Tuesday, 26 July 2016

1975: German fluff to kissing sisters

I returned from my French school trip in August 1972 with a lot more confidence, following my entertaining encounter with the French girls.   My partner in crime, Dobs, and I didn't get a chance to discuss the incident until school began again in September. I approached the first week in a state of some nervousness as I was convinced the French teachers 'wife' would eventually have ratted on us (she was French after all and, therefore, untrustworthy by definition) about the girls and the cider.  But nothing was said and Dobs and I relaxed.

However, we soon discovered that there were no friendly, tactile girls anywhere around back in England.  We went to an all boys school with an all male staff.  Although there was a girls school next door the headmistress had made sure that the time they left school was half an hour after our school finished for the day.  We weren't going to hang around waiting for girls; we wanted to get home (a journey that took me an hour and a half on public transport).  Also, to be honest, the girls from next door's school weren't anything like as attractive as the French girls we had met,  Dobs and I had been very spoiled in our first encounter with the fairer sex.  It was like getting your first drive in a car in a slinky Panhard and then finding that your future driving opportunities were limited to an Austin Maxi.  A number of older girls from the school next door did catch the same bus as we did to the station but they were not very appealing.  There was Splodge (her friends' nickname for her) who was tall, had a body like a barrel and had nasty black curly hair that was unfortunately arranged in such a way that she seemed to have a face that was eighty percent forehead. There was her best friend S, who, in contrast was very short, had a figure like a boy and a hard, angular face like a goblin (as Dobs cruelly observed).  There was Plain Jane, who smoked illicitly and looked about forty years old as a result; even though she was only sixteen.  There was one lovely, elegant girl who was a nice blonde with an upturned nose but she was a sixth former and we were in the second year and she was as unapproachable as a film star.  The girls wore a fetching straw boater in the summer and she always looked lovely in hers.

I didn't see any of the girls I had been at junior school with any more.  My favourite, recorder playing S, had moved away with her family.  I didn't meet any girls socially as I didn't have a social life. Given the amount of homework we were given it would have been impossible anyway.  I was twelve, had no transport (not even a bicycle - I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was thirty four!) and lived right on the outside edge of the school's catchment area, so all my classmates lived miles away.  In addition, I lived in  a village with limited transport links and there were no pretty girls in the village.  Ironically, two years old at the time and living just around the corner was a girl who would attend my junior school and later went on to become a successful Hollywood actress, who was voted by People magazine in 1994 as one of the top fifty most beautiful people in the world!

So for the rest of 1972, the whole of 1973 and 1974 my only interaction with girls came through pictures of models and actresses in the newspapers and the discovery of some of my father's men's magazines which I found in his study, buried under a pile of architectural magazines. I wouldn't acquire my first copy of a men's magazine (Men Only, May 1976) for more than three years.

I did acquire a well developed aesthetic sense as regards women, though, and worked on building my cuttings collection.  I also developed a good instinct for spotting really pretty women on the street.  Most of my fellow pupils were still at the TV and film actresses and girls in the newspapers stage.  Dobs and I, though, having enjoyed some real girls were far more interested in spotting flesh and blood women when out and about.  The trouble was that this period coincided with a really ugly period for women's fashion.  Gone were the miniskirts and hot pants of the previous years and in there place were bell bottomed trousers, dungarees and ankle length maxi dresses.  What a cruel thing to do to hormonal boys!

My only erotic frisson during this period (at least the only one which wasn't two dimensional) came from our neighbour's house, wherein lived the lovely P, who was three years older than me.  The back of their house was in a road at right angles to the one we lived in, so from upstairs, at the back of our house, you could see into P's bedroom.  Unfortunately the room with the best view was my sister's room.  But once or twice I got to see P combing her lovely long black hair entirely naked (she didn't shut the curtains) although her hair was so long it almost completely covered her front but I did enjoy a few glimpses of her naked back and it engendered an appreciation for finely wrought backs - those with prominent shoulder blades, indented backbones and other enjoyable planes.

So it was a fallow period from the summer of 1972 until the summer of 1975.  Things moved up a gear in 1975 when my mother took my sister and me on  a holiday to the Balearic Island of Menorca.

We stayed in an hotel in an attractive bay called Cala Galdana. Whilst my sister and mother had a nice room with a balcony overlooking the spectacular bay I had to make do with a dark room at the rear of the hotel, overlooking the air conditioning units; the usual fate of those who stay in holiday hotels in single rooms.

In the room across the corridor, also with the view, were a couple of teenage German sisters (I assumed they were sisters, they only seemed to be attached to one family).  I had already observed these two on the beach the very first day, as they were both remarkably pretty. The older one (I also assumed, as she was taller and seemed to be bossier) had long, dark blonde hair and a rather elfin face. She wore very bright cherry red lipstick and blue eye make-up (it was the mid seventies!) and had long legs and a pert but small bust. In fact it says much for my rather unsophisticated taste at the time that I dismissed her as not worthy of my attention, precisely because she had a small bust. Proper women in swimsuits, as The Sun and the Sunday Express used to demonstrate, had big busts. I can still remember perusing my mother’s Sunday newspaper of choice, whilst she cooked Sunday lunch and listened to Round the Horne, to see which gratuitous but tastefully covered, lovely they featured that week (many of these girls joined my growing collection - I had to progress from a document wallet to a filing box, which I kept at the back of our wardrobe). The older girl seemed rather aloof but anyway I was drawn to her “sister”. The younger girl was a lighter blonde, and a real blonde as her body seemed to be covered in tiny blonde hairs. They were on her arms, her thighs, her stomach and back. She had a lovely golden tan (her sister had gone that horrible walnut colour). She had very short hair, which was quite unusual at the time. I happily wiled away two weeks covertly (I hoped) observing these two lovelies as they frolicked in the sea in their small bikinis, read their books on the beach and, particularly, applied suntan oil to each other’s lithe, Teutonic bodies. 

One afternoon I had returned to my room as it had got too hot to stay on the beach. I had noticed that several rooms had opened their doors in an attempt to channel the breeze through, as the air conditioning had packed up.  I knew this as there were men working on it outside my window.  I settled down in my hot, gloomy room to read the book I had brought with me (the James Bond pastiche Colonel Sun).  After an hour or so I decided to go and visit my family and take advantage of their balcony.  

I opened the door to the corridor and stepped through at precisely the moment that the younger German girl emerged from her bathroom; the door to which was next to the open door onto the corridor. She was completely naked except for a towel around her head. She turned to look at me and just stood there, her hand on the door knob. I noticed droplets of water running down her body and her strong tan lines. She had erect nipples and her body was covered in goosebumps. It occurred to me that perhaps she had just had a cold shower. What really caught my attention, in that brief moment which, nevertheless, seemed to be proceeding in slow motion, was the golden floss at the apex of her thighs. The forbidden zone! She was quite unembarrassed and looked at me, evenly. I had frozen to the spot and I knew that I had to move, as it was like being transfixed by a predatory animal. She just stood there. Dripping. She smiled. I ran; slamming my door shut and scooting down the corridor in adrenaline propelled haste. Seeing my first lovely, naked girl was one thing, having her attempt to make contact was another! 

Sadly, I didn’t see her again. We all left to return to England the next day. She made an indelible impression and I can still remember every moment of the tableau, forty years later.  She may just have given me a little bit more confidence for my next interaction with a young lady, five and a half months later; on New Year’s Eve 1975.

We went to a New Year's Eve party at a family friend's house, just round the corner.  In fact their house was in the same road as the lovely, naked, hair-brushing P mentioned above.  I have to say I did not want to attend.  I have never enjoyed New Year's celebrations, on the grounds that celebrating another tedious year seemed pointless. My mother insisted, however, so we were dragged around to her friend's very large house.  Even worse it was full of people (well, perhaps twenty or thirty, but I don't like large crowds of people in social settings).  Most of them were adults.  My sister was alright as she was thirteen and the daughter was one of her school friends.

What made it worse was that the father made his own wine.  Not proper wine with  grapes but with things like rhubarb.  Now rhubarb is one of the most disgusting things on the planet.  My mother loved it, for some unfathomable reason, and used to serve it to us with custard, when in season.  My sister and I would push it disconsolately around our bowls, trying to dilute the horrid taste with as much sugar and custard as possible.  The thought of wine made from this rank vegetation was too much.  Fortunately, as I quickly discovered, it didn't taste much like rhubarb but then it didn't taste much like wine either.  What it was, however, was really, really alcoholic.

Just as I was contemplating a tedious evening a couple turned up with their teenage daughters in tow.  Unlike the German sisters, these two were dark and looked very similar; even down to identical hair dos.  They both had short, thick cuts which just covered the napes of their neck and their ears.  They were also wearing identical clingy silk (well, probably something synthetic, like Rayon) cocktail dresses.  One in blue and one in red.  Sadly, I can't remember their names but one was seventeen and the other was fifteen (the same age as me).  Actually, as I type this, the name Debbie floats into my consciousness as the name of the younger one and the older one may have been Christine.  These are the names I will use, therefore. They were also the tallest girls I had met, especially in their platform shoes!

I didn't have the nerve to approach them, as I watched them knock back the rhubarb wine but I did think at the time (I was quite experienced with alcohol, or, at least, wine by now) that it might hit them quite hard given they were so skinny.  One of them, the younger one, Debbie, started to eye me up during the evening and while we served ourselves at the enormous buffet provided (the host was a very fat man indeed and his wife a famously good cook) she started a conversation along the lines of "do you know anyone here?"  It turned out that they didn't know anyone much either and both had been dragged along for family entertaining solidarity purposes too. It was about this point that I caught my mother's eye who nodded at me encouragingly to urge me on.  I realised, later, that mothers are desperate for their sons to show any interest in the opposite sex for the first time and as I was nearly sixteen (within a week or so) and didn't appear to have any interest in girls, she was getting a bit worried.

Soon, I was sitting on a large sofa in their huge sitting room, which overlooked the back garden.  Debbie, the younger and chattier sister, was perched on the arm of the sofa with her long thigh pressed against my arm, while her sister occasionally glared at her.  However, she was soon distracted by the arrival at the house of the host's son. M, who was eighteen and had a car!  He was a nice chap and I knew him quite well as his sister had been in my class at junior school.  He asked me to go outside into the garden where they had built a large bonfire in the garden as they (unusually at the time but now much more common) were planning to release some fireworks at midnight. Their November 5th parties were famously splendid and they had retained (quite a lot of) rockets to see in the New Year with.

While I helped him get the fire burning,  he told me that he was going to pursue the older sister while I should "have a go at" the younger one.  I felt quite grown up talking about women like this!  I ventured that they were getting quite tipsy on his father's wine and he advised me to stop drinking it, as it had a notorious delayed action effect, while suggesting we get a lot more down the sisters.

All of this, of course, accorded with my own understanding of British women (foreigners were different, of course) conditioned by watching endless Carry On film comedies, where desperate men pursued women who refused to submit to romantic advances as 'men were only interested in one thing'.  What I failed to appreciate at the time was that the Carry On films' view of sexual relationships was firmly based in the nineteen fifties but, of course, passing me by, there had been a sexual revolution in Britain in the late sixties and early seventies. As I was to discover over the next four years, there were women out there who were happy to pursue men; even gangly teenagers such as myself!  At this point, however, I believed that getting girls drunk was a legitimate tactic.

However, by the time we went back inside no further 'softening up' of the girls was needed.  Someone had put some music on and people were dancing.  The two girls looked at M and I, expectantly.  A rush of thoughts went through my mind.  Firstly, the bizarre sight of old people (well, in their forties) dancing.  Young people danced, on TV shows like Top of the Pops, Old people were parents and didn't.  It was very odd.  Next, was the horror of seeing my mother dancing with a man (my father had died the year before).  I was only slightly mollified by the fact that the man's wife was present and then surprised that my mother appeared to be a very good dancer.  For some reason Chubby Checker's Let's Twist Again was in the chart at the time and my mother turned out to be a brilliant twister (she had been a fashion journalist at a top London women's magazine before marrying my father and could be very chic when she could be bothered).  It was just something I had not seen her do before so it was a bit of a shock.  Like discovering that she could water ski.

However, all this was flushed from my mind by the approaching sisters.  My heart raced in terror.  I could not dance (other than Country Dancing which seemed to me to be more like formalised skipping).  I did  not dance.  "Dancing," my father once said to me, "is for women, children, homosexuals and black people."   There is a part of me that still, deep down, responds to this thought.  Dancing is silly and you look silly doing it unless you are very, very well trained.  Although I love Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars in the US and elsewhere) I empathise deeply with those who patently demonstrate no talent for it at all (usually men).  Dancing is, fundamentally, about showing off and there is nothing worse than a show off!

Fortunately, dancing in the mid seventies (before Saturday Night Fever encouraged show offs all over the planet) seemed to involve gently jiggling up and down with your arms bent and you hands held up at shoulder level.  I couldn't (as I still can't) understand why this was supposed to be fun; it was just faintly ridiculous. One thing that suddenly became clear, however, as I jiggled spasmodically in front of Debbie was that parts of her anatomy were jiggling more than the rest of her.  She was patently not wearing a bra under her cocktail dress.  I was hypnotised.  Boing, boing boing, she went.  I started to get inconveniently stiff and was glad I was wearing a (purple -it was the seventies) jacket.

Fortunately, she disappeared after a couple of dances and, ignoring, M's advice I had two more glasses of rhubarb wine to settle my nerves.  M approached me with a wink and said that it was time for slow dancing.  The record he chose was one we had at home, a selection of orchestral covers of Burt Bacharach hits.  My mother played it while she did the housework so I hadn't really imagined what it would be like for dancing to. I soon found out as Debbie re-emerged from the depths of the house with her sister.  There was no messing about; she came straight up to me and put her arm around me.  This, of course, was proper boy-girl dancing.  Not just jiggling up and down in front of someone.  I was in a total panic but I put my arm around her and we started to move carefully across the floor.  The house owners had pushed all the furniture back to the edge of the room before we arrived and so this was now quite a big space.  Still, I was completely focussed on not colliding with other couples, not hitting the furniture and, above all, not standing on Debbie's toes.  At some point Debbie put her head on my shoulder and started to gently straddle my thigh.  She was pressing her groin against me and it was hot,  Very hot.  I was shocked.  And stiff.

Disappointingly, midnight arrived almost immediately after the thigh straddling and we all stopped dancing to toast the New Year of 1976.   Debbie kissed me.  I was totally flustered.  I wasn't going to kiss her back in front of my mother! We all went out into the garden, the girls wearing their coats, and let off quite a lot of rockets.  People drifted back inside although Debbie lingered the other side (away from the house) of the giant bonfire, under the trees in the small wood at the bottom of the garden. She guided me deeper into the wood.  My heart was pounding and my erection was throbbing.  She darted in for another kiss and another.  Like little pecks. Not like the French girls had been.

"No, no! Not like that!"  I nearly jumped out of my skin.  I was aware of nothing else, as we pecked at each other under the leafless trees and thought that we were on our own.  But her sister had been observing us all the time from the other side of the fire.  She approached us and, after her comment, I thought that she was about to demonstrate on me how to kiss.  Like the French girls.  With tongues. She pulled her sister to one side and I waited for her to approach me.  Instead she grabbed her sister by the back of her neck pulled her in and started snogging her.

"Mmm! Mmm!" gasped Debbie, looking as shocked as I was.  Shocked.  And then very, very excited.  Two girls were kissing each other (the older sister had had far too much rhubarb wine).  Oddly, the fact that they were sisters didn't really register as being strange at the time

"See!" said the older sister to Debbie.  And with that she disappeared back towards the house. Debbie and I just stood there and looked at her retreating form.  Then we looked at each other.  Then we jumped into each other's arms and she shoved her tongue straight into my mouth.

I had thought that passionate activity with a girl would need to take place somewhere where clothes could be easily dispensed with.  But there, in the cold January air, under the trees, with her encased in her overcoat, we explored the boundaries of oral arousal for five minutes.  She didn't say a word.

When we returned to the house her sister asked her loudly what she had been doing. Debbie answered that we had just been standing by the fire.  Her sister replied that that must be why her lipstick had melted all over her face.  Their parents, obviously concerned that the sisters were making an exhibition of themselves, whisked them away, saying that they had a long drive.  Debbie gave me a shy wave and left.

On the short walk home my mother had asked me if I had enjoyed the evening.

"Better than I thought!" I said, grudgingly.

I never saw Debbie again after that night. She lived too far away to meet up with and I had no idea of her address or her phone number. She was another tantalising encounter that had unexpectedly appeared and then disappeared just as quickly.

It would be six months until my next encounter with a girl and this time I was determined not to let her drift away. 


  1. Thank you for sharing. Ahh that first kiss and...

  2. Funny to think that your mother thought that you had no interest in the opposite sex (little did she know!)