August 06, 2021

Strictly business: The sex lives of North Koreans

With laws imported from the USSR, sex remains a culturally taboo topic

“We do not have sex here in the USSR” – this was a remark allegedly made by a middle-aged Soviet woman in the 1980s when she was attending a joint talk show with her American peers.

Like many other oft-quoted sentences, this one is somewhat distorted: in reality, the woman continued the sentence and said: “Well, we do have sex, of course, but we do not talk about it openly.” Nonetheless, the first part of the sentence became instantly famous, and with good reason: while sex was clearly present in Communist societies, it was not a topic to be discussed.