So you’re out there; wanting to peruse that seedy source of stereo-types and hilarious Yelp reviews. But—you are teeming with concerns. Is it safe? Safe from cops, safe from disease, and good gawwwwd what if I pick one that isn’t “down with the cause?”

Fret not. What follows are a few tips, and a bit of an exposé too.

Ever had to step over a mangy labradoodle to hop up on a massage table? Ever haggled down a cash tip seconds before. . . ya know? No?! Well you haven’t lived (according to just about anyone who’s ever served in the ground-combat units that is).

Asian jack shacks are great for a number of reasons, high among them is they’re tough for reverse prostitution stings. Some of you lamentably already know this; where an undercover cop gets you to say that oh-so jailable formula; an act in exchange for a specific price. Worse sin of the world, I tell ya. Anyways, Asian stroke joints just seem harder for the morality police to ruin. Beyond technical skill, sometimes you can stumble in one that actually delivers a great massage—the regular, Ned Flanders approved kind. But, before you pocket your phone and wheel in screaming to that part of town, know that not all places that say “Asian Massage” are the HVT of the hour. Getting this wrong can lead to, at a minimum, a harrowing mix of confusion, embarrassment, and money wasted. At the worst, shrill cries and scrambling for your pants whilst a box of tissues is chucked at your head.

First and foremost—no matter what country— Target Identification, folks! They won’t be in the best part of town.

Madam Swan’s at the corner of 1st and Main is a place where you get $300 full-body work and people scrub the bottoms of your feet while others rub your temples counter-clockwise. The ones supplying all the baby oil and the “so big, daddy, you so big” will likely be in your industrial areas, places the law is too busy fighting more pressing matters, or both.

Second, cash is king. It can happen, but don’t count on credit cards being accepted.

Look for cameras! A camera outside the locked front door, looming down at you like a cyclops, this is a good sign. Also, akin to a clever punk rock band’s crappy van on a national tour, if you see “support law enforcement” stickers—those little shields and badges stuck to the glass of the front windows—you have landed on the X, my friends. Prepare to haggle down a cash tip seconds before. . . ya know.

Once inside, a good indicator—or a Collecting Feature, for you land navigators out there—is a robust set of door chimes going off when you entered. Admittedly, there is a bit of a downside to this: the tink-tinking and tonging, especially if this is a CONUS Op, whenever those chimes rattle, and you’re depanted in some back room, you may very well cringe. It may be a fellow patron, thus reminding you of your debauchery in an obscure, unpleasant fashion. It may be whatever bored Vice unit is in the area. But there is an even worse fate to consider. When such an exploration leads you to the shadiest of parlors, there is that fear: rapid shouts—followed by blasts of gunfire. Some order of the old world being violated for the last time, a yakuza-type neutralizes the disobedient rub-n-tuggers and you along with them, the whole lot of you reduced to diving for cover behind stacks of towels and bursting bottles of Bon Vital.

Such thoughts are just the mix of a deranged imagination and our survivalist sensibilities. Accept them. Move on.

And yeah, that’s about it. To recap:

·         They won’t be in the best part of town.

·         Cash is king.

·         Look for cameras.

·         Look for “support local law enforcement” stickers.

·         Listen up for the door chimes.

The negotiation phase—that’s on you, Killer. Somethings just have to be learned in the field.


David Rose (AKA Mr. Blonde) on InstagramDavid Rose (AKA Mr. Blonde) on Twitter
David Rose (AKA Mr. Blonde)
David Rose is the author of such works as No Joy and most recently dark fantasy’s Amden Bog. He holds a postgraduate degree in applied uselessness— a. k. a. philosophy—from the London School of Economics. He lives in Orlando.