Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Un-Happy Endings? Eagle Rock is L.A.'s New Home to Erotic Massage Parlor Row

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Eagle Rock, which just turned 100, has a national reputation as being the "college town" for Occidental, and is known locally as a historic hot bed of counterculture and the arts, and a contemporary evolutionary tale of the upwardly mobile hipster-esque family. Now residents are up in arms about the proliferation of erotic massage parlors that are inundating Eagle Rock Boulevard, and taking over where pot shops left off as the scourge du jour, according to the LA Times.

To "blame" is a 2009 state law that was aimed at making certification easier for massage therapists. The Times explains:

The law said therapists with state certification could no longer be subjected to stringent local vetting. In Los Angeles, for instance, where city code classifies all parlors as "adult entertainment," licensed therapists would no longer have to apply for police permits, which require fingerprinting and background checks.

So into that dark, dark hole jumped proprietors and employees of the nearly 30 erotic massage destinations in the Eagle Rock and neighboring Glassell Park Area. These parlors, attest locals and business owners, attract a steady stream of men, lured by blinking neon and the blatant advertised promise of titillating service by "pretty Asian girls" and the like.

Support for LAist comes from

Why Eagle Rock? Location, location, location: Some theorize that next-door communities, like the cities of Pasadena and Glendale, have strict regulations for massage businesses, which means under Los Angeles' scant supervision, they can set up shop and draw from a larger customer base.

While many are crying for regulation, one obvious drawback is that regulation takes bodies, and bodies take paychecks, and Los Angeles is kinda broke. Area City Councilman Jose Huizar's spokesperson, Rick Coca, "said city officials are also considering changing city code to require therapists to show their licenses," and that Huizar is pursuing an amendment to the current law, which "would also address a provision in the law that restricts cities' ability to place special zoning requirements on state-licensed massage therapists."