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article imagePeople often regard massage therapists as prostitutes Special

By Mary Keshishian     Jul 28, 2010 in Crime
Salt Lake City - A large problem for massage therapists is the fact that at least 30 percent of people who schedule appointments for a massage end up trying to sexually harass the therapist.
When people are having a tough day, back pains, etc., most go and get a massage. It relaxes the mind, and heals the pain. The problem is not concerning us, though, it's for the therapists.
Recently, I was brought up about an article I should write with concerns of men, and even women, going to get a massage, and then willingly using that to their advantage for prostitution. I asked Susan Barlow, to explain to me how often this becomes an issue and she says "Well, it's happened so many times. I'd just be casually doing a massage, and then they'd bring up inappropriate conversation, and that's usually how it'd start. Or some 60 year-old man would want to date me, and try and throw a move on me. I mean, this job is dangerous. Someone could ever murder you in that room, you never know. Never trust anyone."
Susan B. says she has reported over 30 men in the last two years for sexual assault, sexual harassment, and more.
Not only men do this, but women, too. "Yeah, definitely not just men. Many women come to me and tell me that they are homosexual, and they say that they will pay me double, or triple, for their favors. It is disgusting to me, and it is illegal." Susan says.
Illegitimate massage therapists may be sending the wrong message to prospective clients. In California, "four out of every five licensed massage therapists in Belmont 'graduated' from illegitimate schools that sometimes serve as fronts to allow sex workers to set up legal operations," reports the Mercury News. A Belmont-based massage therapist told the Mercury the government needs to "increase standards so legitimate workers will not be compared to prostitutes."
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