"Lobaufetzerl", around 1925

Sex in Vienna

Go on, admit it: You only clicked on the article because of its title, didn’t you? - And that was definitely no mistake. Anyway, you won’t find where to have sex in Vienna here. But we do recommend a visit to the exhibition of the same name in the Wien Museum to learn about when and where amorous pursuits took place in Vienna from the 19th century until today.

The bigger a city became, the more room there was for anonymity and the fulfillment of sexual desires. Among other things, the show examines questions about which kinds of sexual lust could be lived out in the open, and which of them only in secret. And the consequences people had to fear if they were caught. One thing is certain: There was some pretty hot stuff going on in bedrooms, dark corners and brothels.

Medicinal dildo and sex in a horse-drawn carriage

All of these stories are told with unique exhibits on display in the Wien Museum, including the following:

  • For a very long time, the trade in dildos was prohibited. They could only be issued under on medical prescription (for an impotent man or a “hysterical” woman, who was to be treated with an orgasm cure). On view in the exhibition is a dildo from the time around 1900, which was confiscated by the police.
  • Nowadays, tourists are driven around the city in them, previously, horse-drawn carriages often served as a love nest: The rides on which the coachman rode slowly through the city avoiding potholes were called "porcelain rides" in Vienna. A postcard illustrates this.
  • The banks of the Danube also acted as a popular meeting place for the lovelorn. Despite the ban, it was usually possible to swim naked there without being disturbed. However, if the police turned up, it was time to grab the so-called "Lobaufetzerl" - a more than improvised pair of swimming trunks - in order to avoid being arrested for causing a public nuisance.
  • The first female orgasm in film history originated in Vienna: Hedy Kiesler (known to many as Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr) appeared completely naked in the 1933 film "Ecstasy" and reached an Oscar-worthy climax. A sequence of more than three minutes is shown in the exhibition.
  • The location of one of the city's most beautiful Christmas markets used to be a haunt of prostitutes: The dubious reputation of the Spittelberg is illustrated on a postcard.
  • Homosexuality was not only a scandal but also officially banned well into the 20th century. Despite this, gays met in the former "Centralbad", nowadays known as the "Kaiserbründl". Even the younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph received a hefty slap in the face there for indecently touching an officer. The exhibition shows a very nice poster from the year 1904.

Access to the exhibition is permitted only for people aged 18 years and over!

Sex in Vienna. Lust, control, disobedience

15 September 2016 - 22 January 2017

Wien Museum Karlsplatz

Karlsplatz, 1040 Wien
  • Prices

    • Young people under 19   €0
    • Free admission on first Sunday of the month
    • Your benefit with the Vienna Card: 2€ off
  • Opening times

    • Tu - Su, 10:00 - 18:00
    • on holidays, 10:00 - 18:00
    • geschlossen: 1.1., 1.5., 25.12.
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps (Double swinging doors   179  cm  wide )
        via ramp
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • Parking spaces for people with disabilities
        directly behind the museum (Maderstrasse), access to the museum: no steps
    • Elevator available
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Wheelchair for rental, seats available. Permanent exhibition tours for visually impaired visitors by prior arrangement (Tel. +43 1 505 87 47-85 180). Overview map in large print available.

    • Comments

      The exhibition area is accessible via elevator (orientation with Braille) and deducible with the wheelchair.

       

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