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Offline Mooning Freddy

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"There was no sex in the USSR" - An Article
« on: September 02, 2013, 02:47:46 PM »

Thought that those of you who are interested in culture and history should be interested to read this.

"There was no sex in the USSR" is a phrase often used by people who grew up in the Soviet Union.

“Some American woman asked a question about sex, and a Russian woman got up and said “There is no sex in the USSR!”” Later, this phrase became proverbial. The poor woman became a laughing stock. However, there was some truth to her words as there was no sex in the USSR, indeed. The key, nonetheless, is the understanding of what the word “sex” meant in the USSR.

That kind of answer actually made sense for people in the USSR.
Even though USSR was a secular state bent on atheism, sex in the state was a taboo, not to be discussed or mentioned in public. Sexual relations outside of marriage were considered immoral, and the very term "sex" became a synonym of irresponsible, almost disgusting capitalist anti-culture. Soviet culture promoted an image of platonic love that stems from friendship as a source of "healthy" relations, as opposed to the free-love culture that started in Europe and America in the 60's-70's and developed into an entire sex industry by the 80's.

The Soviet government was concerned with preserving family values, mainly, because it could benefit from it. A family was a minimum unit the government could control, hence the name “social unit.” Everything that happened outside of family life was hard to control, and therefore, was deemed suspicious and undesirable.
Sexual freedom was considered destructive for family values. The government designed various administrative barriers to prevent sex outside of wedlock. People who were not officially married could not share a room in a hotel, or stay overnight in a students’ dorm.
Sexual education in schools was nonexistent as it could lead to debauchery. People were given no information about contraception since it was believed that the lack of knowledge would contribute to abstinence. Interestingly enough, the phenomenal number of abortions performed on Soviet women was completely dismissed. 

It's funny because the fact that sex was a taboo did not mean unmarried young people were abstinent. It just meant people did not TALK about it.

The first mention of AIDS in the West appeared at the same time Perestroika began in the USSR. Russian society became more open and could not ignore the threat. The struggle against the virus was unthinkable without sex education. As strange as it may seem, during the struggle prostitution was short of being legalized, and pornography and sexual freedom flourished.

While the appearance of AIDS was the end of the sexual revolution in the West, in Russia it was just the beginning.

However, Russian society still considers sex as something negative. While it is readily available and obvious, sex remains a symbol of sin and vice. Russians still have conservative values. Opinion polls targeting young people reveal that they are even more traditional than the older generation. These values, however, are not necessarily observed. Bigotry is another issue. Those who openly discuss their desires are criticized more than anyone. You are better off keeping your dreams to yourself.

One of the reasons the article should be interesting for you is because you probably heard the recent wave of Russian anti-LGBT legislation, including a law forbidding "homosexual propaganda". If you're wondering why Russians are suddenly so homophobic even though USSR was an atheist state for 80 years, you should just know that Russian in general are quite conservative people when it comes to family values, especially when raising sexual issues.
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Offline Ratty

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Re: "There was no sex in the USSR" - An Article
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 03:07:56 PM »
If you're wondering why Russians are suddenly so homophobic even though USSR was an atheist state for 80 years, you should just know that Russian in general are quite conservative people when it comes to family values, especially when raising sexual issues.

Yeah a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that atheism automatically equals progressivism, but it's just a stance on a single issue. And not even a stance that all people arrive at for scientific or logical reasons (for example, some people just aren't raised in a religion and some follow religions which don't have gods) though it is often assumed that they do.