The Bolsheviks and the Sexual Revolution


  • Sean Egan


Sexual liberation, experimentation and the upheaval of gender norms are not often associated with Bolshevism or the Russian Revolution. Bourgeois historians portray the revolutionaries as so stoic and so miserable they may as well be carved from stone, the masses of ordinary people impossibly backwards, incapable of embracing the rapidly changing times. In reality the opposite is true. When the Bolsheviks captured state power they burnt the Tsarist law books and set about undermining the oppressive, antiquated culture they emerged from. The bonds of traditional sexual morality were broken and soon the sexual revolution was as ubiquitous in the letters pages of Pravda as it was in bedrooms across the new soviet republic.