Happy Endings – Inside suburban Thai massage parlours

Happy Endings – Inside suburban Thai massage parlours


A lot of the massage parlours are small, family-run businesses, they’re basically mum and pop businesses. You can walk away every week as an illegal operator with tens of thousands of dollars that you don’t need to declare. We get reports to us of physical and sexual assaults, sexually transmitted infections. There’s a lot of vulnerable people that work in the massage industry. “Joy” is in her 30s. For the past year, she’s been working in massage parlours offering so-called ‘happy endings’. She’s agreed to talk to us if we hide her identity. Joy came from Thailand on a student visa, with the intention of doing real massage. But some customers wanted more. Joy makes about $1,700 a week, cash. And she’s not operating in some seedy back alley joint. She works in shops that also offer legitimate massage, the kind of place you’d go to if you had a sore neck. In all states, except for South Australia, it’s not illegal to sell sex. But brothels are usually subject to some oversight or regulation. In New South Wales, local councils regulate them under planning laws. In Victoria and elsewhere, there are licensing systems enforced by police. Here’s the first of the dodgy ones. We’ve had problems with this place. The council have issued brothel closure orders on this one. The owner wasn’t happy, and denied there was any sex going on in the place. In 2014, The Feed reported on a group called Brothel Busters. Founder, Chris Seage, was working with local councils and legal brothels in New South Wales. He was, and still is today, calling for stricter controls on sexy massage parlours. The illegal ones are havens for tax and welfare fraudsters peddlers of unsafe sex practices, illegal immigrants and sex slaves. Sex worker advocates say Seage’s claims are grossly inaccurate, and argue against tougher regulation. It’s not the sort of situation that people think where there’s some like manipulative horrible pimp sort of guy at the top running these places. It’s usually a very friendly, family-orientated affair. Family affair or not, it’s a lucrative trade. Massage shop owners need little more than an apartment or shopfront, and a mobile phone number. This place in a Sydney high-rise welcomed 59 customers in an 11 hour shift. That’s tens of thousands of tax-free dollars per week. From a business point of view, it’s easy to see why legal brothel owners are up in arms. It’s a compulsory requirement in every legal Victorian establishment that condoms must be used. Milan Stamenkovic has run this licensed brothel in Melbourne for 21 years. He spends time and money complying with Victoria’s strict prostitution control laws. We have councils inspections for occupational health and safety. We have the health department coming in and making sure that we adhere to the rules. They come in and check the service provider’s health certificates to make sure they’re all up to date, etc. Milan insists he’s not worried about competition. He says massage parlours are offering punters unsafe sex. Clients that come in that have been at illegal establishments will quite often say “But I was able to get this service there, why can’t I get it here?” And it is something that is obviously against the law for us to provide. But it’s also a very serious health issue for the community. A quick scan through online forums where punters review massage parlours suggests that “bareback” or unprotected sex, is being offered. Joy says owners usually side with clients when there’s a problem. And she knows of at least one worker who’s suffered quite serious abuse. In Victoria, the massage parlour industry is thriving, despite police investigations and raids. Prosecuting owners is not easy. It’s quite a pop-up industry in that one place could open up overnight and then shut down a couple of days later and then pop up somewhere else, so that makes it a little more difficult for us to police. Sergeant Richard Farrelly says massage parlour workers can be vulnerable. A lot of them come from South East Asian countries and don’t have the understanding the laws of Australia and they get exploited by some of the owners and managers of the massage shops. We get reports to us of physical and sexual assaults. We also see human trafficking indicators within the massage industry itself. Trying to ensure safety in the massage parlour sex industry is complicated. Joy says the fact that the parlours are providing sex illegally discourages her and others from talking to police. But police say workers have nothing to fear in coming forward to report abuse. We certainly don’t want a person going into a massage shop routinely, assaulting a staff member because the person’s afraid to report it to police. While the massage parlours thrive underground, it’s left to outreach workers to try and assist if problems arise. Maggie Ma is a Chinese-speaking outreach worker with the Sydney Sexual Health Centre. This is where Joy comes for confidential check-ups and advice. Maggie says getting access to workers relies on having a good relationship with the parlour owner… and not asking sensitive questions. Joy plans to keep working until her visa runs out.

Danny Hutson

92 thoughts on “Happy Endings – Inside suburban Thai massage parlours

  1. heres a thought you pay these girls once each time you get sex and you pay your wife every week and still dont get sex ???lol

  2. At the end of the day the government are only interested in getting tax … basically they turn a blind eye because a large amount of the money must be going back into the community … same deal with dope … as soon as they set up the system to tax it it will become " legal " … anyway what is wrong with some one paying someone else for a handy or more .. cheaper and more regular than being married

  3. Mwhite- Horrible? You show me a person that's getting some knob knots rubbed out and is having a horrible time and I'll show you a liar who doesn't have the ball's to admit that he wants it too and is merely trying to get an address.

  4. I work at massage shop but we different i don't like why everyone looking all girls thai people bad 😔 now i'm open massage shop for help people i want change mind all people we are different

  5. any one who looking for the body to body massage and happy endings done by african good looking girls text mr john on WhatsApp number 8008240063 only in Hyderabad

  6. The government is having problems enforcing because the massage parlour rents a place, it closes down and they rent another. This could be fixed by confiscations law. The threat of taking away the property gives an incentive to the landlord not to rent to an illegal brothel.

  7. As a massage therapist the most frequent question would be “do you do a prostrate massage. -I have cancer and the doctor told me it would help” LMFAO Prostrate massage is not taught in legit schools!!

  8. Iv'e been to so many massage parlors with happy endings. I got myself checked out and I was all clean with no stds. It's not a big deal to get a happy ending every now and then. People try to scare you off about std but it's extremely rare to get one. Anyway go at your own risk even though it's not really a risk at all.

  9. With the exception of the full service-those prices are compatible with Pattaya.
    Although, watch for thai devotees arguing otherwise.I guess the environment is all important to them.

  10. Leave them alone it’s called public service … u Australian always wana hop like a kangaroo 🦘 into others business.,,,

  11. Police need to deal with hardened criminals, terrorists and people who harm society. Not two consenting adults who do their business.

  12. Anyone who would just abuse a women for a thrill , just needs. Well the nice way to say it is. Justice.

  13. Nothing wrong with a happy ending
    ( It’s not sex )
    it’s just A happy ending
    😅💋💋💋💋💋💋😅
    The world needs a happy ending
    To quiet things down a bit 👍

  14. How dare they operate out of our brother regulations? Hahhahhahaha. If sell sex is legal then just let them do it.

  15. The Government doesn't give a DAMN about the "vulnerable workers" in that industry. They'll only think about taxation. Taxing money that has already been taxed over and over again.

  16. This is why cash transactions need to be banned.. there is no accountability unsafe for everyone involved in this industry

  17. Prostitution, one of the oldest industries on the planet. I don't see a problem with it, it should be more open, so it doesn't have to be done in secrets, this will offer more protection to the workers. At the end of the day, you are offering a service and you are getting paid for it.

  18. A HAND JOB Actually is in the MASSAGE FAMILY, also a FOOT JOB! The PENIS is being massaged! Oral sex is orally massaging & vaginal SEX is vaginally massaging a man's PENIS!! Anal also applies!

  19. Year's AGO Male doctors would massage a woman's CLITORIS & GENITALS Who had Sexual agresion, ETC until she had a ORGASM!! This was a medical treatment!!

  20. ON A STUDENT VISA MAXIMUM OF 20HOURS Employment is allowed. With the weekly education fee plus accommodation and living expenses. No part time position in Australia would provide sufficient INCOME. Except prostitution. EASY TO SEE. RIGHT??
    THIS IS CLEAR ENOUGH TO SHOW AND INVESTIGATE FRAUD IN AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION AND POSSIBLY PRIVATE EDUCATION COMPANIES GIVING KICK BACK PAYMENTS FOR THE STEADY FLOW OF STUDENTS WHO SHOULD HAVE SHOWN ENOUGH SAVINGS TO SUPPORT THEIR STAY BY THE IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT WHICH MEANS THAT OFFICERS IN THIS DEPARTMENT ARE RECEIVING FUNDS TO APPROVE APPLICANT

  21. In fact, happy ending in a massage is absolutely safe !!! It doesn’t hurt anyone, and it makes both happy ofcourse !!!

  22. Not human trafficing. If you knew about Thai culture, you would know it's all about money and taking care of the parents. They go voluntarily. I go to Thailand every year for a month. They go there knowing what they will be doing and many like it…….it's all about money in Thailand. Many Thai are educationally challenged and it's the oldest child's duty to take care of the parents………..what they are doing is actually admirable in Thailand. Again, it's all about money.

  23. local councils are an illegal third tier govern-ment

    the police are corporate enforcers working for the corporations

    neither are for the people!

  24. Condoms? Celebrities, rock stars, and sports athletes don't use condoms. White men, Black men, and Latin men hate condoms. It's usually Asian men who wear condoms, as they tend to be paranoid.

  25. Can government just f off two adults are ok with this things then wtf there problem is it's not like anyone is getting forced n where ppl get forced there they don't feel anything wrong or won't act immediately

  26. SIR, NOBODY CRYING RAPE.
    PLEASE FIND ANOTHER "JOB".
    (LIVE AND LET LIVE).
    TIME IS TOO SHORT AND EVERYONE IS "HAPPY" AT THE END OF THE DAY.
    THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE NOT MARRIED AND SOME WHO ARE HAVING PROBLEMS IN THEIR MARRIAGE BUT WANT TO RAISE THEIR KIDS TOGETHER .
    (LIVE AND LET LIVE)
    PEACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD.
    😂😆😅✌👌👍❤❤❤

  27. อีกระเทยอีกระหรี่ขายชาติ อี….
    เสียชื่อันไทยทั้งโลก…บาปกรรมที่มึงทำกับประเทศไทย คนไทยทุกคน มึงรับผิดชอบไหวไหม เงินที่มึงได้มามึงแดกอร่อยไหม อีกระเทยควย

  28. At no cost to the workers!! Who is this imbecile that posted this YouTube video?? Probably some jealous frustrated feminist. Whom ever you are go take a hike.

  29. ì don't see the problem? why does the goverment treat like a higly criminal offence? i know why because they can't gain any money from it -.-

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