Top 200 Photos: #46

And back to Las Vegas for this Top 200 Photo

photo #46 is:
Always a Happy Ending at TAO

This is an ad I used to pass by every day and night while I was in Las Vegas. Because of the glare it may be a little hard to read the text of the ad. It says “Always a Happy Ending at Tao” which is described as an Asian Bistro, Nightclub, and Lounge. I took this photo because I was unsure of how I felt about it. In case you don’t know the idiom, a “happy ending” is a euphemism for getting oral sex at the end of a massage (it could also mean masturbation – but not by the self). It originates from using massage parlours as a front for prostitution in places where prostitution is illegal. This allows the owner to claim (or ATTEMPT to claim) that he had no idea what his masseuses were doing. He thought everyone was just getting massages back there. These erotic massages and the term “happy ending”, in particular, are heavily associated with asians. Additionally, the billboard employs the image of a naked woman and either Chinese or Japanese script. (I know it’s not Korean which is bubblier)

So, on the one hand, sex sells and it’s Las Vegas aka Sin City – what do you expect? Plenty of ads in the western world play on sexual double-entendres. On the other hand, there is a hyper-sexualization of asians in Western culture and this only perpetuates the stereotypes. Most days I don’t care and I joke about it with the asians in my life (friends and family). But every once in a while I remember a conversation from a place my mom used to work that she recounted to me. This guy found out I was dating Danielle, who is Vietnamese, and told her I was in luck. Why? Because he knows FOR A FACT (as in cannot be dissuaded) that she would have been taught by her mother from childhood how to be an awesome masseuse and awesome in bed. And that’s just freakin’ ridiculous. I know we can’t protect the world from dumb jackasses, but it does make you wonder if ads like these are ill advised.

Author: Eric Mesa

To find out a little more about me, see About Me

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