Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Well, that’s it. I am in deep trouble now. The one employment opportunity in the world that I thought I could rely on as a “fall back” to pay my rent when all else fails — such as working as a research scientist or as a pet care provider — is now also experiencing a hiring freeze combined with a dramatic wage slump. What job is this? Prostitution.

Yes, my friends, it appears that the average American male is now so broke that he cannot afford a whore any longer. Horrors! What is the world coming to (no pun intended)? Do you suppose more (gasp) real relationships might develop as a result? Maybe these unemployed working girls will be awarded unemployment benefits to help tide them over?


  1. #1 Joshua Zelinsky
    November 28, 2008

    A few remarks: The article in question is from June: the situation now may be different. Especially since the price of gas and diesel was apparently one major issue hurting the industry according to the article.

    Also, the article focuses on the decline of prostitution by truckers who are not going to have opportunity to form long-term relationships anyways even if they have trouble affording prostitutes when traveling.

    Moreover, most of the people who hire prostitutes do so when they are unable to form relationships with people. Thus, inability to solicit prostitutes will not increase the chance of them forming actual relationships.

  2. #2 Robert Jase
    November 28, 2008

    Are you kidding? Real relationships are way more expensive. Especially when they end.

  3. #3 Christopher Taylor
    November 28, 2008

    Real relationships are way more expensive. Especially when they end.

    Or as one acquaintance of mine used to put it – “either way it’s going to cost you, so you might as well make it cash up front”.

    This article was in Slate a couple of months ago. Among other things, it refers to some prostitutes forming financial collectives as a guard against low periods – everyone pays in a certain amount per month, and then if you find yourself short on business you can draw from the collective fund to tide things over.

    In contrast to the Newsweek article, the Slate article also indicates that business for ladies of negotiable affection may temporarily go up during economic slumps, presumably as people try to take their minds off things. Mind you, the Slate article deals with inner-city workers in New York while the Newsweek article refers to more rurally-sited brothels, so I suspect the economics are probably different.

  4. #4 Bob O'H
    November 29, 2008

    How long before “reinvigorating the economy” gets used as an excuse in a divorce trial?

  5. #5 Bob
    November 29, 2008

    “Real relationships?” Here’s a clue – prostitutes aren’t paid for their work. They’re paid to go away when it’s all over.

    It oughta be legal worldwide.

  6. #6 Paul Murray
    November 30, 2008

    Real relationships? What an odd … notion of why prostitution exists. The economic downturn will not result in more “real relationships”. Sure: when times are bad women look to find a man to provide for them; but when times are bad for everyone, those women tend to find that there are no “good men” out there.

    In any case, perhaps you might wish to take your opinions to , or any of the no doubt many other discussion boards relating to the sex industry.

  7. #7 Paul Murray
    November 30, 2008

    I mean, as if a a bloke who sees prostitutes says to himelf “You know, I’m a cool, successful and yet mysteriously unattached kind of guy, and I could just walk out the door today and find the gal of my dreams, but screw it: I think I’ll just have sex with a prostitute.”

    And, as if that *same guy*, having lost his job and having no money anymore, will go “Damn! I have lost my income and am destitute. I can’t afford $50 for a blowjob anymore. Guess I ought to get myself a wife and family. Step one – socialise, then wine and dine, the gal of my dreams. Actually, that’s step two. Step one is to put the noose away, dry my tears, and shave.”


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