While I was in Paris, I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of the Rogue exhibition at the Grand Palais. This was an exhibition of art from 1917 to 1953, and included amazing works from the early Soviet Era, while not whitewashing the horrors of Stalinism.
One thing that fascinated me were the quasi-erotic paintings of athletic bodies produced during the Stalinist era. According to the curators, because Soviet society was so prudish, the only way to paint nudes or scantily-clad figures was to portray young Soviet citizens engaging in sports activities. These images would have been quite titillating, I imaging, but they were acceptable because they upheld socialist ideals of physical fitness.