4 Signs Your Massage Parlour Isn’t Just a Massage Parlour

You’ve seen it in the news and you’ve probably driven by them too many times to count. The rise of massage parlours in suburban Aussie neighbourhoods has grown astronomically over the past decade. You’ll now find neon-lit “Now Open” signs in many local massage parlours. But are the massages they’re offering really Authentic Thai Massages? Unlikely.

Here’s why…

Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, and even up north in the Northern Territory, have all seen their fair share of massage parlours offering sex services on top of their second-class massages. It’s a dire situation for regulated and licensed brothels who are severely undercut in pricing as illegal massage parlours don’t pay licensing fees and have quite shoddy health practices (at least most of them do). So how can you tell a legit massage parlour from a front?

Here are 4 signs that massage parlour you continuously drive past isn’t just a massage parlour.

You can’t see through their windows

A big red flag. Most men who walk through their doors don’t want to be seen doing so, and even more, they don’t want to be seen waiting around inside. The business owners understand this and either block out their windows with floor-to-ceiling advertisements or drag curtains across the front.

If you can’t see into a business from the outside, it’s likely because the people on the inside don’t want your prying eyes poking around.

Massage parlours with blocked out windows in Melbourne

Melbourne has one of the highest number of brothels in the country who are constantly battling the illegal massage parlour trade. Click here to see all the legal brothels in Melbourne.

They use the word ‘discreet’ in their advertising

Being discreet is almost essential in the sex industry for both sex workers and those paying the sex workers. It’s still quite a taboo industry and nearly all those involved would prefer this side of their lives remain private.

So, if you see phrases such as ‘discreet rear parking’, ‘discreet payment options’, or anything else hinting that your privacy is important, expect more than a massage coming your way.

You never see any employees coming or going

This slightly ties in with the one above, but employees of massage parlours operating as illegal brothels are usually of Asian descent, and they’re usually ashamed to be there. To cater to this, business owners consistently build in a back entrance to the building to allow employees to come and go without anyone ever knowing they were even there.

Speaking of Asian, there are plenty of dedicated Asian brothels in Sydney which don’t pretend to be a massage parlour. Click here to see them all.

They don’t open in the mornings

There are plenty of people who like to start off their day with a soothing massage between the hours of 9am and 12pm. But there aren’t plenty of people who are looking for sexual services between the hours of 9am and 12pm. Just take a look at the opening times of all the legal brothels in Australia, most open after 11am.

Typical neon-lit signs at undercover massage parlours

Massage parlours secretly operating as a brothel know this as well, so they close up shop in the mornings and decide to stay open later, usually until 9pm or 10pm. Strange time to get a massage for most people…

Summing it up

At the moment, there are still hundreds of massage parlours operating as a front for a brothel around Australia. The authorities consistently hit back by raiding and shutting down these premises, but whenever one goes down, two more seem to pop up. It’ll be interesting to see how the government tackles this problem in the years to come.

What do you think? More licensed brothels? Or harsher punishments for illegal brothels? That’s a question we’d love to hear your opinion on. Let us know in the comments below.