Fancy an erotic massage and maybe more when you are next visiting South Korea?
As prostitution is illegal in South Korea, the sex industry in Seoul is as creative as other Asian (and Western) capitals when it comes to creating legitimate shop fronts for illicit activities. Brothels in Seoul that masquerade as massage parlours are as common as in places like Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.
In this guide, we take a look at erotic massage in Seoul (or anma) and let you know what to expect, what to pay and where to go if you are a sex tourist.
Erotic Massage in South Korea
Also known as anma, navigating the world of massage in South Korea is a lot like any other country. There are places where massage is advertised but is either a body treatment spa or sports masseur. You have to ensure that you visit the right places to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself or your attendant.
The key to finding a massage parlour that provides extra service is to look for the giveaway barber poles (red/white/blue stripes). In this instance, a single pole is likely to be a rub and tug only with two poles potentially offering full service.
Alternatively, if you are having trouble finding a suitable place then ask the locals for a tukitang which is a rub and tug massage.
As a Foreigner, Can You Get an Erotic Massage in Seoul?
There are some places in Seoul that don’t service foreigners and this is usually a case that the girls don’t speak English rather than xenophobia. Such places generally have signs (in English) on their doors stating that non-Koreans are not welcome. Don’t take this personally, just find somewhere that will take your money.
There is some stigma attached to being foreign in certain areas and with certain classes of Koreans but it’s a given that you can get lucky in the parlours in the red-light areas around the US army bases. Hooker Hill is a good place to start but you can read our full guide to the red-light areas of South Korea here.
Whether you get served or not, take our advice and don’t cause any kind or trouble. Many places have bouncers and some are linked to the South Korean mafia so it’s advisable to keep your nose clean.
As a last resort but not the most ‘authentic’ of experiences, you can employ the services of an escort who will visit you at your hotel to provide a massage. You could also check the classified pages of Backpage. For more information, you can read our guide on South Korea escorts.
What Does an Erotic Massage Cost in Seoul?
As with anywhere, it really depends on where you go and what kind of service you are hoping for. In addition, the fees charged to locals will invariably be lower than ‘tourist’ rates. There are some budget places as well as some top-end parlours with the best-looking girls working for them.
As a general guide, you can expect to pay in the region of 50,000-100,000 KRW ($45-$90) which will include a massage (of sorts) and full service. However, you can get a rub and tug at some places for just $30.
And lastly, there are a couple of high-end places where massage can cost as much as 250,000 KRW ($220) but these generally don’t service foreigners.
What Can You Expect from an Erotic Massage in Seoul?
The quick in and out massage places will usually offer you a choice of masseuses but don’t be surprised if you simply get what you are given in some locations.
When you visit a massage parlour that provides full service you will be charged a rate for your room which usually includes some liquid refreshment and possibly some fruit or nibbles. Once you are shown to a room, the available ladies will be paraded in for you to select from, much like a traditional brothel line-up.
Once you’ve selected a girl, the rest is up to you in terms of negotiating for your extras. The girls won’t be offended by being asked up front and its usually best to get this sorted as soon as possible as you are paying for time as soon as the door closes.
Places to find Erotic Massage Parlours in Seoul
If you go to the right areas around Seoul you can find a massage parlour on most street corners though in some areas foreigners are more welcome than most.
The best spots to go are in Itaewon where you can get a pretty standard service but are usually made welcome as a foreigner. Though out of the city a little, Ansan is also a good spot to have a wonder around.
There are plenty of erotic massage parlours in Yongsan but you’ll need to be a little careful here as not all are foreigner-friendly.
If in doubt, look for the barber poles.
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