The authorities and public opinion condemned the trade in human bodies, but were less bothered about stopping it or punishing its perpetrators than they were about other offences.
For example, a bundle of straw on a stick outside a house meant that a passerby might avail himself of sexual services there.
Some have their own list of ‘regulars’ and know in advance who they will be meeting, but for most it’s a lottery. She sets the prices and deals with the police, but she can’t really be called its boss – the salon operates more like a workers’ cooperative.
According to secret research carried out in the late 1920s, almost 60% of urban Soviet men were using the services of prostitutes.
Offering the services of a dominatrix marks a salon out as high class.