Roman Shusterman, "Peace Through Face Sitting" Guy, Now Offering Free Massages

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Steven Thrasher
​Roman Shusterman caused a minor stir in Union Square last year when he began a campaign to achieve world "peace through face sitting." (Yes, that is basically what it sounds like: he'd ask women to sit on his face, which would somehow mysteriously lead to humanity laying down arms against each other, and yes, some actually did it.)

We ran into Shusterman at Coney Island a couple of weeks ago, where he was on the first day of his new "Free Massages" campaign, and asked him how it was working out so far.

Why did you do the face sitting?

Because it's a way for me to change the world. The New York Times took a picture of me, but refused to publish it, when I was doing the face sitting thing. But I did get some coverage on German TV. The massages at the beach are new, and this is radical. Guys walk around fantasizing about just this: they want to rub a girl out here, at the beach, and I've done that, and I've had a lot of girls let me do that. And I'm not even attractive! Right now I'm just working on establishing myself out here at the beach, trying to get some publicity. Once I get established, I'll be like Trader Joe's: everyone will know about it!

So, has anyone taken you up on your offer yet for free massages?

Yeah, five women already have. The sign, it works even better than at Union Square! I'll be honest, I was even more afraid of doing this out here than when I started face sitting at Union Square. Because at Union Square, I know people, I have friends. But here, I'm all by myself, with no support, and I was able to pull it off. My experiment proved that even people that don't do it, they like it. Everyone likes the sign! That's the weird thing. At Union Square, with the face sitting stuff, people would rip my sign and call me a pervert. Here, everyone seems to like it.

The funniest thing is that the girls, they want to see pictures of my other campaign!

Do you give massages to guys?

If I give a massage to a guy, I tell them they have to give one to me. And they never want to do that back. So, no, not yet.

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Steven Thrasher

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher

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