Behind the Bar at Vienna’s Nightlife

From Cocktail Pioneer to Brothel Bartender

In a recent article published by Kronen Zeitung, we delve into the intriguing life of Maria, a former cocktail mix pioneer turned bartender in Vienna’s nightlife scene, including gogo bars and sex clubs.

Maria’s journey is a fascinating tale of transformation and adaptation.

Originally hailing from Stockerau, Maria now resides in Poysdorf with her husband, a small town of approximately 5,600 residents in Lower Austria.

For decades, Maria has been drawn to Vienna’s vibrant nightlife for work.

She started in Alcazar

Maria’s career began in the “Alcazar” in Vienna’s 1st district, where she made a name for herself as one of Austria’s first female cocktail mixologists. For nearly 17 years, she served cocktails to thirsty night owls in the now-closed establishment.

Then, one day, everything changed when she found herself behind the bar at Maxim Wien. Being a barfrau in a sex club was a whole different ballgame.

In this premium brothel on Kärntnerstraße, Maria quickly discovered a “second family” and learned the ropes of the trade. She became adept at playing the role of a psychologist, mediating disputes between the girls and providing emotional support.

Maria also knew how to handle customers, with the unfriendliest or seemingly least generous often turning out to be her best clients.

She shares stories of turning difficult customers into big spenders, even selling them bottles of Dom Perignon for hundreds of euros, and sometimes even more expensive drinks to wealthier patrons.

Maintaining humanity in sex industry is crucial

However, Maria’s role is not without its emotional toll. She recognizes the fine line between camaraderie and cutthroat business in her line of work.

She believes that maintaining humanity in this industry is crucial, especially for the well-being of the girls, who come from diverse backgrounds, often from Eastern Europe and various walks of life. Some are students, while others have a less fortunate past.

Maria emphasizes the importance of treating these women with respect, both by their superiors and customers.

This isn’t just a concern for the estimated 6,000 to 7,000 prostitutes in Austria, who are required to have a “green card” that includes health checks and AIDS tests to engage in sex work.

It also applies to dancers in strip clubs and gogo bars, where sexual services are prohibited.

Maria, who also works in these dance clubs, acknowledges that it’s hard to know for sure what happens behind closed curtains during private lap dances.

When it comes to her clients, Maria observes an interesting pattern – the more gentlemanly they appear in public, the less courteous they often become in private.

She refrains from passing judgment, even in light of the #MeToo movement, acknowledging that not every touch should be considered harassment.

Maria, however, notes that there used to be more “real gentlemen” in the past, and recent economic hardships have caused some patrons to rein in their spending. Many have become more cautious, while others simply can’t afford it anymore.

Maria particularly feels this decline during the holiday season when people would typically be more generous in her line of work.

bachelor and birthday party in Maxim Wien sexclub

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