Big ones, small ones, skinny ones, tall ones. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and we’re celebrating all of them in the Attitude Body Issue.
As our exclusive survey of 5000 readers reveals some shocking truths about how gay men really feel about their bodies, we asked 12 brave guys to strip off and show us what they’ve got to prove that keeping it real is the hottest look of all.
As part of the special shoot in our brand new issue – available to download and in shops now – we asked 12 brave guys to strip off and discuss their relationship with their bodies, and how it’s affected their relationship with the gay community as a whole.
One of them was London-based artist and DJ Ray Noir, whose unique body art makes him stand out from any crowd. We caught up with him after the shoot to see what he makes of it all…
You took part in Attitude’s ‘Body Beautiful’ shoot. What did you think of the photo and the shoot?
The photo was ok, I don’t really feel comfortable getting naked in front of people in general!
Are you happy you did the shoot? Has it changed the way you view your body?
I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with my body – I guess that’s why I keep getting tattoos to cover it.
What feedback have you had from people about the photo?
I only had positive feedback, which has been nice.
You funded your music video as a Kickstarter campaign and tattooed the contributors on your body. That’s a bit nuts! How many names did you get in the end?
Yeah I had to come up with something creative so fans could get something out of the money they supported with. I tattooed seven names and then a guy paid quite a bit extra and wanted to do a design, so I got a banana tattoed as well. Then a couple of brands like Cockheart and Bear Flavour supported the video so I got their logos.
Where did you put them all on your body?
I got them all on my leg, since I had space there, but now it’s finally filling up [laughs]
Your tattoos are quite elaborate. What’s your favourite one?
I really like my neck part in general, but my favourite I think is the devil’s goat I have at the back of my neck and head.
Do you regret any tattoos?
I don’t regret anything, but if I started today I think I would do some of them differently.
Tell us about your new single. Who did you work on it with?
My new single ‘All Alone’ was released earlier this month. I worked with a friend of mine Rickard Frennaux from the band Red Light Company. The song is inspired by my Synth Pop and Goth idols Depeche Mode and The Sisters of Mercy as well as Peaches. I got my best friend Mariann Rosa, who I’ve been a super fan of for years, to sing on the track as well, so pretty happy with that. The song might be dancy, but I wrote the lyrics just after a relationship I was in ended.
That goth/rock sound isn’t one immediately associated with the gay scene – how does it feel to be an outsider in a community of outsiders?
I love being an outsider, why do you wanna try to fit in? But no really, I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from the gay community on my music. There aren’t that many openly gay entertainers in the metal/goth/rock world. And gay people seem to like alternative music as well. Most gay people I know are into Marilyn Manson, Placebo… We just rarely hear this kinda music at gay clubs and bars.
Similarly, do you find the goth/rock/metal scene is accepting of different sexualities?
There isn’t that many open gay people from the metal/goth scene that I know about, obviously you have a few like Ghaal from Gorgoroth and Rob Halford from Judas Priest, but they are very accepting, maybe more the goth scene than the metal scene as in the Goth scene it’s all about being quite flamboyant anyway while the Metal scene is much more macho/masculine.
Check out Ray’s latest single All Alone feat. Mariann Rosa here:
You can see the full shoot featuring all 12 Attitude readers who’ve dared to go bare in The Body Issue, available to download and in shops now. Available internationally from newsstand.co.uk/attitude.