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Unhappy Endings: Massage Envy Employees Implicated in Almost 200 Sexual Assaults

After a long, stressful day, nothing takes the edge off like a nice, relaxing massage, right? That’s what hundreds of women thought when they went to massage chain Massage Envy. But instead of a relaxing massage, they got Harvey Weinsteined and then basically ignored by corporate when they complained.

So what exactly was going on at Massage Envy, a chain massage parlor? Well, Buzzfeed’s exposé gets into all the shocking details.

One Oregon woman said her massage therapist forced his entire fist into her vagina before ejaculating in her face.

Holy shit! That is not okay! I mean, we’re several levels past not okay here. I was expecting to ease into this story, not skip right into unwanted fisting and facials.

In Florida, a woman said she tried to push away her massage therapist as he licked her vagina.

Still not okay. Probably should have lead with that and then had the fisting, but still… not okay.

Over 100 reported that massage therapists groped their genitals, groped their breasts, or committed other explicit violations, such as the California woman who said she opened her eyes during a prenatal massage to find her massage therapist sucking on her nipple.

Okay, your parts are going to get incidentally touched during a massage, that’s normal. But sucking on a nipple? What is going on in this massage parlor?

Now, massage has a reputation as being a front for prostitution, so maybe you’re thinking “Well, maybe they thought that was their job.” But the entire point of these chain massage parlors is that there’s no sex. Part of the appeal of them is you’re not trying to figure out if the massage comes with a happy ending because it specifically does not. Also, you know, the women told the guys to stop and they didn’t. That’s a pretty big hint.

So what procedures does Massage Envy have in place to protect customers?

The internal review policy “is not in place to protect the client,” said Kate Hardy, who worked on and off as a front desk associate and then clinic manager in Montana from 2014 until June 2017. “It’s in place to protect the company. It’s centered around defusing the situation so the client doesn’t call the police. You don’t want cop cars showing up at your location the next day.”

That’s not great. I assume that they at least take responsibility for these problems and have promised to improve and create a safer environment for customers?

In court filings and in public statements, Massage Envy corporate says it isn’t liable for sexual assaults that take place at the spas because of the nature of the franchise arrangement. Spas control their own day-to-day operations, Hansen said, including figuring out how best to investigate inappropriate conduct.

Okay, so they’re going that way. That’s definitely a way to go.

[Flickr: Nick Webb]

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