Please help us stop the continued entangling of massage therapy and sex workers. The long history of this entanglement has led to Perpetuating Victimization with Efforts to Reduce Human Trafficking and we need your help in this very serious matter.
Please consider some of the following:
- Create a way to study and collect data on sexual harassment of massage therapists to help create a plan to stop it.
- Go back to the process of creating a Model Practice Act that would include language that would help stop this and untangle us from the sex workers.
- Create a way to help implement the laws in each state so that Massage therapists are able to report sexual harassment as well as shut down the many places using massage as a disguise for sex work
- We really don’t know how many of the sexually oriented businesses are also involved in human trafficking. The focus is more on human trafficking and the fact that brothels are operating all over our communities is hidden by inaccurate language used by the media and legislators. Illicit Massage Business, Massage Parlor, Masseuse, Masseur are some of the words causing the problem. Please create a campaign to correct this.
- Create campaigns in local communities to help law enforcement agencies, realtors/property managers, the media, massage school and business owners, and massage therapists understand and work to end the entanglement and elevate the massage profession.
- Tell the Polaris Project to take the words Illicit Massage Business out of their documents and make a statement to all that have started referring to these places as IMBs to stop and call them what they are: Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOB’s) disguised as massage businesses.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this issue.
Help put this site out of business: www.LookBeforeYouBookaMassage.com
For the last 8 months or so, I have been looking into the history of massage therapy as it is related to prostitution. I have been learning as much as I can about the many issues in the massage therapy profession that are created as a result of having our image tarnished by the many Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOB’s) that are disguised as massage businesses and am grateful that someone else also realizes that this is a huge problem. Our professional assocations have tried to organize to create licensing, establishment licensing in an effort to stop this when most of their actions lead to more entanglement.
The recent commentary confirms my findings and adds new insights to the problem:
Perpetuating Victimization with Efforts to Reduce Human Trafficking: A Call to Action for Massage Therapist Protection
Mica Rosenow, MS, LMT Indiana University School of Health & Human Sciences and Niki Munk, PhD, LMTIndiana University School of Health & Human Sciences
The commentary starts off with taking a look at the history of this situation. I have a section on the history of being entangled with prostition that adds more info.
The use of the words “Illicit Massage Business” are also used in this commentary and this is part of the problem. The language that is being used makes it look like massage therapists are doing this and while there are a few bad eggs in the massage profession, they are more easily reported on, investigated and held accountable as massage laws make it so it is illegal for a licensed massage therapist to be involved in sex work.
We have had to move to screening clients and learning how to protect ourselves from individuals. Being asked for a happy ending is plain and simple – sexual harassment, yet there is no way to report this behavior to law enforcement to help stop it. Most massage therapists are self employed. Employers may have some power to support the therapist involved, yet many are not sure what to do and often do nothing because they also are desperate for clients/money.
The bigger problem for the massage profession is how the profession has tried things like enacting licensing laws, establishment laws yet have failed in their efforts to be able to have law enforcement investigate and prosecute these SOB’s. Sex trafficking may or may not be involved. The lack of a cohesive plan for the massage profession adds to the problem. Our associations are busy tyring to compete for members by offering CE classes. Having two main professional associations may be hurting us more than we know.
“Sex trafficking is a public health crisis, and perpetrators solicit massage therapists to provide these sexual acts. Authorities and those within the massage field become desensitized to the detrimental effects of solicitation by ignoring, minimizing, and normalizing the inappropriate sexualized behaviors supporting illicit massage business success. Subsequently, sexual solicitation within the work environment has forced many licensed massage therapists to defend their education, professionalism, and treatment approaches in the face of socially accepted stigma. Individuals asking massage therapists for sexual services will continue to search until services are provided, often by trafficking victims. Perpetrators will not stop because a single, isolated massage professional turned them down or a business posted a sign.”
The Commentary also mentions the Polaris Project Report from 2018 which was inaccurate to begin with but also needs updating with real data from the massage therapy profession and law enforcement officials. The Polaris Project Report has now been taken down off of their website. It had some inaccurate data and information but it is now used as the