Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Dubious statistics link Nicholas Sparks, Hurricane Sandy, and crisis sex

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We get a lot of press releases at The A.V. Club and many of them are strange, dumb, shameless, or some combination of the above. With Stop The Presses, we share them with you.


“Does Nicholas Sparks inspire hook ups during inclement weather?” It’s a question that people have asked for, well, never, and yet it’s the subject line of a press release that landed in The A.V. Club’s collective inbox last night courtesy of the dating site WhatsYourPrice.com. Tastefully inspired by Hurricane Sandy, the site apparently called for a study and was eager to announce the results. And who are we to keep such results away from A.V. Club readers? Here’s some highlights from the press release.

Hurricane Sandy left millions of Americans without power while wreaking havoc on New York City. While most sought solace from the storm with nearby family or friends, many students living in New York had no one to turn to- but each other. A new survey conducted by online dating website WhatsYourPrice.com discovered that when the lights go out, and the rain starts to fall, people tend to start hooking up, and Nicholas Sparks could be the one to blame.

“The premise of a Nicholas Sparks movie is finding love in unexpected, sometimes impossible places. There's often tragic circumstances, and sordid plot lines for redemption and heroism involved. It’s an endearing version of fiction that almost seems real,” says [WhatsYourPrice.com CEO Brandon] Wade. “So when it rains, women think of these stories, and it seems like an attainable fairy tale just within reach.”

Again, we have to applaud WhatsYourPrice.com for acting fast to answer the question of whether or not Nicholas Sparks and his “sordid plotlines for redemption and heroism” are to blame for Hurricane Sandy. Or women wanting to have sex during rainstorms. Or something. But what’s a study without statistics?

The survey of 10,000 American members showed that weather has a significant impact on one’s libido. 95% of the women polled admitted they have fantasized about kissing in the rain, with over 57% attributing this fantasy to a Nicholas Sparks movie or book. According to the results of the study, the women are not the only ones whose libidos are affected by weather. 64% of men have admitted to being turned on during thunderstorms, with 43% admitting to hooking up during a weather-related power outage. In a separate poll, 77% of the women on WhatsYourPrice.com have claimed to have either read a book by Nicholas Sparks or seen one of the movie adaptations, while only 36% of men have admitted to the same. 24% of men also have reported that they have mirrored a romantic scenario they witnessed in a chick flick to impress a girl.

So there you have it: Hard science linking… what were we talking about again? WhatsYour Price.com—a site in which participants bid on dates with other members and whose slogan is “Everyone Has A Price”—has, incidentally, inspired some questions of its own, questions like “A Sleazy Proposition Or A Personal Investment?”, “Is It Really Just Prostitution?”, and “Online Dating Or Escort Service?