The popular online site craigslist.org will no longer offer an “erotic services” category as of May 13—a move heralded today by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) as one that will help clear the confusion engendered when prostitutes advertise their services as “massage.”

“As of today for all US craigslist sites, postings to the ‘erotic services’ category will no longer be accepted, and in 7 days the category will be removed,” a craigslist blog post noted.

According to the AMTA, the category promoted the notion that “massage” and “erotica” were one and the same, and allowed prostitutes to advertise their services using massage therapy as a shield.

This confusion was highlighted by press coverage of the recent murder of call girl Julissa Brisman, who advertised her services as massage.

“The public and massage therapists have a right to know that advertising for massage should only be the right of massage therapists,” said AMTA President Judy Stahl. “We hope this decision will ensure that massage is only advertised on Craigslist through its ‘therapeutic’ section and that any new ‘adult’ section will not allow posters to use terms related to massage therapy.”

Craigslist will launch a new, paid section for adult services, the blog post noted, for legal adult service providers, and “Each posting to this new category will be manually reviewed before appearing on the site, to ensure compliance with craigslist posting guidelines and terms of use.”

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