Russia has rich history of sexual traditions. Unfortunately, we documented our history worse than the peoples of the East. The ancient Indian Kama-Sutra manuscript on sex has been preserved until nowadays, while we have to restore information on our sexual history with the help of the chronicles of foreign people who visited Russia in ancient times.
Byzantine historians considered Slavs as an offshoot of Huns. Prokopy Caesarian describes our ancestors as enormously tall people of much weight and with auburn complexion. The majority of Slavs had light-brown hair. In ancient Rus, a man was the head of the family, and he often had from two to four wives. At the same time, a wife was not an obedient servant of her husband. Moreover, those wives who were not loved by their husbands, were authorized to cheat on them, they did not have to hide it. If such a wife managed to find an admirer who offered to marry her and promised to do the chief wife, the lady could leave her husband for another one.
Another Byzantine historian of the 6th century, Mavriky Strateg was surprised with the way Slavs preferred to make love - in water: either on a bank of a river or lake, or right in the water in the middle of the river. Mavriky was surprised that before getting married young people enjoyed sex in groups, nobody cared about staying a virgin.
For a long time, until the 12th century, our ancestors identified sexuality with having fun, singing songs and playing music.
The idea of a loose woman was introduced in the 7th century and meant that a lady is in search of husband (she is wandering around). In the end of 8th century sorcerers were given a difficult job of depriving of virginity before a wedding, in a girls bath house they deprived of virginity those fiancees who remained virgins. After they got this job, the notion of a loose woman changed. All ladies who had been deprived of virginity, were called loose women. From XII to XVII century unmarried girls who had had sex, and widows who accepted men in their home, were called loose women. Only in XVIII century, due to much efforts put by the church, the word a loose woman became swearing. But the church was eager it to become an offensive word. In the language and law practice, a degree of a sin was different for a different kinds of sexual affairs. A sexual affair with a married woman was considered smaller sin than sex with an unmarried woman which was called fornication. Prostitutes were called shameless wenches.
Ancient Slavs practiced sex with absolute absence of homosexuality and sex with animals, and men had the inclination not to make public their successes in love affairs.
Princess Olga was among those to begin pursuing high moral standards in Russia. In 953 she issued the first known edict on the issue of sex - on refunding the partner if a lady is not a virgin.
However, only in 967 Prince Svyatoslav forbade sorcerers to be engaged in depriving girls of virginity and claimed that this is the duty and dignity of the husband. In addition, Svyatoslav tried to forbid dances on the days when there were no holidays. The matter is, dances were considered as erotic performance in ancient Russia - during jumps secret places hidden under a skirt were exposed. But this was too much - people started protesting. The edict was cancelled.
Russian Orthodox church contributed most in curbing satanic temptation. The church started gaining strength in Russia in the 12th century.
Sorcerers were liquidated. Midwifes-witch doctors were called mollies damned by God needed to be eradicated. Even contraception by taking herbs was condemned as terrible murder.
The Russian Orthodox Church started calling sexual intercourse even between spouses a sin, except for the sex for conception.
The Church forbade women to use make-up and introduced many fasts which left only 50 sexual days a year for spouses. Only one sexual intercourse per day was permitted. Sexual position while standing was banned. Those making love in water were called witches and sorcerers. Kissing a body was condemned. Only the missionary position was allowed in sex. A wife being indifferent to sex, was declared a good wife.
During confession, churchgoers were supposed to tell clergymen about their intimate side of life.
Russian people were not eager to follow the church's calls. They developed rich slang vocabulary as the means of expressing emotions in the life plentiful with bans. There are so many obscene couplets in Russian folklore that all the world languages total do not have.
People produced interesting reaction to the church bans. In all times, the church was making fun of a big woman bust, loose women were depicted with big busts on icons. Meanwhile, men were eager to marry a girl with a big bust, and girls made many efforts to make their busts bigger.
For example, in the villages of Central Russia girls covered their bust with a lubricate made of 3 spoons of women milk, a spoon of honey, a spoon of oil and a cup of peppermintЎЇs water. The said the bust was growing instantly.
I will take a risk to say that the source of the strange relations between a man and his mother-in-law should be sought in the 16th century. In that epoch parents wanted their daughters to get married as early as possible, at 12 - 13 years of age. On the first night after the wedding, the mother-in-law went to bed with her daughterЎЇs husband to safeguard their girl from a lethal outcome. Then the lady continued sharing the bed with her son-in-law for 2-3 years.
In the end of 16th century ethnographer Nikolai Galkovsky was the first to publish a paper on fornication in Russia. He believes, sexuality reached its peak in Russia in 16th century.
Sexual intercourses took place not only in taverns, but also on the streets. Most of sex was made in bath houses which were not separated, but common for men and women. Weddings were celebrated for 2-3 days, and on the second day no sober person could be found, and few guests had no sex with 2-3 persons of opposite sex.
Rich people went even further. Their weddings lasted for a week.
By the way, syphilis was brought in Russia by foreigners in the beginning of the 6th century, and soon it started taking people lives as cholera and plague.
As usual, a lady started fighting against sins. Empress Catherine the Great forbade common bath houses in 1784. However, since that time rooms for love affairs were established in the bath houses, and today you can find them their...