According to McCoy’s Guide to Adult Services, there are ninety-four establishments in Nottinghamshire in which prostitutes work. These establishments (with an average rating of three stars, by the way) are described as being anything from a massage parlour to a house of domination. Fortunately I managed to avoid the latter, but instead found myself in a seemingly innocuous beauty salon where, after a while, I was offered a lot more than a full leg and bikini wax.

Never having been considered the naïve type, I would usually have been described as clued-up and streetwise, until I made the fatal error of going to an unknown beauty salon. When Googling ‘salon near National Ice Arena in Nottingham’ I came across a perfectly normal looking website and booked myself in. Rather ironically, I only required a salon near to the Ice Arena so that I could fit it around volunteering at the Arena charity fair, which, due to post-almost-coital shock, I then failed to make it to. Even on the very day of my adventure, when I couldn’t find the beauticians due to the mysterious absence of a shop sign, I didn’t feel any hint of suspicion: the giggles in the background when I phoned my beauty whore for directions seemed perfectly normal, and finally finding the establishment aroused relief rather than worry.

Stepping into the fresh-looking salon and seeing no customers but many beauticians, all dressed in standard white dresses, didn’t cause me to hear sirens, see red flashing lights and run towards the door. Instead, I happily gave a young, fairly plain looking girl my jacket and followed her out the back and into one of the rooms. Taking off all my clothes from the waist downwards, I admired the decor and wondered why they used such a large space for a simple waxing room. Lying on the bed, it wasn’t until she reached my knees with that waxy bait of hers that I started to feel that things weren’t quite right. She became very complimentary of my hair, my eyes and my skin. She often paused to admire these apparent qualities of mine, and stroke the areas concerned. When she felt around and took a close look at the very delicate area she was working on towards the end, I reassured myself that she was just very… very thorough, despite my increasingly troubled thoughts. Excuses ran out when, once she’d finished and taken her time rubbing cream on me, she told me to touch myself. When I refused, she took my hand and attempted to show me how.

To my dismay and later disgust, I immediately found myself apologising profusely and saying that was just not what I had come for. I asked her why she thought that her startling actions were acceptable, and she told me that this was a place where she was allowed to offer an extra service. Putting my clothes back on, I just wanted to run for the exit. Yet like every awkward situation, the horror did not stop there, and the awkwardness had yet to reach its peak before I could get the hell out of there. I paid for her extensive ‘services’ by the slowest card transaction in the history of the world, all the while being incredibly aware of the highly amused eyes on me and managed a ridiculous ‘thank you’ whilst tripping towards the door. I left my brothel of bewilderment feeling confused, unsettled and definitely not yet seeing the humorous side.

The unrelenting topic of conversation at home that evening was my all-too-close brush with prostitution, and my unwitting role as punter. The girls were overly concerned with reliving the embarrassment of the situation, whilst the guys were much more interested in the physical appearance of the girl and indiscreetly enquiring after the location and phone number of the salon. When returning to the establishment last week (for purely investigative purposes), I discovered that it hadn’t changed at all, apart from the fact that the door was firmly closed and the blinds down. Whether this means business is booming or the financial crisis had spelt doom, I don’t care to find out. I think I’ll stick with my original salon, where what you see is what you get.

Jess Bamford

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1 Comment

  1. February 15, 2010 at 09:31 — Reply

    hah! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier…

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