Art & Culture / Fashion / Interview

For boys who like boys and those merely curious: DICKPRINT is dismantling the stigma of homoerotica

"I hope DICKPRINT can fill the void in the lives of men who crave the same freedom of expression"- Kacion Mayers

It is a mere impossible feat to try and gage how one goes through life relatively conscious of the ways in which they are to present themselves, day-to-day, in an array of environments and people. So, the thought of having to confront sexuality and your physiological right to a nut, unabashedly… forget about it. In a realm where sexual desires that tip the richter scale of conformity and hanker on the verge (or past it) of extreme become identifiably abominable and indications of deviance. Now, imagine the individual is a gay black man. Well, Kacion Mayers is the Central Saint Martins (soon to be) grad who wants you to confront your inability to quite come to terms with why your sexual curiosities are gender specific. 

There’s almost a regressive appeal from cis-het individuals around the sexual encounters of gay  men and the fetishisation of blackness and the masculinity of such is a determining factor in the voyeurism attached to black gay men by all, including their non-black counterparts. 

The North West Londoner , like many kids that dreamed of careers in fashion believed that studying fashion design was the only possible entry point, but after studying a short course in womenswear at CSM his linguistic knack catapulted him to studying Fashion journalism at the institution and later became someone to watch with features in the likes of The face and ID. Embarking on DICKPRiNT magazine as his final degree project, the publication became a physical ‘fuck you’ to those who have shamed the community into secrecy, unable to explore kink and fetish to their fullest most bombastic heights. 

How did Dickprint come to be?

It was many different things coming into one actually. I had been posting a lot of the wild interactions from men I’d been communicating with on Grindr and Tinder and the likes on my Instagram. Messages from guys saying things like ”i know for black culture bottoming is a shame because it reminds them of the horrors of colonialism when they were sexually assaulted” (word for word quote btw and i have the screenshots) and ”it may be hard for bottoms to enjoy it because they don’t do what they want – they tend to do what the top wants. The top does his thing and leaves in most cases”. Don’t ask how I drag the dirt out of men after five minutes chatting on an app but I have a knack for it. I wanted to kind of reclaim my sexuality as both a black man and as a bottom. The boys are really out here and they’re out here delusional as ever.

My mother also has this way of evading my sexuality because i’m sure it makes her uncomfortable for whatever reasons. I know that she loves me and I could not be here without her support and guidance and love. But equally, by evading my sexuality she is most definitely evading me because the two are not mutually exclusive. She is actually missing out on who I have become, who I am. So DICKPRINT is also born out of this tension and it is kind of a scream out in the open for attention and for her to take notice. It’s a dildo to the face, you know? She can’t evade my degree so I named my final major project  DICKPRINT and made it all about gay sex and culture and I got a first class honors for it. She can’t ignore that.

Also i came across the word fetish in Man Ray’s autobiography but in the original sense. So a power object like the Nkiso Nkondi figures from The Congo. I went into an etymological wormhole from there and linked all of these ideas into one.

In what ways did your sexuality inform your narrative?

I think what informed my narrative most were these kinds of intergenerational conversations I was having with the likes of Hal Fischer, Bruce LaBruce, Roy Inc, Les Child and Ajamu. They’re obviously all so knowledgable and have seen and been through it all so their perspective to me was incredibly interesting and informative. Ajamu was hosting sex parties for black and brown men into kink and fetish exclusively in his brixton home. This was in London in the 90’s! That is queer history that’s gone under the radar and deserves attention. That is mind blowing to me and certainly helped to shape DICKPRINT. Hal Fischer reliving what he calls ”the golden era” in the 70’s pre aids and the Castro district. He really recreated that world for me and gave it such depth for me understand what those times were like. Times which no doubt inform the way us gay men live now in contemporary society. Bruce LaBruce was also a wild conversation. I mean come on, this is the guy behind Hustler White and No Skin Off My Ass. He is Mr queercore himself.

Were there any reservations in committing to a narrative still so taboo?

Absolutley not. The challenges were the exciting part and actually, wasn’t that challenging at all. I’d been waiting for a long time to kind of have this sort of burst.

How did you forgo your research?

I started in The Bishops Gate Archive where i went through old magazines like Drummer and Regulation catalogues. I recorded conversations with people like Ajamu who is a black British queer activist and artists whose work centers kink and sex involving the black body. I then had conversations with legends like Hal Fischer over Skype and I looked into books Ajamu recommended Such as Sensational Flesh. I read up on fetish in fashion in books by Ted Polhemus and Valeerie Steele. I also dipped my toes in the world and got my own firsthand experiences. But i thought it was most important to speak with people who really live and lead these lifestyles so a lot of my research was conversation based.

You have some notable names behind the scenes that helped make this possible. How did those connections come to be?

Honestly just sending a pleasant email and being persistent. Sometimes I’d get responses in a few hours or a few days and sometimes weeks later but I did get a response. I also got a lot of my friends to get involved with the styling and all the models in my shoot are people i know and love dearly. They’re real queer black men which was really important for me to have. Ibrahim has always shown me love and supported me, as has Ola. They also helped to bring in photographers who also got the vision and executed it perfectly.

Who is your readership?

I’d hate to have to narrow it down because I’d want everyone and anyone to pick it up and read but I suppose my readership is in the tagline ”for boys who like boys and those merely curious”

What direction will you take the next Edition?

There are only 150 copies of DICKPRINT and I don’t plan on continuing on to another issue. It was my final major project and only a moment in time and a very expensive one at that. Perhaps if i managed to secure some funding, i would release a second issue.

What is the takeaway from DICKPRINT?

Free your inhibitions, have a little more fun, educate yourself and never let anyone make you feel alienated or lesser than. The dick won’t print itself so you’ve always got to take action. Have confidence and do what makes you feel good.

What about you? What is next for Kacion Mayers?

Perhaps some freelance opportunities but most likely a job. I think I have so much more to learn and give.

My dream is to runaway to New York and work under Vanessa Friedman at NYT or eve. Robin Givhan at The Washington Post. Lets speak this into existence shall we?

Parting words?

Thank you 🙂

EDITOR IN CHIEF & CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Kacion Mayers

Contributing Stylists

Ibrahim Kamara & Ola Ebiti

Contributing Photographers

Kyle Weeks & Danielle Fummo

Graphic Design

Kacion Mayers

Preorder DICKPRINT  at dickprint.co.uk

3 July 2019