WEIGHT: 51 kg
Sex services: Massage erotic, Facials, Sex vaginal, Blow ride, Oral
Snap Amy points to the sign scrawled in black magic marker, Scotch-taped below an anatomical drawing of the human form.
We're in a small, dark room on the second floor of a brick building on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing, Queens, the heart of the Asian massage industry in America. Amy, a year-old massage worker—her name, like that of others from the industry who appear in this story, has been changed to protect her identity—is clad in a not particularly seductive outfit: a canary yellow t-shirt and black leggings, a royal blue visor atop her head, black hair pulled back in a ponytail.
I'd read on RubMaps, the so-called Yelp of massage parlors —a subscription website where people provide detailed reviews of their sexual experiences at "rub and tugs"—that happy-ending massages occur here.
I'm wondering if Amy provides them, but the sign isn't promising. In fact, Amy is insistent that she doesn't offer massage either, but "body work," a distinction that may be unimportant to customers, but is essential to her. Many massage workers don't have licenses, and so refer to massage offerings by euphemism because operating a massage parlor in New York without a license is a class E felony that can result in up to four years behind bars.
Unlicensed massage providers who offer sex usually don't get charged with prostitution, but instead get slapped with this felony technicality. Ninety-five percent of New Yorkers charged with this felony from to were of Asian descent, according to an Urban Institute report. Hence the sign.