There’s no shortage of dumb laws on the books here in Texas, but this one is the dumbest of the dumb.

You see, today I learned that it’s illegal for a husband to give his wife a massage in Dallas and vice versa. And no, I’m not joking. I’m as serious as a heart attack.

Not that the Dallas City Council intended for that to be the case when they passed the law, it’s just that the legislation is so broad it doesn’t make an exception for consenting couples:


It shall be unlawful for any person to administer a massage as defined in Section 25A-1 to any person of the opposite sex; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any person licensed or registered by the State of Texas as a physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, nurse, massage therapist, cosmetologist, or athletic trainer, or as a member of a similar profession subject to state licensing or registration, while performing duties authorized by the state license or registration.

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According to the Dallas Observer, the Council passed the law to help police crackdown on “lewd acts” being performed in bathhouses and massage parlors. As you might expect, massage parlors sued the city in 1961, but lost when Judge Sarah T. Hughes ruled that the ban wasn’t unreasonable (say what???).

10 years later, U.S. District Judge Robert M. Hill disagreed with Hughes, ruling the ban unconstitutional. However, the ordinance remains in place.

So, if you live in Dallas, keep your hands to yourself the next time your significant other asks for a massage after a tough day at work. Otherwise, you just might find your ass in the Dallas County Jail.

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