Lenin confided to a comrade that the 'the so-called new sexuality of our young people and adults alike often seems to be merely petty bourgeois, like a version of the fine old bourgeois institution of the brothel.'
Lenin himself ended his days chaste and childless—Stern reckons 'the Communist titan was in fact a sexual pygmy'—and his successor eventually forced the USSR to do a U-turn on its disastrous (and often contradictory) sex laws.
By encouraging copulation, the Bolsheviks had hoped to boost the population.
|One of the letters in the Erotic Alphabet designed by |
Soviet artist Sergey Merkurov in 1931,
supposedly to combat illiteracy
An early Communist decree in Vladimir had ruled that 'from the age of eighteen all young women are hereby declared to be the property of the state,' requiring them 'to register, on pain of the strictest prosecution, with the Bureau of Free Love.'
When it came to choosing a spouse, frisky Vladimirians were allowed to pick a new one each month, with any offspring deemed 'property of the state.'
Paradoxically, in 1920, the Soviet Union had also become the first major country since antiquity to legalize abortion, effectively making it the birth control of choice.
By 1934, the ratio of abortions to live births was three to two in the countryside—and three to one in Moscow.
With Stalin purging Soviets almost as fast as the proletariat could pump them out, however, the USSR soon outlawed abortion (and homosexuality) and scrapped 'divorce postcards' in favor of red tape and taxes.
By the end of World War Two, the government had started lauding heavy breeders as 'Heroine Mothers,' and a survivor of the gulag recalled that male and female prisoners in his camp were suddenly allowed to commingle; the resultant bastards were spirited away—to be trained as policemen.