Indonesian masseuses don chastity belts

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Chastity belts, which went out of fashion with knights in shining armor and damsels in distress, are making a comeback in the massage parlors of East Java.

Eager to prevent any hanky-panky between masseuses and their clients, several massage parlors in the hill resort town of Batu are insisting that the women wear padlocks across the zippers of their work pants.

Franky Setiawan, owner of Doghado Massage Parlor, says he came up with the idea when men “bombarded” his staff with demands for sex after local authorities shut down the town’s brothels. In recent years, conservative Islamic values have gained influence in a society that has long enjoyed liberal freedoms, such as easy access to alcohol, gambling and the sex trade.

“We had a hard time rejecting this kind of client because they try over and over and over again, persuading our workers with their dangerously sweet words,” Setiawan said by phone earlier this month from Batu, explaining that he wanted his 14 masseuses to feel safe and morally upstanding, while protecting the massage industry’s image.

But Meutia Fardia Hatta Swasono, minister for women’s empowerment in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, calls the return of the chastity belt an affront to all females.

“It is not the right way to prevent promiscuity. It insults women as if they are the ones in the wrong,” she told reporters a few weeks ago. “It is not that we oppose the administration’s effort to uphold morality, but the problem is their way of treating masseuses as if they’re all committing prostitution.”

Talk to us

More in Local News

Lake Stevens resident Rick Trout shows a Feb. 2020 photo of the rising lake level in front of his home after a storm. (Isabella Breda / The Herald)
Some Lake Stevens homeowners now must buy flood insurance

Updated FEMA maps show some lakeside homes now sit in a designated flood hazard area, due to a warming climate.

Voyager Middle School.
Shooting threat at Mukilteo schools was a joke, student says

Four threats of violence in 48 hours were reported at Snohomish County schools in the wake of a shooting at a Michigan high school.

Girl, 1, dies from gunshot wound near Granite Falls

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputies were investigating the weapons assault report Saturday night.

Prosecuting attorney, Taryn Jones gives the state's opening statement to start the trial of Ryan Leenders for first-degree murder Friday morning at the Snohomish County Superior Courthouse on December 3, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Trial opens for Everett man charged with killing party guest

A defense attorney claimed Ryan Leenders mistook a vape pen for a gun when he shot William Harper, who was not armed.

‘Prolonged neglect’: Darrington woman charged with starving horses

After a months-long investigation, the woman is accused of neglecting her animals.

State officials confirm first 3 cases of omicron variant

The cases were found in Thurston, Pierce and King counties, according to the state Department of Health.

Preston "Buddy" Dwoskin served as the head referee at the inaugural Buddy Bowl football game two years ago at Everett Memorial Stadium. (Contributed photo) 20211203
Anti-bullying ‘Buddy Bowl’ game set for Saturday in Marysville

Preston Dwoskin, a public speaker with special needs, organized the football festivities. He would like you to be there.

Police: Student, 13, falsely accused classmate of making threat

The student alleged the classmate called to say there would be a shooting at Hidden River Middle School.

Man dies in 140-foot fall from Arlington cellphone tower

The man, in his 30s, fell about just after 1:30 p.m. Saturday while working.

Most Read