Untame is a new
erotica “men’s cultural lifestyle” mag for the thinking man (or woman) from the perspective of the female gaze, but it’s not just a ton of butt-centric photographs of nice looking ladies. There’s also artwork and articles by collaborators and friends of founders Wendi Marissa and Alessandra De Benedetti.
The launch party for the first issue, happening at Littleneck Outpost in Greenpoint tomorrow, is definitely worth checking out — not just so you can down some free drinks but also to pick up the first copy, which the creators have successfully managed to keep under wraps. “We haven’t leaked any photos or anything because we wanted to keep it a surprise, especially for the models,” Alessandra said. “The cover model doesn’t even know that she’s the cover model.”
Check out our Q+A below, pulled from two phone conversations we had, one with Wendi, who lives in LA, and the other with Alessandra who resides in New York.
Alessandra: Yeah, well it’s not hardcover. It’s just the concept is more of an art book. It doesn’t really follow the strict layout guidelines that magazines follow. It flows more. There’s like spreads of girls, and articles, and art interspersed throughout the whole thing. It’s just a really cool sort of visual arc. We went for more of a timeless content so that it could be relevant years from now.
You mentioned previously it’s a “throwback to a stag” magazine, so what did you keep from that genre and what did you change?
Wendi: I kept the lifestyle aspect, where it’s like a men’s lifestyle guide. But it’s not just for men, it’s open for everyone– it’s fun. I didn’t want it to be pornography. I wanted it to have the fun that I felt Hustler had, and the wild life that Playboy sold. I mean, that has it’s place. I’m not against any of that. But that’s also why I feel like what I’m doing is completely new. [Porn] has distorted everything, it’s like — can I just look at something where my imagination is stimulated to do the rest?
Alessandra: There are a couple of full-on butts in the magazine, but a lot of it is just the idea. The whole thing reads like a curve. The way we envisioned the movement of the magazine is kind of like this hourglass. I just like butts, I don’t know. Wendi loves butts. Her Instagram bio is “I do butts.” And it’s really happy. All of our girls are super awesome. We had a lot of fun doing all the shoots. It’s got that easygoing vibe of happy sexual freedom, I guess.
Alessandra: I hope that we can fill a void with what we’re doing. The way that I look at it is we’re taking these — I wouldn’t call them pinups, because what I think of is Burning Angel and Suicide Girls, and it’s nothing like that. It’s actually the antithesis of that. Basically, we took everything that we’re into and put it into a magazine.
Alessandra: We have a submission thing for our Instagram feed, it’s like an amateur photo submission thing. People send us anonymous pictures of their bum and we post them and tag them #untameoftheday. But the girls in the magazine are all people that we know. Wendi is in LA, and all of the girls in issue one are actually from LA. We have Stephanie Beatriz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And that’s why it’s so much fun, it’s kind of like a big family. We don’t work with anyone that we haven’t had a good interaction with previously. It’s the same with the photographers. It’s like a big collaboration with all the people we’ve always wanted to work with.
A few of the girls are actresses, but they’re all normal people. They’ve got bangin’ bodies, but they’re normal bodies. It’s not like some creepy model. I think that’s really important. I think it’s really cool we get to be like– this is what is sexy, OK?!
What about the articles?
Alessandra: We have a few articles. It’s about 65 percent visual content and 35 percent written. We have two short stories from great authors, we have an article about Jamie Bissonnette, the owner of Toro over in the Meatpacking District. He just won the James Beard Award and he’s one of the greatest chefs right now. We have sort of a road journal that was written by Beverly Haynes, she used to write for VICE and now she owns Fox & Fawn in Brooklyn. We have a bunch of weird contributors as well, a couple of them are not professional writers. We have Jerry A. from Poison Idea, which is one of our favorite bands. And that’s sort of the zine element.
What’s the second issue going to look like?
Alessandra: Wendi’s setting up a shoot right now in Dubai. And we’re possibly doing a couple of New York shoots. We already have a few women that want to be photographed in LA, but I think the next issue will be a little bit less constrained to LA.
Wendi: I can be so type-A, but I’m just as much about saying “tear it up, I’m going to make it something new” and I’m going to go on sabbatical. I’m going to go live under a palm tree and that’s what the issue is going to be about. But we have people that were involved in issue one that I’m carrying over to issue two, and we still want international contributors, and still no fashion, keeping it story-based pinups. I so hesitate to use the word pinup though. It brings to mind such a hokey visual.
So why is it an “ass-driven” magazine? What do you think of this renewed discussion of butts as beautiful? Well, at least it’s new for magazines like Vogue.
Alessandra: I watched that Mastodon video like 400 times because it has the best twerking in it. And I think twerking put that body part back on the map. But I don’t know, body parts are always trending. Like remember back in 2004 when everyone was obsessed with clavicles? Like, what the fuck is that?
So whatever, I think that the butt– especially big curvaceous ones, and small ones, all butts really– they kind of transcend weird body part trends. I do think it is weird that there’s this collective consciousness of recognizing the butt. But butt magazines, it’s not like it hasn’t been done in that sense before. But you’ll see, the magazine — it’s not just asses. It definitely includes nuances of the feminine figure. I wouldn’t over analyze why a butt looks good, it’s just that simple. It looks like you could just bite into one.