Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 I recently received this question from a fellow: > I saw your post in alt.sex.services and I'm curious about something. > Are all of the asian spas providers of a full range of services beside > massages, or is it just some of them. Has there ever been any kind of > police crackdown on them? Thanks! I thought group might be interested in my reply, which provides a brief history of the commercial sex business in Atlanta over the past 20 years. As you know, a person should never say "never." And I haven't been to all the asian spas in Atlanta. But the *general rule* is that full service is available at all of them. The only exception to that rule is if they somehow get the idea that you are a cop. Even then, they'll make some excuse to turn you away entirely, rather than giving you a session where nothing happens beyond a massage. So all in all, your risk of paying the session fee for nothing more than a massage is low. As for a police crackdown, that's a good question. In the mid to late 70s, downtown Atlanta had dozens of "bath houses" and "massage parlors" clustered together along Peachtree Street from the Hyatt Regency north to 14th St. There were also adult bookstores with peep shows, dive bars and street walkers. It was a regular combat zone. Enter Mary Welcome. She was the city solicitor, who is the lawyer charged with prosecuting persons charged with misdemeanor violations of city ordinances in Fulton County State Court and Atlanta Municipal Court. "Wild Mary" made it a personal crusade to rid the city of the bathhouses and massage parlors. (Angling for higher office?) So she leaned on the cops to make some cases. Since the places were operating pretty flagrantly, that wasn't hard (no pun intended) to do. Eventually Mary Welcome shut them down. But it didn't help Mary's political career. She dropped off the radar screen save for a brief burst of publicity when she served on the defense team for mass murderer Wayne Williams in 1981. The Fulton County district attorney, who prosecutes felony violations of state law in Fulton County Superior Court, got into the act as well. He made some obscenity cases against the bookstores and movie houses. It took him a little longer, but eventually he eradicated the "yellow front adult bookstores." He is still in office today, which is the main reason why you can't rent an adult video in Fulton County. The City Council added its two cents worth with an ordinance that restricted where adult-oriented businesses could locate by preventing them from clustering near each other. (BTW, the constitutionality of that ordinance was eventually decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.) Finally, and perhaps most importantly, land values in Midtown Atlanta shot up. Developers built offices buildings, hotels and fancy restaurants. Today, you'd never know the neighborhood used to be a commercial sex playground. All was quite, quite dull in Atlanta until the mid 80s, when the lingerie modeling studios appeared. For the uninitiated, these are places where the customer pays a fee for a girl to dance nude in front of him in a private room. There is no physical contact between the girl and the customer. But if he wants to, he can masturbate. In the trade, these are called "jack shacks." So long as there is absolutely no physical contact between the customer and the girl, jack shacks are hard to prosecute because there is generally no law against what they do. So the cops tend to leave them alone. They are popular in conservative southern states likes Georgia and Texas. Anyway, the jack shacks were a huge hit and made lotsa money. They still exist, but IMHO the girls are not anywhere near as hot as they were 10 years ago. Then the Koreans moved in. At first, their spas were pretty far out in the suburbs, hidden in obscure office parks and tiny strip malls. This was good for several reasons. The rent was cheaper. The customers had to have a car, so they didn't get a lot of cheap walk-in tire-kickers like they'd get in an urban setting. They were sometimes outside the district attorney's jurisdiction. And, most importantly, they were very, very discreet, which is the secret to their success. They have discreet locations without garish signs. They run discreet, single-column-inch ads in the paper. And they don't rip people off. All in all, it's a formula for success in the sex business in Atlanta. Most importantly, it's a mode of operation that does not seem to excite any opposition among the neighbors. So they are less likely to complain to the authorities, who are less likely to put pressure on them. Lately, the spas have moved into town and there are some in more urban locations closer to downtown Atlanta. But they follow the same formula, so neighborhood opposition has been nonexistent. Therefore, I would be surprised if there was any police crackdown in the near future. That being said, I must warn that you never can tell when the next Mary Welcome could come (ouch!) along. Or the district attorney could notice these places and crank up another jihad to clean up the city like he did 15+ years ago. But for the moment, they operate will little police pressure.
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