Information about sex-work is everywhere.
There’s memoirs by high-class escorts and personal blogs by wealthy strippers. There’s articles on how to be a webcam girl or a porn-star. And there’s agencies one can join to be a topless waitress or a jelly wrestler.
There’s advertisements in newspapers for phone-sex operators and there’s websites where you can sell your soiled panties online.
Anything to do with sex -- sells. It’s a lucrative market and more often than not, it’s a smart economic decision.
But the sex-work that nobody speaks about is erotic massage.
Erotic massage is often coined as ‘the happy ending’ or ‘rub and tug’. It’s a three-step process which involves a massage, a body slide and a handjob.
Women from 18 - 60 across the world are working in parlors as erotic masseuses. The job description is littered with university students, nurses, entertainers, aged care workers, mothers, women paying for their cancer treatments, backpackers, journalists, models, actresses and the list goes on.
For many women having coitus for cash is crossing the line. Whereas giving a handjob for cash is less overwhelming and more aligned with their personal boundaries.
In most parlors anything outside ‘the happy ending’ is known as an ‘extra’. (But the majority of girls don’t offer extras at all). Extras are discussed at the discretion of the erotic masseuse.
Extras offered are anal, spanish, roleplay, vaginal sex, golden showers, the wet nurse and dildo-play — to name a few.
The client pays a fee for ‘the happy ending’ which is split between the house and the erotic masseuse. Extras are negotiated in the room, the house doesn’t get a cut.
The wonderful thing about ‘extras’ is the sex-worker chooses WHO she offers them to, which enables her to feel empowered and in control of her work environment.
In most parlors there’s a choice of 2 shifts: Day shift and night shift.
During the day the girls will see corporates, retail staff, university lecturers, men with disabilities, teachers, doctors and shop-owners. Many girls prefer to work the day shift because they believe it is a cleaner clientele. Though that has never been proven.
The night shift is more prone to attract younger men -- security guards, chefs, taxi-drivers, bouncers, night-shift workers and the unemployed.
Weekends attract couples who are looking to spice up their sex-life
People that haven’t experienced the sex-industry firsthand or aren’t associated with people who work in it, assume that grubby, desperate men are the ‘types’ that use these kind of services. They are DEAD wrong.
The majority of men that use these services are married, educated, intelligent and clean. And there’s a stack of reasons why they come (pardon the pun).
There’s men who are in sexless marriages.
There’s men who are bored.
There’s men who are looking to experiment.
There’s men whose wives have cancer in their reproductive organs.
But mostly men don’t use sex-workers for sexual release, they use sex-workers to be seen and heard. The big shock for most people is finding out that sex-work isn’t actually about sex.
There’s a good reason why sex-workers claim they are paid counselors, psychologists and nursemaids. Because the fact is — sex- workers are most commonly hired to fill an emotional need. Men feel safe talking in parlors. Men feel safe expressing themselves without judgment.
Like all sex-work, erotic massage should be recognised as a community service, no different to nursing or health care. It’s time for us to become educated and kick the stigmas attached to sex-work to the curb.
I’m fortunate to be friends with an array of women (of various ages and socioeconomic backgrounds) who love their jobs working in erotic massage. It’s time for these women’s stories to be told.
I wish to close with a quote from one of my favorite feminists. As usual, she is spot on:
“The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men, but rather their conqueror, an outlaw, who controls the sexual channels between nature and culture.” Camille Paglia
Vanessa de Largie is an actress, author, journalist and sex-columnist currently based in Australia. Her work is regularly published in Penthouse Magazine, The Huff Post, The Daily Telegraph and more.