No happy endings: Massage therapists sick of sleaze
DARWIN massage therapists are sick of sleazy men asking to be sexually pleasured when booking their appointments.
It might sound like a joke, but Top End professionals insist serial pests are no laughing matter.
Alternative Bodywork director Chantelle Trebley says the problem is ongoing.
"Sometimes we don't hear from anyone for a while - then all of a sudden it's an influx," she said.
"The last two weeks it's been ongoing."
Ms Trebley said she'd received at least one call every day for the last week, and it was frustrating that people were still asking for services her team did not provide.
"They ask for happy endings or extras - or they ask for a full body service," she said.
"What annoys me the most is that we advertise under private health.
"I respect my professional team so much, and we hold the highest standards and accreditations."
The massage therapist simply wants her profession not to be sexualised.
"I think it's pretty easy to tell which businesses are professional and which ones offer other services," Ms Trebley said.
The Prostitution Regulation Act means sex workers in the Territory can legally work independently or with licensed escort agencies, but they must take their trade to private residences or hotels.
Other legitimate Darwin massage therapists have been forced to put up signs to fend off unwanted sexual propositions.
Mitchell St's Siam Thai & Remedial Massage has a neon sign with "non erotic" outside their building.
Lung Thai Massage in Darwin's Star Arcade has "strictly non-sexual massage" on their door.
Kerry's Traditional Chinese Massage owner Kerry Zhao has been working in Darwin for about eight years.
She's rebranding the stores to "Kerry's Body Therapy" to avoid unwanted attention.
"They (massage parlours offering 'happy endings') ruin the word 'massage' - that's why I changed the name, because some people they see 'massage' and they think it's another type of massage," Ms Zhao said.
"Our massage centre is professional - we don't do that."
Ms Zhao said that most Darwin locals knew her stores offered a professional service - but tourists were still asking for more.
She gets at least one call a week from people wanting sexual favours.
She said the calls used to be more frequent.
"It really annoys me," she said. Rejuvenate Massage worker Alice Chang, who works out in Bayview, recently posted on social media that she was fed up with people asking for sexual favours.
"We are sick of it," she said.