The Erotik Messe

Notes from Underground

An erotic dancer gives a spectator a personal show | Photo: David Reali

All great cities are saturated with subcultures. And as Vienna – while timeless and enjoyable – can be a little mundane for young lads such as ourselves, we have launched an investigation, seeking out hidden pockets of the weird, unusual and outrageous, and at times dangerous. Session I: the Erotik Messe, at the Wiener Messegelände – sexual hedonism being right down our alley.

The sex trade has been an accepted – and enjoyed, at least by the customers – part of Austrian society for quite some time, and the Erotik Messe is emblematic of this. Not since Maria Theresia’s rule in the 18th century has prostitution been illegal outright. Today there are a string of medical, health and immigration laws that restrict and monitor the industry, but look no further than the Gürtel to see that brothels, strip joints, peep shows and sex shops are still thriving. We have deduced that there is a direct correlation between the popularity of these enterprises and the fact that men are still equipped as they always were – a fact Austria has chosen to embrace rather than suppress.

So onward to the Messe! A tacky celebration of smut – where we encountered rubber dong mongers, inventors of sexual devices of all sorts (part Ron Jeremy, part Thomas Edison), harlots of stage and screen, strangely normal pervs, normally strange pervs, and geriatric couples (“Wheelchair love-makers”) willing to ignore their physician’s recommendations and push their bodies to the brink of myocardial infarction for one more sexual thrill.

We arrived a half an hour after opening, and walked in to the first show: in which a shirtless, beer-bellied, middle-aged man was being roughed up by a stripper in pink boxing gloves and matching robe; he was losing…and loving it! The “boxing match” quickly deteriorated into nothing more than the fat man carefully but gleefully pouring water and lotion all over the naked pseudo-pugilist. At the finish, far from being satisfied, the man reluctantly stood up and, visibly annoyed at his trousers being drenched with water and lube, apprehensively gathered up his clothes and exited stage left.

With a half-hour break between shows, we hit the floor to explore. Immediately the garish fliers started piling up, hocking brothels, peep shows, S&M gear and organic dildos. The volume of sex toys was astounding, and went way beyond the conventionally stocked shop. Case in point: the Cyberskin Foot Job Stroker, an exact replica of porn star Justine Joli’s pieds. Another gem were the WaldMichlsHoldi pinewood sex toys – a collection of dildos, butt plugs, whips and butt plug/whips, clearly aimed towards the venerable carpenter-sex addict. As we walked around, we took note of the fact that the Messe had all the trimmings of a strip club with the communal chaos of a comic book convention. There were standard-issue sex freaks afoot – dominatrices, slaves, sadomasochists, trannies, and pierced-up paddle and whip enthusiasts – but what was more interesting was the number of “normal” looking people – cute elderly couples, fresh-faced youths, conservative-looking businessmen…maybe even your grandma (seeking the best lubricant money can buy!).

The second act was perhaps the most entertaining, for both intended and unintended reasons. Hungarian porn star Judy Nero began her show in a not-so-accurate (but most enticing) Marilyn Monroe getup, lip-syncing the classic JFK happy birthday tribute. As with the last show, Judy picked one lucky guy from the audience to be the object of her attentions on stage, this time, a swaggering Austrian 20-something.

It started off promisingly enough for the excited lad, as he was forced to endure a lap dance and witness the unveiling of her mammaries at close range. But then things started to go pear-shaped for our star spectator, who quickly transitioned from a slightly uncomfortable but zealous trooper into a shy child crying for his mother on the first day of school.  When completely naked herself, Judy began to take the gent’s clothes off, and once in his skivvies, she jerked down his underwear, revealing his little chap for the briefest of moments, before he pulled them back on with a petrified expression… This was going too far.

A “strangely normal perv” sifts through sadomasochistic smut films | Photo: David Reali

But his humiliation was overshadowed by Judy’s next gambit, extricating a string of beads from you know where. She anchored one end of the string between his teeth and sauntered away, as we looked on astonished. The beads seemed to go on forever… and she waltzed off into the audience, placing the pungent beads one by one into the startled mouths of selected onlookers. An elderly man to our right was one of the chosen receptacles, however his dentures failed him and the beads fell out, leaving him clawing desperately at the string.

Back on stage, Judy wasn’t taking no for an answer. Once again she pulled, this time the undies fell all the way to his ankles. He blanched, and she gave him a stern look as if to say, “don’t even try it.” At this point, he was trapped, and feebly tried to cover himself with his hands, his embarrassment excruciating to watch.

When it was all over, the traumatized, ostracized and psychologically shattered shell of a man ambled off stage dragging his clothes. A DVD of porno was shoved into his hands as a consolation prize.

So who are these people? We had to find out. Later that evening, we tracked down Judy for a little two-on-one (pun intended). This Hungarian [minx] is a 12-year veteran of the porn industry, and she loves it – or at least says she does. She proudly told us about her Guinness record for longest erotic stage show – a four and a half hour lesbian free-for-all.

Our second encounter was Naomi Cole, age 22, who already has nine years of dancing experience under her belt… do the math. She’s also known as “the catwoman,” and is another world record holder for the longest strand of beads ever housed inside a vagina. To be honest, we felt a little intimidated considering these industrious dames had more experience handling the raw material than we had.

Hungarian porn star Judy Nero with her victim | Photo: David Reali

After the performances, we continued wandering – and kept discovering. Anything that could conceivably be employed for erotic purposes was on hand. Want a piercing? How about on the genitals? Or a tattoo? Or some hair removed? There was even a woman selling doggie material… you know, because some people like their pets to watch. Venders sold decadent delectables, such as cakes in the shape of…, which we couldn’t bring ourselves to sample. We strolled a disorderly pile of g-strings, thongs and panties reaching our chests, as if recently discarded following a massive orgy. It seemed to capture the Zeitgeist perfectly.

As it grew later, the crowd grew thinner, and only the hardcore remained. We came across a sign, “Gangbang, €10.” The final frontier. Right away, we sought out someone who could tell us more, and were confronted by a pudgy, über Österreicher. “You can go in, go out, go back in…you don’t have to do anything, but you can film, play with yourself, have sex…whatever you want.”  Right away, boyish fantasies of Greco-Roman orgies and bronzed, oiled-up beauties danced in our heads…

We couldn’t have been more wrong. Too often in life, as all men know, reality doesn’t live up to fantasy. We entered a large curtained off area and came upon a dozen gents – mostly fat and pimply – drinking beer and standing around three topless strumpets (not of the highest caliber). The girls were laboriously attempting to entice, as the motley crew of Y-chromosomes ambled around, not wanting to be first.

“I just wanted to come in and slip unnoticeably into the mix,” stated one attendant, visibly disappointed. Eventually, two scumbags got up the courage to start groping. What transpired was an episode of sordid harlotry, in which a small group of wannabe studs gawked at two sleazes fornicating crudely with two low-rent hookers on a pair of inflatable mattresses.

And that was that. The Messe ended for the night, and we departed. We had arrived with high spirits, drinking beer, laughing, and enjoying the newfangled-ness of the whole spectacle. But as the night wore on and the novelty wore off, we were left with a subtle yet profound emptiness; a climax is not a climax if experienced alone. This was just a building full of sad people trying to get their rocks off, with paranormal fetishes that led nowhere. Of course this was the intention; what is an Erotik Messe but a celebration of sexual desires of all kinds. Better to have outlets for this kind of stuff, than to repress it to explosion.

So go forth, you perverted denizens of unconventional erotica! No matter what, how or where you like it, the Erotik Messe is there to cater to whatever depravity you desire… Actually, it’s over now. We should have told you sooner.

Until next year, the Gürtel will have to do…

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