2009: The Year of Recession Sex
Last Updated on Sunday, 16 August 2009 14:41
As the economic downturn continues, psychologists say more people are turning to extra marital â€˜recession sexâ€™.
Psychologists have warned that so called â€˜recession sexâ€™ is on the rise; and in the continuing gloom and doom of the stumbling economy, 2009 will be the year of the extra-marital affair.
â€˜Recession sexâ€™ is a new phrase that has been coined in the US, a follow-on from the phenomenon which erupted across the States in the wake of 9/11 which became known as â€˜terror sexâ€™.
Immediately after the collapse of the World Trade Center: â€œMany New Yorkers recall the feelings of vulnerability, the need to connect with someone physically,â€ wrote Cole Kazdin for Salon.com. It seems that nothing brings out our need for physical comfort like a disaster.
Corporate psychologist Kati St Claire believes this is a primal instinct: â€œIn extreme times, weâ€™re reduced to our primary survival responses, to baser behaviourâ€. In essence, â€œwe shag as opposed to making love,â€ she revealed.
At the core of this issue, there is nothing wrong with having sex as a response to extreme circumstances. In having sex there is a reassuring comfort and embracing safety in sharing a physical closeness with another person.
Sex also provides a welcome relief from the labours and stresses of difficult times, not to mention some beneficial health incentives. Having sex for ten minutes burns the same number of calories as walking for a mile, and the release of endorphins into the bloodstream after sex lifts the mood and makes people feel happier.
The worry from Dr Pepper Schwartz at the University of Washington however, is that people will look outside of their existing relationships in order to find that release for venting emotion. Dr Schwartz said: â€œTension, even distress, turns on the whole hormonal system, looking for reliefâ€. In a relationship that is bogged down with stress and tension, the relief is likely to come for other sources as an â€œescapist pleasureâ€ said Dr Schwartz.
The evidence is plain to see that the current economic climate is damaging fidelity and monogamous relationships. Currently in the US, divorce lawyers are reporting a huge influx in workload, with some firms increasing their case portfolio by as much as 40 per cent.
In the UK, the recession saw sales in Durex condoms rocket by 22 per cent. Jennifer Grizzle, a Durex spokesperson said: â€œThe condom business is recession proof: you canâ€™t stop mother nature,â€ according to news source AFP.
Relationships often break down said Dr Rick Nicastro, because people struggle to communicate with their partners. Dr Nicastro said: â€œHusbands are overwhelmed but instead of turning to their partners for support, theyâ€™re retreatingâ€. Meanwhile, â€œWives are feeling isolated and confused,â€ which often leads to one or other party looking for a connection and comfort elsewhere.
According to Dr Nicastro, the physical union of sex in an affair is a necessary distraction from the drab realities of bills to pay in the credit crunch crisis. â€œAn affair acts as a smokescreen by allowing you to feel special and focus on the heady excitement that surrounds it,â€ he said.
An affair may well be a focal point to escape from the problems of the financial downturn, but in the end, sticking your head in the sand rarely solves anything.
In these times of economic frailty, sex can be a welcome coping mechanism for dealing with the stresses of financial difficulties. However, the psychologists warn, solace will be short lived, and infidelity usually ends up being an expensive solution to dealing with the credit crisis.