Washington D.C. Sex-Blogging

By now it’s pretty old news, but in case anyone missed it, a tempest in a teapot hit D.C. a few weeks ago. (That’s the Washington Post link, and it’s completely safe for work, thouh the text is a bit sex-oriented in topic). A young female Senate staff assistant named Jessica Cutler (she was a mail opener) was having flings with multiple, multiple men. And she blogged about it. Her blog was apparently meant to be an update on her social life, so her friends could keep up with it. By the time it became public, she had detailed her sexual encounters with a half-dozen men over the course of a few months. She was sleeping with co-workers, friends, rich Washingtonians who paid her in cash, and staid, married Republicans. She’s 26, and she now has a six-figure book deal and a contract with Playboy.

I’m not completely sure what to think of Ms. Cutler’s widely-reported story. On the one hand, it provides yet another reason not to have a fling with your mail opener (or secretary, or maid, etc). She might be blogging about it, and if she is, you might end up being awfully embarrassed.

On the other hand, Ms. Cutler has successfully leveraged her sex life into a book deal that many authors would kill for. [But would they sleep with six guys and then blog about it? –Ed. If they thought it would work, probably — but I suspect that’s a one-time avenue to fame only.] And I’m also a bit concerned about the effect this story will have on the general public perception of blogging. Often, when I say to someone “I have a blog,” the person look at me quizically. That’s less than ideal. But it’s certainly better than instant recognition, followed by “oh, like that sex girl in D.C.!”

12 comments for “Washington D.C. Sex-Blogging

  1. Matt Evans
    September 2, 2004 at 9:49 am

    This makes me sick. I completely agree with pollster Yankelovich’s quote:

    The usual model for societies is that they have a very thin layer of law and a very thick layer of social morality. What this expressive individualism has done, as an unintended consequence, is weaken that layer of social morality to the point where it’s almost disappeared.”

    The WaPo story also tells the story of a Mormon woman in L.A. who was fired for blogging about her sexual liaisons. No details are offered in the story, but her family and employer clearly thought it was wrong.

  2. September 2, 2004 at 11:08 am

    Maybe I should be surprised that a woman could act like this but I’m not. Men and women are equally capable of being promiscuous. The more I read through this the more obvious it is that we’re reading about a very ditzy social drifter here (regardless of how high she claims her IQ to be). She’s casually going through life having sexual relationships with whoever happens to be somewhat attractive and interested, regardless of their station, marriage-status, etc. I would guess that she’s representative of many other women who are doing the same exact thing — she just happened to be working with influential people in Washington and just happened to blog about it.

    On another thought, though I know none of us would want to be identified with this woman — I still wonder how many of us have crossed our fingers and hoped our bosses or potential employers never found out we had a blog.

  3. September 2, 2004 at 11:30 am

    Danithew: on the contrary, I put my blogging on my resume. Unless folks are afraid they are being dishonest with their employer’s time (blogging at work), I think folks should stand by their opinions & demand that employers respect the First Amendment & freedom of Speech. If a boss would fire/hurt one’s career on the basis of political disagreement…what a sad statement on America’s level of tolerance.

  4. Mark B
    September 2, 2004 at 11:54 am

    Kaimi said: “On the other hand, Ms. Cutler has successfully leveraged her sex life into a book deal that many authors would kill for.”

    As Tevye said: “There is no other hand.”

  5. September 2, 2004 at 12:50 pm

    Lyle,

    When I seek employment or even am dealing with a current employer, I usually try to avoid dumping too much information on them at once. Giving them your blog address might just be asking for trouble, especially if it’s loaded with religious and political content. It’s true people should be open-minded but for too many people that is just too much to ask. In your case, I’d be concerned about whether your potential employer is a liberal or a Democrat (assuming the two are separable).

    After all, a potential employer doesn’t have ever explain themselves to you or state why they chose another potential employee over you. They can simply “file” your resume away if they disagree with your views. And most of us know where that particular file drawer actually resides.

  6. Kaimi
    September 2, 2004 at 1:01 pm

    Mark,

    I hope it was clear that I’m not suggesting that her acts were good. The “other hand” is that I’m not sure the deterrent effect will be all that strong.

    On the one hand, people reading her story now have yet annother reason not to sleep around. (Positive deterrent). On the other hand, she has turned her story into a financial success, and there’s bound to be at least a few people who read and think “what a great way to become rich and famous” and try to use her as an example. (Negative deterrent).

  7. September 2, 2004 at 1:28 pm

    (negative deterrant) = incentive. :)

  8. Nathan Tolman
    September 2, 2004 at 1:57 pm

    Her blog was apparently meant to be an update on her social life, so her friends could keep up with it.

    Please, could one be so naieve? Posting somthing on the internet will rarely result in it being read by just a few people.

    Moreover should we really be suprised by this. In a world where some think posing for Playboy is an empowering act for women, sex for fame and money seems to be the next logical step. You would have thought these politicians would have olearned after Clinton. Atleast you can see prophecy in action (toung in cheek):

    Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

    Doctrine and Covenants 1:3 And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.

  9. Nathan Tolman
    September 2, 2004 at 1:59 pm

    Her blog was apparently meant to be an update on her social life, so her friends could keep up with it.

    Please, could one be so naive? Posting something on the Internet will rarely result in it being read by just a few people. Perhaps she had this in mind from the begining.

    Moreover should we really be surprised by this. In a world where some think posing for Playboy is an empowering act for women, sex for fame and money seems to be the next logical step. You would have thought these politicians would have learned after Clinton. At least you can see prophecy in action (tongue in cheek):

    Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

    Doctrine and Covenants 1:3 And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.

    This being said, who knows if what she is saying is true?

  10. Mark B
    September 2, 2004 at 6:06 pm

    Kaimi,

    I didn’t think that you were suggesting that the acts of the young women were good. The sentence I quoted did, however, appear to set forth a justification that some–those you describe in the last sentence of your comment addressed to me–might agree with.

  11. September 2, 2004 at 7:58 pm

    Unless I’m mistaken she is also being paid $100,000 to pose for Playboy. Whether all this monetary windfall pays off in the long run is hard to say. I have a feeling that a few years from now she’ll be forgotten. Further I have a feeling she wishes she wasn’t so involved in it all. Oh, I believe she covered one of the conventions for MTV as well. I don’t watch MTV much anymore, so I’m not sure on that.

    (Whoops – the Playboy thing was mentioned already)

  12. Geoff B
    September 3, 2004 at 11:44 am

    I love blogs, and I truly believe the internet was invented as part of the Lord’s process of providing increasing sources of information (for good and bad) to the people. I believe the Lord truly understands that greater information will help more people come to Him. (for example, when I lived in Brazil, we listened to general conference over the internet). But in this particular case, blogging was simply a medium like any other. A few decades ago, this woman would have simply written a tell-all book or had her tales written in a trashy magazine. You can’t go about blaming the medium, and I believe most people understand that.

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