Conventional economic wisdom states that the big three sins – sex, drinking and gambling are recession proof. During economic downturns, spending on these activities tends to be unaffected. People find other areas to tighten their belts – eating out, memberships, discretionary clothes shopping, home improvement projects – but spending on the big three tends to remain more or less stable. As result, investors tend to run to companies that provide these during tough economic times. While it is hard to know exactly why this has been the case, it is presumed to be because when people are feeling constrained they need these stress relievers more than ever, and as a result they find a way to keep their spending up in these activities.
Maybe not this time. During the most recent recession, 42% of men said they cut sex entertainment spending completely out of their budget. They stopped all spending on porn, strip clubs, escorts, phone sex. Why is this? One theory is that this recession was so much worse than any previous economic slump since the great depression. As a result, consumers were forced to make cuts everywhere, even where they really, really, really didn’t want to. Another theory, and one I personally ascribe to, is that sexual entertainment has so many new free options. My guess is that viewing of online porn did not go down at all, and in fact it likely increased and that these 42% of men merely switched their sexual entertainment choices from paid to free. And the proliferation of free options made this relatively pain free.
It will take more than the worst recession of century to get guys off of sex.