meat is a gay pin up magazine for everyone, whatever your body size, shape or color, whether you’re a femme bear in your 60s or a masc twink in your 20s. It’s full of beautiful photography that brings out ‘the sexy’ in all the guys it features. Starting off in London seven years ago, meat zine appeals to all corners of the LGBT community for its diversity and celebration of difference.
We spoke to founder and editor Adrian Lourie about his use of regular guys, what defines sexiness in a man, and how things went down when he took meat zine to Berlin.
Unicorn Booty: How did meat get started?
Adrian Lourie: It started because I had a desire to produce something in print. Looking back to 2010, when the first issue was published, magazine sales were in decline and it really looked as though digital downloads were the future. At the same time, I caught on to a burgeoning self-publishing trend that really appealed to me. I fancied the idea of photographing loads of hot dudes in their undies, too.
Tell us about your policy of using regular guys.
I really felt that I didn’t see the kinds of guys I fancied in the gay press, and from the start, meat was very much about showing that lots of different kinds of guys are sexy, whatever their age, shape, size and whatever tribe they belong to. I think there’s been a bit of a sea change now in the gay scene, but meat is still very much alone in championing the idea of ‘regular’ or ‘normal’ guys as pinups.
What do you define as “sexy”?
Confidence, good self-esteem, humour and self-awareness. Every single guy I photograph I find sexy … there’s always something, whether it’s something obvious like a beard or a hairy chest or good legs or a belly or someone’s spirit. A handsome face goes a long way, but to me the term “sexy” is as wide as the ocean.
What’s the concept behind this new Berlin issue?
meat Berlin is a follow-up from last year’s meat Paris. It was really just an opportunity to take meat to another country/city. I liked the idea of representing the guys of Berlin as a direct contrast to the regular editions of meat, which are usually all about London guys. It was also a great opportunity to photograph guys in their own environments.
In big cities we all tend to rent rooms, and our spaces become very much who we are. In London, everyone shares, in Paris everyone lives alone, but in very small spaces and in Berlin, rents are cheaper and there’s a lot more space, which I think really affects how people live and their attitude. The environmental nature of the pictures hopefully tell a little bit of each guy’s story.
What are the guys in Berlin like?
They’re just like us! Meeting guys from across the world that are involved with meat shows me that whatever our culture, as gay men, our similarities are greater than our differences. None of the clichés about German men stood out — certainly not in the guys I met and photographed.
What’s the sexiest part of a man for you?
I think it’s pretty obvious that I have wide and varied tastes in men. I hope that’s reflected in meat, because I’m probably a little bit in love with them all. But I’m ashamed to say that it’s probably a beard; I’ve never met a man who doesn’t look good with a beard.
What do you look for when hunting down guys to be part of meat?
I’ll take pretty much anyone who wants to be in it. Mostly guys come to me now, because they’re fans of the zine or their mates have been in it. I don’t often have to hunt these days. If you feel like you wanna put yourself out there, for whatever reason, I’ll probably photograph you.