Meet the Guy Behind "Guys With iPhones"
Guille is one of the luckiest men working on the web today. He's the founder of the super sexy NSFW site, Guys With iPhones, which shows exactly that: men taking photos of themselves using their iPhone.
Dirtier than Facebook but not nearly as naughty as an amateur porn site, some subjects show their faces while others keep their identities hidden, some are clothed while others show the full monty. But whether one looks innocent or dirty, silly or serious, there's a unique give and take between exhibitionist and voyeur that can't be found on any other site existing today, and besides visitor comments GWiP is almost entirely devoid of writing.
So we got to wondering how GWiP came about, who Guille is—he's not giving out his last name because the last thing he needs are more e-mails— and how he decides what does or doesn't go up on the site.
GAY.COM: Who came up with the idea for GWiP?
GUILLE: To be honest, the idea started as a joke. A friend of mine sent me a picture of some random guy he knew and asked me if I thought he was hot. Since the guy in the pic was standing in front of a mirror holding you-know-what, I sarcastically said: "I don't think that guy is available, he's already in love with his iPhone." We laughed and that was pretty much it. But the idea remained in my head for some reason. A couple of days later the project was born, and the rest is history.
Was there an incident that made you well known within popular culture?
The site received mainstream attention since the early days. Gizmodo discovered GWiP in May of 2009 for example, but there's certainly a "before and after" in the history of the site. When Michael Stipe made an appearance it created quite a stir. The story was even picked by Perez Hilton and other important blogs.
How many submissions do you get per day?
We receive tons of pics but not all of them get the approval. We average about 30-40 submissions a day. On a good day, we can get up to 70 or more.
Does a guy really need an iPhone or will any camera phone be accepted?
We only allow iPhones. But if you really want to get on the site and don't have an iPhone you can always borrow one from a friend! Please do not steal. Thank you.
Do you turn down photos? Is there a criteria?
We do reject the pics that don't match the criteria. You'd be surprised at the type of photos we get considering it's very apparent, from our site title, that the only requirements are a "guy" + an "iPhone"! We also receive submissions from a lot of eager, but underaged, people. Due to the nature of the site, we strictly reject those.
I’m sure you guys have seen a LOT of crazy stuff. What was the craziest thing you had to reject?
From the top of my head: Someone sent a pic of black candles and voodoo dolls. It not only didn't fit our criteria, it was very spooky.
Sometimes the phone is placed in pretty naughty positions. Have you gotten a hard time (pun intended) from Apple?
[laughs] Nope. Not yet.
Is there an app for the site?
Unfortunately, given Apple's stringent guidelines, a GWiP app is pretty much a pipe dream. The site is always accessible from everywhere, just make sure to point your browser in the right direction. However, we've discussed doing a mobile friendly version of the site.
How do you know that the person submitting the photo is the person in it?
There is no full proof and practical way to verify submissions. In the event that the rightful owner wants a photo removed—whether submitted by himself or not, because we do have some who regret their own actions— we have a simple verification of his identity and the pic gets removed promptly, no questions asked.
What’s truly wonderful about the site is the range of men. The body types, sizes, tatts, hair, race—it’s not just one type of guy. Do you have a philosophy behind that?
We embrace diversity and our motto pretty much sums things up: "GWiP, powered by a love for hot men who appreciate the finer gadgets in life."
What is "hot" is subjective. Beauty isn't restricted to a paper-thin definition. And again, we stick by the rules of the game. Give us a guy with an iPhone, it gets posted.
Do you tell people what you do for a living, and if so, what’s their response?
We tell them we spend each day creating good karma by gratifying people around the world. And then we let their imaginations run wild.
Who are your favorite celebs who have been posted?
Probably my all time favorite is John McCain. Just kidding! There are so many that I can't pick just one.
Who was the most famous person on the site?
Ashton Kutcher. Wait, Fred Durst. Oh no, no, it has to be Michael Stipe. Heck, pick your own here!
Who are your favorite porn stars who posted?
My favorite porn dude hasn't post yet, and it kinda pisses me off but I remain hopeful so I won't mention his name.
Who has your favorite tattoo pic?
Tattoos are not my thing but Alexsander Freitas has a very nice sleeve.
What do you hope to see at some point that you haven’t seen yet from a user?
More pics in public places to break the monotony of the bathroom shots. Also, we're still waiting for someone to submit an episodic series of photos which tells an interesting story.
Why do you think guys submit their pictures? Is everyone an exhibitionist? Do they fantasize about being a porn star? Do they see this as a rite of passage?
It's all about receiving feedback from your peers and to be perceived as part of something bigger than yourself. To share, parade, compare hotness whilst promoting an unequivocally hot piece of gadget at the same time. To get the seal of endorsement from our infamously "vicious" readers is truly a badge of honor. I know people who have specifically bought an iPhone just to appear on GWiP.
Who visits the site? Is it just gay men, women and gay men, or do straight guys go there?
We obviously cater to a very specific niche but the straight audience is there.
Do you think people visit the site purely to be voyeurs or is there something deeper going on?
Any new piece of technology [seems to] find a way to connect with our sexuality. It's in our nature, I guess. The ancient desire to find the part that will finally complete us. The voyeuristic eye is just a side effect. Technology succeeds as extensions of our capabilities, our desires, and ultimately ourselves.
Why do you keep rejecting my photos?
'Cause you never sent one with the right appendage!