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Prostitutes banned in Prater

A ban on street prostitution is to be enforced due to the building of dormitories for the new Wirtschaftsuniversität (WU, University of Economics), which opens campus doors this October. The construction of student dorms makes Südportal-, Messe-, and Perspektivstraße, heavily trafficked at night by streetwalkers, a residential zone and street solicitation will be no longer […]

Location is Everything: Rough Trade at the New WU

Location is Everything: Rough Trade at the New WU

The neon lights of the Prater amusement park glowed in the descending darkness on Perspektivstraße. Two women sat on the curb amid the stench of greasy sausage from the “Hans Wurst” Würstelstand. They wore black tank tops, jean shorts cut high over bare buttocks, and platform heels.  Looking further down the road, a third, then […]

Working Streets Paved With Good Intentions

Working Streets Paved With Good Intentions

With the season of charity again upon us, it’s reassuring to know that sex workers, too, won’t be left out in the cold. November has, in fact, become a kind of Sex Law Month in Austria, with new legislation just passed governing prostitutes and pimps. Last year, City Councilwoman Sandra Frauenberger (SPÖ) led the initiative […]

Paying the Prostitutes

Austrian journalist and satirist Karl Kraus had no patience for public hypocrisy – or private, for that matter: “What a world!” he complained, “in which the fulfilment of men’s deepest desires is held up to women as a reproof!” So he would probably have been pleased if he had lived to see prostitution made legal […]

A Licence to Torture

The police officer touched his index finger to his lips, signalling silence. With his other hand he shooed pedestrians away. The quiet gloom of a foggy November night had just been disrupted. At 1:00, 15 police cars with glaring lights had barricaded the residential street in the 2nd District, and dozens of troopers, including heavily […]

For Gigolos in Croatia, Business Is Booming

For Gigolos in Croatia, Business Is Booming

“You know, it wouldn’t be a half-bad idea for us to meet on the beach so you can get a better idea of what I look like,” says the deep, masculine voice on the other end of the phone. “You’ll recognise me easily: I’m tall, moderately muscled, with short brown hair. I’ll be in a […]

EXIT: Out of Prostitution

Let’s call her Elisa. Or, better, let’s just call her “She,” because her story is exemplary of the stories of many Nigerian women: “She” was young, still a teenager. She lived in Benin City and dreamt of a better future in Europe. She heard from a female relative that there was an opportunity to travel […]

Women of the Shadows

It was a bitterly cold night in early December, the kind when you wish you were at home with a cup of hot chocolate cradled in your hands. On the Prater Messestraße, half a dozen women in faux fur and high boots had taken up their places under the trees, partially hidden in the dim […]

Hookers by Daylight

Varnish, leather and lots of naked skin appear behind parked cars on both sides of the street.  In the neighborhood bordered by Felberstrasse and Hütteldorferstrasse near Westbanhof in the 15th District, is a well-known red light district, especially after nine p.m. when the legal working hours for prostitutes in Vienna begin. However, if the call […]

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