Was there any sex in the USSR?

There is no sex in the USSR.“- these words were said by a Soviet journalist in the TV program “TV-bridge between the U.S. and the USSR.” Since then, this statement became the most popular idea about the sexual politics of the Soviet Union. In fact, she said that there is no sex in the Soviet Union on television, but it is not important. In this article I want to reveal the secret that intrigue so many people – “Was there any sex in the USSR?”

I was born in 1986 in the Soviet Union. Variants of my birth like a “brought by a stork” or “found in cabbage” (the main answers to a curious Soviet children) are denied. Consequently, sex was in the Soviet Union. But another question – in what form was it?

Indeed, the Soviet Union was a country with a totalitarian political regime, where the culture, the relationship between people and society in general, all trends were determined by the ruling Party. In my opinion, there are several reasons of the idea that there was no sex in the USSR:

One. The power of traditions

During the 11th centuries before the creation of Soviet Union, Russia was a patriarchal country with a very strong influence of the Orthodox Church. Deep traditions, kept by people, have remained strong in the Soviet state. Young people should have to live with parents until marriage, and sex was only possible after marriage. Manners were very strict – father was the ruler of the family, girls were not free to meet with someone they like, there was no sexual fashion, the topic of sex was not encouraged. Relations between husband and wife in this respect were quite closed too.

Two. Communist education

The USSR was the dominant ideology of “Marxism-Leninism”, which was opposed to Western “Capitalism.” Therefore, all the trends taking root in the West, were seen as “corrupting”, “harmful”, “decayed” and so on. These trends included everything – feminism, freedom of choice of clothing, music such as jazz, anything in general that allows you to openly express your sexuality. A striking example of Soviet way of thinking is a scene from the movie “Red Heat”, when the Soviet officer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sees a porn on cable television in the U.S. and sais with disdain: “capitalism.”

Three. The absence of the conditions for living

One of the major causes of the “lack of sex in the USSR” was a so-called “housing problem”. People lived in small rooms, a lot of –  in the “communal flats” – “коммуналки” (where several families shared one kitchen, bathroom and a toilet). How was it possible to have sex when there were always lots of people around? My grandmother told me that when she and my grandfather were married, they lived with another couple in one room and always have to negotiate, when they can stay alone.


At the same time, there was sex in the USSR! To prove that we can use the statistics: fertility in the Soviet Union was much higher than in modern Russia, and since 1950 has been a constant increase in population. At the same time as well as in other countries in the Soviet Union produced condoms – they were called “rubber product number 2” (rubber number 1 was gas mask).

The population of Russia 1950-2010

Of course, with the collapse of the Soviet Union people started to talk more about sex in Russia, and as well as in the rest of the world we can see the development of a porn industry and all others movements associated with sex. However, as one wise woman who has lived all her life in the USSR says: “There was sex in the USSR. We didn’t talked about it, we did it”

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Oleg Vinzhegin,

Your personal guide into the world of excellent Russian speaking


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