Why The Sex and Cosmetic Industries Thrived During the Recession

The world saw a global economical melt down during the last decade.
The world saw a global economical melt down during the last decade.

What is Recession?

According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary recession is defined as:-

  1. The act of receding: withdrawal
  2. A departing procession
  3. A period of reduced economic activity

In 2006-2007 the world economy took a dive. The world experienced a three year period of economic crisis better known as a recession.

Controversy about what countries were experiencing the recession or if the recession was over was one of the main headlines in world news.

Each country has had it's own experience during the time of this economic crisis.

Disclaimer

This article is not subjected to any one country and has been written with a global analysis in mind based on research. Where some countries experience downturn in some industries others thrived.

Talking about the US Economy

The Lipstick Industry

Looking good on the outside makes you feel better on the inside!
Looking good on the outside makes you feel better on the inside! | Source

The Cosmetic Industry


Statistics showed that companies that manufacture or distribute cosmetics, especially lipstick, showed increased sales and production during this period. According to the German Business Portal, the German Cosmetic Industry saw retail sales of EUR 12.8 billion dollars in 2009. The industry came in third behind the USA and Japan.

According to L'Oreal-Finance.com the company experiences a growth of +0.07% in the 3rd quarter of 2009 with 13 billion euros.

There are several factors behind the survival of this industry during hard times.

  1. Women who shop a lot want to cut back spending so it's cheaper to buy a lipstick, lip gloss, eyebrow pencil, mascara, compact etc, than buying a handbag for four times the cost, or the shoes that cost a weeks pay
  2. Women need something of comfort and a lipstick will suffice
  3. Recession brings depression and looking good on the outside makes you feel better on the inside
  4. A woman wants to feel she is in control of her finances and buying even a tiny thing will make her feel better, especially a lipstick that matches her skin tone.

An xxx Producer

Some other Industries Rumored to have survived during the recession

When I talk of survive I don't necessarily mean increase in sales, but rather on even keel or as some folks would say, break even.

  • Ice Cream - Many feel the pressure and are cast down, and will down a jug of this hoping to feel better.
  • Chocolate - indulgence when you are feeling down, less expensive gift than diamonds
  • Alcohol - In Jamaica alcohol sales increased between 2008 - 2010
  • Home based businesses - As more people lose their jobs they try to do things on their own.
  • Collection Agencies - Creditors dealing with debtors call in the big dogs.
  • Auction Houses - Repossessed items (a lot) are usually auctioned for less than half the actual cost.
  • Pawn shops - Other than hearing from someone who has an establishment, I personally had to pawn several pieces of my jewelry in 2009 to assist with bills.
  • Massage - This should be included in the xxxx category as many men prefer to get a sensual massage at the parlor. In Jamaica, it's not always what it seems. The ad may say massage but you will definitely not be getting just a massage but other adult services as well.

The xxx Industry

This is the adult or xxx industry.

Google and other search engines wont admit it but during 2009 - 2010 period one of the most searched for things on the internet was xxx. Sites offering it for free were more successful than paid sites, both male and female. The adult industry is not limited to websites but also direct sales and services. Shops offering adult toys did see a downturn during this period but massage parlors did thrive.

In an article in an Italian paper published in 2005, states that the industry made 1.1 billion euros in 2004 an increase of about 100 million euros in the previous year and by 27 percent since 1991. At the time of the article Italy was experiencing the recession that spread across the world to cause the economic global crisis. Read more on the article here.

In the US, however, the industry hit an all time low and was saved by the the government with a 5 billion dollar bailout. This does not, however give an accurate analysis of the industry as most of the sex industry operate underground. The United States is just a minute part of this industry where 90% of revenue are from other countries. Where the US failed other countries saw surplus.

The biggest earners in the xxx industry in 2006 were China with 27.40 billion, South Korea 25.73 billion, Japan with revenue of 19.98 billion and the US 13.33 billion dollars (less than 50% what China earned). Other major players are Russia and Germany.

Why sex

During a recession people, both male and female, feel the need to unwind, feel good about themselves and release tension. Many of us find that xxx stimulation whether it be at home, online or with a total stranger provide a temporary reprieve.

According to Cosmopolitan.com.uk, people (especially men) indulge in online adult behavior, printed format and other sources or xxx rated material, simply, because it's there. It does not mean that they do not love their partners but it is a way of release whether physical or emotional.

It can be addictive as we all know but many people do this when they are at a lower point in their life, looking for something to take the edge off, or take their mind off situations that cause stress.

Research does show that intimate stimulation does relieve stress temporarily at least in those moments and for a while after.

The Great Depression and xxx

During the 1930s depression in the United States of America, people looked for an affordable way to escape, a way to make life appear normal, even pleasurable. Their escape became fantasy films.

As stated above with the xxx industry in the US, recession can have a negative effect on the industry, but we all know that sex sells. From commercials to the recording industry, even in the bible.

When recession strikes, a man will not spend $100 or even less, $10 on this indulgence because less expensive options are available like renting, buying from the store, pay per view or downloads.

The Actors

As for why people would act in a porno, well especially during a recession all that is needed is a liberal outlook, light on sexuality morality hang-ups, comfort with the idea of random sexual partners and nothing to lose in terms of social standing and peer ridicule. Then add the desire/need for money to opportunity and you have the perfect recipe for a porn actor. After all, per hour it is less "work" and more dollars than most opportunities presented, especially in the relatively well paying legitimate industry.

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Comments 27 comments

Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Wow. The XXX industry is thriving while people are being laid off in the US. Amazing. Great hub and voted up, up and away!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

HI Dexter.

You government used 5 billion of tax payer dollars to bail out an industry to revive it. In the US the industry took a hit and was saved by your spendthrift President. I was surprised at this.

The US might have been the industry that saw the greatest fallout there but other countries around the world did thrive or survive.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Very good, and disturbing, hub, Cardisa. I don't know how I have escaped but I have never searched for pornography online, as I'm certain it would be very addictive.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Hi James, and you are right. Porn is very addictive, even more so than cigarettes and alcohol. The addiction is compared to heroine. Even though it doesn't not destroy you cerebrially, it does mentally, emotionally and psychologically.

I am happy you are free from such behavior.


novascotiamiss profile image

novascotiamiss 5 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

Here are 2 more interesting facts about the recession: One of my friends who works as a sales assistant for a very expensive Jewellry Shop in Zurich Bahnhofstrasse (one of Europe's most expensive shopping hubs) told me, that since the recession the sales of very expensive watches and jewellry ($ 15'000 +) has increased tremendously. Another friend who owns a fireworks company claims that business has never been better, because in hard times people want bread and games... Re. the cosmectic industry I guess that many women can't afford to go to the spa or to a beauty salon. So they do the stuff themselves, at home. Also, I totally agree with you Cardisa, in times of depression it's important to indulge in the odd little luxury, otherwise life just seeems too hard.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

You are right Movascotiamiss. There mare many things we don't really know about this so called recession. Some of the business we think would fail actually thrive and do exceedingly well.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This is a very interesting hub and I never would have thought those industries thrived when money was in short supply. Very well-written hub. Rated up.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Thank you Pamella.

Yes Pamella, our instincts would tell us that because money was short that women would spend it on something less trivial than a lipstick, but that's just it, it isn't trivial at all. Imagine the middle manager or senior manager who used to spend 3 -4 hundred per month at the spa, now she can't afford it so she buts her own products and does her own facial for less than 1 hundred.

I can't really explain why the adult services except for maybe the massage as that really helps to relieve tension.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Yes indeed! And it points out that the USA was always a weak and shallow nation. Rise to the problems? No way. Easier to blame everyone and everything. We should be focusing on good health - but once again only appearance matters and the continued subjugation of the most disfranchised - women. Sigh! It seems every culture copes differently when money is tight. But yes, in America women are still taught they must be 'pretty' which is more important than having a nest egg. And this mindless prettiness translates easily into pornography and being objectified.

Great hub - thanks and rated up!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

BK, what insightful comments. I agree with you all the way. Many people don't see the connection to outward beauty and porn but you have connected them, and rightly so. Not only does it happen there in the US but right here in my own country.

Thank you!


Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

Very interesting observation. Humans are full of lust and they are also narcissus who do not think other then their personal image.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

You are right Binaya. It's all about self service and personal satisfaction and away with the consequences.


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

A provocative hub. These are serious issues that need to be discussed like this. I wonder what those actors feel their family and friends are going through.I think it becomes more than the individual in such a case. Thanks for the interesting hub.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Thank you for the insightful comment Alladream. I wonder too about those who do the acting. How they feel about that kind of a job. When they go home to their families, how it affect them. Good questions, I wish I could get some answers, it would make for another great article.

Thank you!


tamarindcandy profile image

tamarindcandy 5 years ago

Heh, I think we can basically rely on the porn industry to always thrive no matter what, short of a global apocalypse. And even then...


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Tamarindcandy, you are right and with our governments baling them out, they will always survive.


adrienne2 profile image

adrienne2 5 years ago from Atlanta

OMG quite an unsettling read. I read also in the comments porn being more addictive than cigs, and just as addictive as herione. That is a very scary comparison. *SMH* Thanks for sharing. voted up!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

The most unsettling thing is that porn causes more family break ups than drugs.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Great article! Can't say I'd have ever considered these ideas on my own.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Let me weigh in here with my single male experience so far as porn and cigs - no, cigarettes are more addictive, porn ....wears off, or loses it's attraction - but that's me.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Wes, I guess a man's state of mind has a lot to do with it. I know someone who is addicted to porn but does not smoke. I'll have to research to see if there is a disconnect between porn and other addictions.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Well - everyone is certainly a unique individual - but the thing is that there are really just two kinds of addictions.

1. chemical

2. "mental"

Now of course feeding an addiction always releases all sorts of hormones or endorphin's - etc.

But people can die from withdrawals from physical/chemical addictions such as heroin or alcohol.

Nobody will ever die from ....porn withdrawals :-/


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

I agree Wes. I haven't heard of anyone dying of porn withdrawal either!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Wesman: !?!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Flora, my sentiments exactly!? LOL


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

XXX I figured would do well under any economic environment, but lipstick was something new I learned from this hub. Who knew?

Voted up and interesting.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica Author

Phil, the lipstick industry actually did much better than the xxxx industry. Women who could not afford their regular shopping spree would buy cosmetics instead and lipstick being at the top of the list.

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    Carolee Samuda (Cardisa)1,134 Followers
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    Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger and content creator.



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