Massage Parlors in Manila
Manila Gay Guide's notes on massage parlors.
1. Some massage parlors have their masseurs in a room where you can view them through a glass window and select which masseur you fancy. The manager usually stands next to you and starts pointing out the good ones, e.g. the one in white at the left does a good extra, the one wearing the singlet is great at massage and extra, the fair skinned one standing at the corner is big, etc. The aquarium, as this set up is called, allows you to view the masseurs without discomfort since it is assumed that the masseurs cannot see you (just don't stick your cheeks on the glass.) You can take your time and even do a ini-mini-miney-moe among your shortlist. All this time the manager is pressuring you to make a selection and continues pushing particular masseurs. Sometimes, the manager may push a masseur who does not get many customers, or a masseur who gives a cut to the manager. Basic rule is choose a masseur you feel you will be happy with.
2. The massage parlors that do not have an aquarium will present the masseurs to you in the reception area. This system is called "the show up." The masseurs come out one at a time, introduce themselves with a handshake, then leave. After you've met all masseurs, the manager will ask which masseur you like. In this system, you have to keep in mind the masseur your fancied when you shook hands. If you can't decide or couldn't tell because of the quick handshake, then the manager can line up the masseurs in front of you, then make the selection.
3. Take your time in choosing. Do not feel pressured. You can always say, "Thank you. I'll come back some other time." Its best to get your money's worth and have no regrets.
4. If you are new to the massage parlor and are not sure about the place, you can ask to see their rooms or cubicles first before selecting the masseur. Some massage parlor facilities are better than others, so if you don't like the place, or find their prices too expensive for what they have, then don't be ashamed to say, "No, thank you. I'll come back some other time." You can also make up some excuse like "my wife just called" or "I just realized I don't have any cash on hand." But if you like the place, then proceed to select the masseur. You can even be choosy and select the specific room you are comfortable with.
5. Some masseurs perform their services better than others. This is all relative but don't be afraid to complain to the manager not just about bizarre or awful experiences but even about the facilities. Sometimes, this will get the masseur into trouble. If you're nice, don't get the masseur into trouble. Just say the service was okay.
6. It is always best to negotiate a price with the masseur for "extra." Extra refers to activities outside of the massage, read: sex. Discuss how far he will go, what he will do and what he will not do. Being bottomed, performing oral sex, and other specific activities are better spelled out during this negotiation stage. Better still, ask the manager that you are looking for a masseur that does specific acts that you are looking so that the right masseur will be given to you.
Body scrub and turkish bath
Some massage parlors offer body scrub and turkish bath, for an additional fee, of course. A turkish bath simply means that the masseur will give you a bath. Imagine a mother giving bath to a small child. In a body scrub, the masseur will apply a scrub solution all over your body, and/or use a loofa and some liquid soap. Services vary and amenities differ. Check out their shower facilities where the bath will take place. Ask them if they provide slippers and a towel. Make sure you know what you get for that extra cost.
Take home services
Massage parlors have a special rate for "take home." This refers to being serviced by the masseur outside the massage parlor, like at home or at a hotel/motel. The rate is usually higher than the in-house service and a transportation fee is added depending on the location of the home or motel. It is possible to avail of home service by phone, though, in this case, you will not be able to see the masseur for yourself. Of course, you can always ask for your regular masseur, if he is available.
Sharing your phone number.
If you call the massage parlor's cell phone, your phone number is registered on the phone. They will occasionally call or text you on "slow nights" or for special offers or discounts when they need to pick up business. Please be aware of the risks in them getting hold of your number.
Availing of a home service through phone will definitely require you to share your number. Having your phone number protects the massage parlor from crank callers who call numbers but provide a bogus address or who don't show up at the motel.
For the motel service, the massage parlor may require you to check in first so that you have a room number on hand. The massage parlor will call the hotel and check that the room number belongs to you, or ask to transfer the call to your room. The parlor will then ask you to advice the front desk that you have a guest coming up to your room. Again, this protects the massage parlor and the masseur from pranks.
Some masseurs are quite friendly and would want to exchange phone numbers. Again, be aware of the risk of sharing your phone number. Expect to get various text messages ranging from a simple greeting to an offer for massage. Some masseurs will proposition their services outside the massage parlor without the knowledge of the manager. It is up to you if you want to take on this proposition. Most masseurs get fired from the massage parlor if they find out he is "freelancing" especially with a customer he had previously serviced at the parlor.
The masseur may also contact you to inform you that he has transferred massage parlors. He may also share your number with his friends who are moonlighting as masseurs or are currently not connected with any massage parlor. So, your number may get around among the masseur community.