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.