From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A massage parlor is a business where customers can receive a massage. In therapeutic massage, the genitalia or intimate parts of the body are not touched at all and remain covered by a drape, which may be a towel or a sheet. The client's modesty and personal boundaries are respected at all times by a licensed massage therapist.
Sometimes the term is synonymous with brothel as the term "massage" may be used as a euphemism for paid sexual favours. In many countries and regions, particularly (but not limited to), New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines, and San Francisco some brothels advertise themselves as "massage parlours". However, while both offer some form of sexual service, the two are not always the same.