Want to know more about sex in Russia?
Covering a land mass of 17.1 million square kilometres, Russia is the world’s largest nation. The country is home to 144 million people and is the most populated region in Europe. Famously a soviet nation until 1991, Russia remains an enigma to most people with only the very adventurous and steadfastly curious journeying here.
In this guide, we take a look at how sex is perceived in Russia including the prostitution laws, adult industry statistics and porn viewing trends. We also uncover the best ways to find a hook-up in Russia as well as the legal situation for the LGBTQ community.
- 1 Sex in Russia
- 2 Adult Industry in Russia
- 3 Prostitution Laws in Russia
- 4 Russia Porn Viewing Trends
- 5 LGBTQ in Russia
- 6 Top Classified/Personals Sites in Russia
Sex in Russia
As Winston Churchill so aptly put it in 1939, ‘(Russia) is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. Though the political landscape has changed dramatically since he said so, the sentiment for most people remains true.
Russia is a nation that is globally perceived by stereotypes such as corruption, alcoholism, censorship and gravity. Their people are characterised in western media as being serious and blunt or flashy and vulgar. There is a tendency to focus on negative clichés which is unfair when you consider just how diverse the nation of Russia truly is.
Stretching over 6000 miles, east to west and 2500 miles north to south, Russia is the largest country on Earth and accounts for approximately 1/8th of the world’s land mass. It is a vast nation that spans eleven time zones and two continents. 75% of the country (and 22% of the population) lies in Asia with the remainder being a part of Eastern Europe. Russia is influenced by many other nations including Scandinavian borders with Norway and Finland, Asian borders with China, Mongolia and North Korea plus Middle Eastern borders to countries like Azerbaijan and Georgia.
It is incredibly difficult to distil such a huge population of peoples, but we hope that we can dispel a few myths along the way. For the purposes of this review, we’ve focused on the European side of Russia, in particular the major cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.
Famously used as a slogan in anti-communist propaganda during the late-1980s, the revelation that ‘There is no sex in the U.S.S.R.’ turned out to be grossly misrepresented at the time. However, it seems to have been a partial truism that reflected the restricted personal lives of the population during this period.
Many would expect that the fall of communism in Russia during the early 1990s would have had one of the most liberating impacts on sex in Russia.
Pre-soviet Russians were most certainly enjoying pornography in the form of pirated western films and the commercial visibility and relaxation in censorship post-191 did initially lead to pornography becoming more of a commodity. However, by the mid-1990s the sales of porn began to decline; it seems that removing the taboos reduced its appeal.
It could be said that the country hasn’t enjoyed the sexual revolution that many people expected but rather a sexual evolution with change occurring in small stages.
The country is largely a conservative nation with Orthodox Christianity representing 75% of the population’s faith. Despite greater influences from the west in terms of popular culture and social norms, sex is still a taboo subject publicly. This can best be demonstrated when it comes to the retail sector. Though you can find adult sex stores in Russia, they are not nearly as prevalent as in other countries.
This may stem from the national stereotype of Russian’s being very guarded about their personal lives. There is certainly a truth in the belief that Russians are dour and serious and you don’t find many public displays of emotions. In fact, many social niceties considered normal in other cultures are completely lacking in Russia. This high degree of privacy could account for a conservative public attitude towards sex.
In private, the picture is a different one with Russians enjoying sex more than 130 times a year, this compares only to French couples; in Italy and Spain the rate is between 50 and 99 times a year. The frequency might be enviable but the quality might be questionable for some with the average time spent being just 12 minutes. In the UK this rate is 21 minutes with Germans spending 17 minutes per session.
Infidelity is common in Russia with three in four men and three in five women admitting to being unfaithful to their partners. If you compare this to France or the UK where the rates are just 7% and 11%, it comes as a surprise that fidelity and loyalty are highly prized traits for Russians!
There is no formal sex education in Russian schools with the official stance being one that places the responsibility of this on parents. Education Minister Olga Vasiliyeva backs the popular opinion of conservative families that there will never be any state-led sex education. She has also been active in the past of cutting the funding for public campaigns aimed at reducing STDs and HIV/AIDS.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the Russian Federation has the largest incidence of HIV in Europe. The number of new cases in the country has risen by 149% since 2006 with an estimated 850,000 to 1.5 million people living with HIV. The alarming statistics are thought to stem from both a lack of sex education in the general population, widespread misinformation about the links of HIV and homosexuals as well as a high proportion of people who inject drugs (2.3% of the population).
Contraception rates in Russia are quite low at just 68% which compares to the catholic nation of Ireland which has a similar rate of 64.0%.
Overall, the face of sex in Russia is changing all the time. The current generation is the first that has grown up in a post-soviet nation and more liberal attitudes are beginning to surface. Of course, this contrasts with an older generation who still remember the days of communal living, repressed sexuality and taboos. Certainly, this disparity can be seen more markedly in more rural towns and smaller cities yet Moscow and St Petersburg enjoy a more open-minded attitude.
Adult Industry in Russia
Pornography in Russia is legal to watch but not to produce or distribute. However, the situation lacks clarity as there is no strict legal definition of exactly what ‘pornography’ is in Russia. The law also contradicts itself by stating that only the ‘illegal’ sale and distribution of pornography is banned; this implies that it can sometimes be legal.
The Russian media watchdog, Roskomnadzor, has blocked several international porn websites including Pornhub and YouPorn. Adult websites are not the only target for state-imposed censorship with Wikipedia also receiving a ban.
A new law also came into force in November 2017 which bans the use of virtual private networks (VPNs). Known to be used as a means to ‘cloak’ an individual’s (or organisation’s) access to a website, VPNs were deemed by state authorities to be a means of circumventing national censorship regulations.
As a result, access to pornography in Russia is patchy at best. Though there is a huge demand for porn starring Russian models, very little is actually filmed or produced in the country. There are a few exceptions with a handful of porn directors filming material in Russia but distributing from outside the Federation. Of course, amateur porn sites feature a lot of content.
The vague laws on pornography in Russia has led to most porn stars seeking employment abroad. To this end, most Russian porn stars are well-known outside of the former Soviet Union.
Top Russian Porn Stars
According to XVideos, the top ten porn stars from Russia (by video views) for 2017 are as follows:
|Performer||Total Video Views||European Ranking||World Ranking|
|Nikita Von James||83,815,444||100||432|
Of course, this reflects the current appetites but there have been a number of Russian porn stars of note over the years, including:
- Elena Nikulina
- UK based but Russian born Penthouse Pet, Roxanne Milana
- Mongolian/Russian porn star, Aisha San
- Camil Gabanna
- Big breasted film star, Anna Morgan who was paid half a million dollars in 2009 to have the logo on an online gaming company tattooed across her breasts.
- Irina Pavlova
- Ukrainian/Russian, Elena Berkova
- 90s star, Olga Lovi
- Siberian born, Maya Hills
- Margo Russo
- Uzbekistani/Russian adult star, Juliana Grandi
- Kira Queen
- Russian born British porn star, Mai Bailey
- Nikita Gross, winner of two XRCO and one AVN award.
- Russian/Bulgarian porn star, now living in Italy, Edelweiss
- Winner of the AVN Foreign Female performer of the year, Russian/French adult film star, Anna Polina
There is no legal sex industry in Russia (see ‘Prostitution Laws in Russia’, below) and there is a limited number of venues for adult services. Erotic massage is restricted to escort services but there are some good strip and gentleman’s clubs in places like Moscow and St Petersburg. Private dances here can be very intimate and touching is allowed. Couples can also partake in activities at swinger’s clubs with some accepting single men to their events.
Prostitution Laws in Russia
Prostitution in Russia is illegal and has been since the formation of the Soviet Union in 1917. Most infringements of the law are deemed an ‘administrative’ offense (like speeding or drinking in public) and fines are moderate at around 1500 to 2000 rubles (€20-€30). This covers minor misdemeanours such as street prostitution and is covered by the Code of Administrative Infractions (КОАП).
Organised prostitution is a big problem in the former Soviet Union and the authorities have attempted to eradicate this element of the industry. Fines for pimping or running a brothel can be as much as 300,000 rubles (€4300) with up to 3 years imprisonment.
Before 1917 prostitution in Russia was legal and was both controlled and regulated by the empire. Prostitutes were issued with yellow ID cards (or passports) that allowed them to work in brothels. These venues were established according to social class with high-end prostitutes providing services to the aristocracy. The working classes could also access cheap brothels.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it was estimated that around 30,000 women were working as prostitutes in Moscow alone.
During the Soviet years, prostitution continued, albeit in an underground way. There is a suggestion that the KGB fostered a high-class of hooker to work for them, servicing visiting diplomats in luxury hotels. Certainly there were a large number of working women who enjoyed police protection whilst working as escorts for foreign visitors during this period.
As a huge country, it is no surprise that the face of Russia’s prostitution scene is largely influenced by geography as well as politics. There is a distinction between the east and the west of Russia with areas such as Vladivostok being largely shaped by neighbouring Japan, North Korea and China. In the west, cities like St. Petersburg, Moscow and Volgograd are more westernised and enjoy an influx of other Eastern European nationalities to the prostitution scene. Many come from countries like Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and the Ukraine. Towns and cities in the south of Russia are also populated by central Asian hookers from nations like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. You can also find pockets of Russia where Middle Eastern women from Azerbaijan and Georgia are popular.
In post-Soviet Russia, prostitution has been on the rise and it is estimated that there are between 700,000 and 3 million prostitutes working in the country. Rates in the cities can be very low with the average street prostitute charging around 3500 rubles (€50) for full service. Escort prices vary widely but an average rate per hour of 10000 rubles (€150) is typical.
Russia Porn Viewing Trends
The legal situation of pornography in Russia is a very grey area (see ‘Adult Industry’, above) and gathering information about porn viewing trends is tricky. Several major porn sites have been blocked in recent years including the Russian language version of Pornhub. As a result of this, the viewing trend statistics reflect only a portion of Russia.
Porn Viewing Stats
Each year the globally popular porn hosting site, Pornhub, publishes a review of the viewing statistics for porn in each country. In 2017, Russia was ranked the 18th most frequent visitor to the site, just behind Argentina but ahead of South Africa. This is a fall in rankings from 2016 when Russia was the 12th most frequent visitor (11th in 2015).
The viewing trends for porn being searched and watched in Russia reflect the nation’s penchant for anime and cartoons in general. The most watched porn fell into the top five categories of ‘Anal’, ‘Hentai’, ‘Cartoon’, ‘MILF’ and ‘Mature’.
The top searched keywords were:
- Step Mom
Relative to the rest of the world, Russians are 119% more likely to be searching for Cosplay porn, 112% for Cartoon porn and 101% for Double Penetration.
2017 saw some new search terms enter the review with top trending keywords being:
- Fidget spinner (New Entry)
- Japanese (up 882%)
- Cheerleader (up 498%)
- POV (up 167%)
- Minecraft (up 119%)
- VR (up 66%)
- Hentai (up 50%)
The top searched porn stars in 2017 from Russia were:
- Sasha Grey (American)
- Kim Kardashian (American)
- Lisa Ann (American)
- Aletta Ocean (Hungarian)
- Anna Bell Peaks
The gender balance in who is watching porn in Russia is bang on average with 26% of porn being viewed by women.
Unlike many other countries we have reviewed in Europe, Russia’s top 50 most frequently visited sites (by traffic volume) do not contain any porn or adult webpages. Even Pornhub doesn’t rank in the top fifty sites.
Best Russian Porn Sites
Despite pornography in Russia being largely censored, the appetite for Russian porn worldwide is high. As a result, there are plenty of websites catering for this demand though most are run by distributors in North America or other parts of Europe.
Our top picks for Russian porn sites are:
- Erotic Russians
- Russian Teens Club
- Russian Teen Ass
- Russian Mistress
- Russian Fake Agent
- Russian Teachers
- Sex From Russia
LGBTQ in Russia
Russia has an international reputation for its conservative views on homosexuality and sexual diversity. Though same-sex activity was decriminalised in 1917, it was recriminalized in 1933 but has now been legal since 1993.
The country has no legal recognition in place for same-sex partnerships and there is no protection in law against discrimination of any kind for both homosexuals and transgendered individuals. However, transgendered persons are legally allowed to change the gender following sex-reassignment surgery.
Interestingly, transgender porn is 45% more popular in Russia that in the rest of the world (Source: ‘2017: A Year in Review’, Pornhub).
In the last decade, the situation for the LGBTQ community has been deteriorating in Russia with legislation being passed to prevent distribution of materials (‘homosexual propaganda’) promoting LGBTQ lifestyles to minors and events such as Pride being blocked.
Homophobia in Russia is on the increase and the majority of Russians are in favour of laws which discriminate against homosexuals and transgendered individuals.
Incidences of violent hate crimes are also on the rise and revelations in 2017 of mass detentions and torture of gay men in Chechnya confirmed the deteriorating situation for human rights in Russia. A part of the Russian Federation, Chechnya has long had a history of discrimination against homosexuals but reports of ‘gay concentration camps’ has sparked international condemnation.
Overall, the situation for LGBTQ rights in Russia is considered to be very volatile and it is deemed unsafe for ‘out’ individuals to express their diversity. However, gay rights campaigners and LGBTQ activists continue to maintain pressure on the Russian authorities to fight for equality and there is much support internationally to eradicate discrimination in Russia. Many well-known celebrities are in support of change and have famously condemned the political situation, including Barak Obama, Angela Merkel and David Cameron. In September 2013, 50 cities around the world held same sex ‘kiss-ins’ to protect against Russia’s anti-gay laws.
Top Classified/Personals Sites in Russia
The gender balance of Russia’s population means there are 4.5 million more women than men. This statistic makes finding a date quite favourable for men, particularly Western men. Whilst it may seem like a stereotype, there is some truth in the belief that some Russian women are keen to find a foreign partner in order to emigrate. The prime motivator is economic with modern Russia sadly offering less opportunities for women than for men. Though women make up 52% of the countries workforce, they earn up to 43% less than their male counterparts and generally occupying more menial positions.
There are a lot of Russian dating sites out there with some leaning more towards serious relationships than casual encounters. We’ve pulled together our favourite sites covering a range of hook up opportunities.
Craigslist has an international reputation for being the home of the casual hook-up. They have a site in Russia which is available in English language. Though there are very few genuine ads from women seeking men, it does provide a good way for men to advertise themselves for free.
You should be aware that the site is popular with escorts and many women who use the site are actually looking for clients.
A free to use service in the English language, you can search for singles by various filters including area, physical attributes and language. If you ensure that you sort results ‘last logged in’ then you can ensure you are only viewing current profiles.
There are thousands of profiles to browse though they are all very thin in terms of detail. However, most have photos and you can send messages through the service. A freemium site, subscription fees apply if you want to contact other users.
This site is very much geared towards western men looking for Russian women. They have a total of 1.5 million registered users with many looking for love or something more serious.
In addition to Russian women, the site also covers many of the surrounding Eastern European countries including Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The site is free to join and can be linked to your Facebook account for easy access. However, most of the features of the site require a paid membership.
Russian Cupid is also available in app form for your smartphone or tablet.
This international personals site is free to use and has a good coverage in Russia with a few thousand single women in Moscow and about 500 in St Petersburg.
The site is in English and is easy to use. However, the profiles are pretty thin and there is no easy way to search them all for dating intentions. There are certainly a lot more women who are seeking marriage than casual encounters. The age range is also on the mature side.
You can place an ad for free and you can pay to have your listing appear above others.
With the profiles of over 29000 women in Russia, fdating is a 100% free online dating site. It offers an international database of singles all looking for different things.
You can search by location, age range, physical attributes and even language or religion.
The profiles are very thin but some have lots of photos.
There are no stats about how successful the site but it is a very popular web service with worldwide traffic exceeding 5 million hits per month; 8% of this traffic is from Russia.
Featured image via MaxPixel.