What I Found in My Search for a 'Happy Ending' Massage for Women
From male escorts to sexologists, I tested the market of sexual services for women in an attempt to pay a man to make me cum.
This piece is part of a series of personal stories by writer Karley Sciortino recapping her experiences investigating the world of sex for the Viceland show Slutever. Every Wednesday, we'll be publishing new entries to accompany each new episode of the show.
The “Happy Endings” episode of Slutever essentially chronicles my personal quest to find a man to jerk me off in the name of gender equality.
Adri Murguia, who's the executive producer of the show, and I started talking about how crazy it is that there's so many sexual services available to men and so few to women. While men can go in to a massage parlor and get a "happy ending" massage, where the session ends in a hand job, women don't seem to have the same option of paying someone to jack the off. We started to wonder whether that was simply because women are less interested in purchasing them, so there's just less demand for it, or if there was also a factor of men feeling not confident or uncomfortable offering that service. You know, whether men were intimidated by the idea of offering a “happy ending” or sexual service to a woman because of that age-old lie that women are way harder to make cum than men and that women’s sexuality is more complicated than men’s. Was this so intimidating that men just wouldn't sign up for that?
While researching, we found this statistic that there are 1,200 happy ending massage parlors in New York City. But despite that grand number, they are almost exclusively women offering sexual services to men. We figured—and hoped—that there are sex service offerings out there for women, just fewer and less out in the open.
So we set out on a quest to find out what kinds of services do exist for women, which essentially involved me experimenting with a lot of different male sexual providers.
First, I hung out with a male escort named Ash who works through a website called Cowboys4Angels, which is currently the largest American male escort service on the Internet. I went on a date with him and we talked about what it's like to be a male escort—everything from how much it costs to spend time with him to who his typical clients are, to what his service offers. What I learned was that even with a male escort, and orgasm isn't guaranteed.
After that, I traveled to San Francisco, where I met Tom, a sexological body worker, which means he sort of jerks women off under the guise of therapy. It has a medical component where he does this thing called “vaginal mapping” where he lays you down on the massage table and essentially touches your vagina very slowly. Over the course of multiple sessions, you work out together what parts of your vagina are the most sensitive, what types of touch arouse you, what types of pressure you like, and what areas of the vagina feel good. It's sort of like orgasmic meditation but with a little bit more note-taking.
I definitely wasn't like, “Yeah, this is really relaxing I feel like I'm being jerked off.” It's more of a vaginal self-discovery moment. But I've never been in an experience like that where, very slowly, you figure out: Is the upper wall of my vagina more sensitive than the lower wall of my vagina? You just don't know, you usually just sort of shove it in and don't think about it. So that was interesting to a degree, but it wasn't the happy ending that I really wanted. I wanted what guys get—where you just walk into a massage parlor, someone jerks you off, and then you leave. This was way more involved that that.
Next came one of the craziest experiences I had while filming this show. We went to a men’s support group specifically about male sexuality. It was in Santa Cruz, and they were discussing the female orgasm.
It was really interesting because we were able to dive into this question of: Do men not provide these services to women because the idea of giving a woman an orgasm is too intimidating? All of these men were getting so real and opening up about what intimidates them about the female orgasm; what it means to them when they have sex with a woman, whether it be a stranger or their girlfriend or wife, and they can't make her cum; what that does for their ego; and what that means for their sexual life and their relationship. It was so interesting because it’s so rare that we see men opening up about their sexual vulnerabilities and insecurities like that.
Finally, I just ended up trolling Craigslist for a jerk-off artist. I eventually found a man who does offer “happy endings” under the name Mr. M, but because of the nature of what he’s offering, and the stigma around it, the interaction feels much more illicit and discreet than I anticipated. In the end, though, he definitely delivered.
It turns out, women can have their "happy ending"—they just need to know how to find it.
Some names have been omitted from this story for privacy.