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Friday, December 31, 2010

Russia: a country with even more dysfunctional sexual relations than Singapore

"The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think." - Edwin Schlossberg

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I never thought I would think so highly of a Marie Claire article, but there you go:

Lessons in Love: The Millionaire Hunters

""Women want a husband who owns a private plane, a yacht, and an oil well. It's not impossible, but they need superfantastic skills to succeed"...

Varra holds various courses for women, including "How to Marry in Three Months" and "Oral Sex for Experts"...

in what is no doubt partly a backlash against the Soviet era — when women toiled in state industries alongside men — many young women today would prefer to marry a millionaire than work to become one themselves.

Varra says she encourages students to look beyond a man's wallet to find other good qualities — to avoid being trapped in a "loveless golden cage"... Russian women outnumber men by more than 10 million...

Holding on to a good man long-term is an equally high-stakes matter. Divorce in Russia is easy; a powerful man can divorce his wife "in an hour," according to one local insider. Under the country's anachronistic divorce laws, husbands are generally not obliged to give their wives a penny, and they are often awarded custody of the children. "Relationships are like roulette for modern Russian women," says the insider. "They have a lot to win and everything to lose, so they can never afford to get complacent"...

"Russian men relate to women mainly through sex," Varra tells the students, who range in age from 21 to 60, and who wait as long as a year and a half to attend the popular classes. "So if a man is happy in bed, you're halfway there." But only halfway, she cautions, because even the most sexually acrobatic woman won't succeed unless she knows how to manipulate a man's brain as well... "Otherwise he will get bored and drink vodka." She winks. (Interestingly, Varra herself is not looking for another husband; she is focused instead on her booming business.)

Varra's basic approach is to teach women how to gain power over men by using classic feminine and sexual wiles. To the Western feminist mind, it might seem a bit retrograde, yet Varra insists that Russian women are the ultimate post-feminists. "We know all about equality and independence — we've been there," she tells me. During the Soviet era, which ended in 1991, millions of men died in wars and labor camps. Women often ran their households alone, while also working in factories. The problem is that Russian men, says Varra, remain deeply patriarchal and still expect women to be subservient. "Rather than try to change men, which will take another 200 years," she says, "we might as well get whatever we can out of them now"...

"I've never had a problem getting men because I'm so beautiful," she says, swinging her long legs over the side of the sofa. "But they treated me like a plaything, and I didn't know how to stop it." Markova, a sauna attendant, has learned how to target the men she likes using direct eye contact and conversational ploys, so she is in charge from the start. What she wants, she says, is a "real man who will take care of me." Some diamonds and designer frocks wouldn't hurt, either. "Yes, of course he must be wealthy," she says, looking incredulous that the question was even asked.

Is money really so important?... Even the former Soviet president Mikhail S. Gorbachev has embraced luxury, appearing in a recent promotion for Louis Vuitton luggage...

"My past husbands always relied on me. I wanted to reverse that," says the slim Videnina, a government office worker... "The best thing I learned was never to refuse him anything in bed. It worked." Not only did he marry her, she says, he also began lavishing her with expensive gifts: "He gave me a new car and a plasma TV for my birthday"...

One of the latest trends is "VUM-building," which sounds like a doomed Soviet industrial project but is apparently a surefire way to get your man addicted to you. VUM stands for "Vaginally Used Muscles," and a number of schools are offering courses in strengthening and toning the muscles using special equipment — a kind of gym for the vagina...

"Once a woman reaches optimal fitness, she can shoot a fountain of water up out of her vagina in the bath"... Fine-tuning can be achieved by learning to shoot out pebbles onto a metal target...

"Sex is 90 percent of a relationship for a man." If the latter is true in Russia, it certainly helps explain why sex schools are so popular. Moscow even has a geisha school that teaches seduction arts from the Far East, such as erotic dance. There's also a "bitch school," where women can learn cunning tactics for beating out female competitors.

To give the gift of a head start, some women are even sending their daughters to the schools. Inga Kozina, 34, attended a course at Moscow's Geisha School, and now is sending her 15-year-old daughter, Mariam. "She's a pretty girl," says Kozina, "but there's a lot of competition these days."

Still, isn't 15 just a little bit young? "Not at all," says Mariam, decked out in the mandatory stiletto boots. "Thanks to my mom, I'm very confident with boys already. I'll always get what I want."
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