Alcoholism and treatment with mercury: how women lived in the Russian public houses of the XIX centuryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/alcoholism-and-treatment-with-mercury-how-women-lived-in-the-russian-public-houses-of-the-xix-century
In 1889, in Moscow, there were 111 public houses, 1898 — 68. By 1904, the number had increased to 73, and lived there more than a thousand women. How were these girls?
Lured girls in the brothel deception: they are usually offered the place of the housekeeper, of the barmaids, maids or Bonn. Vladimir Hams, who wrote in the late nineteenth century, several papers on prostitution, cites the example of the typical story of a 15-year-old orphan from Vologda.
Lost place, the girl on the advice of friend came to Moscow to hire a nanny. Arriving at the announcement, she realized that he was in a public house, and fell into despair, all the money spent on the road, friends in the capital there. Seeing her confusion, the owner set to "processing" — showed jewels and fancy dresses, promising:
The girl believed, and it was made nanny — to work as prostitutes were forbidden minors, besides the fake position allowed the brothel Keeper to circumvent the rule on limitation of the number of "workers".
However, give a naive orphan, it is unlikely for her, something changed: to keep the force in brothels were forbidden only virgins. But this law landlords dens easily avoided: as a rule, they had their "tame" midwives, ready to declare that a woman has lost her virginity.
In Moscow there was a network of vendors girls in public house: the women called the nurses, men — the Maccabees. They acted not only through ads: the traffickers were on duty on the streets near the stores, which often sent servants, and approached the girls with the sentence "good place", thus determining those who needed the money.
Had the "experts" that swept through the factory towns in the girls left without parents: they were tempted simple job, gifts, gratuitous food and wine. There was also a delivery channel girls from Poland: they were taken by force. In the Moscow house of tolerance for the girl paid from 20 to 300 rubles.
The price depended on external data, health, agility and accommodation: less likely to pay for those who had to get to work beating. It was not uncommon: the shrew was locked in a room, tied up and beaten with bundles of towels, turning the body into one big bruise. From the brothel they are not produced only in the case of great need, accompanied by a trusted person.
It also happens that girls from poor families in public houses were sold to parents in exchange for a monthly bribes because adult relatives had the right to pick up an underage girl from a brothel at any time. With such people the organizers of the brothels were friends: he was respectful, gave to drink vodka, gave a robe. In the end, mothers and fathers left happy and daughters persuaded "to work", while "lack of beauty and youth".
In Moscow in the early XX century, the most expensive brothels were located in Sobolewska the lane that connects the street with Drachevka Sretenka. Rooms and the master bedroom was furnished with expensive furniture, girls dressed in luxurious toilets. In some institutions has come up with an original delights: for example, in one was a bed that during sex he started to play music in the other all the walls of one room decorated mirrors.
Prices in chic institutions started from one ruble per hour and two for the night. However, to go there without a much greater amounts are not cost: full tilt only guests who generously treated the girls — alcohol and food was one of the sources of income of the owners of brothels. The change was made to leave the women on sweets and cosmetics: the money was called "fondant".
Alcoholism in brothels was the norm: women were required to bind customers and how much to drink himself. It got to the point that the bottle of wine cost more than the sex itself, which came to men.
Fed in the expensive brothel women hearty and diverse: the owners knew that otherwise they simply will not sustain loads for the night in the visited establishments one "worker" had to take up to 20 men. For psychological relief of the girls were taken on walks. However, business is also helped luxuriously dressed girl in expensive carriages was a great ad.
The life of the brothels was monotonous. Woke up to the women at 10 am, took a bath, had a hangover, drinking tea or coffee. Then they were overcome boredom: writer Ivan Priklonsky, write an essay on the organization of prostitution, says that a large part of the day the girls were in the bickering, gossip, drunkenness and guessing on the cards. Read women few, and mainly sentimental novels about the count of Monte Cristo, Queen Margot.
After lunch began preparing for the evening: come hairdressers, who did hair and put white and blush. In Europe in the hall of the girls went in underwear, but in Russia, it was not accepted, and the women appeared in the toilets and luxury which match the class institution. Hardly anyone called her real name, usually women prefer aliases: rose, Fanny, Clemens.
The working day began in the evening. Clients were divided into three categories: some simply dropped into your drink, while others were paid by the hour, others who were called naciskamy, remained all night. Sometimes the men took the girls to yourself, but the owners of brothels this practice is not loved even if she returned safe and sound, during the "idle" public house bear the losses.
Tastes of the customers were very different. Dr. Mikhail Kuznetsov told, for example, that one decrepit old man generously paid for that girls h his rod — took two, and always left each for 25 rubles. There were men, too, is eager to show, and demanding that in front of them arranged lesbian games.
Despite the high prices, save money and get out of the brothel women could not. Cost the owner to smell that one of her "employees" is going to become a kept woman, to go to another institution or just "tie" as a brothel-Maman immediately declared that the girl is in a huge debt for food, lingerie, dresses, baths, doctors and travel in carriages. Such mythical debts kept women better than the strongest chains, and reliable locks.
On Derbenevka housed brothels to the General public there is rarely exceed 50 cents silver per night.
Here is how these brothels Priklonsky:
Derbenevka women are taken from brothels category, becoming their beautiful enough. There were those who found themselves in cheap brothels immediately: most of these women were peasant women, the soldier, former cook and laundress, lost place and is unable to find a new one.
All Derbenevskaya women were drinking vodka, and twelve girls, and the ancient old woman. It was the only way to withstand the enormous number of men who came to him at night. Likewise, it was decided to ask for money "lipstick," but did not hesitate to girls and theft: customer first, hocus, and then emptied his pockets.
Sometimes men have prepared a special poison: the mistress of the brothel insisted on strong fault snuff and cigar tobacco. Such a mixture is guaranteed to "off" man, after which he was freed from the money and valuables and threw it into the alley. It happened that sometimes the girl drank too infusion. According to Okorokova, of three such cases known to him he managed to save only one girl.
Writer Jacob Korobov, who had to work as a Builder on the street with cheap brothels, described the lives of women:
Then she went in search of clients, and returned with them to the room. Often, a woman brought to him several men usually such a group Hiking sin of the young men who have chipped in to pay for sex. They were the most violent: showed disgust, have long argued about who would be the first".
Surprisingly, prostituted women from cheap brothels also brought to walk: for some strange traditions Proms were made at the cemetery.
A medical examination was required for all "fallen" women, regardless of what the public house they worked.
This is how it is revolutionary Catherine Catherine breshkovsky watching from the window of the camera after the arrest:
Until 1910, when Moscow began to use the drug with arsenic, syphilis was treated with injection of solutions with mercury. The feelings this "treatment" was no different from torture. The house had turned into a mad house: everywhere was heard the screams, curses, and hysterical laughter, patients were rolling on the floor and beds. To stop (even not cure!) the disease at the time were required not less than 25 sessions.
However, neither the registration of the women in the brothels, neither required medical supervision and treatment is not helped up to a third of the girls working in brothels, suffered from sexually transmitted diseases.
In 1908, with the filing of the new mayor of Moscow Alexander Andrianov prostituted women began to re-educate.
Yellow tickets were exchanged for a passport, if she could prove that she now leads an honest life: married or got a job. However, the efficiency was small: in 1909 satisfied 108 petitions, while researchers believe that in prostitution at the time was involved about 20 thousand women.
More modest results showed St Mary Magdalene, which appeared in 1866, where he took minor girls out of brothels. For all history of existence of "honest work" returned only 200 pupils of the institution. However, it was not in traction Teens to depravity: the girls ran, as they were poorly fed and forced to work a lot.
Changed the position of the prostituted women after the revolution. But that's another story.