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In Which We Explore Hand Jobs on Henry Street

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Few things offer a window into the quiet neighborhood lives being lived in the brownstone sections of Brooklyn as the local mommy email lists. Sometimes, alert Curbed readers forward us interesting postings from these lists. Today is one of those days. Please now, prepare to delight in an email about shady doings on Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, an email which includes the timeless phrase, "I've also done a little online research to find out if hand jobs are illegal in New York." It reads:

Subject: Questionable Massage Parlor on Henry Street next to Tazza
Posted by: [redacted]
Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:34 am (PDT) This weekend, my in-laws were visiting and after a long day of walking around the city, I suggested that my husband and father-in-law go to the massage place up the street on Henry near the corner of State Street, which they'd been to together once before. (Blue Diamond Health Center at 307 Henry Street near Tazza.) I had also had massages there over a year ago after my daughter was born, and it seemed fine.

My husband and father-in-law both acted embarrassed and changed the subject. Later my husband told me that when they had been there a few weeks before (my in-laws visit often), they had both been offered hand jobs. I was horrified. I know things like this happen in Chinatown, but this is Brooklyn Heights, this is MY neighborhood, and Blue Diamond is a new business here. Later, when I asked my husband for more details, he said that after having his back massage, he was asked to roll over, and then the woman giving the massage pulled his towel away, revealing his naked middle and made the gesture of a hand job. My husband said "No thank you," and replaced the towel, and she removed the towel again and offered again, pretending not to understand his English. So he got up and pointed to his wedding ring sitting on the table and said, "No thank you. Married." Then, he said, she acted disgruntled, and finished the rest of the massage quickly and not very well. When he and his father were leaving, he told his dad what happened and his dad said, "Yeah, what kind of place are you taking me too?"

I also had to ask my husband if I was naïve – does every massage place we go to offer him hand jobs, etc? And he said no, this was the first time he'd ever had this experience in New York.

It ends up Blue Diamond is listed on several erotic massage sites online; so this is openly the kind of service they plan to offer. In fact, it seems, this is the only kind of massage they want to offer, since after my husband and father-in-law politely refused, they were treated rudely. My husband says he believes the management has recently changed hands, so maybe they changed the way they do business??

I've reported the incident to 311, but have little faith that they'll do anything about it. I've also done a little online research to find out if hand jobs are illegal in New York. Here's what I found:

Section 29.1(b)(5) of the Regents regulations on massage practice in New York state prohibits "immoral conduct," which is defined as massage of genital areas and massage of a client who is not properly draped for massage, or by a massage therapist who is not properly dressed.

Not sure what else I should do?

Your thoughts, of course, are welcomed.