Words by Harrison Johnstone Art by Pauline Maderazo
A literal fuck-load of handjobs per day.
There are over 445 massage parlours squirted across Melbourne as shown on Google Maps, chances are any of these featuring neon lights or ‘Thai’ signage will offer sexual services – that is a literal fuckload of handjobs per day.
The much cliched massage parlour sex industry is very real, in fact you’ve probably seen some of these shady operations on your commute today or if you’ve ever scrolled on Gumtree, craigslist or the Melbourne Backpage. However, it isn’t just an industry fuelled by vulnerable migrants, struggling students and modern-day slavery like you may be lead to believe – some women are making absolute bank on work that satisfies their sex drives too.
After spending time stripping in London, Sasha* found out hustling in the UK was tough, “I could never really force men into giving me money… they’re all so stingy,” she said. That’s when she made the move into the erotic massage scene; sex was a bit too far for her “but hands are fine”.
Flying back to Australia, Sasha brought her fix for erotic massage to a local parlour last May and has been getting the men of Melbourne off ever since. “I was over stripping here. I’m sick of the late nights in heels, I can’t hustle and all the girls are younger than me now. So I decided, fuck it.”
“Now I work in an actual massage parlour… it’s kind of illegal, well, fully illegal”.
Sasha tried out the trade in a legal Sydney brothel, but her “crazy coked up bitch” boss and the oral or penetrative extra services were a major turnoff for her. At her current spot, three extras are offered on top of the massage: hand relief ($50), nude massage ($50) and body slides ($50).
It’s mostly a money spinner for the ‘masseuses,’ raking in around $1000 a week for four days of work. One of the many benefits for these young women working in illegal operations, is the relative sexual safety that comes from cutting out penetrative sex. Girls like Sasha only have to get their digits dirty.
“Everything’s bareback, just with… hands,” she said.
The job has had an impact on Sasha’s relationships, but less of an ‘emotionally damaged’ and more of a ‘drowning in doodle’ kind of way. She’s usually trying to keep up with her high sex drive, but seeing a horde of dicks every day can be a bit of a turnoff. “I pretty much went celibate for three months, just because I saw enough dick and wasn’t really interested anymore. I refuse to have a boyfriend until I’m crazy in love, that’s when I would give this up,” she said.
The erotic massage game works through internet ads for specific girls in tandem with random walk-ins. Sasha usually cops the new clients because she’s “one of the Aussie girls there” who they send these clients to “so they come back”. But then again, “some clients want Asian chicks anyway.” The massage is paid for downstairs at reception, but the extras most clients cum and come for, are discussed with the girls individually.
It’s usually a smooth process; except for that one time a guy Sasha hooked up with at a house party when she was 16 walked in, and awkwardness ensued. She asked him if he came for the extras, he replied “yeah, maybe” so she left to find another girl for him. But, apart from that Sasha says “If you’re giving the right vibes, you’ll get the right vibes back.”
Erotic massage has been Sasha’s favourite job, but the unwanted police attention poses a constant threat to her daily income, even raiding her spot with a six-person team, a week before this interview. The heat forces outfits like this to pull their online ads and reject new customers. This means that the girls are “making shit all,” luckily Sasha still has her regular base, but she still lost out on a lot of cash and new clients.
The erotic massage experience is more intimate and relaxing than what you can expect from a brothel; although not legal, it’s still a professionally run operation and Sasha reckons “you get more out of a massage and a handjob than you would at a brothel or the strippers… there’s a healing process to it”.
But, if she could give any potential customers advice before going in, it’s best to book a half hour massage and then pay for your extras. “It annoys me, I fucking hate hour long massages, like I have to work for an hour and then pull your dick at the end.”
After the raid, there are only four girls left at her spot, and most places are looking for new talent. Sasha couldn’t recommend it more, “there’s nothing too funny or crazy, I guess everything’s just normal to me now,” she said.