The SpaceX and Tesla founder says he didn't see any sex and spent his time there discussing technology and business.
Elon Musk attended a now notorious event at a Silicon Valley investor's home that has been described as a "sex party," but a representative told Business Insider that Musk said there was no lurid behavior while he was there.
In an extract from her forthcoming book "Brotopia" target="_blank" about the culture of the tech industry, journalist Emily Chang detailed a June 2017 party at a venture capitalist's house that allegedly saw drug-taking and open sexual behavior.
Axios subsequently identified it as the home of former DFJ investor Steve Jurvetson, while another blog post written by entrepreneur Paul Biggar said that, while they didn't see any explicit sexual behavior, they did see Elon Musk in attendance.
In a statement to Business Insider, a representative for the Tesla and SpaceX founder confirmed he was there, but that he believed it was a "corporate" costume-themed party and spent his time there talking about technology and business before leaving at 1 a.m.
They said: "Elon was at the party for a couple hours and left around 1am after talking with several DFJ-funded entrepreneurs about technology and building companies. His impression was that it was a corporate party with a costume theme, not a 'sex party', and there was no indication that it would become one after he left. "
Shortly after Business Insider's post went live, Wired published a longer statement from Musk about the party. In short, Musk says the party was mischaracterized and that "nerds on a couch are not a 'cuddle puddle.'"
“Emily Chang’s article was 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 parties on the Peninsula," Musk said in his statement to Wired. "That is misleading to the public and she should be ashamed. If there are ‘sex parties’ in Silicon Valley, I haven’t seen or heard of one. If you want wild parties, you’re in the wrong place. Obviously. That DFJ party was boring and corporate, with zero sex or nudity anywhere. Nerds on a couch are not a ‘cuddle puddle.’ 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.”
Biggar, who left the party at 12.30 a.m., also wrote that he didn't see any sex. "I don’t want this to be anti-climactic, but I didn’t see any sex or drugs," he wrote. I went home at 12:30am, and I guess sex parties don’t really kick off until the boring f---ers go home. I didn’t exactly know it was a sex party, and I got bored at some point and went home."
He also wrote that the party was organised by DFJ as the official afterparty for their annual summit. A DFJ representative did not immediately respond to Business Insider's requests for comment.
In November, Steve Jurvetson left DFJ, the fund he helped found, following an investigation into his personal conduct.
"Doe found herself on the floor with two couples, including a male entrepreneur and his wife. The living room had been blanketed in plush white faux fur and pillows, where, as the evening wore on, several people lay down and started stroking one another, Doe said, in what became a sizable cuddle puddle. One venture capitalist, dressed up as a bunny (it’s unclear how this fit into the edge-of-the-earth theme), offered Jane Doe some powder in a plastic bag. It was Molly.'They said it will just make you feel relaxed and you’re going to like being touched,' Doe recounted to me."
Critics have since raised questions about the appropriateness of the alleged event and the risk of exploitation. "Give women access by funding them, by mentoring them, by introducing them, by supporting and advising them. Do not create an ecosystem where women are systemically denied access to funding and power, and then exploit that lack of power to coerce women into having sex with you," Biggar wrote.
"Not that sex is bad, nor that sex parties are bad. Using power to deny access to women, then providing access so long as they have sex with you; that’s abuse, and that’s f---ed up."
An unnamed female entrepreneur told Chang: "If you do participate in these sex parties, don’t ever think about starting a company or having someone invest in you. Those doors get shut. But if you don’t participate, you’re shut out. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t."