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Thread: Story Idea dealing with solicitation and privacy laws

  1. #1
    NeverQuitWriter
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    Story Idea dealing with solicitation and privacy laws

    Story idea: Woman is massage therapist. She is seeking revenge on a man and wants to ruin his marriage. He goes in and requests a "full body massage" with no request of sex by either party before or during massage. During massage, sex occurs (might be nothing more than mutual masturbation). There is no police surveillance or presence on the establishment, but she videotapes the session (naturally without his knowledge or consent). She presents him with the videotape evidence and wants $$$$ or will show the video to his wife. She obviously cannot threaten to notify the police because this will implicate her. Since the only two "witnesses" were the masseuse and customer, he considers going to the police to report the illegal videotape, but obviously risks charges of solicitation of prostitution. Story setting is in Texas, and my research of solicitation of prostitution and privacy laws don't answer the question of whether the police can arrest him and / or her when the only evidence is a videotape which (I believe) is illegal in the state of Texas, because my understanding is he (as customer) should expect privacy in this setting (massage parlor). So the man obviously has a dilemma. Should he notify (or at least threaten to notify) the police? Should he pay the woman? Should he just kill her? I am planning to submit this to a criminal attorney forum, but I'm not sure they'll answer questions that don't deal with real situations.
    Last edited by jackstr952; 12-16-2017 at 11:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Makes useful distinctions Lady Ice's Avatar
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    Videotapes? Is this a contemporary story?

    I think you need to reasonably establish that she knows his wife or could track her down. Maybe this was all set up a long time ago and she has already met his wife. As far as I understand it he wouldn't be liable for solicitation of prostitution; she would be soliciting as she is offering him sex for money.

    What he does next in the story is up to him.
    "We work in the dark--we do what we can--we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art." (Henry James)

    "Either you think--or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you." (Tender is The Night)

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  3. #3
    independent claws blackcat777's Avatar
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    Whether it was consensual or not, what happened would be a violation of state board regulation and her license could be revoked forever. It would probably bar her from a lot of other professions requiring any kind of state licensing because they check up on that stuff. Something else to consider. Life-ruining in a different way.

  4. #4
    Defy gravity. Metruis's Avatar
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    This actually happened in my hometown. The women were charged and the parlor shut down. You do NOT need a license to be a "body rub practitioner", but the catch is you cannot advertise as a massage therapist, because you didn't do the schooling. But you do need a business license and a legit front, be it "one person there has the actual massage therapist license", or "this is a spa and we do nails and we have nail tech licenses", or "this is an alternative health center where we do reiki" or whatever. There's all kinds of fun code to find out if the place you showed up at does "those" massages.

    The man was not charged, as it was his word against hers, and yeah, she had video footage to threaten him with, but apparently that trumped him seeking sexual services. I do believe this was the correct decision. Blackmailing is really the crime in question here, with the laws existing as they do in my province.

    Here, prostitution is "decriminalized" to some extent, so she would not be arrested for offering sexual services for sale; if she were not blackmailing him she would have been fine. However, there have been several men arrested for soliciting prostitutes for sex. Had she NOT been blackmailing him, he could have been arrested for seeking these services. Likely not, but consent doesn't matter, as it is illegal here to purchase sexual services.

    Should he just kill her?
    Uh well in real life? No. You should not kill someone. Murder is not a good solution. Do not kill a masseuse who's trying to blackmail you. In story life? Do you want this character to be a "kills someone in response to panic" type of person? It will make him seem like a bad guy too, if you're going for an "everyone is gray" story, then why not. If you want him to be like panicking rich guy who just wants it to go away? Pay her off. If you want him to be fully lawful good, he apologizes to his wife profusely and then goes to the police. You're the writer, you know what you want this story to be driving towards.

    His decision is critical in showing what HIS moral character is. A good person may solicit sex, and if you want him to come across as a good guy who made a horrible mistake, or a neutral guy who's trying to shove it under the rug, going to the police or paying her off is the right choice. If you want him to be perceived as dangerous or frightening, killing her or somehow twisting the situation so he has the upper hand is the way to go. You don't need to kill your masseuse, just frighten her enough to shut her up. Or get the phone.

    If she is an actual massage therapist, I can tell you she 100% knows better, and any legit massage therapist looks down on "masseuses" and would never risk being lumped in with them. I've only encountered actual RMTs who have nothing but contempt for "sexy masseuses", and so I have trouble believing that a registered massage therapist would take this action. She will lose her license and any professional respect. She'll probably be limited to working in the rub-and-tug joints. I do believe that someone who gives good massages, who's not registered, may have a client who doesn't realize she's not registered... who may believe he's coming to a perfectly regular establishment... maybe he enjoys the low price for the basic full body massage (because someone coming in for extras would be tipping significantly above that in cash).

  5. #5
    Willing to Learn MythMonger's Avatar
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    I think you've got some other things to sort out first.

    If the woman is seeking revenge on the man, she obviously knows him. Why would the man put himself in the hands of someone he's wronged?

    I'm uncertain as to who is trying to seduce who. The man seems to be a willing participant.

    If the motivation of the woman is ruin his marriage, why would she give the option of $ to not reveal the tape? Why not just go straight to the wife? This would leave out the option of going to the police for either party.

    It also seems a little odd that she's the one having sex with a man she detests so much. Can't she get a prostitute to do the dirty work for her somehow? Or maybe get him to proposition her on tape somehow? Actually having sex with him just seems way out there.

    Whose POV is the story going to be written in? Who are you considering to be the protagonist and antagonist in this scenario?
    I wrote my way into this mess, and I'll write my way out.

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