Women's Lib: UNTAME Magazine Talks Good Butts
Wendi Marissa runs a magazine that celebrates the babes.
Wendi Marissa likes butts. She also loves collaborating, and she’s bringing together a fine list of contributors—from Killer Mike to Jerry A. from Poison Idea and Fab 5 Freddy—to tell stories for men in the freshest new print zine she calls UNTAME.
“I really just think about dudes all the time,” Wendi tells me over the phone.
She’s made zines since she was a little kid. After her father died suddenly, she decided it was time to push herself to pursue her passion of making her very own, thick, sexy, heavy matte, 200-page, photo-rich art book that celebrates babes. And UNTAME was brought to be.
The KIND: Why did you start UNTAME as a men’s mag?
Wendi Marissa: I saw a void. Literally I was doing a Pop Physique class, and I was thinking about body types, and this guy I had a crush on. After the class in the shower, I was like, I should start a men’s magazine. But I wanted it to be different, like an art book. I had a friend in publishing, and she’d always left the door open to collaborate. And then UNTAME started a month after all that.
The KIND: What are the most challenging parts of running a magazine?
Wendi Marissa: The daily struggle is that it’s new, and with any business you will think about the financials too. I mean I could harp on the money, I guess. But, working with a team in different time zones is hard. We are essentially working around the clock in some ways. We just have to schedule stuff as best we can and just roll with it. Having a mentor has been helpful, like just asking questions about having a staff, or wondering if I’m doing it right. The managing and juggling of a bunch of content and deadlines is a lot.
The KIND: You make a men’s magazine. Do you identify as a feminist?
Wendi Marissa: The backstory with me and women’s politics, is that I grew up in Washington D.C., and at a very young age I started on a path where I was really heavily involved with Riot Girl DC. DC was at an amazing time back then, too, and I’m really grateful. I worked for the DC Rape Crisis Center and would hand out flyers in the rain, asking for money. We were putting on shows to get prostitutes off the street and doing a lot more. At the same time, I think things have changed and opened up. I think the word feminist means a lot more now to a lot of different people, and I don’t even know what it means anymore to me! So I don’t really identify as a feminist. I don’t really identify as anything except, well, my name.
The KIND: If you weren’t running UNTAME, what would you be doing?
Wendi Marissa: Sometimes without UNTAME, I think I would be nothing. I’d wonder who am I? Other times, I wonder what else I’d want in my life. I’d also like to be a housewife, or at least my interpretation of that. And that kind of changes on the daily to me too! But I guess it means, to me, just holding down the fort.