Mary Laven has recently written a book called “Virgins of Venice.” The book tells the story of Italian convent life. While doing research for the book, Laven studied numerous documents about the lives of nuns in 50 Venice convents.
She came to the conclusion that the majority of "Christ’s women" were sent to convents by their parents not because they had any sort of religious calling, but because the parents of these naughty nuns did not want to spend a lot of money on marriage doweries. They felt it would be easier and cheaper to send their daughters to a convent.
Once in the convent the girls refused to follow the rules or make any kind of vow. They wore short cassocks, jewelry, stockings, high heels and even curled their hair. The nuns adored having delicious meals and fine drinks. They furnished their cells with gorgeous furniture, they had pets. Sometimes they even managed to leave their convent and sneak into town to date men. Some of them made love in their cells, through a hole in the wall they made with the help of an iron rod.
Inevitably some of these "virgins" got pregnant and on many occasions they gave birth to wonderful children of Christ. At first it was considered a virginal conception, later the Church came to the opinion that convents were turning into abodes of evil and perversion. The Church finally decided to put an end to that with the help of repressive measures.
The poor nuns had their hair cut, their lovely shoes were taken away from them, as well as cats and dogs and fancy furniture. The Church even ordered all locks be removed from cell doors to prevent any lesbian fun.
The nuns had to witness their convents turn into real prisons. Doors and windows were all barred. Nuns could be visited only by doctors, but even doctors had to consult with them through bars or in the presence of other nuns.
The new conditions were horrid, but these nuns did not give way to despair. They found other ways to enjoy life. Some girls managed to have love affairs with priests. They also enjoyed spending time looking out of their windows hoping to catch a glimpse of a nearby man. At times their patience would be rewarded. If a man noticed the nuns were gazing at him, he would come closer to the convent and drop his pants to their immense pleasure.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969