New Members and Organs: The Politics of Porn

Helena Goscilo


Until perestroika, finding pornography in Moscow was less likely than encountering a singing nun at a bazaar. Yet by 1990 Moscow News reported a lively trade in girlie magazines at newsstands, an adolescent complained to Vecherniaia Moskva (Moscow at Night) about the pornographic videos inundating the city, and metro stations and dashboards of taxis routinely displayed pictures of women wearing only a pout or a smile. Public reactions to the relentless omnipresence of naked flesh pressured Gorbachev, in fact, to establish a commission on 5 December 1990 charged with elaborating measures to safeguard the country's morality. Anyone curious about the effectiveness of that official body may consult reflections on the topic by one of its members-published in the glossy Playboy clone Andrei.

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