Apparently Sex Does Sell

I've had one of the biggest traffic days in months, post the whole Playboy mention. Of course, anyone coming here looking for sexy photos was probably disappointed to read about nothing but my book tour!

I'm a little surprised people have balked so much at the Playboy thing. Clearly, I would never consider actually posing nude and assume most of the girls on the list wouldn't either. (No, TechCrunch commenters, not even for a lot of money. Seriously, what is wrong with men? Just because they'll get naked at the drop of a hat they think it's somehow irresistible?) But that's not all Playboy is about either. Loads of politicians, celebrities, business people have been interviewed and featured in Playboy before, even if no one really reads it for the articles.

And look at what Playboy actually said about me:

"Sarah cut her teeth as a Silicon Valley reporter for publications such as Business Week (where she continues to write their online tech column Valley Girl), as well as the new book Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good (Gotham) that chronicles the rise of Web 2.0. But hiding behind all that smart writing is a curvy brunette that Silicon blog declared "the hottest reporter in the tech world." Luckily, Sarah's new vlogging gig at Yahoo! Finance's Tech Ticker lets us enjoy her journalistic talents from a more visual perspective."

That is far less objectifying than what people write in the comments on my Yahoo show DAILY! Even some of the blogs that derisively wrote about Playboy's move were far more objectifying in their commentary. Maybe a few years ago I would have been scandalized, but I guess I've just been so desensitized by everything that's been written about me, the above mini-profile just sounds like a compliment. (Hello, Fake Steve Jobs, I'm talking to you!) Playboy doesn't insinuate any of us only have jobs for our looks and had a generally respectful tone in all of the pieces. Aren't we taking ourselves a little too seriously if we get upset about it? Also, it's Playboy! That's what they do! It's not like Newsweek wrote the piece.

I guess my main reaction was just laughter. It never ceases to amaze me that anyone could describe someone holding one of the least sexy jobs in the world-- a business reporter-- as somehow professionally sexy. And I guess others agree since my vote tally is so low! I'm guessing it's definitely a BusinessWeek first. I just hope they're not embarrassed, because I'm certainly not.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

lol, sarah that's too funny...i could *never* see you in playboy

not because you're not hot...just because you're way classier than that

I absolutely LOVE your response to this, very classy. In a take-back move, the ladies are having their own fun :-) Check out Jane Porricelli's post on the Hottest Male bloggers - too funny.

No nudity involved, though.

I agree with Kate - love your attitude about the whole thing. As I said in blog, in response to this whole Playboy thing (thanks, Kate, for giving Sarah the link!), I actually feel quite encouraged by the fact that Playboy “gets” that smart women are sexy too.

The problem with patriarchal sexism is the devaluing of the female to a disposable object of pleasure.

Women are our sisters and the mothers of our children, not a means of selfish pleasure.

I tell the guys: if you treat women as sex objects, don't coming crying to me when they treat you like a chump and cheat on you with your best buddy.

You don't need Playboy's degrading fantasies.

While you may be flattered by being selected as one of the "hot" she-bloggers, Playboy has no prestige like BusinessWeek, unless you're a male in junior high school.

Their so-called serious content is just so guys have an excuse to be reading it when their girlfriend bursts through the door.

thanks for all the comments everyone! and the kudos from kate and jane! jane: love the male list! very funny!

@steven: i agree. i guess i'm just pragmatic about it and i don't think they mean harm. i tend to judge things by intent. i also grew up with three brothers, so i tend to cut men slack for just being men.

one thing i love about the valley is i actually very rarely get treated like a sex object. some women hate this saying that men in the valley don't make them feel like women or desirable. i LOVE it. when i was writing my book i wore jeans and tshirts everyday and everyone in it just treated me like one of the guys. i guess that's why i find stuff like this more funny than anything. like-- really?? but if i worked in, say, a wall street culture the "sweetie" dynamic would get old fast!


i read the article on another news website and i was stunned by the fact that they are doing a contest of sexy women who own blogs. ok. well it aint the first time something this "spectacular" has been done, but the fact that they came up with something else besides the truth, just says that it's all for the money and the bussiness. i think your response is quite classy, smart and elegant.

good luck on your book tour!

I for one am glad to hear that not only you, but many of the others in the poll won't accept the offer. I have huge respect for not only you and many of the ladies on the list; and it would really sadden me to see any of you take this offer. Your doing well and don't need them.

And I loved your book, good luck on the tour!

The comments to this entry are closed.

"Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky" puts a well-deserved spotlight on the fascinating entrepreneurs working in some of the most overlooked places on Earth. This book reminds us that when entrepreneurial opportunity is enabled and embraced locally, the economic and social benefits have the power to transform us all.
Brilliant. Crazy. Cocky.

New Book

An unforgettable portrait of the emerging world's entrepreneurial dynamos Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky is the story about that top 1% of people who do more to change their worlds through greed and ambition than politicians, NGOs and nonprofits ever can. This new breed of self-starter is taking local turmoil and turning it into opportunities, making millions, creating thousands of jobs and changing the face of modern entrepreneurship at the same time. To tell this story, Lacy spent forty weeks traveling through Asia, South America and Africa hunting down the most impressive up-and-comers the developed world has never heard of....yet.

Excerpt »

Buy it from these sellers

Srah Lacy

Sarah Lacy is an award-winning reporter who has covered high-growth entrepreneurship for more than fifteen years. She is the founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of, the site-of-record for the startup ecosystem. She lives in San Francisco.

Learn more »


Get updates delivered directly to your inbox. Just enter your email address and click Subscribe: