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A very shady "spa" opened up recently in my small town. Just the atmosphere projected on the outside makes you wonder what really goes on inside. Not that I've had the gumption yet to wander in... However, it has not kept my busy brain and typing skills idle. The internet can give you all kinds of knowledge. Some of which you'd rather not be privy to. This being said, if you have any questionable places in your town and you can't really find any information, I have come across a website that may keep you in the loop. (eroticmp.com) Just because the owners of these establishments can keep their mouths closed, doesn't ensure that their seedy clientele can do so. I have discovered that there are almost 150 (known) in my state. A licensed state. Question is: why aren't the authorities doing anything? And what are you going to do about the ones near you?

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I agree Mike. Most of the ladies there come through this area where the agents businesses for finding them locations are. A "Sexual Massage" license is needed. This needs to be separate and prostitution should be also for strictly brothels. But that in itself is not an answer for the Asian Parlors since they would not want to be licensed and save their own pride by doing a good massage so they are not only sex providers. But I am even more concerned with the billions of dollars going out to support the economy of our current enemy in an arms race.

Mike LMT said:

Daniel,

What you described seems to be the same in Mass and RI.  The Asian places have establishment licenses but the "therapists" have no licenses (which is illegal) and they have no training.  They are given a quick demo about how to "massage".  They receive no pay (also illegal) and get only tips.  The client is typically charged about $80 for the massage, that money goes to the establishment.  Then after the massage, the client is pressured by both the "therapist" and the owner that they must tip at least $30 because otherwise the "therapist" does not get paid.  So clients get a short session that is not really a massage... more like a quick "rub and tug."  They pay too much money and leave with a negative impression of what therapeutic massage really is.  Sadly, this system is bad for the so called therapists and bad for the massage industry as a whole.  I wish they would just legalized prostitution and call it what it is.  Truth in advertising  and a separation between these places and those of us doing legitimate therapeutic bodywork.

 


If so much taxable income is being lost due to illegal activities, then perhaps it should be legalized. With legalization, it could be taxed and regulated. The same could be said about the illegal drug trade It's been over 30 years since Reagan declared war on drugs and were no closer in winning the war today then we were then. I think a new approach should be explored, cause status qua just isn't working. If hard drugs were legalized, the gangs and organized crime it creates would be eliminated. Legalization would solve a lot of problems drugs (a large percentage of the United States prison population is there on drug related charges) it would create a few new ones, but overall it may be worth the risk of trying it. 

Daniel Cohen said:

... Depending on how much "service" they are willing to do they will wire between 7-20,000/month on tips only. You can do the math to see how much taxes are lost....
Thanks for the info.  I will warn MTs who are looking for legitimate employment to avoid the listed businesses.
You can also use Eroticreview.com and other review sites to check the reputation of places you want to work or MTs you want to hire.
There are a host of such websites where seedy clients tell it all. I found this out a while ago when I was 'investigating' a business near me. There is this AMP less than two blocks away from my massage studio. When I first opened up my place was confused a few times with the MP and believe me I was not at all happy about it. I did some research online and in less than five minutes found several sites where the MP was listed by 'clientele' who discussed in detail the  sexual services they received at the place! I anonymously shared the information with the state and local authorities but to date nothing has been done and it's been over two years. The MP is open all hours of the day and night (the Open sign never gets turned off! I've driven by at 1am and it's still on). I suspect authorities in town know what's going on but unfortunately no one seems to be bothered by it except for me :-(
We have the same problem in Orange Co, CA and they charge $25 hr. I can't compete with that. And from what I've heard they give a very deep massage. People here love it and they're on just about every corner.

Daniel Cohen said:

I do like the Chinese massage style and Korean acupressure but advertising for massage should be professional and not a sexual come on. As for truth in advertising the Chinese women the ads mention are usually not young and not trained in massage until they get here by a coach. They come to work a high pay cash job so they can support parents or children back in China. There are an estimated 30,000 women in the San Gabriel/Rosemead area that have come to do this and are ferried back and forth among the boss' parlors which may be in several states. They rent a bed where they leave their things and rest on the 4 days off/month for $200/month and have only minimal food expenses. All the rest is wired back to China (we have great control of illegal wire transfer following 9/11 don't we?)  Depending on how much "service" they are willing to do they will wire between 7-20,000/month on tips only. You can do the math to see how much taxes are lost. The bosses make much more and often have 4 or 5 parlors. When they have taken care of family debts, set up husband or family member in their own business back home, bought the family a home, and saved enough to have no worries for a year, they go home to enjoy it. They have become a modern Mulan, family hero. The bosses are often heroes back home for entire towns where they provided economic success. This at the expense of the image of massage, particularly Asian American Therapists who have trouble finding legit employment and the American people who have been fleeced by a multi-billion dollar industry. While many immigrant populations send money back to family back home there is nothing to equal what the Chinese are doing here.

Much more going on here besides deceptive advertising.
Mike G said:
I think sometimes they imply some services are offered (ie. Magic Touch) when in reality they are not. It's more a marketing thing to get people through the door. Kinda along the lines the commercial where 50 women are chasing a guy down the street because he's wearing a certain brand cologne.   

Marissa said:
It would be unfair to assume that if it was an Asian Massage Parlor that it's illicit. So too if it were Russian, Hispanic, Indian,  or White take your pick. In this instance, I didn't know it was Asian until I saw the ads of little Asian girls in lingerie stating 'young Asian girls with magic touch'. Kind of hard to assume anything other than what they want you to at that point.
Lori there are two within a half mile of my place but I am only 20 minutes from San Gabriel where you find 1 or 2 on every block. They are the one hour foot massage places. But for 10 extra dollars and often no extra charge you get a full body massage. Some places have 15 stations working. Because it was feet they use to get a beauty salon permit for estheticians then do full body. Some cities realized what it was and require massage permits. I don't mind if it is a level playing field but how do you compete if they skirt the regulations, get paid only tips (already ruled illegal in courts) and live 4 to a room. We should make sure that each place is following the law for at least reasonable competition.
MA doesn't even require a massage license for Asian Bodywork correct? I wonder what kind of business license they have. I have wondered how MA regulates this kind of thing when it is excluded from the massage law. Guess they just ignore it.

Tonya Brooks-Taylor said:
There are a host of such websites where seedy clients tell it all. I found this out a while ago when I was 'investigating' a business near me. There is this AMP less than two blocks away from my massage studio. When I first opened up my place was confused a few times with the MP and believe me I was not at all happy about it. I did some research online and in less than five minutes found several sites where the MP was listed by 'clientele' who discussed in detail the  sexual services they received at the place! I anonymously shared the information with the state and local authorities but to date nothing has been done and it's been over two years. The MP is open all hours of the day and night (the Open sign never gets turned off! I've driven by at 1am and it's still on). I suspect authorities in town know what's going on but unfortunately no one seems to be bothered by it except for me :-(

Daniel,  you are correct.  MA does not require a license for some types of massage.  As I understand it, they may not use the word "massage" anywhere in the signage or advertising.  As for the business license, I do not know.  But I do know that the state is new to regulating massage and they only have two people working in that department.  They are completely overwhelmed with just dealing with licenses and renewals.  I get the impression they have no time to check up on compliance issues.  

 

I saw one place that advertises for and hires unlicensed people and students.  They do it blatently and when anyone asks, they simply tell them "those therapists only do oriental work or foot reflexology."  However  the unlicensed people are doing full body swedish massages.  

 

I think if the state hired just one more employee, and that person simply went from place to place, checking licenses and seeing first hand what goes on, they could more than make his salary in fines.

Daniel, Same here, I'm in Fountain Valley, and those places are like Starbucks, one on every corner. How do we make sure is following the law? Now that we have State permits, are the local PD even involved with MT any more?

Daniel Cohen said:
Lori there are two within a half mile of my place but I am only 20 minutes from San Gabriel where you find 1 or 2 on every block. They are the one hour foot massage places. But for 10 extra dollars and often no extra charge you get a full body massage. Some places have 15 stations working. Because it was feet they use to get a beauty salon permit for estheticians then do full body. Some cities realized what it was and require massage permits. I don't mind if it is a level playing field but how do you compete if they skirt the regulations, get paid only tips (already ruled illegal in courts) and live 4 to a room. We should make sure that each place is following the law for at least reasonable competition.

Perhaps we need to request a policy statement from CAMTC. The police are now only interested in those they can fine. In L.A. they have been going into Korean Massage businesses with guns out harassing them to make sure they are local licensed. Since CAMTC is not recognizing transcripts from Korean or Chinese massage schools they are forced to work where they can get local licenses still. Why the police do not go to the foot massage places I don't know. We really need some answers and since CAMTC is the state recognized entity over massage in California maybe it is time to clarify. The current law that authorizes the CAMTC expires in 2016. They need to be working for our support if they want our backing to extend there authority. If they have issues with Asian style teaching they should make it clear to the school owners rather than taking the same attitude as the gun raised police. They should work with the schools to develop the system they want rather than creating this duality in massage.


If you agree please write the CAMTC about these issues.
Lori Price said:

Daniel, Same here, I'm in Fountain Valley, and those places are like Starbucks, one on every corner. How do we make sure is following the law? Now that we have State permits, are the local PD even involved with MT any more?

Daniel Cohen said:
Lori there are two within a half mile of my place but I am only 20 minutes from San Gabriel where you find 1 or 2 on every block. They are the one hour foot massage places. But for 10 extra dollars and often no extra charge you get a full body massage. Some places have 15 stations working. Because it was feet they use to get a beauty salon permit for estheticians then do full body. Some cities realized what it was and require massage permits. I don't mind if it is a level playing field but how do you compete if they skirt the regulations, get paid only tips (already ruled illegal in courts) and live 4 to a room. We should make sure that each place is following the law for at least reasonable competition.
I have researched the AMP near me thoroughly. The owner was booked on prostitution charges (operating a 'massage' business and offering sexual services) a few years back in the next town over from me. His/Her state license was revoked I guess (this is before the state took over licensing. At that time I believe individual towns were doing it). Anyway, the owner has taken advantage of the lax licensing oversight in Massachusetts and simply changed one letter in his/her name and now has a STATE Massage Therapy Establishment license in my town. I don't know for sure but I'd bet money that none of the so-called therapists in the business have a license or speak English. The business is located in a house that I assume was converted to commercial space. It has 'Day Spa' in its name, a big sign in its window touting Massage and a lit "Open" sign that never goes out.

Daniel Cohen said:
MA doesn't even require a massage license for Asian Bodywork correct? I wonder what kind of business license they have. I have wondered how MA regulates this kind of thing when it is excluded from the massage law. Guess they just ignore it.

Tonya Brooks-Taylor said:
There are a host of such websites where seedy clients tell it all. I found this out a while ago when I was 'investigating' a business near me. There is this AMP less than two blocks away from my massage studio. When I first opened up my place was confused a few times with the MP and believe me I was not at all happy about it. I did some research online and in less than five minutes found several sites where the MP was listed by 'clientele' who discussed in detail the  sexual services they received at the place! I anonymously shared the information with the state and local authorities but to date nothing has been done and it's been over two years. The MP is open all hours of the day and night (the Open sign never gets turned off! I've driven by at 1am and it's still on). I suspect authorities in town know what's going on but unfortunately no one seems to be bothered by it except for me :-(

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