The internet swept a lot of NYC sleaze off the street and into the living room. Porn sites and Craigslist made sex shops and streetwalkers nearly obsolete. But a Chinatown massage parlor knows if you can't (or can) beat 'em, join 'em.
Borrowing from the blunt lexicon of the more libidinous precincts of Craigslist, this body shop on Elizabeth Street boasted of its female and male employees with a "m4m" (male for male) tag. The embrace of new media is especially interesting given the tradition of similar establishments peddling their wares in the back pages of old media outlet the Village Voice.
I suppose some customers really do prefer the masculine embrace of a gentleman masseur while on the table and that my mind might be in the gutter. But you've got to ask why the signage ignores the parlor's no doubt booming female membership. Not enough room for a simple "m4w" notice? Wasn't there a Sex and the City storyline about Samantha's foray into the steamy underworld of illicit Manhattan spas? And are the proprietors open to all formations of groups (ww4m, tw4m)?
Regardless, it's good to see a humble local business like this get a grip on modern technology. And heartening to see even in 2010, there's room for digital stimulation old school and new.
Thursday, June 20
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.