Erotic window display too hot for Chelsea?
The promoter of a racy live window display in Chelsea is claiming anti-gay discrimination after cops shut down his erotic massage demonstration Friday night.
According to Daniel Lee, director of manworks.com, the massages, which took place in the window of the Blue Store, on Eighth Avenue between 20th and 21st streets, did not involve nudity or lewd acts.
“It think it was prejudice,” Lee said yesterday. “It was perfectly legal massage, what was happening in the window.”
The event, to promote the Web site, which features erotic massage listings, consisted of one man massaging another, each wearing a skimpy swimsuit.
About an hour after the massages began at 6 p.m., Lee said cops showed up and told him to shut it down. He complied, though he was issued no summons and the officer would not tell him what laws were broken, he said. The cop said onlookers - who numbered about 15 - were blocking the sidewalk, according to Lee.
Police said cops responded to the scene after a man who had been walking with his son saw the display and called the local precinct to complain. Cops confirmed no summons was issued.
“It seems there was some kind of moral objection to what we were doing,” Lee said.
A manager at the store, which rented the window space to manworks, said he did not realize how erotically charged the display would be.
“It was dangerous for my store, to be honest,” said the manager, Miki Ohana. “Now, for nothing, I'm going to have eyes on me.”
It was not the first time the store, which sells sex toys and pornographic movies, has been at the center of controversy.
Neighbors objected to its blue neon sign when it opened in 2003, and in 2005, it was briefly shut down after a man was arrested inside for solicitation.