Why Are Massage Parlours Under Attack?

Why Are Massage Parlours Under Attack?

Why are massage parlours under attack?

Massage parlours are popular because, while getting a massage from your partner might be good, the truly great massages come from those in the know. After a long week at work, or if you’ve had a manic morning, there is no better way to relax than by enjoying a massage.
Young Man Enjoying Massage At Spa

However, there are some out there who don’t like the idea of people getting massages, especially if happy endings are involved. Earlier this year we talked about the fact that the Scottish sexual entertainment industry was in danger, after some MSPs were advised that the best “way of preventing “liberal” councils from licensing brothels” was to adopt a single policy.

Of course, no plan is perfect. There were worries that the policy might be too vague. While they might catch the illegal brothels, they would also stop things like strip clubs, places with artistic nude performances, and your everyday massage parlours where there are no extras offered. The battle against massage parlours still rages on.

A continuing pattern

Unfortunately, it isn’t the first time that massage parlours have been under attack, and it is definitely not going to be the last. From the way people are going about it, you’d think they don’t want us to have any fun at all!

We often hear about raids on massage parlours, although more specifically they are referred to as brothels. It happens a lot, so much so that you’d think that all the houses in all the towns in all the world are actually brothels or illegal massage parlours.

In Salt Lake City a police investigation had them looking into seven massage parlours that they believed “were fronts for sexual exploitation”, and that upon further investigation they found many of the customers there had “paid for sexual acts at the parlors”.

The Attorney General Sean Reyes spoke out about this case, stating that “if it is what we suspect it to be, then it is an example of domestic trafficking, or at least trafficking with people from another country who are brought against their will into our country”.

However, Reyes then went on to say that, while they believed the women there were “victims in the operation”, they wouldn’t know for certain until they interviewed them. Yes, they hadn’t actually properly spoken to the women they found in these parlours yet.

The authorities did actually make some arrests in the raids, arresting a man and a woman they believed were involved in the Wasatch Front prostitution ring. The investigation has been going on for 10 months and so far has led to two arrests.

The arrests were made for “exploiting prostitution” and for “unlawful conduct at a massage therapy practice.” The seven massage parlours these people were working from have now been completely shut down.

Why massage parlours?

Massage parlours are getting a bad reputation, thanks to the number of raids on them. Often the raids won’t really come to anything, as they find that those working there are simply just providing massage or there is no evidence of exploitation or trafficking.

However, that doesn’t stop massage parlour owners from feel the burn when they are shut down, even if it is only for a short time. Simply the stigma of “sex shop” being placed on a business can be damaging.

Take the Sukhothai massage parlour in Liverpool. The owner decided to seek permission for the parlour to stay open for two extra hours each evening, in order to accommodate the demands of customers, such as nurses or office workers who had late shifts to deal with.

Of course, the council refused to allow them the permission they needed. When prompted, it seems that they had their reasons, as “they were told police were investigating reports it had been used for prostitution”.

The owner, Mrs Chintana Kneen, has been fighting back against it, insisting that her massage parlour is “not a sex shop”, although her cries are currently falling on deaf ears. “I know what people say about my place,” she said in an interview, “but I say it’s not what they think. I know what I am doing – it’s a nice place. I have had a lot of phone calls but I always say it’s not a sex shop”.

Despite Kneen’s claims, the police are continuing to investigate, stating that they “have had three intelligence reports relating to these premises being used for massage – and for prostitution.”

Consenting adults

I understand the desire to eliminate those who are exploiting others and those who are committing an unbelievable crime, but is what happens between consenting adults behind closed doors really so bad that we must brand all massage parlours, regardless of what happens there, as sex shops?

Personally, I feel that what happens between consenting adults behind closed doors should stay there, but massage parlours blur the lines. You might be left uncertain about just what happens behind those closed doors, and as a result massage parlours can be counted as brothels if there is the belief that more than one person in there is offering sexual services.

Have you ever visited a massage parlour, or do you avoid them because of the stigma surrounding them? What can we do to change the way that massage parlours are seen, or is there absolutely nothing that we can do?

You can let us know what you think about this topic, either by visiting the Escort Wales forum or by leaving a comment in the box below. Is there a better way to investigate massage parlours instead of raiding them, or is this the most effective way of dealing with it?

This won’t be the last time massage parlours make the news, and although we really hope the stigma starts to change soon, it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen.

Lara Mills
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Lara Mills

Lara Mills is a writer who has four years of sex industry expertise behind her. Since she entered the adult industry, she has worked on the Escort Advertising forums, before moving into her current role three years ago.

Since then she has gained a fine reputation with her blogs on sex advice, sexual health and amusing news stories from around the globe. She is also a campaigner for the rights of sex workers from all over the world.

In her spare time, Lara keeps herself active by going running, and is something of a film buff. She also loves to go travelling.
Lara Mills
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