A Chinese massage parlour in Toronto’s Chinatown is offering clients an alternative to the traditional Western masseuses.
A few months ago, the Chinese massage shop, Linguistics, opened in a small building at the corner of Queen Street West and Dundas Street West.
It’s located on a block of storefronts.
“This was a good opportunity to give our clients a massage in a non-traditional way,” Linguistic owner and massage therapist Ani Wu said.
“The clientele that came in were mostly women who came in for a massage and wanted a massage.”
The owners say they’ve been offering a free massage for the past six months, with some clients paying up to $100.
In Toronto, Chinese massage is legal.
But in Canada, it’s illegal to offer services in Chinese.
“There’s a lot of Chinese people who have come to us, so it’s not uncommon for a Chinese person to come to a Western masseuse,” Wu said, adding that the staff have been helpful.
Wu said there have been few complaints about the service from customers.
Wu says she has been asked to take part in sex education classes, but she’s not sure if those classes will be offered at Linguistically.
“It’s a very sensitive subject,” Wu told CBC News.
“I would like to see a better understanding of what is considered respectful, as opposed to just going out and doing whatever you want.”
The shop has been selling massage therapy for about a year.
“Our customers are very open-minded,” Wu explained.
“They don’t have a problem with sex, and they don’t mind the sex part of it.”
Wu says it’s important for her to show clients that she’s willing to learn more about massage and have a good time.
“If they feel uncomfortable with it, I understand,” she said.
Wu also says she’s glad she’s found a new business.
“We need to be open and transparent with our clients, so we can give them a massage, a free service, and the customer is happy,” Wu added.
“You can’t just go and find a massage parter, but you can have a massage service.”