The Nose Steaminess Rating
Well, we're talking the 19th century, so for sure there's nothing overt going on in the whole thing. But then again, the story could be read as one long castration nightmare (check out Shmoop's "Symbolism" section!), so we'd say there's at least some sex stuff you could read into it. And when you factor in the idea that Madame Podtochina is wooing Kovalev in order to get him to marry her daughter, well, you're well into some seriously adult Showtime-level situations. Potentially. In your imagination. Cause the story ain't really going there with you.