2001: The Year of Wedded Sex
Strange how a tragic event, whether it affects us personally or not, can suddenly make us feel like getting back together with the ex, getting hitched or just plain getting it on. We refer, of course, to the terrorist attacks of September 11th and the wedding fever that immediately followed.
According to the Associated Press, during the tail end of 2001, bridal shop patronage around the country increased over the previous year, wedding registries skyrocketed, and between September and October—traditionally a low period for wedding sites—TheKnot.com actually saw a 10 percent increase in visitors.
Of course, this phenomenon wasn't just about numbers or sales figures, it was about real people... like Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. As they once explained it, if not for September 11th, they never would have realized how truly right for each other they were. They never would have reconciled after their last breakup. And they never would have ended up happily ever after (ahem).
True love, post-9/11. Maybe it's not that different from how we did things in 2000.
2002: The Year of Bondage
The old tie-me-up-tie-me-down has never been completely out of fashion. But in 2002, it went from thrift-store find to mass-manufactured bestseller.
Secretary, a film about a sadomasochistic romance between Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader came out, as did a lot of Tom, Dick, and Marys who suddenly weren't afraid to announce that they also liked being tied up—and spanked—from time to time.
Shawna Kenny's memoir I Was A Teenage Dominatrix hit bookstores and showed readers the other side of the whip.
Even the toy industry got into it, when a British doll-maker released a Barbie transformed into a partly nude "Dungeon Doll," complete with rubber bondage dress and helmet.
Ah, yes, it was a good year.