Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Holistic Health Centres:
Brothels in Disguise?

From the Toronto Star [courtesy of BenS]:

The City of Toronto licenses more than 200 brothels under the banner of holistic health centres, a Toronto Star investigation has found.

Licensed to offer alternative health treatments such as shiatsu, reflexology and aromatherapy, about three-quarters of the city's holistic centres operate as sex dens. ...providing services routinely offered in most of Toronto's city-licensed holistic centres — "nude reverses," "body slides" and "hand releases."

Almost as fast as the city hands out holistic licences, public complaints bring visits by inspectors from the same city department that investigates and lays bylaw charges — a license-and-prosecute revolving door that costs taxpayers $2.5 million a year.

...Since the first holistic licences were handed out six years ago, the city has licensed more than 300 operations. The number of individuals licensed to work in holistic centres has spiked from 1,200 the first year to about 2,660 today.

City inspectors admit most licences have been handed to operators and practitioners whose idea of holistic treatments amounts to masturbation, oral sex and intercourse.

When politicians make something illegal, it is not surprising to learn that, once again, suppliers and demanders find a way around the law by redefining the product and the activity. matter what holistic centres call themselves, they are simply brothels.
"In the '60s they were massage parlours. Then they were body rub parlours. Now they are holistic centres.

"In China they call them beauty parlours. We can call them flower shops if we want to, but the fact remains they are brothels, and they will always be brothels."
Come visit Toronto -- Mustang Ranch North.

I wonder if someone in my hometown, Clinton, Ontario (population 3200), will establish a holistic healing centre near its mini-casino, "to help those with a gambling problem". As I wrote back in February,

I have a friend with a big old Victorian house near the Clinton Slots (a mini- casino with slot machines and a bit of OTB for horse races). Two weeks ago I mentioned to her, in jest, that their house would make a great brothel (note: the conversation began because she was playing a madam in a play I was directing). She thought the idea sounded pretty fascinating.

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