1. Wagner: Richard. The greatest heavy rock star of his day. And who can say that full on, teeth rattling, red-raw throated, testosterone sodden rock is not sexy. That question is rhetorical, of course. But, listening to Wagner’s music at its thunderous, bottomless best is like being gangbanged by the Gods. Who’s juices don’t flow like hot tears to the Liebestod? Who’s horn has not been carried to climax along with Wagner’s? Who cannot remember, at least once, ascending to Valhalla with Brunnhilde? And talking of the lady herself, who doesn’t fantasise about riding (or indeed, being ridden by) their very own Valkyrie? They might say size doesn’t matter but they are wrong. Size does matter. Sexually, and sensually, big is beautiful and music doesn’t get bigger than Wagner’s. It picks you up, wraps itself around you, penetrates to your very core, raises you up and lays you down leaving you breathless, reeling and pleasurably exhausted. Doesn’t that sound sexy to you?
2. Bratwurst: Albeit a cliche, the bratwurst is a source of great sensual pleasure in so many ways. Slide the warm, thick, pinkly meaty wurst between your lips (either set works, actually) and enjoy its girth, its pliant firmness. As its musky, meaty odour fills your nostrils you breathe it in and bite (sorry chaps, somehow this seems to be turning into a castration fantasy…). The skins dips beneath your teeth and finally gives, spurting meaty juices that coat your tongue and cause you to swallow convulsively. As the moist, aromatic meat is worked around your mouth and the taste fills your head you give yourself to the sheer maleness of it. And slowly, gently, retract the rest of the wurst before dipping it in mustard and starting again…
3. Benedikt Taschen: Where would we be without him? All those glossy pages of sex and sensuality, fetish and filth, cocks and cunts. The appalling talents of some of the greatest sexographers of our times have been made available to all, through Benedikt Taschen. There are few publishers who have done so much for photographed flesh in all its glory. Gay and straight, vice and vanilla, dressed up and tied down, there is, I am sure, a Taschen book to moisten the lips of every fleshophile, whatever their taste.
4. Marlene Dietrich: that voice…those cheekbones. The baritone bisexual beauty who broke a thousand hearts. The froideur of Garbo, the sexual power of Crawford, the ambiguity of Hepburn (Kathryn, rather than Audrey ) and, in her eyes and on her lips the unspoken promise of a decadence that made her the perfect daughter of 20s Berlin. Shanghai Express, The Devil is a Woman, The Scarlett Empress…take your pick…Marlene was never the kind of woman you’d take home to meet your mum. None of the sexiest women is. And the songs, the voice…that gentle, Germanic inability to pronounce her ‘w’s…I find I cannot listen to her wrap herself around ‘Warum’ any other way than on my back. That is sexy.
5. The Night Porter: I realise that a film by an Italian, set in Vienna and featuring two British stars might not, on the face of it, qualify as in any way German, but anyone who has watched this movie will know the black heart of its highly, charged, twisted love story is all German. And yes, it might seem, now, that the old ‘Fascism + sex = sadomasochistic revelling’ equation has been, as it were, flogged to death. But then (being 1974) the frisson was fresh. And oh kick my goose and call me Herman but Charlotte Rampling made an SS cap and breeches the sexiest attire since Salome’s seven veils. The flashback scenes set in the concentration camp with Dirk Bogarde in nutcrackingly tight Nazi uniform, jet hair and matching eyes, were such an unacceptable yet irresistible turn on I had the timecodes memorised for fast forwarding purposes. It might be wrong, but it is so so so so sexy.
6. The language: I have never understood why French, with its nasal vowel sounds and phlegmy ‘r’s is thought to be so beautiful, so romantic. To me German is the most beautiful language I know. To speak, to hear. The careful intricacy of construction in a German sentence gives it rhythm, and adds a degree of suspense – even jeopardy – into each sentence, as you wait for the verb at the end to make sense of the whole. That’s kinky. That is feeling the initial brush of the flogger over your buttocks before you discover whether its purpose will be to caress or to punish. And the sounds of the language…those big rounded vowels…the ‘oooo’s and the ‘aaaaah’s. Many many years ago I heard what I still hold to be the single sexiest sounding sentence I have ever heard. It reduced me to a quivering bundle of teenage nerve-endings (OK, teenage nerve endings are predisposed to quiver, I grant you, but this was Quivering, with a capital Quiv). When you consider the English translation, you realise that the words are saved from being simply ridiculous, bordering on the comic, ONLY by the sheer rolling sensuality of the way they sound in German. Admittedly if you learned your German in Berlin this might not work, but close your eyes and ask a passing German to tell you ‘Lisa, geliebtes Lotusblume, in meinem Hause bist du die Erste, in meinem Hertzen bist du die Königin’ (Franz Lehár, Das Land des Lächelns). Tell me you are not quivering.
7. KINK: We all know Germans do it best of all. They are not embarrassed about it like the English. They are not mired in smug self-awareness like the French. They are not guilty about it like the Italians, conflicted like the Americans or coldly commercial like the Dutch. They embrace their twists and shadows mit gantzem Herzen. Cabaret was kinky in Berlin when George Formby was still Leaning on a Lamp Post at the Corner of the Street. Their national Fetish Ball offers pain with panache, high-end humiliation and the most sophistication with your sadism. And what truly discerning pervert wouldn’t bow in deference to an organisation such as DEBRIS: Domination Enhanced Beyond Rule Induced Superiority. Good grief, they gave us jackboots! Sieg Heil Deutschland.
8. Jagermeister: The Master of the Hunt. Powerful stuff and alchemic in its effect. In its viscous, opaque green depths lives the promise (to be fair, more or less the guarantee) of abandon. Served, wreathed in mist, direct from the freezer, in iced shot glasses, and in system-shocking single gulps Jagermeister is what we in Scotland term a ‘leg-opener’. But it is THE leg-opener – much, much more sophistication than the old Vodka and Superlager, more positive and yet more comprehensive in effect than Tequila and with a useful propensity for inducing in its victim (I am sorry, in your ‘intended’) a kind of Stockholm Syndrome – they know they are being held a helpless captive, but they grow to love their captor. Never mind the Madeira m’dear, have some ‘meister Mädchen!
9. Tomorrow Belongs to Me: Another guilty pleasure. Youth, beauty, passion and a slightly tense light tenor combine to create a follicle-erectingly powerful moment. And the darker it gets the sexier it gets. OK, maybe that is just me. But that kind of emotional firepower presses all the big buttons on the Casio Keyboard of my sexuality. And the fact that it is dangerous and destructive and born of damage just makes it all the sexier to me. It is one of my many ‘Roy Walker Moments’ (as in ‘it’s good – but it’s not right’). I reserve the right to be turned on by wrong.
10. Football team: Well, they annihilated the English team (please, no more whinging about Lampard’s goal…it would only have made it 4-2) and that is as close to an orgasm as I can get during the World Cup season.
POSTSCRIPT: I asked my dear friend Malcolm, a very talented writer and man of some sensitivity, what his top ten things that are sexy about Germany would be. He considered a while.
‘Thighs,’ he murmered. ‘Germans have wonderful thighs.’
‘Oh,’ I said.
‘Leather shorts,’ he continued, ‘Leather shorts are sexy.’ Lest you think you see where this is going, I should tell you that Malcolm is a heterosexual of the first order.
‘Big breasts!’ he announced chirpily, with an emphatic nod. ‘And blondes.’
After which the only thing he could think of that was sexy about Germany was being given expert head by his then girlfriend while watching England beat Germany in some European football match.
I offer this by way of comparison and contrast to my own thoughts. I am sure you all have your own top ten. Please feel free to send them to us…we can always learn from the experiences of others. Unless, I find, they include football.