Love lives were better behind the Berlin Wall





"It was curiosity born of great innocence," recalled Kurt Starke, 70, a sociologist and sex expert in Leipzig, eastern Germany.

"Couples went to sex shops, sometimes with grandmothers holding a child by the hand. We wanted to discover everything the West had to offer."

Under the totalitarian state in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), as Communist East Germany was known, pornography and prostitution were serious taboos.

"The sex trade in West Germany was considered by the regime as bourgeois decadence," Starke remembers.

But "people were drawn by pornography, we could have sold it non-stop," said Wolfgang Förster, 55, who sold X-rated videos under the counter and then started one of the first striptease clubs in Dresden, eastern Germany.

Seeing a gap in the market, Western entrepreneurs jumped in as early as 1990 when the country unified.


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