Genre Fakes Cover Story to “Sell” Idea of Relationship Longevity

Over at Queerty they’ve uncovered the fact that one of the men featured as part of a monogamous couple on their current cover is actually heterosexual Playgirl model Julian Fantechi. Inside the magazine, they’re presented as a real life couple, an example of monogamy. According to the reader that tipped off Queerty, “Inside the magazine, they are stripped down, appear to be into each other, and are allegedly, discussing their physical relationship, emotional, sexual and spiritual relationship.”

Genre_2Editor Neal Boulton told Queerty: “The idea was to use these hot boys to sell a bigger idea that I feel is very possible—longevity in relationships… The cover article I use these boys to sell tips for guys who may want to experience the same.” However, that’s not the explanation that I was given a few weeks ago, which you can read below.

In mid-November, publisher William Kapfer forwarded the cover to me as publications sometimes do, in case there might be something of interest to feature to Towleroad readers. While I found nothing newsworthy about the cover at the time, unfortunately these latest revelations from Queerty compel me to share Boulton’s statement offered to me about the cover.

According to Kapfer, who may or may not have known about the cover set-up, Boulton’s statement to Towleroad regarding it was this:

“Everyone wants—someone. But when you get them, how do you keep it going. Genre‘s new service journalism and -how to- editorial direction made it easy for us to provide our readers with the **50 top ways to stay together forever.** This is not your typical list. We delve into the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects that if addressed can actually enhance the way people relate to each other. We acknowledge that not every is monogamous, but some are—and we even address how to manage life in either scenario. On the cover this month, Genre bravely put forth a reality couple, and not the typical models who hold perfection over our heads. Our message is simple. Reach for forever. Genre can help you get there.”

Hopefully, if Genre decides to “bravely put forth a reality couple” again, they won’t be selling a false bill of goods.

No Truth In ‘Genre’ Cover [queerty]

(note: as a matter of disclosure, I’m a former editor of Genre, and as a side note, when we did our “relationships” issue there was no shortage of hot, interesting real-life couples dying to tell their stories to the magazine – Feb ’03)


  1. Dean says

    Wait, how are they NOT typical models who hold perfection over our heads? I’m confused. But thank God genre will probably be there to offer me 30 tips about it next issue. Lame.

  2. ricardo says

    it reminds me of all of the other fake blah blah blah that we’ve been hearing in crap productions for such an amazingly long time, i can’t believe that people in varying communities would even attempt to eat the trash that some people are dishing up. it has to be some of the most pretentious, hypocritical, mundane, fascist, greed-based, myopic, ignorant, zero-integrity, non-commmunity, unhealthy trash that the world has EVER seen produced.

    thank you.

  3. Ernie says

    Ah, “new service journalism” at its finest. “Reach for forever” indeed. I suppose reaching for journalistic integrity would be too much to ask of such a publication?

    And, unless I’m blind, the cover boys are the very definition of typical models. They may not be a real couple–or even gay, it seems–but they’ve sure got boring twin chests.

  4. Kool-Aid Avoidant says

    Listen, Boultan’s messy personal life has been all over Page Six … a wife and kid … gay lovers … This guy is putting together cover stories about gay monogamy??? The fact that the cover boys are posed, not even a real couple, and on top of that — “gorgeous” models — is really insulting. And we wonder why the young gays don’t socialize with anyone over 35?? Yet another horrible example of the gay community’s obsession with physical beauty. My new boyfriend (like me) is a good-looking but pretty average guy. We look like most men in their 40s, straight or gay. It took me many years to realize that I was not one of those men on the cover of Genre.

  5. TOMMY says

    Why on earth would you even ask a twenty-something about how to keep a LTR. I have been with my partner for 31 years and we are STILL trying to figure out why it works. All I know is that it does. (And even in my younger years I never looked like that.)

  6. Rad says

    ‘Genre’ is nothing but a pandering piece of filth and fluff aimed at the “just a click too old to wear A & F, but don’t realize it” crowd.

    What pisses me off the most is this “George Michael” mentality that comes across in the publication. That they are the definitive beacon for gaydom, regardless of the plastic and vapidid material inside.

  7. NJSCOR says

    I got this issue yesterday as part of a 3 month trial. Needless to say, the 3 issues I received reminded me of why I canceled it years ago after getting 10 issues. Nothing but chiseled abs and public hair. I have easy access to porn, why do I need this crap? And to top it off, Genre is now faking stories?? Nice integrity….

  8. shane says

    Normally I hate this rag (given to me as a gift) but the article associated with these guys’ pics was a good one! Probably the best I had ever seen – made me wonder because it stood out against all the crap they usually publish.

  9. Daniel says

    Ugh…I hate queer media…it used to be good and interesting when folks like Towle ran the mags, but I can’t even read them anymore. The gay mags are like picture books for gay retards now. I get my daily dose of Towleroad, and that is all I need.

  10. Zeke says

    As if they couldn’t have found REAL people in long term relationships, gorgeous or not, to feature on their cover.

    They took a wonderful concept and screwed it up royally.

    Having been in a wonderful relationship for 16+ years I have to agree with those above who asked why they would think twenty-somethings would be the go to experts on keeping a long-term relationship together? It reminds me of the anti-wrinkle ads that have early twenty-something women talking about how product “A” has kept their skin young, taut, smooth and wrinkle free. Well hooptie doo!

    My relationship SURVIVED my twenties in spite of myself and not because I was so wise or enlightened. The wisdom of older men in long-term relationships, and not magazine articles, was invaluable to me and my partner in navigating the pitfalls of a relationship especially a same-sex relationship in a heterocentric world. It still is. I hope to pass the knowledge, experience and wisdom that I’ve gained over the years to younger people who want my advice.

  11. Sebastian says

    Gee, I didn’t know this rag was still even being printed.

    Too bad its only the “hot” guys that they seem to feel are worthy of a cover, when there are plenty of us regular, average gay men who can tell you how to function on all levels of being gay day in and day out and be happy campers.

    Maybe one of these days someone will put out something for real gay men to enjoy, since less than 10% seem to ever fit what the publishers deem the ideal gay man.

  12. Ryan says

    thank you for the posts. My partner and I have been together for three years. Not too long but long enough to find ways to keep it interesting. Genre’s advice is NOT the way to go.

  13. JJ says

    Take it from someone in a “real” long term relationship (22 years). If you’re relying on Genre magazine for relationship advice, your relationship is probably in trouble. Now, if you need advice on cruising ettiqette at the gym or need to know the circuit party schedule for the next year, then by all means, read Genre.

  14. Loveisnotagame says

    Don’t go out in the gay world hoping to exploit and trade on pinup looks for goods and services, basically seeking to take advantage of others. As is often the case, you will wind up being the one taken advantage of. You see, the trouble for young gay men playing love games is that the gay men who have the goods you’re after tend to be older and wiser. And they’ve usually been playing the game a lot longer than you have, which means they’re better at it than you. So you lose.

    Try heading into your next relationship with a different MO. People with HIV and AIDS can and do find lovers, have relationships, get hitched, and settle down. Even models with AIDS find lovers, especially in these days of drug cocktails, undetectable viral loads, and “healthy” PWAs. Head into relationships with no material expectations. Offer what you’ve got to give; not just your body and your private parts – but your humanity and your heart as well, and see if your luck doesn’t change. Take responsibility for your past actions, your present misery, and your future happiness.

  15. Don says

    As others have pointed out, the gay magazine I’d most want to read would be something with the mix of….Towleroad. I guess it’s true: Print Is Dead. Lucky you got out of it, Andy.

  16. rascal says

    I think most gay guys in relationships are like all guys, as exemplified by the way Jerry Seinfeld described the difference between men and women watching television: Women want to know what’s on TV; men want to know what else is on TV.

  17. says

    Not surprised in the least. Another, now-defunct mag (either HERO or Instinct) did the same thing about 5-7 years ago with some hottie named Nathan from MGM. By the time the mag came out on newstands, his relationship was over.

  18. gayjaybird says

    Ok, perhaps I’m picking nits here–but the original statement said a ‘reality couple.’ I think the editor meant it to a be different term from a ‘real’ couple. A ‘reality couple’ would be like James Getzlaff and Whoever-it-was, or the Bachelor and his pick. I.E. an artificially created couple that people are supposed to accept as legitimate and get emotionally invested in for the sake of the vehicle presenting them.

  19. Will says

    A bit off topic, but in Germany a new gay magazine was launched two months ago called “Front.” Simply an excellent magazine with really interesting articles, not to mention the usual stuff, fashion, fashion pictorial. Reading it and then having to read what Americans are offered, Advocate and Out and probably the closest comparisons, I really wonder what is it with American gay media in such a large and rich country. It really sucks. Really pathetic.

  20. Gary says

    I guess Richard and I were not part of their demographic. Two forty-somethings in a solid, loving relationship that doesn’t worship consumerism just doesn’t have a seat at the table in Genre’s eyes.

  21. Mike says

    I think our obsession with body image is a huge factor in gay men, or heterosexual men, in satisfying long term relationships. As all men become more body-conscious, and as advertisers become more shameless about objectifying the male physique, men are acquiring problems formerly associated with women: eating disorders, body obsessions, low physical self-esteem. What we see on TV and in magazines eventually become our standard of reality and desire; failing to meet it is perceived as deficiency. Characteristics like sweat and hair can be controlled on screen but never escaped in reality, so some men come to see these essential parts of their body as they might a rounded belly or un-firm bicep: as a gross, unfortunate flaw. As we get older, regardless of your exercise regime, the body changes. If all of a sudden you’re in an intimate situation and these aspects of your body are exposed, you have to deal with the fact that your body doesn’t meet the ideal. You’re concerned with how your partner is evaluating you. When ashamed, men detach emotionally and mentally from sexual situations—they aren’t attentive to their partner’s needs or open with their own.

  22. Jordan says

    I happen to like Genre, and think those guys are extremely hot. I’d have a 3-way with them in a heartbeat. Who cares if they are gay or not? Like many of you haven’t had sex with ‘straight’ guys before. I know I have.

    As for staying together or a LTR, I wouldn’t know. Never had one.

  23. AnalWarts says

    Story of a fat man:

    “As we get older, regardless of your exercise regime, the body changes. If all of a sudden you’re in an intimate situation and these aspects of your body are exposed, you have to deal with the fact that your body doesn’t meet the ideal. You’re concerned with how your partner is evaluating you. When ashamed, men detach emotionally and mentally from sexual situations—they aren’t attentive to their partner’s needs or open with their own.”

    Who wants to look at fat men on a cover? I wouldn’t spend my money? I can roll over in bed and see that. This magazine and others like it, are just giving us what we want and are willing to pay for. Get over it.

  24. DrCleanMe says

    Genital warts (or Condyloma, Condylomata acuminata, or venereal warts) is a highly contagious sexually transmitted infection caused by some sub-types of human papillomavirus (HPV). I got them on my tounge – this is not a subject to take lightly.

    It is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact during oral, genital, or anal sex with an infected partner. Genital warts are the most easily recognized sign of genital HPV infection.

    Genital warts often occur in clusters and can be very tiny or can spread into large masses in the genital or penis area.

    They are approximately as prevalent in straight men as gay men, but the symptoms may be less obvious in straight men, as they have stronger bowel movements and camouflage the little warts. When present, they usually are seen on the tip of the penis. They also may be found on the shaft of the penis, on the scrotum, or around the anus. Rarely, genital warts also can develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person – like I had. So stop using that name on your posts, Anal Warts. Not funny. I had a friend with an Anal Wart in his nostril.

  25. says

    I would have had more respect for the editors if they simply said “we wanted hot guys on the cover and these are the guys that the agency sent over.”

    We’re making a statement here. Let’s not underline the statement, let’s just make it.

  26. ModelsNYC says

    I tried out of that cover – but they were not using models – just people they knew. I thought it was random that the guy who was kissing a girl on “Ugly Betty” was chosen to be on the cover. I was on the show as an extra the same time he was. He is a real ham.

  27. JackButt says

    Model – did you mean you tried out “for” the cover? No matter you are a model – and not a good one obviously, at that. Maybe you should try out for the cover of Next Magazine.

  28. TammyK says

    Models are over-rated. I dated one and he had shit stripes in his Calvin Kleins. I think models are bubbled headed beach blondes. They only care about themselves and masturbate to their own images in the mirror and squirt their jizz in their own faces – I saw a movie once. And one time a guy peed on another guy. It was so sick. There are germs in urin – I read about it in a Vogue. They did a story on urin, although it was women’s urin – it all still comes from a bad place and we should not have it in our mouths. If so, we need to rince with rubbing alochol – but not swallow the rubbing alcohol or it can burn your throat. But you can put rubbing alcohol on a dirty ass hole and not have poop strips in your underwear. Or bleach.

  29. Princess Superstar says

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, Doc! Heterosexual men have stronger bowel movements?! What an extraordinary “factoid” to throw into the pool. Please do cite a reference or two.

  30. Senior says

    I was in the ’03 issue that had couple featured. I loved that hot latin guy that use to work at Foodbar – he was my favorite. He was hot and looked a great deal like the guy on the left. These are real guys on the covers, not girls. We are looking at the magazine for hot guys, not the editorial content – please.

  31. MySavor says

    The bible does not mention bowel movements. That is crazy. The Prodigal Son has been one of the most trusted parables in the Good Book, used extensively in Westerns and war, but not from the perspective of a church background, with a plot tweak that pits former best friends against each other in so dramatic a way. There is no mention of fecal release in any of the psalms.

    Jesus recognized this early as the storyline unfolded:] It’s about really having the inner fortitude to overcome anything that’s in front of you, and doing that with the help of God. It’s a faith-based, inspiration-themed film, one we’ve wanted to do for some time. … You see the character Boris plays of David, who’s raised in the church, goes away, gets into a life of fame, money, women, wealth, drugs and sex. As he journeys back, it’s the redemption that he finds, it’s the hope that he finds, it’s the salvation that he finds.

  32. Gregg says

    DRCLEANME says warts “may be less obvious in straight men, as they have stronger bowel movements and camouflage the little warts”.

    Bwahahahahahahaha! What kind of an idiot are you?

  33. Gaydar says

    XY magazine in San Francisco and its publishers Peter Ian Cummings and Steven Underhill put straight twins on their cover (twice) and did not tell anyone that they were straight, stop the presses. . OMG

    OUT magazine, cover of guy on a horse — the guy boy is model Chad White of Dolce & Gabbana fame – straight …readers are teased by the coverline, “only my young master can ride me!” which is presumably the horse talking? Are we the jack-asses because we have been seeing this straight guy stuff in every magazine we read but decide to get worked up now?

    OUT has been the magazine with straight people on the cover, since Joe Landry.

  34. OhyEsidid says

    I used to work with Dr. Bill Kapfer. Let me just tell you he has absolutely no integrity. He can back-peddle out of any promise he has made to just about anybody; he’s the King of duplicity. Although I haven’t read this article, I certainly hope he didn’t write it, because in no means is he in a monagamous relationship.

  35. PhotoCritic says

    I dont care that Genre puts straight guys on the cover. What I do care about is that the magazine has started to SUCK mightily in the last few months. That cover photo says it all – what a piece of $#!+. I cannot believe the photographer wasn’t to embarrassed to let the editors see that pic.

    I canceled my subscription today which says a lot because mine is free but I would rather save the tree than have that crap in my mailbox.

  36. Mike 2 says

    Kenneth – it is “photographer wasn’t ‘too” embarrassed to let..” wrong use of “to”…. and I do not think that Kapfer is a writer, he is on the business side, OHYESIDID—so maybe you should read the article (although not to inspiring), and yes Mike, even if you win – you (and we) are all retarded for writing on the web sites.

  37. BBKing says

    The question ism, how did Genre get this Playgirl guy to be on the cover anyway? Does this mean we will not be seeing the young, hot guys we’ve grown to love? I respect chunky guys – but show me the beef! If having regular guys and celebs on the covers is the new approach then – goodbye, Genre!!

  38. monty says

    Wow- I nearly subscribed to Genre again(after letting my subscription lapse long ago) before the latest change in leadership. Thankfully, I opted not to waste my money.
    So apparently, it wasn’t enough just to overhaul the magazine (with a layout and style eerily reminiscent of Men’s Fitness- just a coincidence I’m sure), but now they have to fake stories too. It doesn’t matter that it’s seemingly become a stretch to expect engaging and fresh journalism from this rag, er…mag; any editor in chief or publisher with even a hint of professional integrity would be extremely embarassed by this development. Boulton’s explanation is pathetic.

  39. stuart says

    Genre ranks right below EW as brainless after-a-stressful-day reading. Genre has always been trash, it should market itself as such and get on with it.


  40. Jack says

    Did ANY of you think for even a second that this was a real couple? The content of Genre’s articles is debatable, but anyone who thinks their visual representation is a reflection of the real world must be delusional. And I found the lack of chemistry between the two models so blatant as to be hysterically funny. Into each other? Please. My partner and I are in our 50s, together for 18 years, and have photos of ourselves fully clothed that are far sexier than any of the shots for this article in Genre.

  41. Anthony says

    I agree Jack: Did you see the OUT 100 cover? It looked like the “gay elite” hated each other – a dysfunctional family on the cover. When it works and models have chemistry – it is SO hot to see. Maybe that is why just one person on a cover works best? I don’t know.

  42. DENVER ANDY says

    OK, I find this funny, but after my earlier posting about how I was tired of this mag arriving repeatedly with the “THIS IS YOUR LAST ISSUE” page on the cover asking for a renewal, I got an email from “” quoted below:

    “Good evening. It has come to our attention that you would like to cancel your Genre subscription? We are sorry for any inconvenience. Please confirm cancelation and we will process your request.”

    The mis-spelling of “cancellation” is theirs not mine. Does this strike anyone else as funny that they have time to read and respond to Towleroad comments?


  43. michael davis says

    7 years ago I Placed Andy Towle in the position as editor in chief at Genre Magazine. I was the Creative Director and once again the magazien was on its last legs.

    The idea was to give the gay community a magazine that exposed the most talented and interesting people in the gay community.

    From the gay water polo player at Yale to Brian Singer the director, we tried to profile men that would inspire all of us and once in awhile work the sex appeal angle.

    Our 1st relationship issue had Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan, before Adler was the brand he is today.

    Even Richen and Chip were featured before they were on Amazing Race and won.

    There are many great couples, sex is more then outside. The outside just helps to sell magazines.

    We had more mail thanking us on these stories.

    I left to become creative director of Instinct and re shape that publication.

    After 2 year creating gay media I was burnt on the arena and hoped that all would continue creating quality. Well the jury is out and we can see from advertising that its a tought sell.

    Good Luck

  44. Gregg says

    Michael – We loved the Genre when you were there. The comments on here are just bitter ex-employees who were not invited to be part of the new Genre. We totally get it. Finally, Genre has a new energy and direction, as when you were there. Good luck! Greg

  45. PhotoCritic says

    Hmmmm? Could GREGG be a current employee of GENRE? For the record, I have never worked for that magazine – nor would I. I do know several people that have worked there and it wasn’t that they were not invited – they left en masse. Amazing how the “new editorial direction” coincided with the “inability to pay previous staff”.

  46. danr says

    Genre used to be a really fun, informative magazine. This newest incarnation is seems like a cut-and-paste of Men’s Health, except with nothing of substance, and barely any actual written word.

    Looks like I’ll be dropping Genre like a bad habit.

  47. Gregg says

    I love how any critique of Genre is dismissed as being written by disgruntled former employees. Well, this Gregg has never worked at Genre nor any magazine – but I can tell a bad photo when I see one – and that cover is it! How Genre could take a hot guy like Fantechi and make him unattractive is really quite amazing.

    The pics inside the mag (which I was able to peruse with my free “subscription”) were even worse. Any real couple that looks that depressed and mournful after 10 years together should just shoot each other and be done with it!

    The content is even worse than the pics. The column about blowjobs? Not only tacky but unsafe to boot! Bravo, Genre.

Leave A Reply