There are ping pong tables in the office, and nap rooms with meditative music and dim lighting adjoining the open floor plan. The same floor plan means employees can work in the garden or on the couch or not come into the office at all because it’s Silicon Valley and everything is online and don’t these people know – they’re changing the world?
Then on the weekends, there are sex parties.
In an explosive expose by author Emily Chang, published in Vanity Fair, the secret and sickening reality of the tech industry after dark is uncovered.
In her book, Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley, Chang reveals an undercurrent of sexual exploitation and gender inequality in the hub that is California’s Silicon Valley – the Hollywood of the tech world, home to startups and monstrosities such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The worst of it is seen at the parties.
Sometimes it’s a single night, other times it’s a destination weekend. Always, the invitations are exclusive and, though nothing is explicitly stated, there is a lot that is implied. For example, the invitations are usually sent via Snapchat because they are automatically deleted. Men can bring any number of women with them; women aren’t allowed plus-ones of the opposite sex. There’s an understanding among all guests that to accept the invitation, it means they’re willing to play ball.
First there is dinner, usually cooked by the hosts to eliminate the problem that is lingering waitstaff. For after dinner, begins the fun. Drugs are provided and the alcohol has been flowing since the first guest arrived. The drug of choice is ecstasy – or ‘Molly’ – because it lowers inhibitions; lasts for a couple of hours; and – this is imperative – the feeling of human touch and intimacy is intensified.
“You know when it’s that kind of party,” one male tech investor told Chang. “At normal tech parties, there are hardly any women. At these kinds of parties, there are tons of them.”
One of the many examples in Chang's piece depicts a party at the home of a wealthy venture capitalist in which pillows and faux fur had been pre-arranged on the floor. A place that would - after the drugs kicked in - fulfill its purpose as a comfy location for a "cuddle puddle". Where threesomes and foursomes would begin, before being taken somewhere slightly more private.