Keep it locked

When I saw this article in a Sunday's LA times issue some months back, I was amused, to say the least. Man….as they say in the USA, what is the world coming to? Moral virtue and moral policing is one thing, but personally this is a little too much if you ask me. Which made me think of Malabar as the Europeans saw it in the 15th century. Until the late 16th century men & women walked bare chested…Today one can’t imagine what will happen if somebody did that… Cost of development I guess…

So what is the news? In a bid to prevent any hanky-panky (officially called ‘full service’) between masseuses and their clients, several massage parlors in the hill resort town of Batu in Indonesia are insisting that the women wear padlocks across the zippers of their work pants. Look at the pictures, it is self explanatory.

Batu, 75 km south of Indonesia's second-biggest city, Surabaya, is a tourist destination popular for its cool climate, apples, hot springs and mountain scenery. Batu’s trailblazing example seems to have reached Jakarta with the Tourist Office of the city considering a similar rule. Made Karya says Jakarta massage parlors are divided into two groups, those that simply offer health massages, and those that offer extras, and the padlock idea is something that needs serious consideration to deal with the latter.

But the massage parlor owner who first introduced the locks told AFP he did so for the good of his workers. “You know well how naughty some clients can be," said Frangki Setiawan, owner of the Dogado massage parlor in Batu. "It is a move taken purely in the interest of the working safety of my staff. “Most of the town's 20 massage parlors have now adopted the practice after local police encouraged them to do so, Batu spokesman Hidayat told AFP.

It was great fun reading various responses though I could only sympathize with the suffering masseuses. One person said that this was a ‘kin-key’ idea. Another said that there would be a huge market in Indonesia for ‘skeleton keys’. A third said it is a better idea to find out when the locks are taken off. A feminist complained about women having to suffer for men’s hormone overdrives and that they should be the ones to be locked up. Others said that masseuse’s dentures will be the next to get sharpened and spiked gloves will also have to be worn. Yet another with local knowledge stated with absolute certainty that some minister owns this ‘new lock’ factory. Others suggested different methods of ‘skinning the cat’. Yet another said it was a case of a few bureaucrats who had too much time on their hands.

And one person said – when the customer comes in, make sure he is locked up, put manacles on his hands and feet. Let them off after the 20 minutes massage is completed…Wow!! They also suggested, lock up or manacle the hands of all those bribe accepting politicians. Or make sure that males get male masseuses and females get females…

A wise guy concluded that the problem with common sense in Indonesia is that it is not so common.

Meanwhile, chastity belt manufacturers must be ramping up options and creating new designs foreseeing a potentially large market in SE Asia. Those interested in understanding the modus operandi in these parlors, check this Indonesian bloggers humorous blog.

Now – don’t be surprised, people do use these (chastity belts) things. Some years back, a British woman wearing one of these ‘proper’ all covering belts (not a pant lock) triggered an airport alarm in Athens- Greece. According to the press report, the woman told police officers her husband had forced her to put on the belt to make sure she had no extra-marital affair during a brief visit to Greece. "The woman was allowed to fly on to London on the pilot's responsibility," Tzouvaras added.

However what you may not know is that it is a practice in Rajasthan. The Asian Human rights commission reports (this was in 2007) - A female passenger in a public bus was found bleeding from her thighs and the fellow passengers took her to hospital. At the hospital, the doctors who examined the lady found that she was wearing a chastity belt. The practice of forcing women to wear a chastity belt is so common in Rajasthan that a website hosting advertisements of Indian industries boasts various designs of chastity belts, even made from precious metals like silver and gold.

Ah! Well…such are the ways of the world…We mortals have really evolved in interesting ways…The creator must be having a chuckle at the expense of these expert locksmiths in Indonesia…

Pictures from the web – msnbc, la times,,


Indrani said...

I read about the Rajasthani women... horrifying! Couldn't really believe it. I talked to some of my Rajasthani friends, they didn't know of such a thing. Probably in the interiors it is still in use.

Rada said...

"Others said that masseuse’s dentures will be the next to get sharpened and spiked gloves will also have to be worn..."

Naughty. Naughty! :-)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Heard about this. have a fricking alarm button the massage room which starts blaring man. chastity belts it seems. and have you seen pics of the old ones? They look like instruments of torture. ugh

Anonymous said...

Incredible! I don't even know whether to laugh out loud or be shocked. Where do you come up with such stuff?! (I mean these articles :P)

lol, I bet this started because locksmiths were out of work.

A degree wiser now,

Happy Kitten said...


yet they dont want to train the men to do it..

should we call them hypocrites?

or for the men to be bound before they are massaged :)

Jagjit said...

'kin-key', lol.

But that's insane. The chestity belts. And in Rajasthan, who would think of that.

some funny and dark facts here. nice post..