While official government figures peg the number at somewhere over 12 million, in truth, the total number of job seekers, jobless for a good while, marginally attached, discouraged and suicidal non-workers is probably more like 20 million.
So many people. So much time on their hands. Are they all out having sex, all the time? Or is their economic hardship softening their desire?
I don't have time to find two experts with sharply different opinions about this. So, as a public service - and because this is, after all, a blog - I'm here to argue from both sides of the bed.
Of course people are having more sex.
Even those Blackberried, Mac-toting Starbuckians occasionally look up from their Tazo® and notice other beings of their ilk. An opening line like, "I actually got a form letter response to a resume today," may lead to, if not romance, then at least an early afternoon of passion.
No one unemployed is having sex.
Sigmund Freud, the patron saint of Westsiders from coast to coast, noted that "work is central to one's existence." Actually I think he said, "to man's existence." And what woman, or man, wants to sleep with a man who has no status. Excuse me, Ms. or Mr., but do you really want to horizontal tango with a guy whose boss dumped him? And seems to be waiting for you to pick up the check. And thinks those are shoes?
I'm sorry, but you're just wrong.
Imagine, in your above example, that the pursued partner is also unemployed. Now the two have a shared experience. So much to talk about. This is exactly the sort of thing that leads to hanky-panky. Consider for instance, the job fair. As my friend John Henion, at unemploymentality.com has pointed out, this is the greatest meet market ever. You can walk in, introduce yourself to a dozen attractive people, and offer to exchange resumes. "You never know, I might hear about something." Boom. You walk out with little mini-histories of your possible mates, and detailed contacts for each. You can even check their references!
OK, maybe occasionally unemployed people have sex, but...
I have a suspicion people who don't have jobs don't bathe that often. Or shave. They probably don't wash their clothes that much, either. Or floss.
Frankly, I find this sort of unemployment-racism to be truly sad. In fact, the unemployed are no less scrubbed and brushed then the rest of us. And they're probably more fit. The gyms are filled with the occupation-uninstalled. They hone their bodies, co-mingling in tight places, wearing skimpy clothes. I think even you can fill in the blanks from there.
I think we should make it illegal to have sex while collecting unemployment benefits.
Why should my tax dollars fund your debauchery? Even if you are having sex within a committed relationship, I don't want you having more fun than me, on my dime.
I don't know what to say.
I have to go now. Job fair.