The recent breakup of a prostitution ring in Wichita has authorities thinking that massage parlors may need new rules to keep hands trained on sore muscles and not eager penises.
Acting on a tip, police arrested 10 people who worked at a string of "spas" around Wichita. Chinese nationals allegedly worked as prostitutes at the parlors, forcing public officials to confront the notion that "Asian massage" is often code for assisted ejaculation.
Kansas is one of only seven states that allows massage therapists to work without licenses. Missouri requires massage therapists to complete 500 hours of study and submit to background checks.
Legitimate operators in Kansas say they would like to see the government impose standards. "I think it brings consistency to the industry," the owner of a massage therapy business told the Wichita Eagle.
It's easy for politicians to talk about burdensome regulations in the abstract. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback has talked about creating an Office of the Repealer if he becomes governor.
But events like the Wichita bust are how laws and codes come to be written in the first place. Sure, Missouri looks prissy for putting strippers into swimsuits. Yet regulation can be pro-business if it limits the activities of bad actors. Plus, it's pretty gross to think about middle-aged man getting "relief" in strip malls from undocumented workers.