The Sexes: Body Shops

They have names like Ecstasy Unlimited, the Velvet Touch and This Is Heaven. They are in business mostly as "massage parlors," but when police try to shut them down, they squirm into some new designation—rap parlors, escort services, schools of sexual technique, nude encounter groups and even nude weight-lifting centers.

Some are legitimate enterprises, some offer vague sexual titillation, and many are simply brothels. Parlors that advertise or hint at "full sexual services" are spreading across the country as fast as fast-food stores.* Indeed, the massage-parlor phenomenon is an American twist on the...

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