Chastity belts are making a revival. According to the LA Times, massage parlors in Batu, a tiny resort town in the east of Indonesia, are requiring their female staff to wear padlocks across the zippers of their uniform whilst they work. This drastic and archaic measure is in response to an increasing trend of customers propositioning sex.
Franky Setiawan, the owner of Doghado Massage Parlor, first came up with the idea after his employees were “bombarded” with requests for sex, a situation that became worse after the local authorities closed down the town’s brothels. Seitawan said “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, a clothing designer before entering the massage business, designed the uniforms himself. His chastity belts are not clunky, heavy or uncomfortable likes the ones of old. Rather he went for a minimalistic style, settling on “back pants that zip up at the side, where a padlock is slipped through two cloth loops and snapped shut each time a masseuse meets a client.”
According to the LA Times:
When a customer arrives for a massage, given in a private room behind a curtain, the "cashier calls one masseuse, asks her to prepare things and locks her pants," Setiawan said. "Because the masseuse knows the drill, she usually pees before that. And when the client is done, the masseuse comes to the cashier, and the cashier opens the padlock." Once in a while, Setiawan said, he checks to make sure no one lifts the keys to cut copies.
Setiawan’s workers find the uniform comfortable, un-intrusive and treat it as part of the job. Others find the use of the new fangled chastity belt offensive. Meutia Fardia Hatta Swasono, the Indonesian Minister for women’s empowerment believes: "It is not the right way to prevent promiscuity. It insults women as if they are the ones in the wrong".
The trend is catching on with four other massage parlors in Batu agreeing to start dressing their staff in similar outfits.