The Buck Stops Here: Interview with Jared Rutledge and Jake Owens of Waking Life Espresso in Asheville, NC

Posted by Eric Francis Coppolino


In their first interview [link to program] since they became known for blogging and podcasting their sexual exploits, Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens of Asheville, North Carolina — owners of Waking Life Expresso — tell the story of what they did, why they did it, and reveal the truth about the “Manosphere,” the “Red Pill” subculture and PUA (pickup artist) culture.

Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens of Waking Life Espresso.

Dear Friend of Planet Waves:

In their first interview [link to program] since they became known for blogging and podcasting their sexual exploits, Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens of Asheville, North Carolina — owners of Waking Life Espresso — tell the story of what they did, why they did it, and reveal the truth about the “Manosphere,” the “Red Pill” subculture and PUA (pickup artist) culture.

They began by looking for information about polyamory (conscious, responsible nonmonogamy), but Google searches led them to the New York Times bestselling book The Game by Neil Strauss.

Suddenly finding success using these dating and seduction techniques, they began tweeting, podcasting and blogging their experiences. Listen to their story in this Planet Waves FM exclusive interview.


7 thoughts on “The Buck Stops Here: Interview with Jared Rutledge and Jake Owens of Waking Life Espresso in Asheville, NC

  1. Len WallickLen Wallick

    Eric: This is a big deal, especially when taken in combination with your call-in edition of Planet Waves FM on Thursday. As you put it about five-sixths of the way through, there ate “not many places to hear anything at all like this.” As Amy Elliott implied in her comment to the preceding call in show, this could be the beginning of something far-reaching. It’s almost too good to be true. How the history of relationships over the last 50 years (at least) has come together with the incident being addressed here. How all of your skills in psychology, journalism, media studies (and astrology) came together to make your the perfect moderator for this two podcasts. Above all, it’s almost too good to be true how Jared and Jacob seemed to keep saying just the right things at just the right time. i have two pages of notes from each podcast. The quality of the content is nearly overwhelming. What Jared said about how trying to get intimate needs met became a game. What you said about how it ran away (with/from them). The role of ego and posturing in the “man sphere”. What Jacob said about how learning the steps s not the same as learning how to dance. What you said about the “ocean of alienation”

    And the connections with the astrology!
    Your point about people bringing their “shadow” baggage into both relationship in community correlating with Nessus and Chiron now. The truth coming out correlating with Mercury retrograde. The series of Venus-Mars conjunctions this year (now about half way through a pattern which started in 1960, which will return to “normal” in 2060 – as noted by the late Robert Blaschke in his August 9, 2010 piece for The Mountain Astrologer) implying big changes for humanity on the level of relationship. The last of the eclipses along the Aries-Libra axis bringing up the big picture on the conscious and unconscious levels. On and on. Thank you especially for your discernment in the “what now” part as regards to community (what stuff to own and what stuff not to) – a master’s stroke of perspective on your part. Every adult in America should listen to these two podcasts. It really is a big, substantial, meaningful thing you have facilitated, Eric.

  2. Cowboyiam

    Extraordinary interview Eric. My hat is off to you for getting this interview.

    And to Jared and Jacob, wow you both have a really healthy handle on your situation. I am so glad you aren’t running for your lives. This game playing society loves it when we run, but standing and facing the fire with humility, honesty and insight, truly confuses the witch hunters. You seem already aware that you will come out the other side stronger and healthier. I commend you both for your courage.

  3. Jennifer

    Before listening I did a little research to see what this was about. I ended up reading tons of posts on jaredandjacobsaid, and eventually the “list” on holistic game. Really odious stuff…to the point that I began asking myself what it says about me…by subscribing to PW am I endorsing this behavior? The way they wrote about women on their blog is heartbreaking in its cruelty. As a woman and a mother…and a human….I strongly reject their actions and the culture they perpetuate. So my initial reaction to seeing them here, after the background research, was, honestly, disgust. Apparently I missed the earlier podcast (as often happens) which presumably featured the other side. For me, a truly heartening bit in all of this was how women and friends of women banded together in peaceful protest. It would be a shame not to highlight that community. But anyway I decided to hear them out before rushing to judgment. I’m glad I did and I was in some ways able to see their side (not to suggest that I in any way support the callous dehumanization they engaged in, just that I was able to have a bit more empathy for the fact that they are, as we all are, imperfect humans). I was also struck by how young they sound/seem, given their ages, perhaps a result of the super Christian upbringing. Anyway, I’m rambling. It’s hard to wrap this up neatly! I have many conflicting feelings on the topic. I guess on one level I see the value of this conversation, on another it does push me to of question what PW stands for or intends by offering this platform. I heard Eric say that the goal was to promote healing. I just worry about whether this further injures their victims or lets them off too easy. Talk is cheap. I don’t know whether J&J are truly as enlightened and contritious as they sound or whether their apology is driven by material or selfish concerns. This matters little to me ultimately since I don’t know them personally or live in Asheville. I do want to consider my own affiliations carefully though, to be sure I am not directly or indirectly endorsing “the game”. I will continue to watch the stuff PW posts in this space. Maybe things will be become clearer with more elaboration.

  4. alittlebird

    Bravo ! Eric, for this Interview. And Bravo Jake and Jared for their opening up ~ to themselves and to ALL. Everything about this Interview gives me great hope.

    I agree with Eric and early comments that there are powerful opportunities these two men now have – should they choose – to invite healing, and a Lynch Mob meeting in their Town, in my opinion, is not one of them.

  5. Aiyana

    This was a very thought provoking interview. It saddens me to hear to what level Christianity forces guilt and shame onto men and women surrounding sex. Knowing the level of guilt and shame that a spiritual community places on its community, or “victims”, I would have to say, is truly horrendous. Being a single woman in this world, and continually looking for an intimate and loving relationship, I am well aware of the “games” that both men and women play (not all but a lot), and have been disgusted by all of it. I guess I’m rather old school in my thinking and ways of relating, but I always strive to be honest and show my real self. With that being said, I was not raised in a Christian household and I have always been raised and taught that sex is a natural part of life and should never be something to feel shameful or guilty about, which the older I get, the more I realize that this is not the norm that is taught to children and young adults. I respect Jared and Jacob for doing the interview and from how they sound in the interview, they truly sound like they understand the cruel side of what they did and now they have to live with the repercussions….that is life, at least they are showing and feeling remorse; although for all we know, they have just learned how to show a “remorseful persona” to the public and maybe in their mind this is still part of “playing the game….” I would hope not, but who will ever really know except them and the people close to them.

    I think this issue shows a bigger side to a more global issue and problem. Christianity and other religions that teach that sex is only Ok in marriage, and continually stuffs guilt and shame down people’s throats surrounding sex, is in my opinion, completely horrific and needs to change. All the people (parents and teachers included) that continue to advocate for religions that are about suppressing sexuality for both men and women, are missing a huge point and are also feeding into the problem.

    We need to look at the cultures and the religions and schools of thought that we as a society are perpetuating. And to only blame and point the fingers at Jared and Jacob and say, “these two boys did something disgustingly wrong and horrid, there’s something wrong with them…” well, I think that is glossing over a much bigger issue. I have noticed the dichotomy between how men seem to perceive women, and that’s they either view us as the Madonna (the wife or “Their Jacki Kennedy”) or the Whore (the prostitute or “Their Marilyn Monroe”). A lot of men, I would say the majority, have a hard time viewing women as a complete and whole sexual being and creature, and this creates huge problems in relationships and marriages.

    Jared and Jacob made a great comment that said something to the affect, “The objectification just changed from “sex” to “wife.” I think there’s a lot of weight in this observation and should be looked at more deeply and explored with some intelligent thought.

    1. Cowboyiam

      You know what I really think they are saying – that we are all able to get if we will…… Look this whole sexual relating thing is a really frustrating game of winners and losers, and its more fun to win. But the whole issue of what they said is only fairly judged if it is kept in CONTEXT. The context is that they were ONLY speaking to their side. The team locker room is not a place where sensitivity rules. It is not a place to expect sympathy for the opposing team. Its a place to rally the troops and energize the effort. We came here to win!. That is the context that these rants of theirs are coming from. And they are playing the part they chose to explore.

      Its like a game of any sport and our side discusses strategy and rejoices in defeating the other side. We tell each other our secrete knowledge of what works and what doesn’t! But in that context it is just a game and we are just playing our role. And it is fun, but its not really honest, its a game. Love is not a game but we continue to play like it is. All of us are losing while we do this.

      And shaming the other side is still …. just part of the game.

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