Living Fresh Men's Spa, a spa located in Chelsea, NYC is getting sued after one New Jersey man alleges that he was inappropriately touched by one of the spa's masseurs, according to the New York Post.
Ronnie Arnau, a man from Woodland Park, New Jersey, went to the spa in Chelsea with his husband expecting to get only a massage and a facial but got more than he bargained for, and nothing that he actually wanted. As he lay prone on the massage table, he recalls that his masseur, Pei Tien started giving him what he felt was a normal massage, but about ten minutes into the massage things started to go south.
During the massage, Tian began to focus exclusively on Arnau's buttocks for a disproportionately long period of time, making Arnau very uncomfortable. Still uncomfortable, Tian moved his finger beneath Arnau's buttocks and began to caress, which, I assume, is not part of a normal massage. Arnau never said that he consented to anyone touching his penis and he never indicated that he wanted anyone to. Shaken by this, Arnau was shocked until his masseur threw off the towel and told him to turn over.
Arnau quickly got up from the massage table and told Tian to leave the room and immediately called the police. Tian has been charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse. His criminal case is still pending. Tian has never commented on this incident, but the spa owner says that he is still working there.
The receptionist of Living Fresh Men's Spa, Sean, commented that it is "not that kind of spa." Arnau's suit says that the owner of the spa is fully aware of the lewd and illicit activity that occurs within the spa but does nothing about it. Arnau's lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, commented on the inaction of the spa owner, saying that by ignoring Arnau's complaint, he is silently allowing the idea that gay men at spas welcome inappropriate touching from spa staff.
Goldberg's comment speaks to a much deeper issue: the idea that men "always want it" and that gay men specifically are sex crazed. Sexual assault has become somewhat of a hot topic, with people bringing awareness to how prevalent it is with the #MeToo movement, so one would think that maybe touching someone inappropriately without their consent would be the wrong thing to do, but some people never learn. It saddens me to think about how Arnau's complaints were completely ignored by the spa's staff, as it is very telling of the sad fact that sexual assault victims are not believed.
h/t: New York Post