Love in the old East Germany
The East German woman had a job, was economically independent, self-confident, and divorce-happy; at a time when only 50 percent of West German women made their own money, 90 percent of women in East Germany were employed.
…the East German woman didn’t consider her male partner an enemy but rather a partner who, economically speaking, had little or nothig on her. Indeed, the average East German man, unless he had managed to gin a foothold in the regime’s upper echelons — but what woman would want a man like that? — wasn’t in a position to boast any typically macho privileges. He couldn’t show off with money, fast cars, or a house on Ibiza. he had to rely on his potential talent as a lover and his qualities as a father and partner. As a result, he tended to cultivate a rather “soft” masculine image.
…And, on top of all this: the suppression of free movement in public in East Germany had led both sexes to develop a relatively uninhibited attitude toward sex. What other unregulatable pastime did East Germany have to offer its citizens?
That is from the newly translated book by Peter Schneider, Berlin Now: The City After the Wall. Much of that passage makes sense, but one part confuses me: does “rely on his potential talent as a lover” support or contradict “cultivate a “soft” masculine image”?