This ground-breaking book challenges the widespread view that sex and homosexuality were unmentionable in the USSR. The Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras (1956-82) have remained obscure and unexplored from this perspective. Drawing on previously undiscovered sources, Alexander fills in this critical gap. The book reveals that from 1956 to 1991, doctors, educators, jurists and police officers discussed homosexuality. At the heart of discussions were questions which directly affected the lives of homosexual people in the USSR. Was homosexuality a crime, disease or a normal variant of human sexuality? Should lesbianism be criminalised? Could sex education prevent homosexuality? What role did the GULAG and prisons play in homosexuality across the USSR? These discussions often had practical implications - doctors designed and offered medical treatments for homosexuality in hospitals, and procedures and medications were also used in prisons.