Sex in the Time of Recession

Does less money mean more lovin'? We crunched the numbers.

man looking at mannequins in lingerie in storefront window
(Image credit: Jessica Antola)

Right around the time Lehman Brothers flatlined in mid-September, drugstore sales for Durex condoms were up 6 percent over the same period last year. Coincidence?

The number of personals in Craigslist's "Casual Encounters" section jumped from 1.4 million in September 2007 to 3.1 million in September 2008. Said one dater's posting: "Recession, economy got you down? . . . One way I've found to ALLEVIATE this stress I'm feeling is by FUCKING!"

In the last week of September, just as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was pushing his historic $700 billion bailout through Congress, sales at New York sex-toy emporium Babeland spiked 25 percent over the same period the year before. Sales online increased 16 percent.