What goes on in an Asian Spa?
February 28, 2007 6:42 AM   Subscribe

What exactly goes on in the Asian Massage parlors in Rhode Island?

Flipping through the Phoenix, there are always ads for spas and massage parlors in Rhode Island. Considering they are in the adult section, one can only assume what goes on in there. But if they are doing what I think they are doing, how can that be legal?
posted by quibx to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not from Rhode Island, but: Getting a nude massage would seem to be (at least in the Puritan US) an adults-only thing already. And then if you and the masseuse happen to hit it off personally and with, OF COURSE, no financial deal occurring and s/he feels like making your day a little brighter, what's so bad about that? You might be so happy you are inspired to leave a little tip!
posted by DU at 6:48 AM on February 28, 2007

Google "Happy Ending" while you aren't at work.
posted by chunking express at 6:57 AM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I remember reading that RI law could be parsed as only prohibiting prostitution "outdoors". The article I read actually quoted a police chief saying there was nothing they could do about it, and that the legislature would have to do something about it (like rewrite the law). They then quoted an ACLU lawyer who said that was BS and that the law was perfectly valid for busting them.

here is an article which seems to indicate that asian spas are sometimes busted.
posted by delmoi at 7:01 AM on February 28, 2007

Massage Parlor.

On a related note, what are those men that stand on corners and ask passers by if they need anything doing? If they are selling drugs, isn't that illegal?

Here is the thing: people are going to do things. They are going to drink, gamble, do drugs and pay for sex. Nothing will ever stop people from doing these things, because these are things that people do. The cops know this. The real job of cops and the law in general is to minimize the disruption to others that people doing these things causes. That is why the cops don't arrest that guy standing on the corner, because they know if they did that there would just be another guy standing across the street the next day, but that he might be more violent and cause more problems.

Same thing with massage parlors. People are going to pay women for sex, and the police know that massage parlors are where it happens, but if they close all those down then it will just happen somewhere else. As long as they are calling themselves massage parlors people can pretend that they aren't what they really are.

One or two will get shut down every once in a while and people will get arrested just so that it looks like things that are 'illegal' are really illegal instead of just permitted to exist as long as they stay out of the site of 'decent people'. Really, that is the system's major flaw, that there is a level of uncertainty and risk to people wishing to partake in illicit but generally allowed behavior. Once we legalize prostitution, drugs and gambling we will all be much better off.
posted by ND¢ at 7:12 AM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Some more reading on what ND¢ describes. And only a cent, I might add.
posted by cashman at 7:23 AM on February 28, 2007

Prostitution is legal in Rhode Island.

asian spas are sometimes busted.

That's been a very contentious issue in Providence. Yes, they have been routinely busted. No, they are neither charged nor convicted. They're released and back at work within 24 hours. Eventually a couple of judges objected, and it seems to have stopped for the time being.
posted by cribcage at 7:26 AM on February 28, 2007

As Delmoi mentioned, prostitution is legal (indoors) in Rhode Island due to a legal loophole. Currently there's an attempt underway in the state legislature to change the law, though.

Some related articles from the Projo shed light on what's going on, some of the surrounding issues (human trafficking and illegal Korean immigrants), and what police are trying to do.
posted by goingonit at 8:16 AM on February 28, 2007

This (probably NSFW).
posted by phoenixy at 9:00 AM on February 28, 2007

Hey chunking express, which "happy ending?"
posted by davy at 9:34 AM on February 28, 2007

The ones around here all got busted two or three years ago (though there're more now). And aside from the general skeeviness of prostitution, the main argument against them as they were run here was that they had a fair number of women who were told they'd be seamstresses all chained up in the basement. They only got busted when one of the women escaped and started running down the street naked and screaming.
posted by klangklangston at 10:34 AM on February 28, 2007

ND¢ writes "People are going to pay women for sex, and the police know that massage parlors are where it happens, but if they close all those down then it will just happen somewhere else."

One of the funny results in Canada is my wife who is an RMT needs to get a special licence with most of the security features of a drivers license from the city. This despite the fact that she a) works in a medical office b) has a provincial license and c) prostitution is legal in Canada.
posted by Mitheral at 10:38 AM on February 28, 2007

davy - probably this one.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:44 AM on February 28, 2007

Most of these girls are sex slaves. For real:

Read these articles sometime:

Massage Parlors--Menaces or Scapegoats?


Crime Networks That Smuggle And Enslave

Plus, the Hepatitis and HIV infected former inmate just fucked the girl who is bathing you 20 minutes ago, for his 8th time this week.
posted by four panels at 11:34 AM on February 28, 2007

Most of these girls are sex slaves.

I'm sorry, but nothing in the articles supports that suggestion.

That there are sex slaves is not in question, but most prostitutes are local women making a living. As an argument against prostitution, human trafficking is up there with "using illegal drugs supports terrorism!"
posted by tkolar at 12:50 PM on February 28, 2007

Back in the early nineties, I drove I-81 in Tennessee (east of Knoxville) numerous times, and I always noticed a big billboard advertising "Tokyo Spa" out in the middle of nowhere. The billboard design made it look like an erotic massage parlor. I got the feeling it catered to truckers.
posted by jayder at 6:40 PM on February 28, 2007

I just misread the link in four panels' comment as saying, "crime networks that snuggle and enslave ..."
posted by jayder at 6:41 PM on February 28, 2007

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