Sebastian Droste (1892-1927) was a poet, actor and dancer connected with the gay and underworld subcultures of Berlin in the 1920s. In 1922, Droste married expressionist exotic dancer and actress in German silent movies, Anita Berber (1899–1928). Scandalously androgynous, she wore heavy dancer’s make-up, which on the black-and-white photos and films of the time came across as jet black lipstick painted across the heart-shaped part of her skinny lips, and charcoaled eyes.
Her performances broke boundaries with their androgyny and total nudity, but it was her public appearances that really challenged taboos. Berber’s overt drug addiction and bisexuality were matters of public chatter. In addition to her addiction to cocaine, opium and morphine, one of Berber’s favourites was chloroform and ether mixed in a bowl. This would be stirred with a white rose, the petals of which she would then eat