Photo: Alexey Dushutin / “Novaya Gazeta”

In the Soviet Union, everyone fucked everyone. Some out of love, some out of boredom, many – with special cynicism. In the USSR, sex was not something that “was” – it blossomed with all flowers and berries under the fig leaf of the “moral code of the builder of communism.” Young people lived according to the principle paraphrased by Natalia Medvedeva: “I fuck – therefore I exist.” Those who have been to camp sites and holiday homes during the winter student holidays will confirm.

The older generation did not lag behind: labyrinths of “office romances” and adultery, resort activities, abortion conveyors. I remember that I visited my friend Petya after the operation in a sanatorium near Moscow, full of exhausted Balzac's wives of large military and police officials … I am not talking about morals in a bohemian environment.

The whistle of sexual promiscuity in the USSR looked especially charming against the background of the obsessively propagandized “moral principles.” Under the bust of Lenin is your bust … As it was sung in the then popular song: “Only the berries are sweeter from the frost!”

There were two main “boosters” of the triumph of the underground Soviet sexual revolution.

The first is purely technical: there was nothing else to do. There was no flood of clubs-bars-salons, especially the Internet, and the issue of mass leisure was solved simply: restless “walking” (described in Mike's song of the same name), drunkenness, sex. There were also amateur art circles, but they also ended in drunkenness and sex. Boring, but what to do …

The second element of libidinal sublimation is more intricate. It is a forbidden fruit incentive plus something more. One of my acquaintances, then a student at VGIK, had an affair with the daughter of the largest Soviet semi-official filmmaker; He did not treat the girl like a gentleman at all and loved to say (it seems, even in her presence):

“When I [have] it, I imagine that [I have] all this [damn] Soviet power.”

Few people formulated it so clearly, but on a subconscious level, persecuted and taboo sex, as well as bourgeois music and branded jeans, was felt by many as an invisible middle finger to the world, shown to the dominant ideology. Let not a dissident protest, but something. As someone already wrote – at least in bed I am free … This is the sweet word “immoral”!

Now it's time to decipher the acronym. SEX. = UNIFORMITY RESISTANCE OF THE WIRE SYSTEM. And this takes us from the evergreen Soviet period to the current Putin dimple with “imitation of oral sex” in the “Police” jacket, half-naked priests “against the background of the temple” and “same-sex kisses” (hello from Brezhnev!) By the Eternal Flame.

In Orwell's ideal totalitarian society, any sex outside of Big Brother's control was considered a crime (sexcrime). In the USSR, where fucking left and right became the norm, the authorities were forced to turn a blind eye to it – especially since the declared atheism, collectivism, and women's equality did not give clear ideological trump cards in the fight against freedom of intimate relationships. So the case, as a rule, was limited to just spicy “comradely courts” (the brilliant song of Galich “Comrade Paramonov”) or angry house managers dadzybao like “They dishonor our yard” (Semyon Semenovich Gorbunkov in the equally brilliant “Diamond Hand”).

In RF-2021 we went much further. An emetic quasi-ideological mixture of “traditional values” and religious dogmas, militaristic patriotism and all sorts of (xeno-, homo-, female, etc.) phobias covered the cultured country and entailed a wave of administrative-power actions. I would call it, by analogy with a related phenomenon in Central Asia, PULIBAN.


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