Why The Sex and Cosmetic Industries Thrived During the Recession
What is Recession?
According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary recession is defined as:-
- The act of receding: withdrawal
- A departing procession
- 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.
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
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.
- 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
- Women need something of comfort and a lipstick will suffice
- Recession brings depression and looking good on the outside makes you feel better on the inside
- 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.
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.
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.
- Spotting a recession: The lipstick index | This is Money
How cosmetic sales, divorce rates and job fears of archaeologists point to a recession
- Recession - News - Times Topics - The New York Times
News about recession and depression. Commentary and archival information about recession and depression from The New York Times.