Working in the Erotic Massage Industry: The slippery slope, from body slides to full service and finally independence!
In Part One I touched on how I entered into the sex work industry. Let me go a little deeper into the progression from erotic massage to full service and companionship.
Ye Olde Rub ‘n Tug was where my sex work story started. And while I have no regrets about how it began I can’t say I support the massage parlour industry as it exists today and experiencing what I did while I worked there. (See my post on Massage Parlours and how they exploit sex workers).
Very quickly I discovered that the spa scene was kind of like being back in high school. You had your Popular Girls (the pick me’s and designer handbag girls), the Jocks (the Yogis and Strippers), the Stoners (the vapers and hot box in their cars before the first sesh girls) and the Outcasts (the alt girls with colourful hair and tattoos rocking the bdsm and kink services). The environment was toxic and the competition was encouraged.
There was always an undertone of “don’t ask, don’t tell”, and unwritten rules to follow. And navigating this new playground was a nightmare that brought me back to my childhood trauma of middle school bullying and trying so desperately to fit in.
When I first started at the spa, everyone seemed friendly, approachable and willing to share with the “new girl”. I was nervous and felt intimidated being in a room with so many beautiful women, all who had much more experience (and much nicer clothes and style) than the little country bumpkin I now felt like.
This was my first lesson on how appearances can be deceiving.
Not everyone was as helpful as I had first thought. It took me a while to figure out who was actually genuine and being honest about the ins and outs of the business, and who was being sarcastic or misleading when I asked for advice.
For someone who didn’t know they were neurodivergent at the time, it was all just a giant mindfuck. I was naive, fresh meat and gullible.
At first I was told that offering anything more than a hand job was not allowed and that if anyone asked I should refuse, no matter how much they were offering. It wasn’t until a few weeks, maybe a couple months later, I discovered this was actually a tactic the OG girls used to keep the new girls from growing in popularity with the clients who specifically came in for “extras”. These girls knew that the new girls always garnered more business in the first few months of starting and they weren’t willing to potentially lose a client to a new girl who was already offering the same services and possibly at a lower price.
While the “no fucking, no sucking” rule may remain true for some spas/clubs in the area, and result in the MA losing their job if word was to get out. This spa actually did not care what happened behind closed doors. So long as they got their cut it was all kosher.
When I learned that many of the girls working in the erotic massage industry did in fact offer “extras” and even full service, I obviously had a lot of questions. I was met with blank stares, denial and even some very whorephobic comments from the other MAs. I think this was the moment it sunk in, that these girls were not my friends and that I couldn’t really rely on them for the support I was seeking. I became withdrawn and distrusting of everyone around me at the spa.
It wasn’t until I met an “older” (early 30s) part time MA that I finally found a mentor who took me under her wing, so to speak. I was beyond grateful for the guidance she gave so freely and without judgement. She taught me so much about the industry that no one else had ever bothered to share. Tips on safety, how to assert my boundaries, how to cut through the bullshit that other girls would perpetuate.
Her best piece of advice to me was this:
Focus on your own hustle, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. They don’t pay your bills.
She was right.
And bills were stacking up at the time.
20s and 50s and 100s, that is.
After this revelation about other girls offering extras, I decided to dip my toe into it slowly. When my first massage client approached me, asking about an extra, specifically a blow job finish, I was so nervous. It threw me right off my usual routine I had going. Almost slid me off the table as I was covered from chest to thighs in massage oil! We didn’t even talk about the price, he just handed me an extra few bills and that was that.
In that moment, I realized it was much easier getting a guy off with my mouth rather than my hands. And as I discovered, I had quite the oral fixation too.
The job started to feel relatively easy and the money definitely went straight to my head and not into my savings account.
From there, it quickly went from BJs to full service. My first full service client is someone I’ll never forget, (and a fantastic story for another time) he was handsome, charismatic and damn was I eager to jump at the opportunity to fuck him and make some extra money doing it! After meeting him, I discovered why you should never fall for a client (and maybe also why you should).
But the full service experiences weren’t always like that. I definitely started to fly by the rule of YMMV (your mileage may very). I appreciated that I had the option to be choosey on who I wanted to fuck; after all, they were only entitled to a hand job by coming to see me as an MA.
It was while working at the spa, calling myself a “hybrid MA” that I really learned the hard and fast way on how to enforce my boundaries. You don’t really get to choose any of the clients who walk through those doors, some could be fantastic, some could be predators. You never really knew for sure until you’re half naked in a room with them which one they’re going to be.
After almost 3 years, and 3 different clubs/spas, I had finally had enough of the environment and the lack of autonomy I had in a massage parlour setting. In that time I had grown a decent following on Twitter and had made really strong connections within the sex work community. The access to knowledge and resources helped me get a solid footing in order to finally work independently.
It certainly wasn’t an easy transition. There were things I hadn’t accounted for. Finding a place to work from was the first hurdle and I flip flopped from renting incalls from other providers to renting rooms at a spa to work from occasionally. It was difficult, there wasn’t any stability and that caused a lot of stress. Doing my own admin, marketing and accounting was another challenge on its own.
With the support of other established and experienced providers I had a lot of encouragement and owe them my thanks for helping me get this far in my journey. It’s truly women supporting women that enable others in this industry to grow to their full potential.
So, to all the OGs before me. I could not have done it without you. And to any of the new girls looking for support, resources, or advice; it’s my turn to be that mentor for you if you need it!
With love and support,
Selphies taken from my rub n tug days circa 2018-2019