At the same time, Revolutionary Russia almost pioneered a sexual revolution, half a century before the West.
Young revolutionaries enthusiastically embraced the ‘glass of water’ theory, which stated that sex was humans’ only basic need and should be satisfied as simply and easily as thirst by a glass of water.
Lev Tolstoy’s last novel, ‘Resurrection’, tells the story of a peasant girl who turns to prostitution after being seduced by a young aristocrat, and is then condemned to hard labour in Siberia on false charges of poisoning a client.
The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 officially put an end to ‘the exploitation of man (and woman? Prostitutes started talking about their rights and even tried to set up trade unions.
Customers can also order a video of their fun and games (with the prostitute’s face pixilated, of course).
An hour long session on Vladimir Prospekt costs between 2,000 and 5,000 roubles (£40-100) depending on the age, qualifications and attractiveness of the sex worker involved.
But we’re talking about the facility on Vladimirsky Prospekt.
The customer chooses a ‘girl’ and phones her either on her mobile number or through a supervisor. Sometimes a client can be visited at home, but that costs twice or three times more and it’s not just a question of travelling time, but also the prostitute’s safety.
The public were generally sympathetic towards prostitutes.
We meet them as characters in the work of many major Russian writers - Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Kuprin, Leskov – where they are treated as the victims of harsh social circumstances.
The communist authorities, however, refused to accept workers in the oldest profession as members of the working class on a par with seamstresses or weavers.
In one incident Lenin sent a telegram to Nizhny Novgorod suggesting that several hundred prostitutes be shot for allegedly getting soldiers drunk on vodka.
Offering the services of a dominatrix marks a salon out as high class.