October 26, 2006


(AP) SEOUL Condom sales and bookings at several of South Korea's pay-by-the-hour "love motels" surged in the aftermath of North Korea's nuclear test, according to statistics released Thursday.

South Koreans are used to living in the shadow of war, and life has continued as normal across the country in the wake of the Oct. 9 explosion. But statistics on the number of condoms sold in recent weeks suggest that despite their apparently blasé reaction to the North's nuclear bluster, many South Koreans may be seeking solace in sex.

A leading chain of convenience stores reported Thursday that their condom sales rose to an average of 1,930 a day in the week after Oct. 9, compared to 1,508 a day for the year to Sept. 30.

Sales of the prophylactics dropped slightly to 1,772 in the week of Oct. 16-21, but remained well above previous norms.

Another national chain said it sold 3.54 million South Korean won (US$3,721) worth of condoms a day during the week after the test — a 14.8 percent rise over last month's sales figures, and a 12 percent rise over the year to Sept. 30.

The statistics were first reported by a prominent newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, which ran a full-color graphic of a condom-shrouded missile bearing the North Korean flag.

It was impossible to know whether the increase in sales was directly linked to a heightened sense of vulnerability or stress among South Koreans.

However, the head of the Korea Institute for Sex Education, Seong Gyeong-won, said it is not uncommon for people to seek comfort in the arms of a lover during times of crisis.

"People tend to have urges to procreate in times of extreme situations," she said. "Stress is released through sex ... it's one of the top 10 reasons why sex is good for the body."

A popular online reservation site for several business hotels and South Korea's ubiquitous "love motels" — the popular term for lodgings built for clandestine rendezvous — also reported a rise in bookings in the two weeks after Oct. 9, according to the Chosun Ilbo report.

The motels are a fixture across South Korea. In one of the world's most densely populated countries, where extended families often live together, such accommodations provide a refuge for those seeking discreet intimate encounters.

But those who haven't already made their reservations will have to wait. The online system says it has no available slots until next month.


Blogger Tommy said...

...ah yes, the Korean love- motel....where I first met Lady Bunny and where I spent my last five bucks...

6:13 PM  
Blogger Raci and Eddi said...

Wow...she's 5 bucks these days? I guess being a world famous diva she can get all "high class" on us. Just like Paris (whose rates also went up). Where are us poor little street urchins supposed to get relief now? I guess there's always Lypsinka.....

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But those who haven't already made their reservations will have to wait. The online system says it has no available slots until next month."

my slots available now!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slot machine or slut machine? That's the meaning of popular entertainment these days! Oh, poor me! I love Paris Hilton and when I'm old I want to be like her: Young and blond and rich and bitch! Ciao!

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once bought a Korean whore-house red lipstick from the Avon catalogue.

11:59 AM  

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