Backpage Massage

The Rise and Fall of Backpage Massage Services

November 26, 2023 | by

person holding white round ornament Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

The Emergence of Backpage Massage Services

Backpage was a classified advertising website that gained popularity in the early 2000s. It provided a platform for various services, including the controversial category of adult services. Among these adult services, one of the most sought-after categories was massage.

The Appeal of Backpage Massage

Backpage massage services gained popularity due to their convenience and accessibility. Users could easily find and book massage sessions in their local area. The platform allowed individuals to connect with massage therapists and spas, making it a convenient option for those seeking relaxation or therapeutic treatments.

The Controversy Surrounding Backpage Massage

While Backpage massage services offered legitimate options for those seeking professional massages, the platform also became notorious for facilitating illegal activities. Some individuals exploited the platform to offer illicit services under the guise of massage therapy.

The controversy surrounding Backpage massage services led to increased scrutiny from law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups. They argued that the platform enabled human trafficking and exploitation, and that the lack of regulation made it difficult to distinguish between legitimate and illegal massage services.

The Demise of Backpage and its Impact on Massage Services

In 2018, Backpage was seized and shut down by the United States Department of Justice due to allegations of facilitating prostitution and money laundering. This closure had a significant impact on the massage industry, both positive and negative.

On one hand, the closure of Backpage helped in curbing illegal activities associated with massage services. Law enforcement agencies were able to focus their efforts on identifying and prosecuting individuals involved in human trafficking and exploitation.

On the other hand, the closure of Backpage also affected legitimate massage therapists and businesses. Many relied on the platform to advertise their services and connect with clients. With the sudden disappearance of Backpage, these professionals had to find alternative ways to market their services and reach potential customers.

The Evolution of Online Massage Platforms

Following the demise of Backpage, several online platforms emerged to fill the void left by its closure. These platforms aimed to provide a safer and regulated environment for massage services.

These new platforms typically require massage therapists to undergo a verification process and adhere to certain guidelines and regulations. This helps to ensure that the services offered are legitimate and that users can have confidence in the therapists they choose.

The Importance of Responsible Massage Services

While the closure of Backpage had its challenges, it also highlighted the importance of responsible and ethical practices within the massage industry. It is crucial for both massage therapists and clients to prioritize safety, professionalism, and respect.

Today, individuals seeking massage services should look for licensed therapists, read reviews, and choose platforms that prioritize safety and legitimacy. By doing so, they can enjoy the benefits of massage therapy while supporting responsible businesses.


The rise and fall of Backpage massage services had a significant impact on the massage industry. While the closure of Backpage helped in curbing illegal activities, it also affected legitimate massage therapists and businesses. The emergence of new online platforms has provided an opportunity for responsible and regulated massage services to thrive. It is crucial for individuals seeking massage therapy to prioritize safety and choose reputable platforms and licensed therapists.


View all

view all