Prostitution is Still Tabooed in Russia

In Russian regions, whorehouses are registered as massage saloons
There were 1216 brothels at the end of the 19th century in Russia. Russia-based German national named Minder was a tenacious manager. However, he had a weak point: he was known for his passion for women. Moreover, he liked handsome young men as well. He was a jack-of-all-trades type of man. Those people, who visited his house, said that Minder’s servants were all very good-looking people. To crown it all, he had not one, but two very beautiful wives. Minder had it all, although he had another passion as well. He liked going to whorehouses.

One fine day, Minder went to a whorehouse, having put a unique golden ring on his finger.  Before going to a brothel, he had a drink with his friends. Minder told them that he was going to give his ring away to the most beautiful girl that he would encounter in a whorehouse. He came to a brothel with his pals and indulged himself with more alcohol there. Minder ordered the most beautiful girl and spent about two hours in a dark room. After that, he gave the woman his family ring, as he promised before. He came back home early in the morning, kissed his wife’s hand and suddenly saw that she had the family ring on her finger. That was exactly the ring that he gave to the whore. Minder asked her, where she took that fake ring from. The wife answered that it was not a fake, but a genuine ring that she earned. She took it off and gave it to him to see. They said that Minder was laughing his head off. Like all Casanovas,  he liked other people’s sense of humor.

Cleopatra’s lifestyle was rather irresponsible. Since she lived before Christ, she did not know the commandment, which told everyone not to commit adultery. Being objective, the commandment was based on something. It was based on the Roman Empire, which presented corrupted Kaligula to the whole world. Pimping was born both amid poor and rich people. Egyptian Pharaoh Cheops completed the construction of his pyramid with the help of the money that he obtained from selling his daughter’s love. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks erected shrines in Aphrodite’s honor – the goddess of free love. So many countries disappeared and appeared on the globe since that time. However, the ancient profession still exists.  It was suppressed and praised, shifting from one epoch to another.

Prostitutes were victimized a lot during the inquisition era. Austrian empress Maria Teresa set up the Chastity Committee. Prostitutes were beheaded together with their clients. Pimps were whipped and then exiled. Those parents, whose children were guilty of perversion, were beheaded as well. In the 19th century, the French whipped pimps, cut their ears off and then ousted them from cities.

All those measures did not bring any good. This eventually led to the fact that all progressive countries turned a blind eye on prostitution. Wise people realized that prostitution would exist always, as long as human sexuality existed. They decided to control free love instead. As a result, a lot of whorehouses and brothels were opened. Such organizations were called "secret debauchery nests” in Russia. Regulations for prostitutes were developed in a lot of European countries by the middle of the 19th century. That document allowed to have sex with anyone, although there were two conditions stipulated. Every prostitute had to undergo medical examination and registration procedures.

It seems that years of communism drove all sexual ideas out of Soviet women’s heads. However, the return of democracy to Russia was marked with the return of sex. The number of whorehouses in Russia at the end of the 19th century was a bit more than one thousand. Nowadays, there are more than a thousand of them in Moscow alone. The Russian law stipulates a certain responsibility for prostitution, although this does not stop either pimps or prostitutes. If a prostitute acts alone, without  any pimps, it will be very hard for her to live. It is much more profitable to work in a special firm, which has its own pimps and organizes everything in a proper way. If a pimp is arrested, he will have to spend some time in jail. This makes them obtain fake registrations for their companies: massage saloons, private saunas, acquaintance clubs and the like.

A lot of newspapers earn a lot of popularity for prostitution in Russia. Newspapers keep publishing ads of hot beauties and their telephone numbers. Police officers have recently arrested a firm, which was based in the town of Nazarovo. The firm provided prostitution services, but as it turned out, there  was something peculiar about that company. Under-age girls worked for it. The police managed to talk to one of them. After a girl provided a lot of helpful information, police officers phoned the firm and ordered some girls to their own apartment. A candid camera shot everything that happened after girls arrived. Law-enforcement officers paid 700 rubles for two whores – for two hours of their work. When the driver came out of the apartment and headed to his car, he was arrested by other policemen. When they ambushed him, he yelled at the top of his lungs to call the police. He screamed that to other prostitutes, who were sitting in his car. The driver thought that he was attacked by bandits, so he tried to save those girls. The manager of the firm, the pimp, was arrested soon after that. The police asked him, what his company did. The man answered that the company arranged leisure for rich people. The police expanded on that and asked him to specify the notion of leisure. The arrested man answered that it provided massage services 24 hours a day. The “manager” was eventually sentenced to only 15 days in jail. This is the punishment that is stipulated by the Russian law – there is nothing to punish the man for. However, if law-enforcement bodies managed to prove that the manager was virtually a pimp, he would be jailed for five years. The police said that they managed to collect a lot of evidence to prove that the pimp persuaded girls to become prostitutes. They even determined that he was a very greedy man. Usually pimps take 50% of their prostitutes’ earnings. Yet, the “manager” of the arrested firm took 2/3 of his girls’ money. His profit was up to $400 a day.

Nikolay Savelyev
Today’s Newspaper


Translated by Dmitry Sudakov


Author`s name Olga Savka