Mothers used to cry when their daughters became massage therapists. Why? They thought their beautiful daughter was signing up to give happy ending massages in massage parlors, which became the preferred front for prostitution in the 1950s. Massage therapists are much more respected today, and most moms know it's an honorable profession.
Still, there are still lots of illegitimate, so-called spas offering happy ending massages.
Even Amy Schumer joked about wanting a neck massage and ending up at a happy ending massage place in her HBO special, "Live at the Apollo." Her tip-off, she joked, were the metal tables. So maybe things haven't changed as much as we think.
What Is a Happy Ending Massage?
A happy ending massage takes place when a massage ends with sexual contact and orgasm, usually through a hand-job. Happy endings can be offered to both male and female clients (surprise!), though males are the more typical customer.
Usually there are tip-offs that a "happy ending" is on the spa menu, such as the name of the spa itself ("Pleasers Spa") or a seedy appearance with a neon sign that says "open." (A woman would never go in there.) At these establishments, the "therapists" might wear high heels, give you a back massage, then, without asking, give you a hand job when you flip you over.
Often, there are other signs that a "happy ending" place isn't quite on the level.
It might have wording that seems off, like all-body massage, oriental touch, tantric massage, thigh massage and body-to-body massage. Asian massage has a long and proud history, but it is also sometimes a code word for happy endings.
Many of these "spas" are basically fronts for prostitution. They are often in the news for being raided and shut down, which is something to keep in mind should you be tempted to become a customer.
Another risk is the seedy "spa" in Las Vegas that exists just to fleece tourists.
In this scenario, a taxi driver takes you to a "spa" that seems like sex will be on offer. But after paying a fee to get in, buying drinks, and going back into the room with a girl, you get a crummy massage. And when you complain about there being no sex, in comes the bouncer and out you go—hundreds of dollar in the hole and without your happy ending.
Are They Legal?
In America, a happy ending is illegal and not done at legitimate spas. If you ask for a happy ending at a nice spa or send signals by groaning and grinding suggestively, you are likely to encounter a mortified massage therapist who warns you that she will end the massage if you don't stop.
It is never appropriate to ask for a happy ending at legitimate spas around the world or during an in-room massage at a hotel. Doing so can open you up to embarrassment and a quick end to the session.
Women who are interested in happy endings from a male therapist should also watch their step. (Yes, it happens.) Most likely you'll face a very embarrassed therapist who will tell you about the boundaries of his profession.
What About Happy Ending Massages Overseas?
Happy endings are easier to find overseas, especially in Bangkok, Thailand, Bali, and other Asian countries.
Cebu City, Philippines, is known for its lingam massage, which is a more sensuous and highly skilled massage that ends with a massage of the "lingam," or penis.
You should not assume that you can get a happy ending anywhere. Basically, the establishments that have it on offer give off sexual signals that should be impossible to miss.