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Gay Chelsea Storefront Featuring 'Live Massage' Shut Down by NYPD


(image kenneth in the 212)

Last Friday night, a live erotic massage window display at the Blue Store on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea was shut down by the NYPD:

"According to Daniel Lee, director of manworks.com, the massages, which took place in the window of the Blue Store, on Eighth Avenue between 20th and 21st streets, did not involve nudity or lewd acts. 'It think it was prejudice,' Lee said yesterday. 'It was perfectly legal massage, what was happening in the window.'"

The live event was promotion for a website, AMNY reports:

"About an hour after the massages began at 6 p.m., Lee said cops showed up and told him to shut it down. He complied, though he was issued no summons and the officer would not tell him what laws were broken, he said. The cop said onlookers - who numbered about 15 - were blocking the sidewalk, according to Lee. Police said  cops responded to the scene after a man who had been walking with his son saw the display and  called the local precinct to complain. Cops confirmed no summons was issued. 'It seems there was some kind of moral objection to what we were doing,' Lee said."

Now the owner of the store is upset because, he says, the police will be watching him now.

NYC Activists and Leaders Protest False Arrests of Gay Men by NYPD [tr]

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  1. define "erotic"...

    Posted by: rick | Nov 11, 2009 10:19:30 AM

  2. Let's NOT be stupid, you are enticing people to STOP and stare, block a street, rub ...also it is "erotic" someone being rubbed on (with minimal clothes on by BOTH people) with oil while others watch through a clear window.

    The owner simply wanted to use the titillation that would attract the gays to the business...sometimes I wonder HOW stupid gays are to the fact that they are being pandered to at the lowest level possible.

    Yeah the owner should be worried because he did a stupid thing and YES the cops are going to watching to make sure it does not happen again.

    Posted by: differingview | Nov 11, 2009 10:36:25 AM

  3. hmm I gotta wonder - If it was a girl massaging a guy - would the controversy be the same? hmmmmmmmmmmm

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Nov 11, 2009 10:49:51 AM

  4. I'm actually quite surprised by those comments - when did we become so Victorian about expressing our sexuality? This isn't public sex... why was this stupid?

    Posted by: EricInMN | Nov 11, 2009 10:50:46 AM

  5. Maybe manworks.com got exactly what they wanted in the first place.

    Posted by: Jeff NYC | Nov 11, 2009 10:52:05 AM

  6. What's the big deal....people in NYC need to lighten up a bit. So prudish, unbelievable. Things have certainly changed in the Big Apple.

    Posted by: excy | Nov 11, 2009 10:53:07 AM

  7. enticing people to stop and stare is not illegal - if it was then all creators of effective advertising would be in jail. and as the story points out the act itself was not illegal. and the store owner cannot be held liable for the actions of people on the street. so where is the crime here? oh right, we still have to Legalize Gay. and diffview, thanks for our daily dose of selfhating homo.

    Posted by: ant | Nov 11, 2009 10:58:35 AM

  8. Yes, prudish and annoying, but at the same time I would not be at all surprised if the result were the same if the two participants were opposite sex. I don't see this as necessarily discriminatory or unequal.

    Posted by: Pender | Nov 11, 2009 11:06:48 AM

  9. Let's all hope this story has a happy ending.

    Posted by: crispy | Nov 11, 2009 11:12:47 AM

  10. Well honey, if the dad didn't like whats going going on up front, she would have passed out when he walked into the back.

    Posted by: mamma | Nov 11, 2009 11:38:45 AM

  11. Glad I live in San Francisco where being naked isn't so scary and frightening for big grown up adults. I guess the pathetic father and police officers win the day with their fear of human sexuality. It's almost 2010 and humans are still afraid of their bodies. Pathetic.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Nov 11, 2009 11:48:06 AM

  12. But really who cares if rights were violated or discrimination happened? Bloomberg got back in to the palace and money trumps all, which is all that matters in NYC. Welcome to the bad old days.

    Posted by: ggreen | Nov 11, 2009 12:00:07 PM

  13. 1) so when one of us gets beat up the police either don't show up or don't respond properly, but if one prude gets offended they show up and shut it down?

    2) there are provocative sexually charged images EVERYWHERE in new york - even the ads on the subway. this guy wasn't reacting out of moral outrage (if that's really his problem, it would be a full time job!) but out of sheer homophobia. why should he be scared that his son see two men touch each other? this sort of reaction is primitive and embarrassing, and should be ignored, not reenforced by the police.

    3) then again, i wouldn't be surprised if it was manworks.com who called the cops - makes it a WAY bigger story, right?

    Posted by: clayton | Nov 11, 2009 12:11:44 PM

  14. Let's be honest: had it been a girl in a bikini giving a massage in a window they would have also shut it down. Who cares if America is prudish? That's not our battle to fight. Let's focus first on being treated equally, even if it means being subject to the same prudish standards. Being gay is about being yourself, it's not about sex.

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 11, 2009 12:36:28 PM

  15. This display probably would've been shut down in Canada and South Africa too. Both of those countries have pretty strict public decency laws on the books. America is hardly the only former British colony that has "issues" with prudishness.

    It has nothing to do with same-sex marriage though.

    Posted by: John | Nov 11, 2009 12:53:19 PM

  16. Yes, let's not give the haters any more ammo for a while. Just sayin'

    Posted by: castaway | Nov 11, 2009 12:55:48 PM

  17. Here in London that would never have been stopped!? In fact that would never have been stopped anywhere in Europe. Americans are so paranoid.

    Posted by: Luke | Nov 11, 2009 12:56:20 PM

  18. I swear, I see that guy in the blue underwear wherever I go. LOL

    Anybody know who he is?

    I think he is a model or pornstar, but I can't place him.

    Posted by: Marcus | Nov 11, 2009 12:58:39 PM

  19. NYC is now so lame --- and so are the self-haters who think they would have shut this down if it was a woman giving a man a massage --- or two women. Pender is a FOOL.

    Posted by: RJP3 | Nov 11, 2009 1:14:26 PM

  20. Are they going to shut down Macy's and Lord & Taylor for drawing crowd with their window displays this Holiday season ???


    Posted by: RJP3 | Nov 11, 2009 1:40:11 PM

  21. yet, The Standard hotel actively promotes similar type of behavior, specifically to draw the attention of visitors to the High Line park, and no cops are called. What about The Children?!?!


    Posted by: b mac | Nov 11, 2009 1:50:23 PM

  22. well considering my bf is a massage therapist and he takes it seriously...i see nothing wrong with this. Also...HELLO this is fucking Chelsea...boystown if you will. If someone is bringing their child up in NYC then they have been exposed to a lot more than just two guys doing a rub down. And not all massage is sexual!! get you minds out of the gutter!!

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 11, 2009 1:54:35 PM

  23. also...you know it sucks when someone moves into the neighborhood that the gays are responsible for making it nice!! then they want to push those people out!! happened recently in Chicago some bitch was pushing a brat in a stroller and didn't like the word Mastubate in one to the window displays...so, she petitioned to have the intimate apparel shop shut down the window display!! this is exactly what I enjoy about my neighborhood...but now the fucking strollers are moving in and taking over and due to fertility drugs...they are muliplying!! yes, I am pisssed!!

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 11, 2009 1:57:42 PM

  24. So the next time I walk into Sprouts grocery store I should call the police even though it's a legitimate massage in public?


    Posted by: jakeinlove | Nov 11, 2009 2:00:49 PM


    Posted by: Pinky Tuscadero | Nov 11, 2009 2:28:33 PM

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