HAPPY ENDINGS: ‘Why I secretly visit massage girls’
THERE are more than 500 illegal brothels operating in Victoria, many of which masquerade as legitimate massage businesses.
It happens in every major Australian city, and on the outskirts, creeping into the suburbs.
The demand is as strong as ever from men and women searching for something different - an experience they can't get elsewhere and are willing to pay good money for.
Gavin*, a Sydneysider, is one of those people, but he's also a married man. It's something he wrestles with, but ultimately the massage parlours come before his marriage.
"Do I feel guilt that I have a wonderful wife at home, that this would crush her? You bet," he told news.com.au.
"But it is an addiction, finding the best looking woman is half of it. My wife is stunning. But she is very conservative in the bedroom. She won't wear sexy lingerie, allow me to talk sexy. The parlour girls fill that need."
Gavin says he goes to massage parlours because he wants to "get in discretely and out discretely and I don't want the world to know".
He says he's like a lot of men in relationships where there is no sexual connection between partners.
"I can go in, pay $90 and have half an hour with a beautiful girl who makes my dreams come true.
"I have a high sex drive and intimacy is low in my home. I love sexy lingerie and my wife does not understand ... the massage girl does. My wife won't talk erotically for me, the massage girl will. I can say things, tell the girl things I cant tell my wife.
"I have ways of saving money slowly so the wife does not suspect anything. Is it an addiction, yes, but I am not hurting the public in what I do. If it was all banned tomorrow I am old enough to hang up my shackle."
He says he visits massage parlours outside Sydney, in Kogarah, Chatswood, Bankstown and Parramatta where there's a "high concentration" of illegal operators.
"Sometimes they are so close together I wait where the girls walk towards the parlour and I can see what they look like as the enter," he says.
"Each place has a set pattern. The customer comes in, pays $40 for the massage, goes to the room, she massages you for 10 to 15 minutes before stroking you intimately and asking if you want nude and hand relief. That's an extra $50."
He says a lot of the women who work there are international students studying in Australia.
"A large part of the sex industry in Melbourne, via massage parlours, is fed by willing Asian students. They want the better accommodation, latest iPhone, better clothes, able to eat better food and many save enough money to travel to Europe at the end of their studies here.
"They tell their parents they work in restaurants as waitresses earning big tips. But these girls can make big bucks quickly and without doing the sex act.
"I laughingly think to myself as I look at some of these girls giving me a massage, this girl is going back to China in a year or two and she will marry a guy who will have no idea of her past. He would be mortified to know she earned money from touching hundreds of strangers' private parts."
For some customers, it's not about sex at all.
"Many girls in these establishments tell me a guy will come in and pay for one hour, just to have someone to talk to because they are lonely," Gavin says.
"Sex is a 'by the way' thing. They say no woman will talk to them."
For Gavin, sex is very much part of the reason he does what he does. It's an urge he tries to resist and an activity he regrets, until the next time.
"Look, I am a bastard for what I do," he says. "I hate myself for what I do. But as long as my wife does not find out, I am not hurting the world. And there are many guys who get their affection this way."
*Gavin's name has been changed to protect his identity.