A somewhat new way of looking at gay. Two new ‘cult’ style magazines from which BUTT surfaced for the first time around May 2001. This January there has been the launch of a sister magazine called KUTT, meaning cunt in Dutch. BUTT was founded by Jop van Bennekom and Gert Jonkers. After having a dinner with the BUTT guys, KUTT was founded by three ladies, Jessica Gysel, Martien Mulder and Marjolein Rams. Resulting in a lesbian or should I say feminine version of the very male and homosexual BUTT.

Both magazines carry an interesting mix of interview style articles combined with saucy pictorial sections. Although the content seems strictly gay it seems to me a straight person can find some interesting items as well. Especially in the way the two magazines are designed there is a nice flavor of what is the new way of contemporary magazine design. It feels a bit like we’re dealing with two somewhat raunchy and low-circulation cult magazines
from a time long forgotten but make no mistake, these are the coolest in gay and design.

They are two non-glossy magazines that focus on people, not products. Reading the interviews is a bit like meeting the actual people. They can be world famous or totally and eternally unknown, but they’re always inspiring and exciting. In order to give you a better idea what these magazines are about I have decided to take a similar approach as BUTT & KUTT to
information gathering. A short interview with Jessica & Gert by email as plain and direct as possible.

What makes writing about about gay fun, or is the magazine about more than just being gay?

Gert: Yeah, being gay is fun and serious business at the same time, and so is writing about it. But the magazine is not about being gay, it’s just that everybody in the magazine is gay. The interviews in BUTT can be about anything. Being gay is a god given thing and not so much a subject to talk about endlessly.

Jessica: the fun thing is that I’m able to make my all-time favorite lesbian mag. Yet it’s more than only lesbian. we want to make an interesting magazine, with good interviews, nice pix all a very direct, personal way.

What is the difference between the male and female kind of gay, if there is one? What I notice are the obvious differences like the women being slightly more gentle and sophisticated when talking about sex but what’s your opinion?

Jessica: I don’t know. we made the magazine from our personal point of view.

Gert: Well, they obviously don’t have a lot in common, cause that’s what being gay is all about: to bond with the same sex. That’s why there’s two different magazines. Don’t ask me what’s the difference. For me there’s a huuuuge difference of course. One magazine turns me on, the other doesn’t.

It seems that at least for these two issues you’re using strictly friends as subject matter, it this part of the concept or more a coincidence?

Gert: That’s a coincidence. We’re not talking to friends only, but we do want to talk on an equal level to people, so maybe that gives it a friendly tone. We don’t like this ‘thank you very much mister celebrity for talking to us for ten minutes, could you please tell us something about your new film’ way of interviewing. We like to take interviews serious, and we want the subject to take us serious, so there’s the equality. Also, we interview people because we think that they’re intriguing, not because they have some new book or play or whatever to sell, so we usually already know the people we’re interviewing a bit, otherwise we would not know if we think they’re intriguing, right?

Jessica: Not only. Chloe is not a friend. k8 hardy either. we just want cool girls to get involved.

Which sort of leads to the following question: ‘what would be your most ideal content for the magazine, who would like to be in there that you don’t know personally?

Gert: The magazine as it is is an example of what’s our ideal.

Jessica: Madonna, of course.

Being a woman would you say that this is the first cool lesbian magazine around? After all the world is over crowded with homosexual magazines and other stuff but women always seem to be a little forgotten.

Jessica: I definitely would say so.

So for men is BUTT about as cool as homosexual gets?

Gert: Too many gay magazines, or maybe I should say too many magazines in general, are filled with those selling-stories. Somebody’s got a new album out and is asked some questions, although he hasn’t got a fuck to say. Also, a lot of gay magazines are filled with some strange
kind of ideal men which isn’t ideal at all, or even vaguely attractive. Every gay magazine with pictures of groomed men with a goatee and no chest hair can go straight out the window, as far as we’re concerned. We like real men. And real stories. And real obsessions. Having said that, there’s definitely some more cool gay magazines around. The American ‘Straight To Hell’ is definitely a big favorite.

And last but not least an unfair question which I will ask anyway. What’s you favorite article from the spring issue of KUTT and why.

Jessica: Chloe, because maybe she was the perfect excuse to get KUTT started in the first place.

Gert: That’s a difficult one! I like the Jeremy Scott interview ‘cause I like Jeremy, and I like the Jonsi Thor Birgisson interview although it’s very short but I think it’s cute and I loooooove his band ‘Sigur Ros’, also I like the Ryan McGinley interview ‘cause it’s pure sex, and then there’s some great pictures too that I could mention as my favorites and of course I like the pile of boy-words by Sico Carlier. Here’s an old cliché for you, but it’s true: it’s the combination of articles that make it the great magazine it is.

Well said Gert & Jessica, I couldn’t have done it any better so I’d like to leave it for what it is. I can recommend everybody to buy a copy of either magazine, or to borrow one from a good friend. Please note that the pink pages shown are BUTT and the purple pages are KUTT. For more information regarding BUTT & KUTT please refer to www.buttmagazine.com & www.kuttmagazine.com.

Text: Bastiaan Rijkers from Lemon Scented Tea

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.