One the biggest misconceptions visitors often have when coming to Las Vegas is that prostitution is legal. When they arrive on the Strip, there’s little to dissuade them otherwise. The Strip is covered with flyers and ads — some for outright prostitution, but often for erotic or sensual massages or “body rubs.”
While there are licensed brothels in parts of Nevada, prostitution — of any sort — is illegal in Clark County, where Las Vegas and the Strip are located. Prostitution is the act of engaging in any kind of sexual favor for a fee. Sexual favor has a broad definition, and includes much more than just intercourse.
Some people who are aware that prostitution is illegal may think they are skirting prostitution laws with body rubs or massages with “happy endings.” However, these people run the risk of facing the same solicitation charge as the person who picks up a prostitute from the street.
A prostitute, under Nevada Revised Statute 201.295 is defined as any person who, for a fee, engages in “sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact or any touching of the sexual organs or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either person.” If a client pays a masseuse to touch his or her genitals or rub his or her body in a way with the purpose of being sexually stimulated or aroused, that transaction may fall under the legal definition of prostitution.
If you’re wondering whether the massage parlor you’re visiting could get you arrested on prostitution charges, a key thing to look for is whether it’s for a licensed massage parlor. If a massage parlor is not licensed, police generally assume it’s there for prostitution. Some items to look for to determine whether a location is a licensed massage parlor:
- Are the hours earlier than 8 a.m. or later than 9 p.m.?
- Is a list of services and fees missing?
- Are any of the employees wearing transparent clothes?
- Are there alcoholic beverages served?
- Are there two-way mirrors?
- Does the massage therapist offer to touch your genitals or breasts?
If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” there’s a good likelihood you are not in a licensed parlor or you’re in a licensed parlor that is acting illegally. If police arrive, you may be arrested merely for being inside.
“Outcall girls” or those who offer to come to your hotel room are slightly trickier. While a licensed massage therapist may give home or hotel visits, most of the services advertised are not licensed massage therapists. A good rule of thumb is that if the service are in the back pages of a newspaper or magazine or on a flyer, it’s probably not a licensed therapist.
A better rule of thumb is that if you’re contacting any service to touch you in any way so that you get some kind of sexual gratification, you could wind up arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution. If you’re in town and looking for some excitement by calling for a sensual massage or body rub, be prepared to call a Las Vegas solicitation lawyer.