Do famous people have better love lives

Love in the GDR: flirting under the eyes of the party

Nobody wants to dance the lipsi

Walter Ulbricht warned: "It is not enough to speak against the hot music and the ecstatic chants of a Presley. We have to offer something better." To regain control of the bodies twitching with excitement in the dance halls, the Lipsi was invented in 1959. Despite its fairly simple basic step, the couple dance was a failure and more laughed at than danced.

The youth in the GDR didn't care about the official wishes. Many still lived at home or in cramped dormitories with shared rooms. Dancing was one of the few free spaces there - without social supervision.

Help with counselors

Many GDR citizens turned to advice in magazines or on television with their relationship problems. They followed the official party line and advised: Instead of flirting while dancing, you should rather look around your colleagues or workers. This rejection of dancing did not come from prudishness, says GroƟmann: "The counselors drew from their experience as doctors or psychotherapists: from the marriage counseling hours they offered. There they had a great many cases in which the couple had nothing more to say to each other "One reason was that people got married young and probably didn't know each other that well."

The William Masters of the GDR

Siegfried Schnabl was one of the leading sex specialists in the GDR. The sexologist headed the marriage and sex counseling center in Karl-Marx-Stadt / Chemnitz from 1973 to 1993. He spoke on the radio, television and magazines about the problems of human sexuality. With 18 editions, his book "Mann und Frau intim. Questions about healthy and disturbed sex life" was the most successful marriage and sex guide in the GDR.

State dating service

At the initiative of the state marriage, family and sex counseling centers, clubs for single people have been founded in many places. They ran under such buoyant names as "Solo Klub" in Karl-Marx-Stadt or "Klub der Unmarriedeten" in Berlin. Dancing, playing volleyball, literary discussions - the club members were able to do a variety of things. Above all, it was about making social contacts and exchanging ideas. Some of the members also spent birthdays and vacations together. Of course, there were also a couple of couples. As in many other areas, the state also organized the single life of its citizens.