Porno art-deco Soviet alphabet


#1

A reader writes, “Someone was nice enough to scan the pages of a Cyrillic alphabet book from the 1930’s. The book encouraged adult literacy through erotic drawings of figures in various acts of copulation. Note: flying penises, lesbian acts and cloven hoofed demons appear. Male homosexual acts, do not.” These images are obviously NSFK (not… READ THE REST


#2

there’s one. that backwards N character . not the blue one, the pink one.


#3

While I’m grateful for the reposting of my article on a popular blog, this is somewhat misleading. There actually are a couple male homosexual acts in the Soviet erotic alphabet.

Specifically, these occur in the letters Й and З, though you have to pay close attention. And the latter is potentially even more scandalous, with a small satyr fucking what looks to be either a young boy or dwarf from behind. No penis is actually shown, but the short hair and lack of tits suggest its masculinity.


#4

I find the letter З’s homosexual contents to be dubious. Й however there is no doubt about. Even if the receiving male does look deceptively feminine.


#5

I think it’s interesting at least two of the characters have crowns - that’s not very communist!


#6

In 1931, Stalin was getting ready to starve everyone in the Ukrainian countryside to death, killing millions, so I’d hardly count this a pre Stalinist, though only a few years into his rule.


#7

Erect penises! Better not let the MPAA see this.


#8

Hmmm. Masturbation, yes, I can see it encouraging that. Literacy? Wait - are those letters in the background…


#9

When I saw the X, I didn’t see pornography. I saw, naturally, House Bolton.


#10

Pre-Stalinist in the cultural sense, at least, though even that needs to be qualified. In terms of artistic production, Socialist Realism had yet to be fully implemented. As for reproductive rights and sexual liberation, homosexual acts were recriminalized around this time, divorces made more difficult to obtain, and abortion rights repealed. So yes, there was certainly a more conservative undercurrent afoot during this period, but full-fledged Stalinism within the realm of culture had not been established.


#12

These are beautiful. I am a soviet historian and I seriously doubt these were ever published. The scans have no publication data. It’s far more likely this was part of a private collection of the artist. Soviet censors never went in for pornography, Greco roman inspired or otherwise. The detail that these were supposed to help literacy campaigns is pure fabrication. The cultural revolution encouraged revolutionary attitudes about sex and called for an end to religious based body shame, but this manifested as legalizing divorce and abortion, and decriminalizing premarital sex. If there is any evidence at all that these images circulated or were actually part of a literacy campaign, I’d love to see it. I would be stunned.

Updated: I just checked out the original listing in Russian. This is listed as an artistic album from a private collection, not as a book. No mention of literacy campaigns.


#13

Interesting that the letter і is included, since it was removed from the Russian alphabet in the 1918 orthography reform. Since it remained in Ukrainian and Belorusian, I wonder if Merkurov was commissioned by a speaker of one of those languages?


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