Massage therapists bristle at the term “massage parlor.” They believe it denigrates their profession and leaves the erroneous impression that sex is routinely sold at spas that specialize in wellness and therapeutic help.

On Wednesday, the City Council moved to rid the industry of the bad actors who are giving the business a bad name. 

Aldermen approved an ordinance making it tougher and more costly for sex to be sold at spas and massage therapy establishments in a city that sponsoring Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) calls a “national hub for human trafficking.”

The ordinance includes hefty fines and stricter regulations to give police more tools to shut down illicit businesses masquerading as massage parlors.

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