I'll admit, I snooped. I didn't go so far as to sign up, which means I can't actually view/read any of the reviews. But you can clearly see names of different parlors, along with the names of the "masseuse" and the dates of their "service."
Apparently the people who frequent these establishments call themselves either "hobbyists" or "mongers."
There is even a discussion board, and while I couldn't open the actual discussion, the topic of one was "Mongers should lay flowers at the establishments where these tragedies occurred" or something along those lines (I'm quoting from memory, not verbatim).
And unfortunately, all 3 of the spas where the attacks occurred have multiple reviews on this site. Recent ones, too. I'm not saying they don't conduct legitimate business as well, but I don't see why people would write a review on a site such as that one if there wasn't illicit activity happening.
Oh, and the Aroma Therapy Spa? If you have the stomach for it, check out their site. They're not even trying to hide it. It's about as blatant of an advertisement for a rub and tug massage parlor as I could imagine. Think stereotypical Glamour shots style headshots of the girls, and not-so-thinly-veiled innuendo.
The only text on the page reads: "Escape from the stress 🤦♂️ and reward yourself 💆♂️ with us. We can give you 💁♀️ amazing aroma energy charms for love 💝, luck 🤗 and more... Shhh... 🤫🤫🤫 It's secret!"
Not to mention if you see images of the business in question, all of the windows are lined with red lights, there are two signs with 3 red arrows each pointing down towards the entrance on either side of the business sign.
The other spas might conduct more legitimate business at other times, but this one looks like it's straight out of a stereotypical red light district. To the extreme where I would think that the image that's being used for a few different articles, with the red lights all lit, was a stock photo used in cases of massage parlor raids. Except that the parlor's own website displays an image that confirms this is the exact same location. They're just trying to be "discreet" by not having the red lights turned on in the photo on their site.
I do 100% agree that this has to do with race. And the fact that at least one is very clearly a massage parlor does not make it OK for him to do what he did. No victim blaming here whatsoever! Those things can be true, AND we can still miss the point of the discussion by only focusing on one aspect of this crime.
A person can be a racist AND a sex addict, and those are two different conversations, but only one is happening. It's important people realize that Asians have suffered terrible hate crimes in the past year. And it's also important to get sex addiction come out of the closet and into the conversation. SAs who want treatment can't afford 100K. We spouses need support systems.
I agree with you BlackRaven, the refusal to discuss sex addiction as a very real thing cripples our ability to effectively deal with it. I don't think they necessarily have to be separate conversations, but you hit the nail on the head there, sex addiction - and the inherent misogyny, and often racism, tied into that - need to be out in the open and part of the broader discussion.
Context matters! Do I think this guy can be lumped in with the rise in hate crimes towards Asians stemming from all of the bullshit "Kung Flu" and "China Virus" rhetoric? No, not in that way specifically. He doesn't appear to be someone ranting and raving over how "they" have caused the pandemic or what have you. What he does seem like is a guy who is ok with objectifying women of certain descent, and that is 100% racist.
Look, the venn diagram of men who visit massage parlors and men who are racist is probably closer to a circle. But I think only focusing on the racist angle is doing everyone a disservice. It's like if someone rapes and murders someone, and the news only refers to him as either a rapist, or as a murderer. He can be both! These two issues are inextricably linked, and we can't pretend they aren't!
Edited to add, for transparency: I researched these specific spas AFTER I posted on the other thread about how they might not necessarily be massage parlors, and that it is wrong for us to assume that. I initially begun looking into it because I wanted to do my due diligence and check my own confirmation bias. Because after seeing "massage parlor" in the headlines, I jumped to the conclusion that they provided sexual services.
I do NOT think it is fair that Asian owned/staffed businesses are automatically perceived as being illicit. AND, after digging in, I can confidently say I also believe that at least one of the businesses in question was in fact, a front for sex work. And I'm fairly confident the other two are as well, though I would need more evidence to convince me fully.
[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 12:26 PM, March 19th (Friday)]