debt porn

debt porn
n.
Stories related to people who run up massive amounts of debt. Also: debt pornography.
Example Citation:
If "Double Down" and "24/7" are more exciting reads, it's mostly because the stakes are higher. Both books have the thrilling appeal of debt porn, those cautionary magazine articles in which the writer confesses to having thousands of dollars in credit card bills. Readers who dally a bit above their means experience an easy, reflexive sympathy while at the same time vicariously living the cheap excitement of charging fancy dinners, cashmere sweaters and Prada shoes. It's armchair spending.
—Jeff Stark, "In Nevada' by David Thomson, '24/7' by Andrés Martinez and 'Double Down' by Frederick and Steven Barthelme," Salon.com, December 1, 1999
Earliest Citation:
The best debt porn relies on a first-person voice—'Credit Cards Ruined My Life' (Teen magazine) or 'Confessions of a Credit Card Queen' (Essence)—and a familiar narrative arc: temptation leads to excess leads to a downward spiral of spending, evoked for our disapproving pleasure. Then—wham—rock bottom: she breaks down while forging a credit-card application; he realizes he has never opened half his purchases.
—-Margaret Talbot, "Debt Voyeurs," The New York Times Magazine, July 18, 1999
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