Last week, Russian lawmaker Tamara Pletnyova implored local women to remain chaste and to avoid copulating with the tourists arriving in droves for the 2018 World Cup. Wary of a repeat of the last Olympic Games hosted in Russia, when Russian women were allegedly left behind to care for children that had been conceived with foreign men, Pletnyova urged the importance of not repeating this mistake. She said:
“These children will later suffer and have suffered in the Soviet era. We should be giving birth to our own children. I’m not a nationalist, but still.”
Critics emphasized the racial undertones in the legislator’s pleas, as well as the fact that the situation is a far-cry from what took place at the Olympic Games of 1980, when the country was still known as the USSR and women did not yet have access to birth control.
Regardless of Pletnyova’s intent, it has become clear that Russians have not exactly been heeding her advice, as activity on the dating/hook-up app Tinder has increased elevenfold since the onset of the Cup. According to a Moscow Times report,
One of Russia’s four biggest mobile phone operators, MTS…saw an 11-fold increase in match-day Tinder use among long-term customers near stadiums and fan zones in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Saransk… Tele2, meanwhile, saw the popularity of the app increase 3.5 times, compared to the pre-World Cup average.
This type of traffic surge is not at all uncommon for internationally-attended events such as the World Cup. The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea, for example, saw Tinder use skyrocket by 350% as a result of tourists trying to connect with locals in the area.
In other words, the lawmaker can warn all she desires—the heart wants what it wants.