My sister is an LMT (licensed massage therapist). As I’ve stated here before, she has never had a desire to enter the adult industry in any capacity, though she too is drawn to service-industry work. (My feeling is that sex work straddles the entertainment and service industries, depending on what aspect of sex work we’re talking about.) She is happy doing fully-legal and non- wink wink nudge nudge massages. She offers a new perspective on the wisdom of criminalization. Okay, not totally new, but the way she put it was new to me.
Recently, an Asian massage parlour in her small city was busted. Of course the community crowed about getting rid of “those women” and naturally — since the women were “gone” then so were the men; who, of course, are members of the community and live right next door. Since the men seeking Happy Endings suddenly had nowhere to find women who consensually offered those services, they started haunting the local LMTs in hopes they would find a much-cheaper substitute.
All this does is annoy the LMTs or perhaps makes them feel threatened. LMTs do not want to fear permanently losing their license or dealing with an irate man in a small room. It certainly doesn’t make them happy to have to deal with a situation they do not want, time and time again. My sister prefers for a Happy Ending massage parlour to exist in her city because the men who wish to have that experience know exactly where to find it. The women who wish to offer it know where to go to make their living. Everyone does exactly what they wish and no one is forced into situations with very unhappy endings. The stupid laws making such consensual activities illegal just made her life a bit more difficult.
We talked extensively about advertising and the psychology of rates. Though she wishes to raise her rates comparable to the basic massage rates of a large city, her main fear is that her male clients will suddenly assume the higher-than-local rates mean there’s something “extra,” even though her wished-for higher rates don’t compare to Happy Ending rates.
Of course another Happy Ending parlour will open up eventually, and the men who wish to have that will drift back over. Until then, she’s stuck dealing with situations she does not want. I almost suggested she get a good riding crop to quell their enthusiasm, but too many would like it and pester her to provide yet another service she has no interest in.