The X-Rated Debate

Is the financial crisis good or bad for the city's strippers and hookers? Depends on who you ask, it seems. According to the Post, "jiggle joints all over the city are seeing a drop in business, with fewer customers, less bar traffic and a drop in lap dances." An item in this week's issue of New York suggests the contrary, however, claiming that "the strip clubs that cater to corporate types were still packed" as of last week. Guess if you're really interested in a conclusive answer to this terribly imporant economic issue, you'll have to hit a strip club tonight and find out for yourself. What about the city's hookers, you ask?

As for the prostitution trade, a Columbia sociologist named Sudhir Venkatesh tells New York that high-end services—like the one that Ashley Dupre was involved with—will do fine in tough economic times: "Those girls specialize in taking care of their clients' emotional needs and 'wellness'—listening to their problems, conversing." Well, someone is going to have to listen to Dick Fuld explain why Lehman's bankruptcy wasn't really his fault and feign sympathy as he explains how his $1 billion fortune was reduced to eight figures in a matter of weeks, and we're guessing his wife won't want to.