Florida Deems Rub-n-Tug Massage Parlors ‘Essential Businesses’

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — This week, the State of Florida labeled professional wrestling an “essential business” and granted the WWE permission to continue to operate during the COVID-19 quarantine. According to The Tampa Bay Times, it took a conversation with the state’s governor to convince local authorities to label pro-wrestling as essential. To this point, mostly businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, and liquor stores were classified as “essential,” as were healthcare delivery organizations.

WWE will continue taping and airing live from the empty WWE Performance Center near Orlando even during the state’s month-long “shelter-in-place,” which Gov. Ron DeSantis announced April 1.

At a press conference Monday, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings was asked whether WWE would continue operations. He said that WWE was not originally deemed an “essential business,” designation allowing it to stay open during the state’s “shelter-in-place” order. However, a conversation with DeSantis changed that. (Tampa Bay Times)

During a daily press conference on Florida’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, the state’s governor announced today that he was adding a slew of new business types to the “essential” category. Now, by order of the governor, certain massage parlors will be allowed to operate, provided they adhere to some new health guidelines. The governor said during the presser that “rub-n-tug parlors are a staple and mainstay” of Florida’s economy, and he could not “let them shutter forever” with a clear conscience.

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“Florida’s rub-n-tugs are vital to our vibrant and thriving economy,” Gov. Ron DeSantis explained, “and they’re so popular and famous, they’re frequented by everyone from professional sports coaches, to wealthy political donors, and even some people in the president’s inner circle uses them. I dare say that Florida’s rub-n-tug parlors are not just sources of pride for Floridians, but they’re national treasures, not unlike our national parks and monuments, and worthy of defending.”

Beginning next week, rub-n-tug parlors throughout the state will be allowed to open back up and begin servicing clients. However, all massage technicians must maintain the prescribed six feet of distance between themselves and the people they are massaging. DeSantis acknowledged that this could prove a challenge to the people operating the parlors, but he also had a plan to address that.

“We’re working with several manufacturers in our state to help the rub-n-tuggers develop new, special tools to conduct their business,” DeSantis said. “We have one company in particular developing an updated version of that old robot hand toy from back in the day. You squeeze a grip and the fingers on the hand contract and then open back up when you release it. If Florida’s rub-n-tugs start to utilize these redesigned robo-grabbers, we think the sky’s the limit in terms of how many people they can jerk off in a day.”

In addition to the rub-n-tug parlors being classified as “essential,” DeSantis announced a few more businesses that would be allowed to operate under similar conditions as the massage parlors.

“If we’re going to open back up our rub-n-tugs, we need to give everyone else that we can a happy ending as well,” DeSantis announced, “and that’s why we will begin to let our state’s numerous and popular strip clubs to operate as essential as well. They’ll only be allowed to let in four patrons at a time, and lapdances must be given from that same minimum 6-foot distance.”

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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.