A massage parlor is a place where customers can receive a massage. Sometimes it is synonymous with brothel and the term "massage" is used as a euphemism for paid sexual favors. In many countries and regions, particularly Toronto, New Zealand and northern England, brothels advertise themselves as "massage parlours". However, while both offer some form of sexual services, the two are not always the same. Brothels always offer sexual intercourse while many massage parlours opt to provide a range of sexual services, most typically masturbation by the masseuse or masseur.
In therapeutic massage, the genitalia or intimate parts of the body are not touched at all and remain covered by a drape, which may be a towel or a sheet. The client's modesty and personal boundaries are respected at all times by a licensed massage therapist.
In Nairobi and Mombasa, massage parlours are opening at a very high rate; 70% of these are actually brothels. Their telephone numbers are advertised in many daily newspapers. If potential customers ask, "Are there EXTRA services?", the employee will inform them if this is the case. Such establishments usually charge around 25 US dollars per hour massage, and 50 US dollars with full service.
There are many massage parlors in Thailand for male customers. In Thailand there are three kinds of massage parlours. One offers the common massage from parlor girls. The second kind has body-course (B-course) girls who massage men with their naked bodies. Both have women in certain uniforms generally sitting behind a glass-window in a showroom which is also known as a fish tank. The last kind are called sidelines, with women normally sitting outside a fish tank. The girls tend to not wear common clothes because they work in more than one place. Moreover, they are usually university students or office workers who work at the parlor at night. The minimum age is 18 years old. The girls are checked internally twice a month for HIV and have an external HIV test every 2 or 3 months. New employees must have a HIV test before beginning to work and condom usage is a mandatory.
The places normally open from 2am until midnight with some exceptions. Massage parlors in Thailand are more attractive to Thai or Asian customers than to western men. Prices are vary, depending on age, general appeal, rooms, facilities, how long she has worked, etc. They can be between US $10 to US $200 per 90 or 120 minutes or even higher in case of nude models or B-graded actresses.
Massage Parlors in New Zealand do often legaly offers sexual services. Chinese massage parlours are commoun, but there are also others with domestic including maori women.
Manchester, which has been called the "massage parlour capital of the UK",  has over 80 parlours openly advertising sexual services in the local newspapers and online. Reporters for the Manchester Evening News state that the police generally ignore these brothels, focusing instead on reducing street prostitution.
On October 12 2005 the Evening News reported that "A self-confessed pimp walked free from court after a judge was told police had 'turned a blind eye' to organised prostitution in massage parlours in Manchester." 
The success of the parlours in Manchester has led to a rising number of parlours elsewhere in northern England that follow the same business model.
As in Manchester, sexual services are openly advertised in the local newspapers and online for massage parlors. These ads claim the girls working at these establishments offer a "full service" massage, to get customers to come in and often times even have promotions advertising "two for one" prices.
Some massage parlors operate from suites in comercial establishments while others operate from within a residential house. Details for the "full service" massage are usualy only given in person and generaly they include a massage as well as sexual services, vaginal and or oral. Generaly the customers are presented to the masseuses who are in a line up, wearing skimpy clothing or lingerie. Other times, the customer is shown the massage parlor facilities first, then told about the details of the "full service" massage and finaly the masseuses parade in to a room, one at time, so the customer can make a selection.
The massage session can include an actual massage, if the customer prefers, but it can also be omited for more time spent recieving sexual services. Generaly, these massage sessions come with a time limit which depends on the amount spent by the customer. The use of condoms is normaly encouraged by the women providing the massages, but sometimes the women offer bareback sexual services in exchange for an additional tip or the client will request this service offering a tip. Some massage parlors and or masseuses also offer their clients a bath or shower after the massage and or sexual service(s). This service can be offered with or without the precense and assistance of the masseuse.
In Toronto, massage parlors are now beginning to call themselves "holistic centres", and branching out to aromatherapy and shiatsu, but 75% of them will still offer sexual services. List of new stories about massage parlors and holistic centers. Nevertheless, places that offers massages (called "body rubs" in Toronto legal jargon) are licensed and regulated differently than places offering "complementary touch therapies", such as shiatsu, and those who offer these services resent the possibility of being categorized with massage parlors
Other cities in Canada
In Canada, Massage Parlors compete with brothels and escort agencies in providing sexual services. There is also different laws and enforcement of the sex trade in each region. Vancouver and Hamilton have many unregulated massage parlours and few escort agencies. Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Niagara Falls have many regulated massage parlors and a few unlicensed ones. Montreal has several massage parlors but is dominated by escorts visiting hotels.
Massage therapy in the US is becoming more professional and is even being accepted as a health care profession, however some massage parlors are under scrutiny for illegal prostitution rings. For instance, ninety parlors exist in San Francisco employing illegally trafficked Koreans. 
Many interstate massage parlors exist that cater to lonely truck drivers and travelers. Theft and disease are common.
Since massage parlors are commonly synonymous with prostitution in many areas, customers are advised to follow a set of rules of etiquette. Making sexual comments out in the open to a massage therapist can cause trouble. Even if these parlors offer sexual services, it should be brought up in private.
- Erotic Massage
- "Massage parlor" article in LaborLawTalk Dicionary
- Washington Post is urged to stop accepting advertisements for massage parlors
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