Perhaps that old chestnut, “history repeats itself,” isn’t such a chestnut after all.
Take condom sales. Almost 80 years ago, America experienced its worst-ever financial crisis – “The Great Depression” – which quickly spread across the globe. At a time when companies folded daily, men and women searched in vain for work, and soup kitchens ran out of food before they ran out of hungry people, there was one business that boomed – condom manufacture.
Condom manufacturers thrived because Americans, who had a lot more time on their hands, were having more sex than ever before BUT did not want more mouths to feed. It was much cheaper to spend about 25 cents worth on condoms than to have children.
Well, guess what? History is repeating itself – or, as the famousSwedish-American baseball icon Knut Rockney so loved to say: “It’s Deje vu all over again!”
American condom sales are up by at least 15% in the last 6 months, as are British sales. In fact, in both countries, the current economic climate – the “Credit Crunch” – has people so unsure of the future, they are using more and more condoms to make sure they don’t get pregnant! Sales have gone up so much, one of Britain’s biggest retailers of cosmetics and drugs, Superdrug, has actually set up a “condom chart” to monitor the crunch by way of watching their condom sales.
Their reasoning is, when sales drop, the economy will be on the mend. And, as one pundit put it, “randy Brits” do not have the cash to go to the pub or on holiday, so they are having lots more sex than usual, further driving up sales.
A representative for one of the world’s biggest condom manufacturers was terribly understated when he responded to queries about condom sales at a time of crisis: “The consumer business, which is primarily condoms, is not really adversely impacted by the economy.” No kidding!
But perhaps the wierdest side of the 21st century’s version of Black Friday? Stressed out British bankers and lawyers – the 20 and 30-somethings! – are buying lots of Viagra in order to boost (read: repair!) their sexual prowess. The largest online pharmacy in the UK tells us that fully one third of their 10,000 monthly orders of Viagra are being delivered to offices in London’s Square Mile and Canary Wharf, the heartbeat of the European center of the current financial crisis.