach at the bottom, you know? The kind that were begging to be sucked. He had a piercing in one of them, and the sight of it glinting there made me lick my lips.
He looked like your typical German boy; tall, tanned skin and a mane of dark gold hair that he frequently pushed back out of his eyes. He looked as though he had stepped out of a black and white photograph, posing in his uniform to sit on his mother’s mantlepiece.
He was a Tinder date; original, I know. We had barely even spoken before we arranged to meet, and our messages were more efficient than flirtatious. That’s Germans, I suppose. We lived near each other, and had planned to grab a few beers, go for a walk; but when I saw him, I knew we weren’t walking anywhere. We went up to his apartment, messy but charming, a typical share house in this city. He lit candles, such a sweet boy, and he had all this French art on the walls; it was unusual for a boy that age. There was a piano in the corner, and sheet music covered every surface, jumbled amongst plants and bicycle parts. He had a pianist’s hands, the fingers were long, slim.
We sat together on the sofa, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, talking. The connection was surprising, it went beyond the physical attraction and into something deeper. I knew, immediately, that he was a good man. With some people you can just tell, can’t you? His English was good enough that we could have a proper conversation, he was the first German to make me laugh! I know that sounds silly, but often I find there is a distance, a coldness, but he was vibrating along my wavelength. A plant, mounted to the wall, was trailing a tendril along the sofa, grazing my skin.
‘It likes you,’ he said. And I knew what he meant.
We kissed. As it was when I first saw him, the spark was instant, a sexual spark that ignited the next layer of our frisson. I climbed on top of him and kissed him deeply, pushing my tongue into his mouth, tasting him. He stood me up and pulled off my jeans. Underneath I was wearing a white, long sleeved leotard, cut low around my breasts and back. The fabric was almost sheer, my nipples just showing through. He bit them gently through the cloth, squeezing my breasts in his hands.
‘What a beautiful dress,’ he said. I didn’t correct him, but it made me smile.
He turned me around and bit my bum. The leotard had a thong in the crotch, and he moaned, mouth open and hot against my flesh. It was wonderful. At some point we must have taken his clothes off because then he was naked, and with one hand he popped open the crotch of the leotard, those pianist hands on my bare skin. He picked me up and I realised, perhaps for the first time, how tall he was. Not big and burly, I’m not into that, but tall and healthy. A strapping young boy who could pick me up easily. He took me to the bed and laid me down, crouching over me. He took my arm in his hand and slowly, sensuously he sniffed and licked his way down to my armpit. He inhaled me, and said
‘I can smell your aura.’ I know it sounds cheesy, but he was so genuine, it was so sweet that he felt that way.
We had mind-blowing oral sex. I remember brushing his gorgeous dark gold hair back off his face, and his little earlobes, and thinking that this is what pleasure feels like. My back arched, he pulled me against him again and again, his hands tight around my waist. We had absolutely wonderful sex in positions that I had never even heard of before, and I’ve had my fair share. It was very passionate, all guns blazing. I have noticed this with German men; when they are making love to you they are all in, they hold nothing back. British men often seem to be half there; socks on or their boxer shorts half way down their legs. But German men are committed, they get right down to it. It’s a really pleasurable experience, having sex with German men.
Afterwards he was so tender with me, he held me to him like a child, our fingers entwined. The next day I had to leave for the airport, and I felt like there was more to this, somehow. I asked him if I could take a picture of him, I knew that I would want to see his face again. He brushed away his hair and flopped back on the bed, smiling, as I took the picture. It was a sweet moment, he looked so young and happy in the photograph. I still have it.