Sex services on offer under guise of Ayurvedic massage at Kovalam

Thiruvananthapuram, June 6: Kovalam, one of the most sought-after tourist spots in Kerala, is fast turning into a sex tourism destination with cross-massage parlours mushrooming at every nook and corner of the beach.

A sting operation led by Malayalam news channel Asianet News reveals that the flesh trade is rampant at massage parlours that operate barely a 100 metres away from the police station at Kovalam.  A good majority of these centres offer sex services in the name of Ayurvedic massaging. These centres violate rules that proscribe cross-massaging and misuse the tag of Ayurveda.

In small rooms, with hardly any facility for a spa, many massage parlours offer only sex.  A customer is first asked to pay in advance for the service and then led to a room. If he wants to choose the masseuse, he will have to shell out more money and a tip of not less than RS 500.

Most of the girls working in these centres are from low-income families who are initially offered decent jobs but later forced to perfrom sex services for customers. According to  Asianet News reporter, who went in the guise of a client to a massage parlour, was asked to pay RS 500 just to choose his masseuse.

A woman working with one of the massage centres revealed that the proprietors force them to offer sex service after hiring them as massaging experts. “Even if the customer gives more money as the tip, the owner will give us only Rs 500,” she said.

Even though occasional police raids stop activities for a brief period, the centres soon start up again in no time. After the News Channel’s sting operation was aired on Monday, the police started a crackdown on the illegal activities at spas in and around the beach destination.