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When I was a young man I watched the movie Cabaret and fell in love with Sally Bowles played by Liza Minnelli. On stage Sally exuded self confident sexuality but off stage she was sweet and vulnerable. I was so taken with the world the film portrayed that I began to read the Chistopher Isherwood books it was based on. The city described by Isherwood was living on borrowed time and the Nazis destroyed that freedom and in the years that followed the Soviet Union imposed a drab authoritarian regime on half the city while the western half was an isolated outpost of capitalism.
If I had been a time traveller I would have headed for the Berlin of Isherwood but in the real world all I could do was watch the film again and again and fantasize about Liza/Sally (I’m sure that is where my love of a woman in stockings and suspenders started) And then the wall came down and the city came back to life.
In the years after I had to visit the city often for work and explored it’s bars, cafes, galleries, museums and inevitably its brothels. There was an enlightened view of sex work that meant it was legal and well managed. There were numerous brothels which had none of the seediness that was common in London and the women who worked there were treated well.
I had only a little German but most of the girls spoke English and I had some wonderful relaxed afternoons that made me love the city even more. Many of those brothels have gone and there are now some mega brothels in their place. I haven’t visited them myself and they have no appeal to me. I have it on good authority, however, that if you are young and enjoy sex there are plenty of places where you will find like minded people. Sadly I while I enjoy sex and still love pushing my limits an apparently respectable old man is unlikely to be welcome in such places.
The extraordinary Templehof airport in the city centre where we used to land and walk straight to our hotel (and where the planes flew in during the Berlin AirLift) is long gone and the city itself has changed at a staggering pace though it still retains some of its charm and some extraordinary historical reminders. Sitting in the national stadium watching Hertha Berlin play just a few yards from where Hitler had addressed those huge crowds was a strange experience.
I rarely visit these days and when I do my wife is with me. But I do miss the sex. Having illicit sex felt like I was honouring the tradition of decadence that Berlin had for so many years. One of the old style brothels does survive though. Liberty rather splendidly is just behind the famous KaDeWe department store on the Kudam! When we visit that store I hope my wife doesn’t notice the wistful look on my face. I keep hoping that something will come up requiring me to visit the city alone one more time - even a day trip so I could relive one of those afternoons of 30 years ago would make an old man happy!.
We're gonna let it all hang out
We're gonna chug-a-lug and shout
We're gonna cause talk and suspicion
Give an exhibition
Find out what it is all about
J J Cale - After Midnight
Not really about "Ceremony" WW#390 although given half a chance I make it something of a ritual - not writing much at the moment so sharing this while its fresh
Once, before the internet, I lived alone in a part of town where there was a local paper published every Friday. At the back of the paper in the personals were advertisements for massage parlours and escort agencies. Sometimes I would find myself late in the evening wanting to fuck a woman and the newspaper would call out to me.
Finally I would give in and look at the ads, circle an agency and call the number. The receptionist would begin by letting me know who was working that evening but back then I wasn’t looking for any particular kinks just a good looking woman who was ready to be fucked. Back then I could drink a lot but still get rock hard without any assistance so it was straightforward hard cock in tight vagina I wanted. Once we had established that someone like "Blonde Jennifer aged 25" was available and could be with me in 30 minutes, we agreed on the length of her visit and the price and I put down the phone.
My heart would be racing by now and I had to get ready. I would take a shower but I didn’t pay the same attention to personal grooming as I do now. I certainly didn't shave my genitals but then it was very unlikely that Blonde Jennifer would be shaved either but I would be clean and sweet smelling when she arrived. The anticipation was excruciating as I imagined what she might look like, whether she would be wearing stockings, how she would speak but above all how she would behave. Would she be businesslike and just want to get it over with or would she accept my offer of a drink and chat for a while letting me feast on glimpses of her thighs and breasts before kissing me?
The street door buzzer disturbed my reverie and I felt my cock instantly harden. This was it – she was standing outside the block and I quickly moved to the door and let her in saying I’m in flat 14 on the second floor. It was nearly 1 am and the noise of her heels on the stone stairs seemed incredibly loud as she made her way up. I now faced a dilemma – did I open the door fully and watch her as she emerged from the stair or wait until she was almost outside? Despite my excitement I would make myself wait until I could hear her approach the door.
Now it was game on – in a few second I would see the woman who would be ready to open her legs and let me push my penis into her cunt. The thrill of seeing the face of that stranger is simply one of the best things I did, and still do – what comes later will be satisfying but nothing compares to those first few seconds. This time she is beautiful, she is smiling, she is dressed in a way that emphasises her figure and she is here to be fucked.
I have no idea how many times I did this and albeit in a different ways that thrill is something I still pursue and those escorts who don’t reveal their faces like Jade or Carla have given me some utterly memorable sessions. Two of those encounters from that time stick in my mind. There was the girl with long brown hair who dressed like she was heading for the local pub rather than a sexual encounter. She was pretty and spoke openly about only working occasionally as an escort. She said she enjoyed having sex and if she didn’t have a regular boyfriend she contacted the agency and asked them to arrange a few clients for her. The mind plays funny tricks and I remember clearly that she was wearing a pair of really good fishnet stockings that I took great delight in caressing as I move towards her vagina to prepare it for penetration.
The other was a a slim short haired blonde in her early twenties who seemed a little nervous when she arrived and reluctant to remove her clothes. Eventually she confessed that she wasn’t really an escort at all! She was the receptionist and when I called she was knew that all the escorts were busy and wouldn't be making any more visits that night. She was, of course, well aware that they would be paid more for having sex with a single client than she would for a whole shift and she had decided to take the booking herself. My first reaction was to tell her to leave but she persuaded me that she really was happy for me to fuck her and removed her her skirt and knickers to prove it. Strangely she insisted on keeping her tee shirt on however. She proved to be an enthusiastic partner but years later I realised what an opportunity I missed. A young pretty girl was giving me the opportunity to be her first paying customer and I should have given her encouragement and support and taught her how to please me rather than just fuck her. It is something that I really only learned later – the best escorts will be very clear and even matter of fact about sex but if you make an effort to ensure the experience is enjoyable for them too you will be rewarded! I know escorts who have orgasms with me and I am certain they are for real and I am always clear that I am happy to do whatever it is that they enjoy in return for the pleasure they give me. It would never have occurred to me back then that some girls really do get a kick out of fucking men with a strap on but I am glad I found out.
The wider world has changed just as my private world has changed in the years since but the thrill of hearing those high heels clicking toward my door remains with me still. In fact I think I shall have very soon have to go to a hotel and arrange for a complete stranger to come knocking at my door after midnight one more time!
Red red wine, you give me not awful love
Your kind of lovin' like a blessing from above"
Red, Red Wine written by Neil Diamond and released by UB40 in 1983
"Frigid" as the prompt for WW 381 triggered a memory that had been buried for years - and left me with mixed feelings - sad that I lost touch with someone I really liked but also feeling positive about some really good times my younger self enjoyed back then.
Its London, 1985 and the organisation I work for is slowly dying thanks to Margaret Thatcher. My team are young and if we are going down we are doing it in style.
The occasional drink after work turns into all night sessions then weekend parties. We drink from early till late, play UB40 records and smoke marijuana when we can get it. And some of us have sex.
She is a friend of one the team and joins us sometimes. I find myself talking to her in the pub late one evening. She has long dark hair and eyes like deep pools hinting of forbidden pleasures. She wears short skirts that show off legs that go on forever. And her laugh makes you want to hug her.
Nothing is ever said but each time we are out with the crowd we gravitate towards each other. One Saturday after a party I walk her home. She invites me in and it seems rude to refuse. In her bed I finally learn that the promise her thighs have been making is real - they are strong and firm but readily open to let me in.
It is winter but the window is open and the temperature is close to zero. At first the drink and the drugs and her body let me ignore this. I learn that it is possible to be rock hard and shivering at the same time as my cock spread her lips and pushes deep inside. At least it is warm in there.
Our organisation dies. Her boyfriend gets a new job and spends more time at home. She can't sleep in my flat because its too warm. I go to parties alone, get drunk and fuck other women.
We never talked about it but one day I realise it is over a month since I've seen her. Mobile phones are just coming on the market but ordinary people don't have them when the cost £2,000 so I can only call her land line but its her boyfriend who answers so I hang up.
A few years later I'm between jobs and killing time in central London and I hear her voice. We talk briefly but she has a business appointment. Anyway it is summer and she is wearing a long skirt. The eyes still have it but the thighs are not on display. Neither of us calls to fix that drink we said we would have together.
I lie in a warm bed and think about what might have been - would we even recognise each other now - and then I realise I can't remember her name only her face - and those thighs - and that laugh!
Frigid as in bitterly cold? Most definitely. Frigid as in a woman who doesn't like sex? No way - she taught me that even when its freezing sex can be hot, so damned hot.....
My heart belongs to Doris so Isobel will have to wait to make her choice though it may not be any better than Doris's choice of guys was...
At last my heart's an open door
And my secret love's no secret anymore
Secret Love by Sammy Fain & Paul Francis Webster
When I was a child my young heart was captured by Doris as I heard her singing "The Deadwood Stage" on "Family Favourites". I knew nothing of her beauty then only that in those few minutes she created a world I wanted to be part of wearing my cardboard stetson and toting my cap gun.
When I was a young man I lusted for the bodies of women who sang like angels and danced like devils. If Liza Minelli as Sally Bowles had said "Follow me" I would have crawled through broken glass to be with her. But I never lusted for Doris - she was too sweet to soil with my fantasies.
When I was a middle aged man I played her songs to would be lovers and fell in love with her afresh. At Christmas time her songs would soothe and charm and for a few moments I was able to believe that the world was a good and safe place.
Now I am an old man and I have learned many things. Men treated Doris so badly that she chose to give her love to animals who gave her devotion in return and didn't betray her. A few days before she died I watched Calamity Jane through these eyes that have seen the good and the bad of this world.
Doris as Calamity and Allyn Ann McLerie as Katie Brown set up house together one more time as I nodded off. But when Wild Bill Hickok and Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin came calling they were sent packing and Jane took Katie by the hand and led her to the bed where they kissed passionately before beginning to explore each other's gorgeous bodies and then.......
The innocent 5 year old I once was doesn't understand what they are doing and turned away though the old man wondered if Doris might have had a happier life if she had found a faithful gal to spend it with instead of all those faithless guys. And then the credits rolled and Doris sang "Secret Love" and I dreamt that they lived happily ever after.
I guess I'm one of nature's optimists so when my business meeting fell though a few weeks ago it meant I had a couple of hours to myself in town. Not that many years ago this would have been an opportunity for spontaneous, casual sex and I would have looked for a phone box with plenty of cards or rung Les Girls to see who was working. Back then it didn't take much to start my mind wandering - once I saw an attractive woman wearing a leather skirt, jacket and high heels waiting at the station and by the time I was in London I knew I had to have sex - and soon! These days more planning goes in to it and I have learned to enjoy the anticipation - and the week of abstinence before hand too!
I began wondering if it was still possible to get laid without resorting to the internet so being near Baker Street - the scene of many a fleeting hour of pleasure - I decided to walk from there to Berwick Street in Soho where Les Girls were for many years. I failed to spot a single card near Baker Street although there was evidence that they had been present but Westminster Council had done their usual thorough removal job. The cards back then were quite basic and the pictures bore little or no resemblance to the woman you would meet. These days when you see a working girl described as "young" you worry that it actually means a 16 or 17 year old or worse but then it meant anyone under the age of 50! Yet sometimes you got lucky. It was how I met "Flame" a sweet girl with a spectacular mane of red hair and a penchant for wearing latex even on the hottest of days - her card simply consisted of a line drawing of a woman in rubber and her number - it certainly worked for me!
I made my way down to Bond Street and headed for Soho - still no cards on view. As I tuned into Berwick Street the memories came flooding back. In some ways the street was just the same - certainly the market was still there but were the sex workers? This was where the "walk ups" were to be found with their hand written cards alerting passers by to the availability of "French Lessons" or the opportunity to purchase a "Large Chest". All long gone. Les Girls was very different and in many ways ahead of its time. They described themselves as "a group of professional working girls whose aim is to provide a high standard of personal services in accordance with their clients' needs and delivered in a healthy and mutually respectful environment." They started in the mid 1990's and were early adopters of an internet presence. Many girls worked there over the years but the two I saw most often were Paige and Chelsea - they were both attractive physically but more importantly were warm, friendly people who really tried to make sure you had a good time.
If I found myself with a free Saturday evening a session at Les Girls followed by a meal at Jimmy's in Frith Street then collecting an early edition of the Sunday papers on the way home was a real treat. Three things that were unique to London all now gone and almost forgotten.
Blore Court was a dead end off Berwick Street and it now seems to have disappeared into a new building on the corner with Peter Street. It felt safe and clean and you really were made to feel welcome. If we lived in a parallel Universe where honesty ruled there would now be a Blue Plaque there telling the world about Les Girls who helped me understand that engaging with independent professionals was so much better for both clients and providers.
Still no cards to be seen though the thought crossed my mind as to what I would do if I found some? Would I make the call and head off to have sex with a complete stranger? For all of 30 seconds I considered this and then thought about what J, the superb professional I now see regularly, would have to say. My guess is she would read the riot act - she considers health, safety and hygiene as being utterly non-negotiable and I suspect that if I confessed to a casual encounter like that I would find my self rapidly removed from her "white list"!
I finally did find a phone box with some cards clearly on display. It was just by the Edith Cavell memorial in St Martin's Place - not a hot spot for the sex trade as far as I am aware. I was about to go in and take a closer look (purely for research purposes of course) when a Chinese couple decided that this was the ideal place for some wedding photos - I am guessing that they liked the idea of having a quaint red London phone box in the picture but I can't help wondering if they noticed the unusual adverts too!
"There's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone"
1984 and I’m going through a painful split with my long term girlfriend (I did learn from this however and she is now wife but more of her in later posts). Back then pubs shut at 2.00pm on a Sunday and it was my habit to have a couple of pints at lunchtime. But after closing time I was looking at a miserable afternoon and evening and started thinking about sex which I did a lot then and
still do now.
This was before the internet and in the suburbs the only ways to find sex workers (not that the term was in use then) was through handwritten cards in news agents windows or the small ads of the local papers. The South London Press was notorious for having dozens of adverts for “massage services” and as my thoughts strayed I remembered that Friday’s copy was still around.
The drink gave me the courage to pick up the phone and after a few no replies I found a place just two trains stops away that was open for business and made an appointment. Half an hour later one extremely nervous young man, pushed the door bell of a ladies “tanning Parlour” which was
apparently not as “closed” as the sign would have casual passers-by believe.
The door was opened by a woman in her mid 30s with short blond hair and wearing exactly the sort of white overall you would expect in a “tanning parlour” and I was quickly invited in. I was then ushered into the back room where a massage table awaited me. Helpfully I was told to take my clothes off and lie face down on the table. A towel was then draped over my behind and I was given
a gentle massage until I was told to turn over. The towel was then deftly rearranged
to cover my genitals and the massage continued.
I had only booked half an hour and with less than 10 minutes to go I was frankly puzzled about how this was going to work until for the first but not the last time I heard the magic words “Do
you want extras?” I most certainly did but had no idea what was involved – “hand relief £10, top less for £15” apparently.
The open top button of that overall had already revealed an enticing cleavage and absence of bra had so £15 was agreed upon. So at 32 years of age I was brought to a climax by a woman using her hands for the first time. I was encouraged to place an arm around her now naked upper body and fondle her rather fine breasts. Once the ejaculation was over and I was cleaned up we settled up and I went on my way albeit with a smile on my face.
I never went back and the lady’s name is lost in the mists of time but I have always felt that I was very fortunate to stumble upon such a sweet, attractive woman who made my first time memorable and satisfying. Somehow the invitation to put my arm around her while she worked on me made me feel that this was just a little more than impersonal sex. I'm sure I told her it was my first time and perhaps that is why she was so warm to me - but neither of us could have known that she was launching me on a career that would still be continuing more than 30 years later.
f I had known then what I know now I would have returned and showered her with gifts for doing so. The Sex Workers that I have known since have given me many memorable experiences - most good, some great and a few dreadful. But that is no different to anything else in life - when it goes wrong it might be an off day or someone who really hasn't worked through the implication so their profession. Or it might have very well have been my fault and today I like to think I really know how to treat these wonderful women with respect and care and if I do manage that we should both thank that woman in the Tanning Parlour I guess!
There is fascinating article about business cards advertising sexual services found in phone boxes which were a key way to find sex workers before the internet but still can be seen today in Central London. It is by Dr Kate Lister who also curates “Whores of Yore” which has an always entertaining Twitter Feed!
The realisation that I have been seeing Sex Workers for more than half my life came as something of a shock but prompted me to look back at how things used to be and how they have changed in my home town of London and elsewhere. There have been some great times and a few disasters too. Along the way I will look back at some of the amazing people I’ve met and reflect on some of things I have experienced.
At the very beginning I want to be clear that I believe Sex Workers do an important job and that our deeply hypocritical society treats them appallingly. They are entitled to be respected and treated as the professionals they are. The job is a tough, even dangerous one, and Sex Workers need help to stay safe instead all too often across the world efforts are made to drive out them out of business and increase the risks they face.
The Independent Sex Workers I know are talented, confident and take care of themselves and their clients. I also know there are women who are being exploited in many ways both here in the UK and across the world. The English Collective of Prostitutes seems to me to be a sane organisation and I support their campaign to decriminalise prostitution.
I know that I am lucky to be able to enjoy the services of women who are independent and have made a choice and there are two I see regularly. They have web pages and I think it is only fair if I share them with others who might also want to use their services - but you need to treat them with respect.
The Ultimate Courtesan is a remarkable and independent young woman from London – bright, beautiful and articulate – time spent with her is always quality time
Jade Heart is an independent escort based in Newcastle (though her very discreet flat is on the Gateshead side in fact) – she is warm, funny and makes you feel so good!
An old man called Mike remembers sex in London before the internet, rants about the hypocrisy of today's society and shares some links to the best companions around today......