A few weeks later he received an email from blogger Rachel Sklar; she was responding to his Twitter post that day, which had read, “Trying really fucking hard not to be part of the problem.” Ms. Sklar, who had met Mr. Sorgatz a few times, wrote that she liked the post. And, she liked his name was Rex.
They arranged to have dinner that night.
“We ended up talking the whole night. He was really interesting!” she told me. “But you know, he was very targeted. He knew what he wanted. He wasn’t aggressive—he was just aggressively great.”
The next weekend, Ms. Sklar accompanied Mr. Sorgatz to a beach house he’d rented in Montauk with Mr. Steele. In preparation for the trip, Mr. Sorgatz had made a “to bring” list on a Post-it note and stuck it to his computer: “Hamptons: Tent. Video Camera. Condoms.” Unfortunately, a Tumblr girl he was seeing happened to see the note Friday morning while he was in the shower. The girl, Leonora Epstein, wrote about the experience on a Web site, the Frisky, changing his name to “Phil.” She snooped in his medicine cabinet: accused him of having two bottles of foundation makeup in there. On Aug. 12, Gawker served up the whole sordid affair with some pictures of Ms. Sklar and Mr. Sorgatz frolicking on the beach. Word had also leaked out that he’d been writing an anonymous blog, titled Self-Loathing Nighttime Conversations.
“It made me feel like out of control. There was a message being created and I couldn’t manage it,” said Mr. Sorgatz. “I’m particularly averse to having people talking about me when I’m not around.”
Mr. Steele speculated that Mr. Sorgatz was merely constructing another one of his clever narratives and probably loved the attention. “He took this absurdly embarrassing situation,” he said, “and like spun it around where now it’s like a heroic tale of his sexual exploits!”
Mr. Sorgatz told me Ms. Sklar helped him through the situation. “She sort of helped me come out of that,” he said. “She’s my age. Similar career stuff going on. And she was sort of a solution to the problem of a lifestyle that really primarily revolved around 23-year-old Tumblr girls. She was like an exit strategy from that.”
Ms. Sklar said she wasn’t overly thrilled by her romp with Rex. “Had I known about his secret blog and his, you know, reputation for dalliances with the young literati of the city, I would not have played,” she told me. “I found out after and I wasn’t happy.”
“There was a moment when we were the hot new-media couple on the scene,” said Mr. Sorgatz. “Which she really liked. But I was really apprehensive about it. Towards the end, sort of the reverse happened, via the Internet. I think she felt sidelined at times; it’s rough when everywhere you go, somebody’s taking pictures and putting them on their Tumblr sites.”
Last month, someone started a Tumblr written from the perspective of Mr. Sorgatz’ scarf.
“Half of me thinks its fascinating to live life online,” said Mr Sorgatz. “And the other half wants to scream at the triviality of it all, like a good Midwestern person would do: ‘Why would we care about you people?!’”