Jack Cullen

Coitus - Issue 5 is on the way

More Cute Coitus Boys! 

London-based cult magazine Coitus has built an impressive following over the last three years with its own pop art brand of candy-floss boytopia photojournalism that takes smooth Pierre et Gilles style limbs into dingy London backstreets. Issue 5 is hot off the press this week and boasts a new cast of breakout male models. Jack caught up with editor-in-chief Pantelis for a chat on Berwick Street...

Pantelis! Congratulations on your fifth issue of Coitus, did you think it would get this far?

I never thought Coitus would reach five issues. The batch of 1000 copies have just been delivered to my flat, I looked at the boxes and thought, what have I done? I originally thought 40 would be enough. Selling an unknown magazine seemed impossible, and it hasn't been easy, but three years later we’re still here and running it from my bedroom! Coitus has evolved over the five issues and it’s perhaps time for reinvention now, I need to approach backers with a view to taking Coitus mainstream. It's certainly popular enough.

River Viiperi was one of your first big breakthrough stars and following Coitus he went on to be the face of Versace. Who are the faces to look out for with the new issue?

River was a breakthrough star but so was Coitus, it went hand-in-hand, we helped each other. Neither River nor Coitus knew things would take off and it’s a great story. In the new issue there are two boys to look out for: Scott Gardner and Nick Starkins. Scott had his first ever published shoot in Issue 4 and we were so impressed that we put him on the cover for 5. Nick has only just been discovered and we’ve given him his first ever cover. Both boys are now signed to Next Models L.A so I predict great things.

You seem to be very good at getting cute boys to relax naked. Do you have any tips?

I rarely shoot anyone completely naked, I prefer underwear and shorts. I don’t have any tips, I think I’m naturally friendly, funny and not intimidating so that helps to make models feel very comfortable in a short space of time. They know that they don't have to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Also, a game of FIFA on the Playstation before a shoot always breaks the ice!

Do you ever work naked yourself or in your pants? I know that Ryan McGinley and other contemporary photographers practise this.

Haha, I think me showing up naked for a photo shoot would be awkward for anyone involved. I'm fully clothed at work.

You're still based in London but use a lot of overseas models. Are you enjoying the London scene?

For Coitus we work with photographers all over the world who send us photos when we put the mag together. I work with local models in London and also models visiting from abroad. I don't really go out in London anymore to be honest. I don't drink alcohol and I get bored very easily, I was never big on going out. I prefer watching trashy TV.

So it’s still only 1000 copies per issue? Will you ever reissue old ones like the classic Coitus 1?

For the time being it’s still 1000. Printing requires a lot of money. People email us regarding the older sold-out issues, but I don’t want to on principle. With Coitus comes the promise that it's a limited edition magazine and it would be unfair to reprints. If you buy it you have it, if you don’t you miss out! Having said that, I am considering a “best of” book.

If any Gay Times readers want to model for Coitus what should they do?

We mostly use agency models now but we love discovering new people ourselves so if you think you have the Coitus vibe – send me an email. Each issue has boys that we’ve discovered, some of which go on to get signed with major agencies afterwards and we want to continue that success rate.

Finally, tell us about your summer - have you been on holiday? What are the summer tunes on your iPod?

I haven't been on holiday yet this summer, but I am going home to Cyprus next month to see my family and friends there. I was never a fan of high temperatures but after this summer we’ve had in England I’m looking forward to a really hot week. I have a lot of Madonna on my iPod at the moment, I’m rediscovering my love for her older songs. I went to her concert in London and was so impressed, the effect from that show still hasn't worn off!


Follow Pantelis on Twitter @PantelisPhotos and Jack @jackcullenuk

Photo: Nick Starkins by Pantelis

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