Visit to masseuse in Balto. Co. shows no sexual activity

October 08, 1997|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF

"Take off your clothes, put the towel around you and I'll be right back," the 22-year-old masseuse said as she took a customer's credit card yesterday to tick off a $65 charge for a half-hour of massage at Absolute Health Spa off Security Boulevard.

At the Baltimore County spa, which could lose its license because of allegations of misconduct, a tape of an Irish band was playing softly from an overhead speaker, and a small floor fan cooled the small room lighted softly by a table lamp.

The wall beside the table, which was covered with a pink sheet, was fully mirrored.

The masseuse returned. "Follow me," she said. In a white-tiled bathroom down the hall, the customer lay naked on a table as the young woman sprayed warm water from a portable shower head. Her hands moved quickly as she lathered his body with sweet-smelling liquid soap.

Rinsing the soap down the floor drain, the masseuse, who wore what might be described as a white, nurse-style mini-dress, said, "OK, dry yourself and we'll go back to the other room.

"Lie on the table and cover yourself with the towel," she said. "Do you want lotion or oil?" she asked. Given lotion as the choice, she spent 20 minutes kneading tired muscles, working out a back kink and a sore neck.

There was no suggestion of sexual activity, and the masseuse seemed quite professional.

The woman said she trained at a Baltimore massage school to become a "certified massage technician" and has worked at the spa two years. She also worked with a trainer for the U.S. Olympic handball team in Atlanta, she said.

A few minutes earlier, when the customer had first entered the lobby, a young woman named Erica had opened the inner door. Very businesslike, she explained that the rate was $65 for a half-hour; $90 for 45 minutes; and $110 for an hourlong massage.

"The women appreciate tips, but this is not a full-service spa," Erica said.

Another woman explained later that "full service" is the code for "you can get anything you want."

"We don't do that, and sometimes the guys get angry, and then we get angry, too," she said.

Before the massage, three young women, all in the same type of short dress, stood in the hallway. "Who do you want?" Erica asked. The man chose the woman standing next to him.

On the wall beside the inside door is a notice that Absolute Health Spa is a licensed health facility. In August, the spa was charged with operating without a license two weeks before its license was approved.

Pub Date: 10/08/97

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