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All of these secretive behavior patterns affect a family and home. When people usually think about addiction, they typically picture someone who drinks to excess, abuses drugs, overeats, or perhaps gambles too much. Sexual addiction goes far beyond enjoying sex or pornography. It means that your desires and your actions have gone beyond your control and are now hurting other areas of your life. So what is the cut-off point?

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This article is part three of a five-part series titled "The Business of Illicit Massage.

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Before the Greentree Health Spa was shut down last year, sex buyers crowed about the place on an erotic online review site called Rubmaps, a digital forum that lists some 7, illicit massage-related businesses across the United States. Most described in graphic terms the kind of sex they could buy at the Framingham spa.

There are now seven active sites in Framingham, nearly across the state, according to data provided by the anti-trafficking group Praesidium Partners. Indeed, on any on any given day there are about 9, online searches in the Boston area on Rubmaps and other internet sites for places to buy sex, according to Demand Abolitionan anti-human trafficking organization based in Cambridge. Buyers represent every race, every color and every profession.

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Company executives, lawyers, police officers, teachers and politicians have been arrested in stings over recent years. A new study by the D. One of them is a Boston-area resident who asked for anonymity to tell his story. We're calling him Tom. Tom says what at first was a distraction became an increasingly expensive obsession. Watertown psychologist Joel Ziff, a sex addiction therapist who has worked with hundreds of men, says illicit massage parlors are a gateway into other forms of commercial sex because they appear safer and are less pricey than other forms of prostitution.

About 11 percent of sex buyers said their recent paid sex transactions were at a massage parlors, according to a recent Demand Abolition study.

Take a man we call Jeff, an advocate of legalizing erotic massage, who believes the industry is mainly a victimless activity. The Boston-area professional said he is divorced with little opportunity for intimacy. Instead, he spends his money at erotic massage parlors near his four-bedroom home in a wealthy suburb west of Boston. He argues that not everybody gets the job of their choice.

Inside the $ billion erotic massage parlor economy

But a growing of anti-trafficking specialists and law enforcement officials say women are being coerced into the business, manipulated by financial debts, fear and shame to stay quiet. In many cases, traffickers will take their passports and money, according to Polaris. Federal prosecutors in Minnesota last year filed charges against a ring of alleged traffickers claiming Thai women were forced to work to pay off huge debts, with both the debt and the victims traded like stocks among operators.

And increasingly, law enforcement and anti-trafficking specialists say focusing on shutting down demand is key to disrupting the industry. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said her office last year arrested 29 buyers as part of the effort.

Some of those cases are ongoing. But the reality is that only about six percent of buyers are arrested for their part in fueling the commercial sex industry, according to Demand Abolition.

Jeff, who visits erotic spas in the Newton-Watertown area, isn't worried. They wash their hands. Others buyers said they were more worried about getting caught — less by police than by their wives.

Jenifer B. She focuses on social justice issues, including criminal justice, child welfare, sex trafficking and personal debt for print, digital and broadcast. Listen phillip-me. A former so-called massage parlor shut down by Framingham city officials as part of an investigation into human trafficking. Police say it was a site for prostitution. It operated directly across the road from Framingham city hall and police headquarters.

Related posts

By Phillip Martin. February 11, Share Facebook Tweet. He used to visit dozens of erotic massage and bodywork spas throughout Greater Boston, including locations around Chinatown. Watertown psychologist, Joel Ziff, a sex addiction therapist who has worked with hundreds of men.

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McKim jbmckim. Trustworthy journalism, available for free to everyone.

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Donate now. Related Stories. March 2, AM. Not all women in the commercial sex industry have been victims of sex trafficking. But that's where many victims of trafficking end up.

One woman who got out has begun a program to help others. February 24, PM. WGBH News investigative reporter Phillip Martin spoke about his reporting into human trafficking and its connection to recent allegations against Robert Kraft. April 30, AM. March 7, PM. This article is part four of a five-part series titled "The Business of Illicit Massage.