But in the intervening years, a nostalgia for “love as it was before” has risen in the east.

Back then, “men and women depended on their own imagination. That made sex less stressful,” said Berlin writer Jutta Resch-Treuwerth, 67, who wrote for a lonely hearts column for young Easterners for 20 years.

“In a rigid state that wanted to control everything, citizens were more emancipated with respect to their sex life, women in particular,” Professor Starke added.

Better access to higher education and jobs along with free abortion and contraception and generous family policies favoured a less traditional role for women in the East than in the West at the time.

And in bed, women took the initiative more often and reached orgasm more often than their Western counterparts, at least according to polls taken then.