Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of


Date of this Version



H. Waisserova (2019), Socialist Paradise, Sexual Paradise? Meditation on “Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism” (2018) by Kristen Ghodsee, in European Studies Conference Selected Proceedings (ISSN 2476-0269), College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nebraska Omaha


Copyright © 2019 Hana Waisserova


Women have better sex under socialism claims title of Kristen Ghodsee’s recent book (2018) that highlights female economic independence as a main factor leading to greater freedom and thus more sexual pleasure for women in “socialist paradise”. This critical approach opens up new perspectives and frameworks to re-consider socialist advantages that benefit women, and it also invites further discussion of the thought-provoking premise of “female comfort and pleasure” in various socio-cultural and socio-economic orders. Though the text serves primarily as a critique of current capitalism, it also explores available frameworks and generates reasoning for current campaigns concerning women’s sexuality as MeToo movement and/or US anti-abortion legal control and repressions associated with Make America Great Again campaign. It invites numerous questions and comparisons on the physical situation of women back at the era of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe when human rights were suppressed and were built on totalitarian legacies of Nazism and Communism. This paper is a conversation with the text that inquires into ways nostalgia works with “the socialist paradise” notions for women in terms of their sexuality and female pleasure, yet it also highlights extraordinary scenarios having the impact on women’s lives, as well as limits and drawbacks or advantages of practical socialist policies that do significantly concern women.