MEDIA
11/16/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gay Sex Site Manhunt Saw Record Traffic As Dow Dropped

Turns out all those pent-up men who make their money gambling with other people's money, also need anonymous, online companionship when the going gets tough. Stories circulated about people turning to Craigslist and other outlets to get their nut. But we received a tip that Manhunt, the most popular online "dating" resource in NYC for men looking for a hookup, saw record membership numbers the day of the stock market crash. So we got on the phone with Ken Herron, chief of marketing, and Tim Feeley, head of product development, to discuss the numbers that spiked when the Dow dropped.

Herron claims that guys were probably "reaching out to connect with friends, whether they were going to have sex or not. They want to reach out and talk." We didn't realize that people were using the sex site as an actual "social networking" site similar to Facebook. In fact, the site is free, but non-members only get five emails to send and five emails to receive a day. When they pay a monthly membership ($10-$12), they get unlimited chatting capabilities, can post up to 12 photos and can see nudie shots full size instead of as thumbnails. So Herron assumes that people needed to more than the limited capabilities so they converted. So many people were in need, in NYC, Boston, D.C., etc. that Manhunt recorded three times as many new memberships than usual on Sept. 29 when the stock market fell 700 points. It was the best single day in their entire history.

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