"Polyamory is a form of optimization," says product manager Miju Han in what is just one of many words of disruptive wisdom shared in a new CNN mini-doc web series titled "Sex, Drugs & Silicon Valley". Han has a primary boyfriend/partner as well as a woman she's been dating for two years ("We say I love you to each other," she adds), and a man she sees once a month, and a rotating "distraction" slot for a sex buddy, which, to my mind, sounds like a whole lot of tedious scheduling.
The Bay Area gets to let its freak flag fly really high for a national audience once again in this series, but this time with a twist: CNN's Laurie Segall isn't just talking to the usual suspects of San Francisco bohemia here. She's talking to Four-Hour Workweek guru Tim Ferriss, one of Steve Jobs's old acid-tripping buddies, and a handful of other very smart people who talk shop about the new rules for life that Valley entrepreneurs and engineers are "hacking" into existence.
Segall finds a random Cisco engineer who does a ton of acid and won't stop talking about the Grateful Dead. She talks to an upsetting dude, Bulletproof Coffee CEO Dave Asprey, who's holed up in Canada somewhere downing a literal mountain of pills and supplements every day in an effort to stay slim and sane, and whose overpriced coffee product/meal-replacement was just debunked this week.
And the sex segments take a turn for HBO's Real Sex-style titillation when Segall talks to a geek couple, Greg and Stella, who talk about the "slow slide" into the swinger lifestyle, all while Stella is wearing an outfit that is desperately crying out for a bra.
There's a whole segment on Burning Man, because of course. Segall chats with hashtag inventor Chris Messina who discusses the parallels between the playa and startup culture, and what unfolds is a quick summation of Burning Man for your grandparents.
And we hear from "biological anthropologist" Dr. Helen Fisher who concedes that "wealth may have something to do with one's interest in experimenting, because you don't have a lot to lose." But she also wags a finger and suggests that none of this poly stuff is sustainable when it all comes down to it.
So, if you're wondering why your mom is texting you to ask if you take "smart drugs" or if you participate in something called "the lifestyle," you now know why: She just watched this.
P.S. Try to forgive Segall for not knowing that that "harder, better, faster, stronger" sample is Daft Punk, and not a "Kanye West song," as she says in the opening of the first episode.