The Sexist

Prostitution Enthusiasts Mourn Closing of D.C. Brothels

View Larger Map
A recently closed "massage parlor," Orange Spa

Yesterday, D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles sent out a press release announcing the recent closure of several District "massage parlors," "health spas," and "wrestling clubs" operating as a front for prostitution (or other illegal activities). "[A]s part of a city-wide crackdown on prostitution and other unlawful sexually-oriented activities, the District has shut down illegal establishments posing as health spas, massage establishments, social clubs or residential brothels," the release reads.

Sounds like it's about time to check back in with the guys over at the USASexGuide forums, our favorite community of dedicated prostitution enthusiasts. D.C.'s "mongers" eulogize these fallen houses of ill-repute, after the jump.

* Orange Spa, 617 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Orange Spa's closing truly affected one former customer:

Visited Orange yesterday to find a sign posted on the door reading "Orange Spa Closed For Business"

Unfortunately this was after I pumped $2 into the parking machine. I will miss Chae.

* Star Spa, 1829 M St. NW

View Larger Map

A Star Spa regular is "pretty much hurt" by its closure:

I recently dropped by star spa were I went at once every month or two week period and it was closed. I was pretty much hurt because it was the only place I knew. Did they relocate? But I need to be taught the other places so I can know if the expreince I had there is on or sub par.

Another customer explains what the Star experience was like:

Got to the location at about 11:30am. I started up on the 3rd floor, greeted by a round woman in her 40s who led me to the room. I asked for a lineup, not expecting one, but hoping that at least she would get the hint that I didn't want her. She pleasantly says 'one minute' and leaves. A few minutes later another 40+ woman comes in – better figure, but still 40+. I again ask for lineup, and she says only 2 girls working right now because of football (??!), maybe around 5pm there will be more. I say OK, maybe I'll come back later.

I go down to 2nd floor (Star Spa?), hoping it will be better. Mamasan takes me to back, I ask for lineup, and in comes Angie. She's pretty stocky, flat tummy but wide hips and saggy breasts, about 35 years old, and not so pretty. But at this point I don't feel like spending the whole day doing the trial-and-error, so I say OK.

Paying money for sex is so hard.

* VIP Spa, 719 8th Street SE

View Larger Map

You can take the sex workers out of VIP, but you can't take them out of the inescapable cycle of human trafficking:

Went to VIP and Orange and sadly confirmed the news. Then I went to that same place our colleague went to, also had Ruby or 'Luby,' and recognized her from Orange. So, good talent stays in town!

. . . At least a couple of the girls that were last at VIP came from other local AMPs. So the idea that VIP would be a loss is not really an issue. These girls will move on to something else in the area. For some girls, once your in, it's hard to get out of the Washingtub.

* D.C. Wrestling Club, 1618 14th Street NW

The home of Dupont Circle's infamous "Men's Parties" has never been reviewed by the folks at Why? House policy:

No Discussion about Homosexuals, Transvestites, Transsexuals or She-Males: Please do not post any messages anywhere on this site that refers to Homosexuals, Transvestites, Transsexuals or She-Males. This website is about sex between men who were always men and women who were always women. Any person violating this policy will banned immediately.

D.C. Wrestling Club photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • SockPuppet

    So, are you just reporting or are you opposed to prostitution. Some think it needs legalization and regulation.

    They questioned candidates on the issue during the last election cycle. Not much support for their position on the DC Council.

  • Amanda Hess

    I'm just reporting. But I do support legalizing and regulating sex work in D.C., in an attempt to make sex work as safe and consensual as possible. However, my opinion about the legal status of prostitution has little to do with my opinion of the men who congregate on these forums, men who regularly have sex with victims of human trafficking and then rush to the Internet to brag about it.

  • Nick H

    "No Discussion about Homosexuals, Transvestites, Transsexuals or She-Males"

    Because there are no male or transgendered prostitutes, ever? I suppose it's rather pointless to criticize someone who commodifies sexuality for sexism and homophobia, but I just can't seem to help it...

  • Rick Mangus

    I had to check the 'Weather Channel' to see if hell froze over. You mean the city finally caught on to what was going on at, 1618 14Th Street, NW!

  • Mr. Sparkle

    I wonder how many of these "massage" places advertise in the Washington City Paper?

  • Max

    You are not "just reporting", you clearly have an opinion already formed. I'm sure some of the sex workers would rather be doing other work, as is the case with any line of work, and some of the men are indeed pigs, but the main purpose of the sex forums is to share information about the best women and best places to go. Some of those women actually like their work -- it's good money. I have met some of the nicest, sweetest women in the world at those places, and there are two of them that I still keep in touch with via email, although I'm "retired".

  • Max

    Also, I spent about 20 minutes googling for "sex trafficking" and failed to find any documented case that reflects anything I saw at any massage parlor any time. Most of those women are in their late 30s to mid 40s, but all the documents I found referenced child prostitution, which is of course quite abhorrent. Are you able to provide references for your assertion that the massage parlors provide places for men to "have sex with victims of human trafficking"?

  • Amanda Hess

    When I google "massage parlor sex trafficking," I find a ton of reports. Perhaps you're not very good at google?

  • Max

    Well, duh, I find a ton of reports too. Did you actually click into any? The first describes someone who "plead guilty" to sex trafficking. Maybe true, okay, hard to say with plea agreements. The next is a powerpoint slideshow with a lot of hand-waving bullshit, for example "No evidence that men attempt to distinguish between “free” and “forced” or women and girls" -- just go to the sex forum you slammed and see how often you read "be nice to the ladies" and other such admonitions.

    The next one has the phrase "sex trafficking" in it but it really just an article about 17 massage parlors being closed down in raids. Where's the sex trafficking?

    If you remove "massage parlor" from your search, you will see that there is indeed a problem with child sex trafficking. I'm sure that there are plenty of women who are tricked/forced into prostitution, but it would seem to be a minor problem compared to the child trafficking. And it sure isn't happening in massage parlors, at least not the ones I've been to. Here's another gem: "Sex slaves who work in massage parlors and bars are often locked in their place of business by double security doors, monitored by surveillance cameras and only let outside under the guard of crooked taxi drivers who ferry them to their next sex appointment." Okay, sorry, I never saw any locks (and yes, I looked) and the taxi thing has nothing to do with massage parlors.

  • TeaBag420

    You might be interested to know that one of the twats at usasexguide opined that "You can tell by the tone of [this article], it was written by a woman" which I thought was strange, because I could tell by the byline. Well, whatever.

    Amanda, to quote Dear Leader, let me be clear: you're lucky to get a woman in her 20s in a DC massage parlor, forget about underage. Just doesn't happen. The women who work there work hard (that is, they give good value for the money) but they also get out, and do take actual vacations. I have even encountered some (okay, only four) American born Korean women in DC area massage parlors. I will name them: Sunny and her sister Judy at Kona in Bethesda, both from Connecticut, Nana at Supra in DC, I'm pretty sure a local girl, and the fourth whose name I've forgotten at 1333 Green Ct in DC, was from San Francisco. They're not all from Flushing.

    Trafficking, like the Mafia, is a New York thing, not a DC thing, except on Embassy Row when an African diplomatic functionary decides he wants a 24/7 maid and doesn't want to pay for her.

    Kudos to Darrow Montgomery for finally taking a decent picture, although the presence of the photographsr's shadow does detract. And if you're going to do a long exposure like that you don't want that wobbly guy on the sidewalk in the frame.

  • TeaBag420

    Oh, by the way something: I found out about the Kona, 1333 Green Ct, and CPHC massage parlors from their ads in the City Paper, and I have paid for sex with several prostitutes whom I found through their advertisements in the City Paper. Do you folks verify their ages and immigration status? No? Okay, just checking.

  • TeaBag420

    Also Supra, 1829 M St. and Jasmine Spa. Seems like you guys are profiting off of human trafficking. Shame!

  • justsomedude

    Ms. Hess' statement that <> in response to a query about whether she opposes prostitution or is just reporting on it says it all really.

    Her opinion of the men on the forums is quite irrelevant and she should not have brought it up. She then really sets the blaze alight when she further asserts - without any substantiation beyond a friggin' Google search - that those who frequent massage parlours in DC have sex with actual victims of human trafficking. That such a statement is demonstrably false has already been shown above. That members of the forums abhor human trafficking is repeatedly documented on the forum. That Ms. Hess demeans her journalistic credentials when she makes such accusations without basis is obvious.

  • HushPuppy

    The fact of the matter is that most people have this image of poor Asian ladies tricked and forced into sex labor that has been perpetuated by the media and the police themselves.

    Is there human trafficking going on? If by human trafficking you mean crossing state lines, yes.

    Is there sex slavery going on? In 99% of all cases, no. Not even in New York as suggested before, not in DC, not in most places. I'm reminded of a huge bust involving brothels in Las Vegas several years ago called "Operation Dollhouse". Afterwards, the police kept reiterating how evidence of human trafficking and sex slavery had been found. It came to a point where the FBI had to step in and say that these women were not forced and were working voluntarily before the local police would shut up.

    With that said, prostitution is against the law. But one has to wonder if there aren't bigger priorities to focus on in DC right now.

  • TeaBag420

    But I bet she's a hot piece of Adams Morgan ass that those of us in the pudge brigade would consider ourselves lucky to put stones to. Oh well. Perhaps at the next anti-globalization rally (weather permitting, of course, what with global warming and all).

  • TeaBag420

    Despite what reasonable people might think, D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles is a paragon of virtue who never bends, much less breaks, legal ethics or the law itself.

    Bring back the Nightowl!!!

  • Joe

    Miss Hess. Why are you failing to respond to the posts about how YOUR publication, the city papers, makes it's money from these same spa's via the ads in your paper that PROMOTE these spas? If these spas are dealing with human trafficking, why arent you walking down the hall to your boss and protesting?