This story appears in the July/August 2016 issue of Playboy. Subscribe

When I’ve had a stressful week, I like to get a massage. Recently I’ve been fantasizing about getting a “happy ending.” I realize it’s inappropriate to ask a licensed massage therapist at a day spa for a handy, but after combing the classifieds I found several venues that offer “erotic massages.” What’s the etiquette for receiving a happy ending?

In the name of hard-hitting sex journalism, I decided to find out firsthand. So one cool gray Monday I find myself buzzing an apartment in midtown Manhattan. “Hi, welcome to the hand-job palace,” says Nikki, an art student whose official job title is, I think, “hand-job princess.”

Nikki agrees to give us a peek into how happy endings are made. On any given day, Nikki and several other women from the same agency work out of different residential apartments. I note the ambiance of this one—amateur paintings, a bed with colorful sheets, a massage table with its accoutrements: oils, hand sanitizer, paper towels, Febreze, a bowl of peppermints.

While the protocol for receiving a rub-and-tug would seem easy enough to google, the internet proves to be full of questionable advice from listicle blogs. (No matter what advises, never, under any circumstances, point at your erection and say, “Well?”)

If you plan to purchase any form of erotic entertainment, there are a few rules you should always follow. When booking an appointment, it’s customary to give your real name, number and other information;  screening customers is how sex workers stay safe. Make your payment at the beginning of the session, and when dealing with employees like Nikki who work for someone else, it’s good practice to tip—the agency takes half her rate. Be respectful and take a shower, cleaning thoroughly before your session. And don’t be cheap: Book the proper amount of time for the experience you want. Lots of guys new to erotic services spring for the shortest block, which may not allow much time to get comfortable. (A word of caution: In most states, any act that involves genital touch in exchange for money is illegal. Proceed at your discretion.)

Nikki changes into a pink satin slip. “Courtesy and cleanliness are so important,” she says. “Some men think they don’t need to wipe their asses. I would bet money that Donald Trump doesn’t feel a need to properly wipe his ass.”

We sit side-by-side on the bed, and Nikki clicks through ads for massage girls, professional dominatrices and escorts in New York. Her Monday schedule is slow. It’s tax season. “Do you want me to give you a massage?” she asks. Since I’ve put myself in your shoes, I don’t see why not.

“What kind of stuff do you usually say to your clients?” I ask, feeling relaxed after she finishes my back. She tells me to turn over and slides her breasts over mine. “I talk dirty, like, ‘Yeah, you’ve got this nice young princess stroking your cock. Does that feel good? Does that feel nice?’ ” We laugh, but the line works. “Marry me,” I murmur after I orgasm. “Okay,” she says. Which is what I want for all of us anyway: to live happily ever after in the hand-job palace.

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