Well, isn’t this special.
I see here where a good old-fashioned massage parlor has opened a short jog down the street from me, offering “dood massage” and “good feel” from “sweet Asian staff,” who must have sacro-iliac and dropped cuboids like no one’s business after working in those high heels all day.
I really do not give a flying flapjack who gets a happy ending from whom as long as all parties are free agents and consent to the transaction. I have said before and I will say again that it will be a great day when a brothel can call itself a brothel and operate in a brothel-zoned district; when any sex worker can put “sex worker” on his or her tax form, form a union or join a professional association, petition for redress and insist (if not self-employed) on OSHA compliant working conditions. Licensure compliance on the understanding that sex is being sold would make everyone safer, and it would keep people from calling people like me who are not in the sex business and asking for testicular acupressure. I mean, imagine you are a hairdresser and people keep calling you up and asking for a bikini wax. That kind of annoying.
I don’t give much odds, though, that all the “sweet Asians” employed by this joint are women bringing their mortgages current as best they can or doctoral students keeping up with their tuition payments. I mean it happens. People have written books about paying their way through college or simple periods of unemployment with totally voluntary and unconstrained sex work. It’s more honest than most politics. But that catering to the Asian-girl fetish, the bald fact that huge numbers of women are trafficked out of Asia to a life of entrapment in unwanted sex work, it makes you kinda go squiiiccck, no? I mean if you’re not the kind of guy who’s lining up for good feel.
And yet the county handed the proprietor a business license. Will all the women who work there have evidence of a baseline 500 hours massage education from a certified school, like I had to produce when I went into business? Will they be signed up for 25 hours of continuing education every two years (including that all important ethics module that always reminds us how critical it is to make it clear that our services are not sexual)? Have they coughed up the FBI criminal record check, fingerprints, photo IDs and license fees at the state and county level, same as I have to?
The kindest thing to imagine is that the county is waiting for the men who own this place to put a foot wrong and move in to close down an abusive operation. Otherwise, what I’m looking at is a county government that goes through the motions, collects its fees and sees so little they could referee wrestling.
For Chrissake, Virginia, just put “sexual services” in your list of licensed professions. Then go inspect places like this on the clear understanding that they’re selling sex and as long as no one is hurt, coerced, abused or violates the health codes, they can do business without pretending to be something else (and making a farce of my biannual journey through a ridiculous, costly succession of regulatory hoops).
With all the construction and development around here, I’m surprised no one has revived an old London prostitutes’ dodge: “Demolition agent for temporary erections.” But the County board would probably try to contract with them.