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This year, a study commissioned by the Department of Justice found Seattle has the fastest-growing sex industry in the United States, more than doubling in size since In this five-part series, Crosscut offers an unprecedented investigation into this local underground economy.
A slightly paunchy, middle-aged man has just parked his Toyota nearby, and walks purposefully down the sidewalk. A knock on the door, and it opens to admit him moments later.
The curtained window offers no hint of the activity inside. In locked, extremely tiny buildings. As the owner of a dark sense of humor, the massage parlor amuses my friend. However, if you visit the website EroticMP. Across the Puget Sound, erotic Asian massage parlors and spas have become increasingly abundant.
Seattle and Bellevue host some of the fastest growth in this sector nationwide, according to a recent federal study. The exact entities behind these businesses are tough to peg. Massage parlors seattle what researchers call a fairly unique Seattle phenomenon, this sector of the commercial sex trade is moving beyond the real estate of small, seedy buildings.
Its new digs include single-family homes, apartments and condos, often in the middle class neighborhoods surrounding major employers. They function as businesses, offering traditional massages or spa treatments. Intercourse is not common, though there are many exceptions.
These establishments sit in strip malls and low-rent neighborhoods, with exteriors that usually seem averse to attracting clients. Where they were once known through word of mouth, their locations and services are now intricately mapped and reviewed on such online sites as EroticMP. Like the online community covered ly in this series — in which escorts sell their company and johns rank them explicitly — the Internet has Massage parlors seattle Asian massage parlors into the open.
As such, they would seem like ripe targets for police busts. However, like those online communities, there are aspects of the parlors that alter the enforcement equation. Thus, law enforcement runs into the same problem busting parlors as busting pimps — the women can be coached not to speak. Officers therefore depend on a more mundane path to shut parlors down: licensing.
To operate as a massage therapist, you need certification.
Without one, cops can close them down. These things are money makers. The exception, until recently, was parlors that focused exclusively on feet. A law went into effect last summer that changed that, requiring foot masseuses to get certification and be subject to unannounced inspections.
Morris agrees that exploited and trafficked women are at work in some Asian massage parlors. Both she and Sano award the state high marks in fighting this aspect of the sex trade. This might be different if parlors employed underage women with any regularity. However, Dank and the law enforcement officers we spoke with agree that this is not the case.
My friend has never complained about her neighboring massage parlor. However, the dynamic could change as Asian massage parlors give way to Asian brothels, largely situated in residential zones. Dank says these brothels often surround major employers, such as Boeing and Microsoft. It looks like any other apartment, but three Asian girls are staying there and conducting business all day long.
They have ties to Vietnamese populations in Southern California, and may move Massage parlors seattle to and from brothels along a circuit, similar to how gangs move their women. Law enforcement finds many of the women in the brothels have already paid off their passage to the U. Brothels offer advantages over parlors, beyond the fact they charge more money. Situated in non-descript residences, they offer a degree of privacy that parlors do not.
A lot of people [we see] have come from working in nice condos or apartments. Someone reported them and law enforcement did the best they could. The brothels could be seen as a response to the market, catering to a more moneyed clientele than parlors. But a link could explain some of the extra cash being moved overseas from the parlors. They are not. This could indicate shared management between residential brothels and parlors. It could also be indicative of a larger criminal network, which law enforcement has yet to define.
The fact that brothel and parlor employees move from place to place to avoid law enforcement detection is further evidence of a possible network. Many seem to rely on a nationwide service to place them in new jobs, Dank says. What does that say about the future of Massage parlors seattle enforcement?
Next in this series: The Future of Enforcement. The Street Level. Commercial sex and exploitation: Sorting out the public response. With live performance and improvisation integral to the genre, local musicians are thrilled to be lining up gigs again. Share Facebook Twitter Print. In the Seattle area, you won't find the bulk of the sex industry on the streets -- or Massage parlors seattle online.
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