Sunday, August 31, 2008

With All The Busts The Sex Industry Booms

I would really love to see the same statistics for Singapore. Does anyone know if the numbers are available?

AUSTRALIANS spent $1.13 billion on prostitutes and strippers last year, business analysts say.

And despite concerns of rising fuel prices and a slowing economy the sex industry would grow at 8.1 per cent to $1.22 billion this financial year.

Neil Gilmore, owner of Gold Coast brothel Pentagon Grand, said he was confident there would always be demand for the world's oldest profession.

“In economic terms, the sex industry does enjoy so-called sticky consumption in that, like tobacco and alcohol, consumption levels remain relatively strong compared with other products during economic downturns,’’ Mr Gilmore said.

Source: News.com.au

IBISWorld says prostitutes in brothels generate the biggest share of revenue, with street walkers accounting for about 15 per cent of revenue.

The next largest "product segments" are strippers at 12 per cent and escorts at 8 per cent.

And it seems an economic bust may produce a boom for the sex industry.

Mr Gilmore said compared to a night out trying to woo a woman the brothel's services - starting at $150 for 30 minutes - could be cost effective.

"If you're going out to a pub you're buying drinks to get yourself and the girl in the mood, then there's dinner and a cab," he said.

"If you go to a brothel it is guaranteed. You might have to wait in line but you are going to get laid."

And at least one brothel, The Site in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, offers 20 cent per litre fuel discount vouchers to promote its business.

Fiona Patten the chief executive of the Eros Association, which represents adult retail and entertainment companies, said these related industries would also feel the pinch of an economic downturn but not too badly.

"We are somewhat shielded as in hard economic times people spend more time at home. Our products offer an inexpensive past time so we're seeing that DVD sales have not been hit as hard," she said.

"Sex is a pretty basic part of life. It is like eating – if we don't do it we're not going to be around for very long.

"And, to extend that analogy, not everyone can afford to eat out at a restaurant but they'll still need to have a meal at home."

IBISWorld calculates the average industry wage at $29,745 but many sex workers and strippers work only part-time or do not declare their income to the tax office.

This wage is "still attractive to the mostly unskilled workers that enter this industry".

But while some may be turn to prostitution in harsh economic times Mr Gilmore believes there is another reason the supply is increasing.

"The Y generation guys aren’t a big market for us but that generation has provided us with more girls willing to work than I've seen before," he said.

"The Y generation girls do not have a problem rooting for money.

"They probably don't have the work ethic but they love money and want to keep their party lifestyles. And by working here they can make plenty of money and set their own hours."

Mr Gilmore said this "higher quality of women to choose from" would help his business grow but IBISWorld sees other factors at play.

They predict tourism growth, falling marriage rates, relaxation of legislation on the industry, more female customers and the availability of sexual material on the internet and other media would also bolster the sex industry.

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