In most cases, those of us who want to attend a queer party have to get ourselves there—by train, by Uber Pool, or by stomping our boot heels down the sidewalk. Daddy Issues, an inclusive bacchanal founded by Oly Innes (or Ollywood) and his collaborator Borja Pena, is a growing empire increasingly devoted to bringing the party to you. The first iteration of Daddy Issues popped up in 2015—a queer party thrown in a club basement in Dalton East London. But shrewd branding has brought the phenomenon out into the streets—even into your hands.
Already, thanks to partnerships with like-minded queer creatives and influencers like Andy Simmonds (@heyrooney), Daddy Issues has launched a popular apparel line, with swimwear, hats, and various T-shirts all brandishing the playfully sexual “Daddy Issues” insignia. And now, the brand has launched its first-ever zine, collaborating with Pure for Men and photographer Christopher Sherman on a 52-page, full color, NSFW print project that celebrates sex and men of all colors, types, and sizes.
“The Daddy Issues zine is a beacon of faggotry,” Innes says. “It's unashamedly queer. Though not all the men in the images are queer themselves, it's been produced with a queer eye. Sometimes I feel surrounded by media that describes itself as queer but doesn’t have the balls to deliver. I grew up with Butt magazine, which was a huge source of inspiration for me as an artist. It was unapologetic about sex. Christopher Sherman has a great way of making anyone sexy, no matter their shape or where they come from. Our influences were vintage porn, and that specific vibe that's sleazy, but never intimidating and always done with a wink—which is very much in keeping with the Daddy Issues brand.”
The inaugural issue of the zine is available now, and can be picked up tonight at an official launch party being held at The Lash in downtown Los Angeles. It's also available for purchase online. In addition to Sherman, Innes and his team are eager to collaborate with more photographers for future issues of the zine, while still keeping the partying soul of Daddy Issues alive. Now living stateside in Los Angeles, Innes has made that London-based party a monthly affair in both L.A. and Madrid, and the brand will soon extend the festivities to Mexico and New York City.
And all of this, Innes says, is part of an ardent attempt to normalize queer sex in an era when such an act is desperately needed.
“When you feel like you have taken a few huge steps forward, in terms of progress, and then suddenly 20 steps backward, it's important to never give in—to never revert back and be ashamed of who you are what you're into,” he says. “With this zine in particular, it’s very much about being as gay as possible, and not being afraid of sex, but never in a way that's unapproachable. I loved a quote I heard from George Michael, who was always a huge idol of mine. They tried to make him feel guilty after he was caught having sex in public, and instead of being ashamed he owned it. It was a huge bit progress for the queer community—to have someone who was queer and sexual, even if it wasn’t accepted in the mainstream.”
To learn more about Daddy Issues, and to purchase a copy of the zine, visit www.daddyissueslondon.com.