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Monday, April 06, 2009

Sex: Not Recession-Proof After All?



Here's an interesting article by the Associated Press about how the various branches of the "adult entertainment industry" are weathering the recession. The bottomline? Better than the rest of us, but they are feeling the pinch too:
CHICAGO (AP) — As a bartender and trainer at a national restaurant chain, Rebecca Brown [pictured above] earned a couple thousand dollars in a really good week. Now, as a dancer at Chicago’s Pink Monkey gentleman’s club, she makes almost that much in one good night.

The tough job market is prompting a growing number of women across the country to dance in strip clubs, appear in adult movies or pose for magazines like Hustler.

Employers across the adult entertainment industry say they’re seeing an influx of applications from women who, like Brown, are attracted by the promise of flexible schedules and fast cash. Many have college degrees and held white-collar jobs until the economy soured.

“You’re seeing a lot more beautiful women who are eligible to do so many other things,” said Gus Poulos, general manager of New York City’s Sin City gentleman’s club. He said he got 85 responses in just one day to a recent job posting on Craigslist.
But the influx of people into the business is undercutting profits:
Still, analysts say, the industry isn’t immune to the economic recession. Business is down an estimated 30 percent across all segments, including adult films, gentleman’s clubs, magazines and novelty shops, said Paul Fishbein, president of AVN Media Network, an adult entertainment company that has a widely distributed trade publication and an award show.

“In the past, people have said this industry is recession-proof,” said Eric Wold, director of research for financial services firm Merriman Curhan Ford. “I definitely don’t see that; maybe recession-resistant.”

Strip club dancers and managers said they’re drawing in the same number of customers, but fewer high rollers.

“They’re not getting the big spenders,” said Angelina Spencer, executive director of the Association of Club Executives, a trade group for adult nightclubs. “They’re not getting the guys who come in and drop $3,000 to $4,000 a night anymore.”

Still, the clubs’ operating structure leaves them with low overhead and profit margins of up to 50 percent, Wold said.
The article closes with Brown explaining one of the other attractions of the business. There will always be an audience for naked women. Therefore, she says, "I have job security." Well, at least until gravity wins out.

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