The San Francisco tech boom of the past decade has brought a lot of changes to the City by the Bay. Rising rents, expensive restaurants and — a swelling membership in sex clubs. It appears that the new techies of Silicon Valley have a heightened appetite for unusual sexual arrangements.
“There’s a correlation between intelligent nerdy people and open ideas about relationships,” Jason James, of the prominent, private club Mission Control told The San Francisco Chronicle. “It just seems to make sense to a lot of people who are in technology.”
Mission Control is not the type of sex club that fits a sometimes sleazy stereotype. Co-founded by a 40-year-old London native and self-described “acclaimed latex fashion designer” calling herself Polly Superstar — or Polly Whittaker in the non-sex-club world — about a decade ago, Mission Control says that it is itself as “organized and operated by a collaborative team of volunteers.”
In other words, Mission Control, located logically enough in the San Francisco Mission District, isn’t in it for the money, they’re in it for, well, the sex. And they are willing to work for it.
“Our elected board of directors, or Bridge, guides the ship, while the hardworking crew members manage the stations, hoist the flag, swab the decks, and generally making things happen,” the site says.
Whittaker did not start the San Francisco sex club with the Silicon Valley crowd in mind, but she said that she has been happily surprised by the surge in membership among the tech crowd. The club now has about 500 members.
“The whole time I’ve lived here, people have said, ‘Oh, the culture has been pushed out of San Francisco,'” said Whittaker. “Since 1999, the same thing,” she said. “But this city was built on a pioneering spirit. People came here to go as far as they could go.”
“David,” a neuroscience Ph.D. who runs a tech start-up, explained why, in a San Francisco Chronicle interview.
“They say there’s an app for everything: I have an app for groceries, an app for laundry. Apps are built by people who take a mundane part of life and make it better. Here, this is that same creative mentality,” said David. “People in tech startups are open-minded, they’re seeking out different experiences, endless possibilities.”
But it’s not all silicon and latex for Mission Control. The ever-soaring San Francisco rents forced the club out of its 3,500 square-foot space into a nearby, less expensive location.