Coffee shop owners face community outrage over sex blog

Photo by Kat McReynolds

Wake up and smell the misogyny: As reported by Asheville Blog, Waking Life Espresso owners Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens were, up until yesterday, producing an anonymous blog, podcast and Twitter account detailing the duo’s sexual encounters.

Thanks to some sleuthing, that blog is not anonymous anymore.

Under the name “Holistic Game,” Rutledge and Owens allegedly posted content such as, “There are no ‘special’ girls. There are cool ones, and lame ones. There are ones who’ve earned investment, and ones who haven’t. That’s it.” (Which is one of the tamer posts).

Holistic Game’s Twitter account and blog were deleted after the identities of the authors were leaked on Facebook, reported AB. “Fortunately,” AB wrote, “the internet is forever and we can provide archived content of the Holistic Game Guys. Click here for Twitter, and here for archived content of the blog.”

After a public outrage, both men admitted to taking part in the blog/podcast and issued apology statements:

From Jared Rutledge:

I know I’ve said and posted a lot of things that are offensive. Most of my life I’ve struggled with insecurities around dating. I felt like, in the past couple years, that I’d finally gotten a handle on this and experienced more success. So I made a twitter, blog, and got Jacob to podcast with me. We didn’t always say nice things, and sometimes we were downright mean. Sometimes I just vented about frustrating experiences in an immature, hateful, and foolish way. It was in particular a breach of trust to post intimate details about lovers. I was naive enough to think it’d stay anonymous, and I was wrong. Full apology on Asheville Blog.

From Jacob  Owens:

I would like to fully admit to what I have done. I would also like to receive the shame and necessary consequences for my actions. I am not hiding nor do I want to deflect. Most importantly, I would like to apologize and express my sorrow for how these actions have affected other people, and how their presence online will continue to do so. People that I care for and value, even though my actions, now out in the open, will not make them feel that way. I feel ill and disgusted with myself when I think of what I have done.

First to explain my part. Jared and I did an anonymous podcast on picking up women where I crassly discussed my intimate experiences with women. I would like to be very clear that I did not author any of the posts of the blog or twitter.  But just as worse, I knew they existed. I did not keep up with them, or fully know what was on them. But by knowing that it was going on, and knowing that I was associated however, I am complicit. I fully accept that shame as well. Full apology here.

A Facebook event page popped up, calling for a protest on Monday, Sept. 20, outside Waking Life, and a petition has been drafted for local businesses to pull Waking Life products off their shelves.

“The plan is to hand out free coffee and free consumer protection literature on Haywood Road in very strategic place on Monday morning,” reads the event page. “We need boots on the ground. Join us.”

In response to the petition, the owner of Orbit DVD posted on Facebook: “I am going to one further. We have a few bottles of Waking Life coffee left, and they are already paid for. So, for every bottle we sell, Orbit will donate $50 to Our Voice,” a nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of sexual violence.

After Orbit sold out of the beverage, owners posted they will still be taking donations for the nonprofit in-store.

Waking Life announced on Monday that the shop will be closing for the next few days for the owners to reflect on their actions.

From Waking Life:

To Our Asheville Community:

We know many of you are very angry right now. That anger is justified. There is nothing to balm the wound for now, and we recognize that. We validate and affirm your frustration and disappointment. We’ve issued separate individual apologies, and those stand more than ever.

We’ve said terrible and demeaning things – things that belie unhealthy thought patterns that do not contribute to a stable and equal society. Things our mothers and sisters had to hear. We cannot and will not excuse these things. We grieve for the systematic and ongoing actions we’ve taken. We apologize to the women in our lives and the greater community for the harm we’ve caused, and the potential danger we’ve put them in with our attitudes and beliefs.

We opened Sunday in order to have conversations with some of our regular customers, and to give an opportunity for folks to chat if they wished. A few did just that, and we’re grateful for your thoughts and feelings. We’re humbled by and undeserving of the grace displayed by so many in the face of our actions.

We’re going to close for the next couple days so we can have some room for introspection. We want to allow ourselves to be accountable to our friends, family, employees, clergy, and counselors for our actions, and give ourselves room to be silent and reflect. These attitudes were not grown in a day, and they will not be destroyed in a day. We want to humbly commit to that process. We’re not good people, but we want to be.

We’re going to donate all our business profits through the end of the year to Our Voice. Many of you in the community have great regard for this organization, and their work is of immense importance. We know this is but a step, but it’s something to which we can commit. Our employees who have lost their jobs due to our behavior will be given severance to help as they transition.

With deep regret,

Jared & Jacob

In response to Rutledge and Owens’ letter, Our Voice issued a statement, refusing to take the donation:

We were disturbed and outraged by what was posted by Jared and Jacob regarding women. We will not be taking their money because it is not our place to forgive. Our VOICE is not in a position of absolving them for their misogyny as it perpetuates a culture of danger to all women and girls. Jared’s and Jacob’s actions not only objectified women but also perpetuated rape culture and violence against women.


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About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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63 thoughts on “Coffee shop owners face community outrage over sex blog

  1. Bridget Conn

    The one quote in this story from the content of Jared’s blog does not even begin to scratch the surface of why our community is upset, and is at best, misleading to share only that as an example. How about the Tweet that called all women “f—socks”? How about the woman who posted that one of the guys bragged in a podcast about having sex with her daughter while she was medicated and could not consent? How about the comments dealing with taking pleasure in watching women grow old and insecure in their appearances? Or Tweeting about how lame a guy who came into Waking Life is because he had an overweight girlfriend? The list of sexual conquests is one thing, the hatred toward women in general that these men possess, chronicled over many months in various formats, is downright chilling and needs to be brought to light.

    • Christina

      The absolute BIGGEST omission from coverage of this debacle: The entire purpose of cataloging and sharing their exploits & analysis was to help other men hone their ‘game’ of manipulating / “conquering” women. Not only did Jared and Jacob feel this was acceptable behavior for themselves in Asheville, they feel this illness should be spread as far as possible into the “manosphere” to affect as many women as possible (seriously, google “manosphere” and Roosh forums).

  2. OneWhoKnows

    in such a LIBERAL sex crazed town, why all the outrage ? sexed up people all over this town…it’s life. get over it.

    • Charles

      Are you implying that sexual predation is a liberal problem? I guess thats clear from your comment, and speaks volumes to your ignorance. Don’t pretend to understand people you don’t know.

    • Camille from Denver

      Wait wait wait–so you think that because Asheville is “liberal”, that that magically makes sexual assault and misogyny OK?


  3. john carlmiester

    Why does this omit the time he admitted to rape and the other time he tried to pressure someone into having sex.

  4. Too bad Mountain X can’t have an ongoing and open dialogue on sexual matters like most other progressive weeklies. Using this story now seems like a rush to judgement and is destroying not only a small business, but two lives. Where is Mountain X on sex? I’ve often wondered why there is literally no coverage of the issue. Yes, people are having sex in Asheville. But reading this paper, you’d never know. If someone can site the last article that deal with sex, I’d love to read it!

    • The Real World

      JC Tripp – Now, surely, you know the answer to your inquiry.

      We are in the BIBLE BELT — there is *much* that is not discussed here and throughout the region.

  5. hauntedheadnc

    I’d do the one on the right. The one on the left? Not really my kind of plate. Too goofy-looking.

    I have always wondered how the Tucker Max wannabes would feel to be objectified by other men. Haven’t you?

    • David

      The one on the right, yeah, probably at 2:00 am and half a dozen drinks. The one on the left, well rape probably was the only way he ever got any.

      • ND

        David, I’m sure that you were attempting to be sarcastic and berate the guys in question, but rape should NEVER ever be used in a throw-away comment like that, it is highly offensive. As a recent rape victim perhaps my proclivity to sensitivity is higher than most (?), but I don’t think so. I’d very much appreciate an apology from you to all of us victims. Thank you. ND

        • David

          ND, the one of the left joked in a podcast about having sex with a young woman in a hospital who was so sedated she could not consent. The joke was made that it was illegal in California, but I am guessing they didn’t think it was illegal in NC as well. The young woman’s parents have come forward and it looks as if this is being investigated now. The podcast is online. While it may appear as a throw out comment, what he did was horribly wrong and barely a mention in any article. that is where the outrage should be.

          • ND

            David, I understand that you are outraged regarding their behavior…….b.b.b.b.but it still doesn’t justify using their reprehensible and vacuous words in an altercation with them. A simple ‘I’m sorry if I offended you and others in your situation’ would have been a perfect reply from you, when I mentioned that as a victim I was upset by YOUR words. Those pond-life guys don’t even merit any words from me, they’re out of my realm of wanting to communicate with, I was referring to how you chose to respond.

  6. OneWhoKnows

    dang, they are closed down already…just stopped to buy a cup and urge them NOT to cave! Buncha females out there
    this morning but not sure any of them were the real victims…anyone know?

    this is a freedom of speech issue and all you HATERS of free speech pounce on crap like yis when you can … leftwing HATERs.

    • Camille from Denver

      Yes, because rape is 100% “free speech”.

      Go away, troll.

    • OneWhoKnowsMore

      lol… You think this is a freedom of speech issue?

      1) You do realize that freedom of speech means the government can’t limit what one says, but that others are allowed to have an opinion, yes? These guys are free to say and post what they would like, regardless of how insulting and crass it is – they are not under arrest or in jail for these postings.

      2) You do realize that other people are free to speak their minds and free to not do business with these guys, right?

      And you are free to post your thoughts here and embarrass yourself, too!! (Well done!)

      If these guys had posted about screwing your sister (or your girlfriend), would you be defending them so much?

      Enjoy your coffee ;-)

      • OneWhoKnows

        where are all the hot sexy women around here who lure hot men into their bedrooms at their whim?
        didn’t see any of them ‘protesting’… stop trying to wreck lives online! where are the female ‘victims’ ?

        it takes TWO to TANGO, girls!

    • Chris

      Just wondering if you would bother posting these comments if you weren’t anonymous?

  7. bsummers

    From the AC-T story:

    “While the postings aren’t criminal, Orbit owner Marc McCloud decided to support Our Voice because the nonprofit advocates against abusive behavior, Bott said.

    “The problem is not sleeping with people or talking about it,” she added. “The problem is using women as things to boost your own ego. This is an act of dehumanizing women for self-aggrandizement and that is not a good reason or way to improve your own self esteem.”

    “Using women as things”? This from a business that has a giant hyper-sexualized cartoon of a young woman on all fours with her butt up in the air plastered on the side of their building? Methinks they doth protest too much.

  8. R

    Just caught on brief to storyline…theres no hope for these two weasles and god knows boys like these aren’t needed anyways.

  9. Ash
  10. bob villa

    Really? who freakin cares…everyday the word police is on the prowl…everyone is so hyper-sensitive about what someone says..has anyone one asked why the women were spreading their legs so easily? protesters! get a real job and a real life.

  11. Just curious how many people would like their private lives turned into a public shaming? There are a lot of forums in Asheville where people say some pretty malicious, sexist and racist things. Also, there are websites where many locals let it all hang out, describe in graphic detail their sex lives, and hook up with others. Should be start a movement of putting people out of business based on what they say or do in private? This is a very slippery slope, and although I don’t subscribe to any of the waking life guys sexual politics, I think the reaction is like a mob reaction. Are we now moral vigilantes, where anything anyone does in their private lives can be made fodder for slander and defamation? Wonder if these guys were actually innocent and it was all rumor and hearsay? Additionally, the person who scooped this story is anonymous. Possible that they have a business interest in seeing Waking Life gone? Didn’t we have the same public shaming with a certain male chef with anger issues? Did we boycott his establishments and run him out of town, or did we apply some human forgiveness to mistakes made. The moral grand standing here is a but much. If you

    • “Wonder if these guys were actually innocent and it was all rumor and hearsay?”

      While I’m generally trying to stay out of this discussion, I just wanted to point out that in their public apologies, Rutledge did admit his ownership of the blog/Twitter account/podcast and Owens admitted to his role in the podcast. So that, at least, has been verified.

      • Right, which is why I said “wonder if”… I have been wrongly accused of things in my life so I know from experience that once the word is out, you are guilty even if you are innocent.

        • bsummers

          They are not being shamed for their “private lives” as you put it. They are being shamed because they turned it public (website, podcast, twitter), encouraging others to join them in playing the “game” of using, objectifying, and humiliating women.

          It’s one thing to be a pig privately, but to spend all this time and effort going out into the world trying to persuade other men to be equally piggish – that’s a whole other ballgame.

          • The Real World

            bsummers – I’ve read lots of your posts over many months and I give you 2 thumbs-up for:
            a – your comprehension of the crux of an issue
            b – your ability to articulate it in a concise way.

            I don’t always see the same way on some of your solutions but am routinely interested in your view.

          • bsummers

            That was “appreciated” to The Real World’s comment.

            Yes, J.C. Tripp – free speech means that sometimes you’ll hear something offensive. But what’s your point? That freedom of speech means freedom from consequences? These guys ‘speech’ wasn’t merely offensive, it was deliberately provocative. They hoped to create or participate in a community of people who see predatory sexual behavior as a good thing. The more misogynistic the better, “am I right, guys?”

            Unfortunately, you can’t always count on the response you provoked will be what you hoped for. Right now, they’re hearing it from the community that they live in (and prey on) that their ‘speech’, and the behavior it seeks to encourage, is unacceptable.

  12. OneWhoKnows

    ‘the progressives just do not know what to make of this’ roflmao!

    shall we publicly castrate them both before sunset ???

    get a LIFE you silly peeps…get a REAL LIFE

        • bsummers

          But JC Tripp – you didn’t answer my question earlier. Why did you bring up ‘free speech’ in the context of suggesting that the criticism these guys are getting is over the top?

          BTW, I agree that some aspects of the criticism is over the top, for example suggesting that the behavior these guys brag about is “no different than rape”. That to me is over the top, and I said so.

          • Free speech is what it is. They have the right to talk about their sex lives, it’s not a crime and it’s a constitutional right. I am not condoning their message or behavior. Just saying, they have the right of free expression. We all do. If you want to blog or run a podcast about your sexual habits, it’s your prerogative. As is your right to boycott a business. But, the moral grand standing is what bothers me. Nobody is beyond reproach. Let’s just say it was a gay business owner who had a secret blog about sex and the right wing community didn’t like it. Would you support them protesting this person’s business and running them out of town?

          • bsummers

            They were doing a lot more than just “talking about their sex lives”. They were publicly pushing hatred of women, encouraging their hundred or so twitter “followers” to see women as “f***socks” – disposable jizz receptacles, etc. And they did it on a website, twitter and podcast. They weren’t just living their sick predatory misogynist lives. They turned it into a crusade: persuade other men to surrender to their baser selves and revel in hatred of women. And the women who made the mistake of being with them have to live with the insult and public humiliation, and will be more distrustful towards every subsequent man they meet. Thanks, guys.

            They absolutely have the right to talk about all this. I haven’t heard anyone say that they didn’t. In fact, I’m glad they did. Now we know what sociopaths they are, and especially, that they were using their business to prey on women. And while sure, we all have weaknesses and failures, most of us don’t try to turn them into victorious rallying cries, like these guys.

            They have the right to yell “Yay, us.” And we have the right to yell “BOOOOOOO!” in response.

  13. Andy

    Imagine if these guys had gotten a DUI instead. NO ONE WOULD CARE!!!! Even though in that case they could have KILLED SOMEONE!!
    But since its a couple of white dudes- they can never be forgiven nor any other aspect of their entire lives be considered- even though they have apologized and offered a donation to One Voice.
    What else could they have done that could have cause this level of faux rage? Flying a confederate flag over their store might do it, saying the N word on youtube, child molestation or supporting traditional marriage laws.

    • The Real World

      “But since its a couple of white dudes – they can never be forgiven nor any other aspect of their entire lives be considered”

      You know what immediately popped to mind upon reading that statement? That PAYBACK is HELL, ain’t it?

      With a little mental reflection on the history of the Western World you will realize that the repression, servitude and unspeakable cruelty of people of color, females and children has been wrought primarily by white, hetro-sexual males. Not to mention astonishing abuses of power and endless armed conflicts. A very ugly truth.

      Well Andy, in the 20th and 21st centuries, women finally have a voice and the will to do something other than just take the crap. It’s a good thing.

      • Andy

        Damn straight Real World!!! It is a good thing! Y’all are making total fools of yourselves. And I am here to be entertained by it!

    • hauntedheadnc

      I much prefer the Beehive in South Asheville or Izzy’s downtown.

  14. pierre

    I’m baffled as to why RAPE Charges havent been filed??

    “Jacob, you mentioned in your podcast that you had sex with my daughter,while she was medicated, while in the hospital.. Your words are she could not have consented due to her medicated state.
    One question- do you have a lawyer?
    Unforgivable.”-“A’s mom”

  15. T.rex

    Its hard to have sympathy here. True these guys are scumbags but there are lots great gentlemen in this town that keep getting overlooked for hipster trash like this. You cant have your cake and eat it too. Treat the good. men like shit, hang with the assholes, and then say there are not any good men out there. Yawn.

  16. Avl_feather

    I am glad the public is not accepting their apology, which is transparently only being offered in hopes of damage control and has no genuine sentiment of remorse whatsoever. They are disgusting rapist sociopaths who blogged with the purpose of perpetuating violence against women.

  17. KRoss

    The babe at is taking credit for the ‘investigation” that exposed Waking Life Espresso. It’s bullshit. She scammed you all. Here is where she got her info, stealing the “research” from a smaller local blog. Typical blogger rip off.

    Jared Rutledge says he likes strong women. Just kidding. Posted on September 8, 2015September 8, 2015 by jaredandjacobsaid Does Mr. Holistic Game at least like strong espresso?

  18. Lady of the Trees

    I hope MountainX can use you this as an opportunity to turn this into a wider conversation about “rape culture”, misogyny, and sex education in our community.

      • Confused

        I’m confused. Mountain X can glorify a registered sex offender in a full color spread but now they’re “working on” becoming the spot for “rape culture”, misogyny, and sex education in our community. Can you please explain your views/ethics better here.

  19. Mountain X, which implies that it’s some how edgy is run by a guy who has a bunch of women doing his dirty work. Look at the masthead.

  20. I’m writing from a block away and have been a customer before the protests. I might go back if they paid there dues. Our Voice made a big mistake in returning money to cretins, choosing symbolic gestures over cold cash. Returning money to cretins is both impractical and immoral. Planned Parenthood is more accustomed to dealing with kink on a practical basis and I would go back if Waking Life paid their dues by giving Planned Parenthood 2 grand; but not until the money is in their hands.

  21. oceanaseo

    Coffee is the most common drink for everyone. They drink coffee at morning, at evening, at the office. There are lots of time to drink coffee. So but buy your coffee at the best coffee shop in town.

  22. Michelle Muldoon

    Michelle Muldoon
    48 Jonquil Dr, Newtown, PA 18940.
    Council Rock North High School, Newtown, PA 2011
    University of Maryland College Park, MD 2015
    penelopelynnxxx, juliaraexxx, cicilynn

  23. siddartha

    Coffee is almost a popular drinks for everyone in this day and age even i am a great lover of drinking coffee. So we should can’t make this topic too much spreadable and stop it here.

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