This Eye-Popping Magazine Is Combining Food and Sex for All the Right Reasons

This Eye-Popping Magazine Is Combining Food and Sex for All the Right Reasons
Source: Mouthfeel
Source: Mouthfeel

A nude blonde figure picks at his toes, a can of Spam spliced into the image to cover up his most salacious bits. A burly mustachioed man reclined shirtless with a jar of mayonnaise covering whatever is happening below the waist. Flip the page, and another guy appears to be tanning his own buns amid a tray of actual hot dogs.

No, Mouthfeel is definitely not your typical food magazine. Instead, it brings together sexy guys, recipes and hardcore gay culture, all in one gorgeous package the likes of which Martha Stewart would never put together. 

If it looks more diverse than any food content you see out there on newsstands or Instagram, that's exactly the point. 

A sexier look at food: For a magazine that sits at the intersection between gay, punk and food cultures, "we wanted to take the opposite end of the spectrum, from a design perspective," said founder Mac Malikowski in a phone interview with Mic.

That means something drastically different than indie food magazines like Kinfolk or Cereal and the picture-perfect, cookie-cutter imagery of Martha Stewart, Pinterest and Instagram — you know, those artfully styled #breakfast and #coffee posts with their "rustic chic" aesthetic.

Collages in the 'Plates' section of new gay food zine Mouthfeel.
Source: 
Courtesy of Mouthfeel Magazine

"That look is very popular and pervasive, so I wanted the execution of Mouthfeel to have a gritty texture to it," said the former barista, who's put in time at restaurants like Bar Boulud, Momofuku and Blue Bottle Coffee and interned at the Marcus Samuelsson Group

While working for Marcus Samuelsson, he said, "I always wondered what it would be like to have a blog with content that had a sexier edge to it."

The result is a 36-page magazine with images from Malikowski's own personal vintage pornography collection plus vintage food imagery sourced by the New York-based ad agency, Mother. 

Think buff boy masturbating meets slice of oozing cherry pie.

Putting gay voices — and bodies — out there: It's not just the aesthetic that Malikowski wants to change up. "I'd actually read an interview with Ty-lor Boring in Butt Magazine many, many years earlier," Malikowski confessed. "It was small feature about gay people working in the restaurant industry. Honestly, that one small feature was a huge inspiration for Mouthfeel."

As he told Bedford and Bowery in May, "I decided to put food media through a queer lens."

Art created with the help of New York agency Mother for Mouthfeel magazine.
Source: 
Courtesy of Mouthfeel Magazine

That includes more representation for queer individuals, who are more underrepresented in the industry than assumed. A 2012 feature from the Advocate reported on the industry's macho, testosterone-fueled culture, one that can leave some LGBT chefs and cooks feeling stifled or even bullied. 

While the magazine brings gay members of the food industry to the fore, Malikowski said his objective isn't overtly political. Despite serving up a memorable quote to the Cut in May ("I wasn't even out when I was washing dishes at Bar Boulud, but I learned how to say the word faggot in, like, six different languages. ... I definitely feel like at the core of the food industry there's a lot of homophobia.") Malikowski tells Mic the magazine isn't meant to be a critique so much as a celebration.

"Since [that quote got out], people have been sort of painting me as an activist, which is fine because I am an advocate of gay rights in all circumstances, including restaurant employment," he said. 

"But the publication is more a celebration of the things I love about the restaurant industry and definitely not about the things I don't love." 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Mikelle Street

Mikelle Street is a freelance writer based in Manhattan. His work has appeared for Maxim, Teen Vogue, Fashionista, Details, i-D and many others. He really likes clothes.

MORE FROM

People are sharing this video of John McCain defending Obama against scared white people in 2008

The video is meant to celebrate McCain's decency. But what really happened is more troubling.

GOP Senator defends hijab-wearing opponent from anti-Muslim abuse

Police are now escorting the Muslim Senate candidate to public events in response to the online abuse and hate mail.

Cults have a long history of exploiting black women

Black women have been exploited by cultic relationships for years. But this fact is often overlooked.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes spiked 91% within first half of 2017, new report says

2017 is on track to become one of the worst years for anti-Muslim hate crimes, according to a new report.

Prosecutor decides not to try Ray Tensing for third time in Sam DuBose's death

Twice already, jurors have not been able to agree whether Ray Tensing was guilty of murdering Sam DuBose.

It’s 2017 and companies are still describing products as “n*gger-brown”

Walmart's website was selling a third-party product with the descriptor, and people were outraged.

People are sharing this video of John McCain defending Obama against scared white people in 2008

The video is meant to celebrate McCain's decency. But what really happened is more troubling.

GOP Senator defends hijab-wearing opponent from anti-Muslim abuse

Police are now escorting the Muslim Senate candidate to public events in response to the online abuse and hate mail.

Cults have a long history of exploiting black women

Black women have been exploited by cultic relationships for years. But this fact is often overlooked.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes spiked 91% within first half of 2017, new report says

2017 is on track to become one of the worst years for anti-Muslim hate crimes, according to a new report.

Prosecutor decides not to try Ray Tensing for third time in Sam DuBose's death

Twice already, jurors have not been able to agree whether Ray Tensing was guilty of murdering Sam DuBose.

It’s 2017 and companies are still describing products as “n*gger-brown”

Walmart's website was selling a third-party product with the descriptor, and people were outraged.