October 2005

China Press exposes massage parlours in Kuala Lumpur

source: China Press, 26 October 2005, front page and page 2, 
translated by Roy Tan





Provision of Sex Services . Homosexual Paradise

Male Gay Massage Parlours Sprout Up

Independent report by Wu Hui Qian

(Kuala Lumpur, news of the 22nd) "Gay male" massage parlours have set up shop everywhere over the past few years, not only becoming new "hotbeds" of sexual promiscuity but also high-risk areas for the spread of AIDS. This has led to, not a small number of youthful lookers, having at any time, young men at their beck and call.

Many homosexuals interviewed felt that patronising these massage joints could relieve stress, as well as enable them to come into contact with "like-minded" friends.

The facades of these massage establishments appear like most massage or fitness centres. In reality, hidden behind their healthful exteriors, patrons can all let the service providers massage them while they are stark naked, even be offered sexual services.

Front page of China Press 26 Oct 2005

...continued page 2

Most only do Business with Regular Customers

Those indulging in anal intercourse are most easily infected with AIDS; even wearing a condom is also not 100% safe. Those engaged in massage work and clients who visit gay male massage establishments for recreation are all at high risk of contracting the fatal disease of the century.

Reports indicate that male gay massage establishments are mainly concentrated in KL's nightlife district, especially in the city centre and Jiao Lai areas. Moreover, they establish themselves in the shophouse units of the two business districts.

In the Kulai area alone, within the commercial centre of the same park, 5 to 6 such massage establishments have set up shop. Some have also sprung up in the KL city centre's southern district along Qiu Jie Road and in the Bukit Bintang area.

Most operate furtively. Besides having to evade discovery of their illegal activities, they also have to avoid raids by the authorities. Thus, most proprietors are only willing to do business with regular clients.

This newspaper specially sent an undercover reporter posing as a customer to the actual venue for an investigation. He found the massage joint to have installed an automatically lockable steel door. When the customer rings a bell, he needs to be checked out by an employee before he can gain entry.

Much Importance Stressed on Individual Hygiene

According to reports, if the employee spots a Vice Squad official on a raid, the specially installed lock will lock the door automatically and the inspector will have to waste time performing some manoeuvres before he can get in.

In the meantime, the proprietor will signal all employees to stop whatever they are doing and arrange for his workers or clients to escape by the back door.

Owing to the ease with which homosexuals who indulge in such sexual behaviour are infected with AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, gays having sex in these massage joints, be they employees or customers, are all required to wear condoms.

Before service providers perform oral sex on customers, they must also rinse their mouths with gargle to keep their oral cavities clean.

According to one massage employee, although these measures boost their confidence, he still is worried about contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

He said that was why they were so particular about hygiene. If customers needed "extra services", before service providers and clients had sexual intercourse, they would have to wash their bodies clean.

He added, whether customers liked it or not, willing or unwilling, they were required to wear condoms. Moreover, before having oral sex, they must use mouthwash to gargle.

After having sex, both employees and customers bathe once again.

He disclosed that during his 3-year working stint, he had not heard of any customer or service personnel in the massage joint indulging in sexual intercourse and then contracting AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.

* * * * *

Posh Renovations and Choice of Service Staff
Self-locking Doors Avoid a Ban

(Kuala Lumpur, report of the 25th) The city centre's "male gay" massage parlours have all undergone special renovations and decorations to provide their customers with a comfortable space and to make them feel as if they were in a home away from home.

Chinapress' specially-assigned reporter went down to one of the 2-storey-shophouse male massage parlours in the Jiao Lai area, into the tiger's lair, to report on the situation of these male massage establishments.

According to our reporter's observations, the decor of the male massage parlour was magnificent, with a European flavour. It also had soothing music and a comfortable ambience to entice its customers to linger there longer.

To avoid complaints to the Police, the male massage parlour had specially installed a self-locking steel door. Customers had to ring a bell and only after being checked out by the employees could they gain entry.

The massage parlour had two storeys in all. On the first level was the reception counter, the lounge (reception room) and the staff rest area. Once the customer personally indicates for certain that he wants a service staff, he is subsequently brought by the service worker to the partitioned rooms on the second level.

Customers can also select for themselves, from photographs, service personnel which they like.

From what we observed, all the photographs had undergone manipulation by the computer, so the shots of the service staff all appeared gorgeous.

From what we know, altogether, there were more than 80 photographs from which customers could choose. Once the client had confirmed his selection, the employee would then officially use the intercom to call the relevant service staff to "make his appearance".

Thoughtful Service

While waiting for the service staff to come, customers could sit on the sofas in the lounge and read magazines or listen to music. Often employees would bring in some tea for the customers - thoughtful service.

After the service staff had been informed, he would bring the customer to a room on the second level and start to give him a massage.

From the information we gathered, the massage parlour in question had over 40 rooms, and each guest would be assigned to an individual room for his massage.

But the partitioned room was small and narrow, and only had space to accommodate a single bed. Moreover, the furnishing was extremely spartan. Apart from a mattress and a clock, there was no other furniture.

Besides the usual massage rooms, male massage parlours did not have other services, including spray massage services.

* * * * *

Bosses in the Dark
Service Staff Provide Sexual Services

(Kuala Lumpur, report of the 25th) From what we understand, the service staff in male homosexual massage centres very often hide from their boss the fact that they secretly provide sexual services in order to make more extra income.

Actually, massage centre bosses do not encourage their staff to "pull customers". But very often, service staff pay no heed to their boss' admonitions and in the massage rooms, provide customers with "extra services".

According to information, when the service staff are giving the customer a massage, they initially indulge in chit-chat. Later, during the course of the conversation, they tease the customer, and while performing the massage, they brush against the sensitive parts of the customer's body.

If the customer shows any reaction, by mutual consent, they initiate sex which includes a blow job and a hand job, all the way up to anal sex.

From what we understand, service staff performing oral sex or masturbation for customers only receive small tips for these minor favours. It is only anal sex services which are comparatively expensive, the price varying from between 100 to 150 Ringgit.

According to what one of the service staff from a male gay massage parlour in KL city expressed, if the service staff happened to meet a customer who was pleasing to the eye and the other party invoked good feelings in him, he would go easy on the service charge.

He stressed that they were not like most callboys - if they felt that they did not like a certain customer, they could refuse to provide him with sexual services.

Our job is only to give the clients a massage, up to a point where we sometimes do provide special services. It's only that you do make more money when you give extra service. It's not a sure thing that we accept customers' requests for extras.

However, he said, pecuniary considerations aside, most service providers take into account the customer's feelings when deciding whether or not to provide extra services.

* * * * *

Course of the Dialogue between our Reporter and the Massage Parlour Personnel

Shortly after our reporter entered the male homosexual massage parlour, he was greeted by a Malay man (called a "daddy" or "papa-san" in the massage joint).

Daddy: Would you like a massage?

Reporter: Yes.

Daddy: (Shows him some photographs). Choose someone first.

Reporter: I would like a strong massage. Can you make a recommendation?

(The daddy points out a few photos.)

Reporter: I want an inexperienced one. Do you have any?

(The reporter thinks that it would be easier to ferret out information from someone inexperienced.)

Daddy: (Points out 2 from amongst the photos.) These 2 have only been working for 3 months.

(The reporter picks 1 of them and is then brought into the massage room.)

Dialogue between our reporter and the service staff

Service staff:  (speaking in Cantonese) Now take off your clothes.

(Our reporter sheds his clothes, leaving only his underwear on and then lies on the bed.)

Service staff: You must take off everything, even your underwear.

Reporter: Can I not take off everything?

Service staff: There's no need to be shy. You must take everything off.

(Our reporter has no choice but to remove his briefs. Not daring to turn his head back to look at the service staff, he lies down on the bed.)

Reporter: Must I have a bath?

Service staff: You can have a bath after the massage.

Reporter: How long have you been working here?

Service staff: Several months.

Reporter: Do you really know how to give a massage?

Service staff: I learned about it before coming here to work.

Reporter: Have the masseurs here had any training?

Service staff: Some haven't. They just come here to muddle about and get by.

Reporter: Are there any of these massage joints nearby?

Service staff: There are many in the Jiao Lai area.

Reporter: Do you often go there to "play" (have sex)?

Service staff: Very seldom. Because I live with my family, it's very difficult.

Reporter: Are you a "gei lou" (Cantonese slang for "gay man")?

Service staff: Not before. I had a lot of girlfriends. Then, all of a sudden, I developed an interest in men, and gradually became a "gei lou". Are you a "gei lou"?

Reporter: What do you think?

Service staff: Usually, most people who come to these massage parlours are. Have you made love to a man before?

Reporter: No.

Service staff: That's what I thought. You look very innocent, like a scholar. What work do you do?

Reporter: I work in a computer company.

(The service staff asks our reporter a question regarding computer software which our reporter is unable to answer.)

Reporter: I'm not familiar with software. I do webpage design.

Service staff: You're very capable, also very handsome.

Reporter: I heard that there are special services here, is that true?

Service staff: Yes, like oral sex and making love.

Reporter: How's the price?

Service staff: 100 Ringgit to 150 Ringgit. Like, 100 Ringgit is for us to "poke" (anal sex) the customer. 150 Ringgit for the customer to "poke" us. Making love with a woman and making love with a man, the feeling is not the same.

Reporter: How is it not the same?

Service staff: You go and try, lah. You need a hand job?

Reporter: No, I don't need one. Can I go and bathe now?

Service staff: It doesn't matter. Next time, we can go out for a cup of tea.

(After this, our reporter left the massage parlour.)

* * * * *


Foreword by Yawning Bread

China Press is a Malaysian newspaper published in Chinese. Its layout, with lots of sensational headlines all over, suggests a rather low-brow sheet.

The big headline on the front page of 26 October 2005 said, "Gay male massage parlours sprouting up", followed by a short article beneath the header. However, there were 9 more articles on page 2.

Immediately, one was reminded of the week-long series of exposÚs in Wanbao last year (see Wanbao's 5-part report on gay saunas and bars) and so one might brace for the worst.

However, being a Malaysian newspaper, the feature stories under its headline referred to gay massage parlours in Kuala Lumpur, not Singapore. This newspaper is not widely distributed in Singapore, though around Chinatown and some housing estates, it is available from newsvendors. 

Despite the sensationalist headlines all over pages 1 and 2, the actual reports were interview-based and quite disciplined in their writing. The reporter took care to cite his sources, and on the whole, the feature was quite balanced.

Of course, if you're living in Kuala Lumpur and feel that your next few trips to the massage parlours have been jeopardised by such publicity, you'd feel very angry with China Press.

With thanks to Roy Tan for translation.


To Relax, Unwind, and Not have to Put on a Mask
Massage Parlours bring out the Real Me

(Kuala Lumpur, news of the 25th) Mostly, male homosexuals going to male massage parlours is akin to men visiting red-light areas in search of female prostitutes. The unique difference is that they go whoring for male prostitutes.

But the are also some gays who go to massage joints purely with the intention to relax their bodies and minds, to soothe their muscles and to relieve stress.

From what we understand, many male homosexuals will also satisfy their individual carnal desires. In the public world, they have to hide their true feelings, and it is only in male massage parlours that they feel they can regain their true selves.

One gay man, Michael (not his real name, 30 years of age) during the interview said he would, almost every week, patronise a massage joint at least once.

The main aim in my going to a male massage parlour is to dissipate work stress. It is a good place to get some peace and quiet and to recharge my batteries.

Michael is involved in shopping-window design, often needing to come up with new designs and concepts. Whenever the pressure is too great, it affects his creativity.

So, when it is appropriate, he will drop by the massage parlour, relax his mind by lying on the bed and let the masseur give him a massage.

At those times, it feels really comfortable. I close my eyes and try my best to enjoy it. Sometimes, I can even conceptualise new designs.

However, Michael said that apart from massage, he would occasionally enjoy the massage's "extra services", which also depended on the circumstances and the reciprocal actions of the masseur.

He said that sometimes, when he met a masseur who satisfied him, both parties would feel happy. After the massage, it would be with much tacit understanding and naturalness that the "extra services" were carried out.

He revealed that the "extra services" had no fixed price. The masseur would also not talk about remuneration at the start. It was all up to the customer's personal discretion to pay the fee.

If it was only oral sex, one would mostly pay 20 to 30 Ringgit. However, one would estimate anal sex to be in the region of 100 Ringgit.

Additionally, Michael does not deny that many gays came to that massage parlour just as some visitors went in search of prostitutes. But it did not mean that masseurs were all willing to provide clients with "extra services".

* * * * *

Hard to Reject High Income
Hiding Sexual Nature of Work

(Kuala Lumpur, news of the 25th) Because of the high income accruing to work in gay massage centres, some non-homosexuals have also taken up employment as masseurs.

But non-gay service providers rarely indulge in sexual intercourse with customers, at the most giving them a hand job and never anal sex.

According to our understanding, masturbating the customers forms the bread-and-butter of the non-gays. If the customer raises a further request, they will immediately refuse.

According to sources, most of the service staff hide from their families the fact that they are involved in this line of work. Some non-homosexuals even keep their girlfriends in the dark about their own work.

Many service staff feel that this line of work is not at all arduous. Moreover, the wages are good. Although their family members and close friends mind their occupation, they still feel it is worth it.

According to sources, service staff on average can make 20 Ringgit of disposable cash from one customer. They receive an average of 6 customers in one day, so everyday, they have 120 Ringgit of income.

The latter income is only one aspect of the massage service. It does not include "extra services" or other special massage packages. Most service staff every month, on average, draw an income of 3000 to 4000 Ringgit.

* * * * *

Engaging Cute Buff Youths and Different Packages to Attract Customers

(Kuala Lumpur, news of the 25th) To leave clients with a good impression, massage parlour proprietors are very particular when it comes to selecting service personnel. They mainly engage youthful, good-looking, well-built men.

According to our information, the aforementioned service personnel mainly come from East Malaysia or are local males of Chinese descent. There are also some Thais, Indonesians and Filipino males aged about 20 plus.

When customers enter the premises, they first choose the service staff themselves but each massage joint allows the clients to select their staff in a different manner. Some let them choose from photographs; some use the "goldfish bowl" method in which the masseur which the customer likes is selected from behind a glass window. In some, all the service staff are paraded out and stand before the customer for a face-to-face selection.

The patrons who had come earlier on to this massage parlour not only were 20-something young men, but also 40-plus middle-aged males, all involved in different occupations, their sole commonality being their sexual proclivity.

Reports have it that the male massage parlour business is thriving, with competition being stiff, so proprietors have come up with different packages and promotions to attract customers.

Some bosses, to enable themselves to continue surviving in the market, have resorted to price-cutting. According to our understanding, massage joints now charge a mere 30 to 80 Ringgit approximately.

Mainly, massage parlours will promote 3 packages the aforesaid cover charge, including a normal massage costs 35 Ringgit; completely nude (masseur and customer) costs 50 Ringgit; body contact (masseur's penis comes into contact with customer's body) costs 80 Ringgit.

These fees are charged by the hour. If one wants to extend the duration, every additional half-hour costs an extra 15 Ringgit.

* * * * *

Police will Act to Investigate if Sex is Involved

The Police pointed out that once a male gay massage parlour indulges in providing sexual services, they will take action against the massage parlour concerned.

Besides this, when the Police launch a raid and find that service staff and customers are performing sexual intercourse, they will invoke section 377 of the Penal Code (behaviour against the order of nature) and arrest the service personnel and clients.

Head of Jiao Lai criminal investigation, Deputy Inspector Chen Ya Quan, during Chinapress' enquiry stated that if these massage parlours were purely providing their customers with massage services, the Police would not intervene. However, the Police would definitely not allow these massage joints to sink into sexual turpitude.

He pointed out that most massage parlours were legally registered. Therefore, some could still open their doors for business, in which case the Police would also not interfere with their operation.

But once the Police discover that these massage parlours' service staff provide "extra services", including having sex with the customers in the course of the massage, the Police will immediately take action to investigate these massage establishments.

* * * * *

Investigator's Notebook

After receiving the above assignment and the task of having to pose as a homosexual to visit a gay male massage parlour, I had goosebumps all over.

After all, this was no mere visit to a regular massage parlour, but one which would require me to have physical contact with male homosexuals.

After stepping into the massage joint and having to select a service staff from a photograph, I deliberately chose a younger, more delicate-looking one. During the course of my "interview", he was not the least bit on his guard, nor clear about the situation of gay male massage parlours.

On entering the massage room, the masseur instructed me to take off my clothes. I politely declined to take off my underwear and jumped onto the bed.

Little did I realise it, but the masseur said that I had to be completely naked - I even had to take off my underwear. At that point, I was stupefied, but I knew I could not hang on to that piece of underwear. I sheepishly lay down on the bed with my back toward the masseur, not daring to also turn my head around.

The service staff began to profess his homosexuality to me. To ferret more information out of him, I also touched my scalp to indicate I was "gay" and proceeded to talk nonsense about some gay topics. After that, the masseur fell into my trap, giving me a massage while at the same time, revealing details about the true goings-on at the massage parlour. Finally, this time, my mission was accomplished! 



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