It's a bad time to be in the swinging game. The roving swingers' party DDeviousDelights — that's not a typo; that's what it's called — has seen attendance go down 40% this year. "One Leg Up" has lost 20% of its swingin' clientele since 2007. SINsation, and Sexxy Mofo, if you can believe it, are feeling the pinch too. High-end stationary clubs, meanwhile, are doing even worse.
The economy is getting most of the blame, but this is the sort of thing that could have multiple causes. Jezebel hints at one---Craigslist. Just as a lot of would-be traditional daters are spending less time striking out by going out to public areas known as meat markets, maybe swingers are, too? I'm imagining that if you're a swinger with much in the way of standards, you spend a lot of time in the clubs having to let people down who hit on you, trying to find the other couple that really does it for you. A lot of people doing traditional dating prefer finding dates online because you have more choices, it's easier to reject people, and you have more information up front besides what someone looks like. I'd imagine that swingers appreciate this, as well.
The flip side to this argument is that lower rent swingers clubs are doing better, so maybe people are just downsizing. Makes sense, too. Sex shop owners will be the first to tell you that people who wouldn't blink to spend $75 on a night out will flinch to spend that much on a sex toy. Outside of men who get off on buying women for sex, most people tend to think sex isn't something that you pay for. So paying a fee during a recession on a swingers club is probably hard to justify. Also, I have to wonder what more you get for paying more? If it's cleaner furniture, well, that makes sense. But it's not like higher prices translates to more people you find sexy, which is presumably what they're looking for.
Sign o' the times #2:
Thanks to Michigan's new cottage food law -- signed just four months ago by Gov. Jennifer Granholm -- home bakers and cooks all over the state have another way to help make ends meet.
They can prepare certain foods, known as cottage foods, in their own homes, rather than having to use a licensed commercial kitchen, and sell the products directly to buyers at places such as farmers markets, roadside stands and festivals.
This is good news, because a lot of people who do this are just trying to make a little extra income to help make ends meet. The more people making ends meet, the better. Food safety regulations should be more lax on people who sell stuff right out of their kitchen, because it's about risk assessment. The health risks associated with small scale markets are just way lower. Not that someone couldn't give people food poisoning from their homemade cookies, but the odds of it are low for a few reasons. The scale of ingredients going in is smaller, making it less likely that one item that could spoil everything will slide in. Plus, people cooking in small quantities eyeball the ingredients more than those who are just churning out the product as fast as they can, making it easier to spot something that's gone bad. Most importantly, the number of people consuming the product is limited, meaning any potential damage is limited. If a batch of beef that goes out to hundreds of thousands is spoiled, you're looking at a disaster. A dozen? Not great, but not the same problem by any means. The difference in risk is so great that I see no problem with having lower standards for kitchen-based small businesses. I'm guessing the recession is part of the reason Michigan felt compelled to relax their standards on this.