Posts Tagged ‘Prostitution’

Sex and the Soviets

Sex and the Soviets

March 17, 2010  |  Comments Off

Making the Chapter:

Putting together this chapter – Sex and the Soviets - was one of the funniest and most frustrating pieces of the jig saw.  The ground covered includes the role of women, why women chose prostitution, Masochism, abortion, pornography, childbirth and sex stings. The major part is an eye-opening discussion with two prostitutes; a mother and her daughter. I called perhaps a dozen girls-I won’t go into how I came to have so many phone numbers-trying to get some of them to talk to me about their life as a prostitute. Most wanted nothing to do with me, a smaller number simply didn’t believe I only wanted to talk and tried to lead me on, and finally I found Larisa and her daughter.

Whatever your view of the morality of their work, I don’t think you can read their story without agreeing that together they are a winning team.


Perhaps I’ve read too many books or seen too many films, but I just had to ask if Larissa ever spied on the men she had sex with.

“Only once do I recall something comical happening to a girlfriend,” she said as crease lines appeared on her face. “She was in middle of it — it was a new client — when the door burst open, a man entered, switched on the lights, and took some pictures. Their faces must have shown such surprise.” Remembering this, she rocked with laugher. “Needless to say, she never saw that client again.”

Most commonly, it seems, this sort of client was working for an embassy or was a politician, and the photos were taken as a future “insurance policy.” The information sat in a file somewhere until the important man needed to be coerced in some way. Genuine examples are difficult to come by, but one case involved a plain, vulnerable but intelligent Ukrainian girl, Nora Korzhenko. It is narrated in her book, I Spied for Stalin, and in her husband’s response, a book called A Spy Called Swallow. The books tell the story of Soviet spy, Nora Korzhenko, who in 1942 was assigned to seduce British Embassy naval attache, John Murray and to encourage him to work for the Soviet Union. The young and impressionable Korzhenko (code named “Swallow”) fails to complete her assignment and the two fall in love and flee Moscow for a new life together in England.