Sometimes A Makeover Is Not What You Need (Or Why wives should listen to their husbands or The problem with freckles and sexnotwork)


Before my first wife and I married I convinced her to dye her hair what I now like to call 'Aeon Flux' black.

Though it made her look sexy as all outdoors (at least to me) something about it wasn't right.

Maybe it was the freckles across her nose.

Maybe it was just her personality.

Sometimes a makeover is just not what you need.


We're big on the makeover.

Like a character in a Palahniuk novel, everyones trying to figger out who they are by changing who they are.

Remember Clay Aikens?

I wonder who he is?

Now the reason I bring all this up is because of something I read today about Jay-Z (Scrivs), Sam Sugar, and their blog experiment SexNotWork.

For those new to the program, here's what has happened so far:

Scrivs and Sugar decide to start a sex blog network. Since some 9rules folks were involved, some assumed that 9rules was about to do some sex blogs (um, not really a bad idea).

That wasn't the case.

Just some members of 9rules were getting involved in the sex trade sex network business.

Now as far as they got, as far as I know, was to the stage of hype.

They put up a website and started taking submissions.

After that the entire thing kinda disappeared.

It resurfaced again in this post by Matt of Blog Network Watch.

Scrivs then said that all the 9rules folks involved had abandoned the project.

Now like the nosy, parasitic, citizen journalist that I am (I do run a popular Angelina Jolie blog) I emailed Scrivs in an attempt to get some inside dirt.

He told me he's saving it for his blog.

Flash forward to right now.

Now I suspect (and I'm probably wrong) but suspect that some cold feet appeared once the idea of making money disappeared.

Do you really want the stigma of porn stuck on you while you're still trying to expand the 9rules site?

I'm not saying that's what happened.

But it kinda feels right to me.

Sometimes a makeover is not what you need.

Now my credit cards would prove that I got nothing against porn.

But I do have a problem with someone/thing/ or company not being who they really are.

In a world where people crave the authentic,

where we want proof not guarantees,

if you are not true to your core values,

(no matter how sadistic or mundane they may be)

you lose.

Not just customers.

But a piece of yourself.

And you can't get that back.

After I divorced my first wife the first thing she did was wash the black dye out of her hair.

We ran into each other years later in a child custody fight in a Tampa Bay courtroom.

She had her hair dyed back to Axon Flux.

I lost.

But sometimes a makeover is just what you need.

Explore posts in the same categories: 9rules, blog network watch, blog networks, chuck palahniuk, clay aiken, sam sugar, scrivs, sexnotwork

32 Comments on “Sometimes A Makeover Is Not What You Need (Or Why wives should listen to their husbands or The problem with freckles and sexnotwork)”

  1. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the props – I have my theories on this, which I’m keeping to myself. I look forward to reading Scrivs’s post.


  2. Anthony Says:

    SexNotWork was THE best name ever.

  3. Matt Says:

    Devroe has the best comment on this issue over in my post at Blog Network Watch about the correlation between sex and work πŸ™‚


  4. Mr Angry Says:

    I sex blog would be a big leap for someone trying to be taken “seriously” in a business/entrepreneurial sense. The days of easy payoffs for online porn are long gone. And even if they were successful, there’s the danger it would close non-porn doors.

    They probably did the right thing but it would be good to know details.

  5. David Krug Says:

    I take personal responsibility for its downfall.

  6. Loren Says:

    Sam Sugar is a bright guy, he’s making money for sure. This whole network thing though is destined for failure though. Unless you own all the sites in a network. Porn or not.

  7. […] So understand this had nothing to do with cold feet or being scared. I have no problem venturing outside of the norm of what the public expects. A sex blog network following the 9rules model would be great for the web. Some education would be required since everyone likes to think we were starting a bangbus network, but there are some great writers out there who take what they do seriously and we wanted to help them gain some recognition just like any other 9rules member. […]

  8. Scrivs Says:

    This whole network thing though is destined for failure though. Unless you own all the sites in a network. Porn or not.


  9. David Krug Says:

    For once I agree with you scrivs. HUH Loren. Dorkness.

  10. Loren Says:

    You’ll see. I’m glad you two are making up.

  11. Scrivs Says:

    We’ll see what? Kind of like how in the 70’s and 80’s we saw how small foreign cars never stood a chance against american muscle? That kind of “you’ll see”? Really, I’m curious to hear your thoughts and realize only the future will show us what happens, but I still would like to hear where you are coming from.

  12. Scrivs Says:

    Actually, nevermind Loren, this argument could go on forever. We both have our own models and I”m sure one way or another we will make them successful. At least your’s will be because it is so “proven”. For now, 9rules will continue to roll around in obscurity ;).

  13. chartreuse Says:

    I show up late and the place is in an uproar… πŸ™‚

    Scrivs, nice, full explanation. Thanks for making it obvious that I have no insight into how your brain works.

  14. Scrivs Says:

    Anytime my man, anytime.

  15. Loren Says:

    I’m not attacking anyones business especially you Scrivs, nice to meet you btw. Anyway, Unless you own your sites it’s difficult for a number of reasons. Most networks are based on the strength of a few strong sites. The rest are dead weight. And eventually the big ones realize this and it occurs to them that they can do better repping themselves and cutting out the network. I used to be work for a big ad network here in NYC, and I’ve seen it first hand. Look at Denton and Calacanis they succeeded because they had control and ownership of the properties. In any case just my humble opinion. I hope everyone’s vision comes to fruition. There is room for everybody. Except Krug. There is no room for a grown man who uses the word dorkness.

  16. Scrivs Says:

    Anyway, Unless you own your sites it’s difficult for a number of reasons. Most networks are based on the strength of a few strong sites. The rest are dead weight. And eventually the big ones realize this and it occurs to them that they can do better repping themselves and cutting out the network.

    That’s why our model works. If you want to control the ad money from the sites then yes I do think it is best to own them, but really we are playing in a different game compared to the traditional networks. Your model really circles around Ads, while the one we are developing cirlces around a Brand (as Char and others have pointed out numerous times) that allows multiple streams of revenue, which we need to move forward with.

    I do agree that none of these networks really have any flagship sites to carry them though which is kind of stranger because you would think that would be priority #1 in helping the network grow. It’s also interesting that Denton and Calacanis are the benchmarks when they started with resources that no other network has been able to start with.

  17. Brian Says:

    >>It’s also interesting that Denton and Calacanis are the benchmarks when they started with resources that no other network has been able to start with.

    Abso-damn-lutely, Scrivs. You may have said this before, but thanks for reminding all the wannabee blog network overlords who continue to fawn at the feet of guys who bootstrapped their networks with only the few millions they had in the bank (plus vey high-powered connections).

  18. Loren Says:

    They are the benchmarks because they made cash. Lack of start-up funds is an excuse. Yeah it sucks, believe me I know. But at the end of the day it’s possible to create something from nothing.

  19. David Krug Says:

    Let me tell you its freaking hard your Dorkness to create nothing from something and even harder to create something from nothing. It’s an enjoyable process and I have a few more blog networks to create before I can feel like i have the experience of Scrivs.

    In the blogging world its all about connections and willingness to pick yourself up after making mistakes and continuing to pursue what’s successful. Scrivs is insanely good at that.

    I’m still learning. And I can still use the word Dorkness all I want.


  20. Brian Says:

    Loren, you’re right. But people who are starting networks now also lack another vital thing that J and N had going for them:


  21. David Krug Says:

    I’m shocked by your remarks Brian, see Seth Godin hits it right on the nail when he says that its a slow and steady progress that counts and not neccesarily the overnight success. I think a lot of blog networks aren’t viral. But have some huge financial bankrolls. I’m not sure there is much room left for another Nick Denton, or Jason Calacanis. But there is room for slow and steady growth models in online business. As the networks grow you will see 9rules have little offshoots Fine Fools, Erati (to some degree) etc. were offshoots and successful to some degree for the prospective owners. If your valuating success or whatever based on the viral methodlogy or celebrity status I’m not sure very many blog network owners really desire this. Although since no one is paying attention the TechCrunch blog network does a similar level of traffic as Engadget and is well a good start of a good blog network that appears to be Mike Arrington’s current bread and butter. So while there wasn’t another Nick or Jason their was a Mike.

    Heck in some ways if you look at it. Brian Clark had a pretty good start to something over their at CopyBlogger.

    Not all online success should be measured in blog statistics. There are other back room deals going on. Scrivs probably makes more money in sales revenue from Business Logs, and other investments than the front door of 9rules. You have to consider the alternate streams of reality. Where some of the other owners make their cash.

  22. Loren Says:


    “In the blogging world it’s all about connections and picking yourself up?”

    You’re fucking kidding right? You whiny, crying little baby. Holy shit kid, grow up. Life is about connections. Those you have, and THOSE YOU MAKE. And in terms of acting like going on after failure is special. Big deal. That’s what you’re supposed to do. I’ve had plenty. Everyone has. Picking youself up is what seperates MEN from kids who dress as cowboys.

    I’m into Scrivs. Isn’t everyone? Seems like a nice guy. I wish I knew him better, then I could say.

    “Scrivs? I knew Scrivs. Scrivs was a friend of mine. Let me tell you Mr. Krug. You’re no Scrivs.”

    PS: You are not allowed to use the word Dorkness ever again. I forbid it.

    PSS: I’m the only person who wished you well regarding your health on your new spot.

  23. Loren Says:


    Finally. Thank you.

    And money doesn’t buy that. Talent does.

  24. David Krug Says:

    Holy Shit Your Royal Dorkness. Shut the hell up. How the fuck am I a royal whiny cry baby. In everything in my fucking life I have not once whined cried or shed a motherfucking tear over a failed project, a perceived failed project, or a success that I wish had failed. You have a lot of balls mister gay strip club dancing newsletter publisher to fucking come out and call me a whining cry baby. So as soon as you can come up with something worthwhile please leave me the fuck out of your fucking conversations, your personal attacks, and your fucking bs. I have no use for people who dont’ want to carry on a constructive discussion and instead attack me vehemently for no reason, for me being sick, for accusing me of mental illness for sending me bs emails, for fucking making up lies. And then trying to leave nice comments on my blog and then fucking talking shit. Look I’m making a mistake a posting a comment while I’m pissed.

  25. David Krug Says:

    If you didn’t notice Loren that was for you. Everyone else I apologize. I just am really sick of his nonsense and obvious obsessive hatred of me for the past few weeks. It’ really getting old. Didn’t any teach him to stop attacking people while they are down. Holy Moses.

  26. David Krug Says:

    By the way I wouldn’t want to be a Scrivs. I’m plenty happy being me. If you met me you wouldn’t treat me like you do you little shithead.

  27. Loren Says:

    How come all this great stuff ends up here? Char, you are genuis my friend. Now does everyone see why we need video.

    Alright, Cowboy. I’ll cut you some slack.

    I was serious about your health though. I do wish you the best.

  28. Brian Says:

    David, I agree that blog networks can be good businesses. Absolutely I do, and I actually think 9Rules has a smart way to go about it (aggregation and monetization, not content crreation) when lacking a large war chest of cash.

    All I’m saying is that perhaps Nick and Jason are not the appropriate role models. It’s just not realistic, and it can damage a young business if the expectations are out of line with reality.

    Also, Mike Arrington was not exactly starving either before TechCrunch.

    And I don’t mind if you want to call me dorkness (you do on IM anyway). πŸ™‚

  29. Loren Says:

    Char, If you want me to make a video apology to Krug and all of your readers I will. Just let me know. πŸ˜‰

  30. David Krug Says:

    I totally agree Brian (Senor Dorkness). And its hard to start a network with no capital. I think the truly good method is to monetize and build up along the way. Something I should have focussed on more. Focusing first on services then on blogs to auxiliariate the services. Kinja would be great if they treated it like a product instead of a sideshow. Yet I’m guessing Nick spent more money on it than his blog networks at the beginning.

    So what do I know. I know I have a fever and better lay the fuck down before I start losing my temper and posting more angst.

    Shizzam I’m out of the Chartreuse Bar. Later boys (and girls)

  31. I am working on a financial network idea that beats everything available now so anyone that wants in can come aboard.

    Death to CNBC and Kudlow and Cramer.

  32. Loren Says:

    Very very good idea Howard. Just don’t look like TV. I think very soon

    Your youtube/or where ever video views will become more important than your website.

    No I’m not crazy. Although I am making an apology video for previous behavior here, so what do I know?

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