PANDORA’S SEX SECRETS UNCOVERED
Fallowfield “massage parlour” confirms: “We do employ students”
Exclusive//8th December 2008
MASSAGE PARLOUR Pandora’s Box in Fallowfield employs female students as young as 21, who are “expected” to have sex with clients, a Student Direct investigation has revealed.
Student Direct’s undercover reporter discovered that students not only work there, but also visit the venue looking for services.
Posing as an ex-escort, she was asked if she was a student. “I said I was a student and I asked her if students were normally taken on. The blonde woman said that being a student didn’t matter,” said the reporter, who wished to remain anonymous for safety reasons.
The woman also confirmed at this point that students frequent Pandora’s Box as clients as well, which was later confirmed in a conversation with the venue’s manager.
“The woman made it clear that you get ‘all sorts’ of clients there, including students. When I said I lived in Fallowfield, her initial worry was that I could be recognised by particular men who visit the parlour.”
When the 19 year old asked if any “extras” were discretionary, she was told that they were not optional, but rather: “You do have to do it.”
The student added: “She also asked me about my bust size, and I told her, which is obviously a very intimate question but it’s probably expected in that line of work.”
In a follow-up phone call with the manager the next day, she further enquired about her expected duties: “When I asked him what it was that I would have to do, if I had to have sex with the punters – and I think it’s a fair question – he just said, ‘Obviously. What do you expect?’ and asked me if I had been paid for sex before.”
The manager reassured the reporter that Pandora’s was one of the best parlours in Manchester. He told her that it was safe to work there, it was very clean and that it was quite famous for being so exquisite. He went on to mention that the women who work there did so at their own volition, were aware of their own welfare and that all women had legal documentation asserting their nationality.
“He said that as far as he’s concerned, the women are having massages and showers with the clients. If I did want to work there, I would have to sign a disclaimer form so that presumably no-one but myself would be liable for any health and safety issues,” the reporter said.
A male student, who also wished to remain anonymous, made enquiries at the parlour, expressing a preference for students to a member of staff. He was told that he could spend time with an English student, one of two students who worked there. Staff said that there were women as young as 21 employed there and that he would be charged £45 per half hour for a fully personal service with one of them.
Pandora’s Box has caused a lot of controversy within the student community – some even admit to regularly watching the reactions of people emerging from the premises for fun.
Located above The Gin Club on Wilmslow Road, the Fallowfield venue was featured in the infamous adult services guide, ‘McCoy’s Street Plan For Manchester’, published in 2005. As reported by Student Direct in the same year, author George McCoy made a special note of Pandora’s Box, saying that he was rather impressed by the opening hours and number of female workers, especially as several women that work there “seem to be students”.
McCoy said that such women had “to make a living somehow, and they are not doing anyone any harm”.
UMSU Women’s Officer Jennie Killip was unsurprised by the findings. “It’s not shocking that students engage in sex work due to the financial burden of being a student,” she said. “What is most important in sex work is the welfare of the women, and that they do not experience any exploitation.
Killip urged any students engaged in the sex work industry needing support or representation to go and speak to her in the UMSU Advice Centre.