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The Male Gazes Back: An Interview with Matthias Vriens

Updated: Nov 1

Everybody knows that sex sells, but the worlds of fashion and photography are selective about who gets to be sexualized. Nobody understands this better than Matthias Vriens, a legend in taste-making and indie publishing. Since the start of his career in the early 90s, he has been advocating for freedom of expression and equal representation of gender in eroticism. We were honored to have the former editor-in-chief of Dutch and art director for Gucci Group hop on a call with us for a candid conversation about the rampant hypocrisy in our culture and his recent foray into adult content creation.

The world of adult entertainment and the world of fashion and art have always been in conversation with each other, but it's a hush-hush conversation. On the sex work side, we're very open about being inspired by fashion magazines, movies, and artists. But on the fashion and art side, even though it's very obvious that there's a lot of influence coming from sex work, porn, and strippers, it's not spoken of outright. There's not a lot of credit given to these muses; it seems like sometimes it's almost used for shock value and not actually appreciated for its influence.

You call it secrecy, but my immediate response is to correct you and say that it's coated in a tremendous fat layer of hypocrisy. The fashion world and the contemporary art world flirt non-stop with sexuality and sex in general because, as the cliché goes, sex sells, but nobody's really open about it. So it's very nice to openly hear from you saying that you’re a sex worker and are honest about that. I've always been very sexually engaged and nothing but open about it, which comes with a lot of criticism and rejection.

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