COUNCIL officials say they will check up on a new ‘tantric temple’ centre which offers clients massages from women in G-strings.
Officials will visit the premises to “make sure the owner is aware of their responsibilities.”
Erotic massages are also on offer at the premises, which opened yesterday, but owners are insisting that no sexual services will be carried out.
Three masseuses are working at the new “Tantric Temple” found in the city’s New Town area, after previously working at another branch in London.
Men, women and couples are welcome to come and learn how to “control their erotic energy” through the service offered by the trio of experts, the temple says.
The location of the centre has been kept secret so far with customers who make a booking receiving the address via text on the day of their session.
A “special introductory offer” means sessions cost £80 for 90 minutes to mark the opening of the first Scottish temple.
Council chiefs have said they have no record of the business applying for a license.
The owner responded by saying: “That’s fine if they visit, we just do massages.”
The Tantric Temple’s website displays photographs of scantily-clad men and women in G-strings carrying out massages on clients using their hands and feathers.
The massage rooms appear to be decorated with dark furnishings and throws all lit by candles.
For the premises to operate it will need a public entertainment license, the same license held by saunas found throughout Edinburgh.
One masseuse said: “These are genuine Tantric massages. There are no sexual services. It’s a body-to-body massage which teaches you how to control your erotic energy.
“The masseuse is naked except for a G-string and the customer is naked. We use specific Tantric techniques to bring the full arousal but you do not need to release it.
“It’s very healthy and relaxes the muscles. Most people think they is only one area for erotic arousal but they find out there are many.”
Evening sessions have already proved popular with city residents at the centre, which is open daily from 11am-11pm.
The masseuse added: “We’ve had a lot of bookings.”
During a session the naked masseuse will use her body to stimulate the client’s skin.
Benefits of these techniques are said to include an improvement in blood flow and that it stimulates nerve endings to promote wellbeing.
A spokesman for the council said: “We have no record of any license being applied for this service and will be checking to make sure the owner is aware of their responsibilities.”
Alasdair Rankin, a city centre councillor, said: “I can understand why some concerns or suspicions might arise here.
“I will have to discuss the matter with my colleagues in the licensing committee to find out what they believe should happen.”
There are about 20 massage parlours and saunas with public entertainment licensing already in the city but it is still illegal to run a brothel.
Joanna Mowat, conservative councillor said: “This is an area I’m deeply uncomfortable with.
“On the one had we have pushed prostitution off the streets so it doesn’t stare people in the face, but we are turning a blind eye to what is going on indoors.”
“Part of the regulation would be to ensure that the girls, or men, are not trafficked, that they are tested, that they have access to medical support and that workers can go in if they want a way out of this.
“At the moment there is an industry the council is complicit in, but it is not doing anything to support those working within it.
“I sit on the regulatory committee and I watch us clandestinely doing this, pretending we are licensing saunas and it’s all about water temperatures.”
She continued: “It’s just something we do. We are not doing anything illegal. What we do is correct and above board but there is something else going on in some case and it is a grey area.
“The situation has evolved rather than officially being a position anyone has taken.
“It’s a huge can of worms and I don’t think it would be particularly popular to open it all up, but it is worth having the discussion.”
Other cities including Aberdeen have put an end to ‘tolerance zones’ within the city which used to turn a blind eye on prostitution in the city’s streets.
The owner of Tantric Temple has denied any sexual activity happening within her premises.