Love in the Time of Communism: Intimacy and Sexuality in the GDR
In the aftermath of the reunification of Germany one former dissident recalled nostalgically that under the East German regime 'we had more sex and we had more to laugh about'. Love in the Time of Communism is a fascinating history of the GDR's forgotten sexual revolution and its limits. Josie McLellan shows that under communism divorce rates soared, abortion become commonplace and the rate of births outside marriage was amongst the highest in Europe. Nudism went from ban to state-sponsored boom, and erotica became common currency in both the official economy and the black market. Public discussion of sexuality was, however, tightly controlled and there were few opportunities to challenge traditional gender roles or sexual norms. Josie McLellan's pioneering account questions some of our basic assumptions about the relationship between sexuality, politics and society and is a major contribution to our understanding of the everyday emotional lives of postwar Europeans.
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abortion activity antifascism attitudes authorities BArch Bild birth rate body BStU camp church communist contraception couples culture Das Magazin decriminalisation Despite Deutschen Demokratischen Republik discussion divorce East Berlin East German sexual Erich Honecker erotic erotica experiences fact female Figure film Free German Youth Freikörperkultur gay and lesbian GDR’s gender girls groups Günter Harsch Heiner Carow Herr Herzog heterosexual Homosexualität homosexuality HVDVP Ibid interview Karstädt Klimmer Kölsch Leipzig lesbians Liebe lives Magazin male marriage married moral mother naked Nazi norms nude bathing nude photographs nudist beach nudity official one’s organised parents particularly Partner party Pill political population pornography Prerow prostitution public sphere questionnaire response regime regime’s Reimann relationships role Rudolstadt same-sex SAPMO-BArch Schnabl sexual revolution Sillge social socialist society Stasi state’s surveyed teenagers Verlag viel zuviel verschwiegen West Western Willi Stoph woman women workers young people’s Zitzewitz eds