The Massage Parlor Phenomenon


Most of the massage parlors providing sexual services in the D.C. and Virginia area are operated by Koreans. There are more than 40 Asian massage parlors—mostly Korean—in D.C. that operate as fronts for in-call brothels. It has also been reported that there are Korean-only operations in the suburbs of Virginia, especially in Fairfax.

How and for what reasons do these Koreans got involved in such a criminal enterprise? Many of the parlor workers are brought to the States with the promise of new life and great jobs, but what about the parlor owners/managers and traffickers? What are their profiles? Most of them are reported to be middle-aged women. Were they deceived too or were they drawn to this industry out of greed and desperation for money after moving to the U.S?

More research needs to be done to find out how this may tie into Korean history and culture and to help raise awareness to the Korean community.



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