Recession Trends

Apart from the expected loss of jobs, drop in consumer spending, deflation and usual run-of-the-mill outcomes arising from the worldwide recession, there are other trends which may prove interesting to the idle observer. And their numbers are certainly growing everyday.

The hard times will of course impact fashion. Amando Doronila wrote a recent piece on the rise and fall of women’s hemlines which mirror the bleak global economic outlook. Expect a less flamboyant look for the coming year and for so long as the downturn continues. A more muted and conservative image would be in keeping with the difficulties we all face.

Doronila observed that dominant colors of women’s dress were now black and white, brown and grey and posits that this is a reflection of the grim mood that has engulfed the world as the recession deepened.

And now we have recession beards. According to Emily Farris in Scanner, it does make sense that as more men lose their jobs they quit shaving. The NPD Group, a marketing research company, reports that sales of electric shavers and men’s facial trimmers in the U.S. have dropped twelve percent in the last year.

All the better to get that “prophet-in-the-wilderness” look appropriate for an unfolding doomsday scenario.

But here’s the silver lining. According to Penelope Trunk, more people will now be having sex.

When I was a Boston Globe reporter, one of my best interviews was with David Blanchflower, professor of economics at Dartmouth , who has analyzed the relationship between money and sex.

He says that more money does not get people more sex, it merely gets them more choices of people to have sex with. This makes sense. I’ve never heard of someone abstaining from sex until they make enough money to date a model. And anyway, we know from Dan Airley’s research that if someone has too many choices, they don’t do anything. Sure, this research applies to jam samples in grocery stores, but maybe someone should investigate if people actually have less sex when they earn so much money that they can choose from anyone.

Okay. But back to the recession. Amazingly, it turns out that less money equals more sex. I am not totally sure why this is, because the research comes from what is now one of my most favorite resources, Durex condoms, a site that does provide a lot of qualitative analysis for their statistics.

Still, Durex reports that drugstore sales of their condoms were up 6% during the time Lehman went under. And sales in the New York City sex toy emporium Babeland increased 25% in that same time period. So the deeper the recession, the more sex people are having.

Will the gloom be followed by a baby boom ? Abangan.

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