Behind closed doors: Guam's massage parlors - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Behind closed doors: Guam's massage parlors

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by Nick Delgado

For decades, Guam has had massage parlors.  And in the 1990's, police actually conducted sting operations and found prostitution going on inside.  Despite those actions, the establishments managed to stay open and continue to operate, some 24 hours a day, and many others in the middle of the night, catering to certain clientele.

In recent years more and more of these types of establishments have been opening their doors.

When you think of a massage parlor, most people think of prostitution and brothels.  And while both are illegal, these places are still fully operational.  In the last decade, the island has seen the proliferation of massage parlors and therapeutic massage establishments.  The flashing lights, the "Open 24 Hours" signs, the girls sitting outside the establishments, the red lights popping up around the island.  As for what happens inside, it seems most residents have a pretty good idea.

"There's two different massage [sic]", said Julius Joseph.  "The one for the body and the one that you pay money and you have sex with the lady."  Another resident, Ed Evaristo, told KUAM News the businesses were being used to solicit sex.  Asked why, he responded, "I don't know, they just all night long there."

So we took to the streets, wanting to get inside the red light world.  Over the last few months during KUAM's undercover investigation, we were able to get into some facilities including one in Tumon where a woman was eager to give much more than a massage. 

In fact, she offered to perform sexual favors in exchange for cash, and fondled herself instead of giving a therapeutic massage, as the establishment's sign suggested.  We tried our luck along the busy streets of Tamuning, where we found Ichiban Massage.  The female proprietor wasn't too cooperative letting our cameras inside, or talking to us.

When asked what the massage place was all about, the elderly woman said, "Ok, you be back, you gonna have a good time, you cannot take picture [sic]."  She added, "Next time, we show you."

The woman, who said her name was "Kim", claims the establishment only offers acupuncture services.  Kim says $70 will get you 30 minutes, while $130 will get you an hour of acupuncture administered by a woman...dressed in a bikini.  Even though we were willing to pay, after seeing our cameras, suddenly they were busy and didn't want our money.

Across the street, we tried our luck at Memories Massage, with its flashing lights announcing they were open all day long.  But despite multiple knocks at the door and ringing the doorbell, no one would open the doors.  (That could be because of a surveillance camera posted in the corner of the roof aimed directly at the door.)

So apparently what the men or women do when the companies bring them to these facilities is they either walk up to the door in the front or in the back and ring the doorbell and a lady who some call the 'mama san' or whoever's available answers the door.

In Tumon at Kang Li Massage, we found several scantily-clad women sitting outside who were eager to give us a massage for $40.  That is, until they saw our cameras.

When they found out we were a news company, suddenly the girls, who had been sitting outside, so eager to give us a massage when we arrived, were busy and were told to go inside.  One said, "I busy now. Shiatsu, oil massage. You find the wrong place.  You go over to Hong Kong and Ichibang...I busy, sorry."

While many of the establishments weren't willing to let us in simply because of our news cameras, it's apparent that had our recording gear not been around, these establishments were eager and willing to give us the special treatment - but only behind closed doors.

Tomorrow night we dig further into what's happening and who is responsible for regulating these establishments.

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