Silicon Valley heavy-hitters including Tesla founder Elon Musk have disputed claims of a pervasive culture of sex parties in the San Francisco tech bubble, saying the events detailed in an upcoming book are wildly overblown.

Earlier this month, Vanity Fair published an excerpt from Emily Chang’s Brotopia, a new book detailing the inner world of high-powered venture capitalists and start-up founders. The piece elaborated on an industry-wide acceptance of massive, secretive parties focussing on sexual experimentation and drug use.

One young female attendee, who chose not to use her real name, recounted the events of a June 2017 party: she said nearly a hundred power-players in the industry converged on a room “blanketed in plush white faux fur and pillows, where, as the evening wore on, several people lay down and started stroking one another.”

After being offered MDMA by a male founder, the woman was asked if she wanted to make out. After being told his wife was okay with it, and under the MDMA’s influence, the woman said she did kiss the man – but, feeling uncomfortable, she left the party some time after.

“What’s not O.K. about this scene is that it is so money- and power-dominated,” the woman said. “It’s a problem because it’s an abuse of power. I would never do it again.”

The party was reportedly held at the home of Steve Jurvetson, the co-founder of venture capital firm DFJ. Jurvetson left DFJ in November 2017 after an internal investigation found his alleged extra-marital affairs had encroached on the firm’s operations.

In response to the piece, Musk called Chang’s reporting “salacious nonsense.

“She conflated what happens in SF sex clubs in the Tenderloin, which have been around long before Silicon Valley was anything, with boring VC particles on the Peninsula.”

Musk denied Silicon Valley was rife with sex parties, and denied the DFJ party having “sex or nudity anywhere.”

“Nerds on a couch are not a ‘cuddle puddle,’” Musk said, referring to a harrowing term used in the excerpt.

“I was hounded all night by DFJ-funded entrepreneurs, so went to sleep around 1am. Nothing remotely worth writing about happened. The most fun thing was Steve lighting a model rocket around midnight.”

(It’s worth mentioning here that Wired also reports the MDMA used at the party was called ‘Tesla.’)

Investor Jason Calacanis and entrepreneur entrepreneur Mary Lou Jepson voiced similar viewpoints.

Entrepreneur Paul Biggar, who claims to have been in attendance at the party, said he didn’t see any open sex or drug use, but confirmed the unnamed woman’s recollections broadly overlapped with his own.

Biggar wrote about the party in a Medium post decrying Silicon Valley’s apparent culture of secretive sex parties that allows – even promotes – a toxic power dynamic between rich, powerful men and women attempting to excel within the industry.

“Not that sex is bad, nor that sex parties are bad,” Biggar said. “Using power to deny access to women, then providing access so long as they have sex with you; that’s abuse, and that’s fucked up.”

Read the full Vanity Fair piece HERE. 

Source: Wired
Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty