Who is this message intended for?

It came a few days ago, a great big heavy box, with a sticker shrieking (in hot pink, such a gay color) DO NOT OPEN:

Here’s a puzzle: how can I get my book, without opening the box?

Ah, it’s like the classic

Under Penalty of Law

on tags on mattresses and pillows in this country. The seller of the things, not the buyer, is enjoined from removing the tag. (But still, people get a little shiver of lawless pleasure from cutting or tearing them off.)

In the case of Tom of Finland XXL it’s the delivery service that’s enjoined from opening the carton, not the recipient. Everybody concerned has to figure out who the message is intended for, since this isn’t made explicit on the label, and that takes reasoning about who’s sending the message and why. (Pragmatics in everyday life.)

When you penetrate the carton, you get to another one, a wonder in itself, advertising the book inside:

Finally, you get all the way in to the book, which is definitely XXL: about 12″ wide, 16″ long, 3″ thick, and, at 14 lbs., wow, really heavy; in fact, it’s significantly longer, thicker, and heavier than the Big Penis Book, which is —  ambiguity alert — a big book about big penises. (There’s no way of talking about these things without suggesting double entendres and inducing chuckles and guffaws. Especially when I tell people I was amazed at how thick it was.)

The cover, in vibrant full color:

We’re in the land of the Truly Huge, fabulously muscled hyper-masculine guys displaying their broad shoulders, gigantic biceps and pecs, remarkable tight abs, slim masculine waist and hips (so their bodies make giant Vs, with their hard dicks the point of the whole display, and Xs when their legs are spread), erect nips (showing arousal and reinforcing those hard dicks), and crotch bulges.

From the Wikipedia entry on ToF:

Touko Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland (8 May 1920 – 7 November 1991) was a Finnish artist notable for his stylized homoerotic and fetish art and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. He has been called the “most influential creator of gay pornographic images” by cultural historian Joseph W. Slade.

Over the course of four decades he produced some 3500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits: heavily muscled torsos, limbs, and buttocks, and large penises. Tight or partially removed clothing showed off these traits, with the penis often visible as a bulge in tight trousers or prominently displayed for the viewer. His drawings frequently feature two or more men either immediately preceding or during explicit sexual activity. Nearly all of his characters were versatile and obviously enjoyed the bottom as well as the top role in sexual intercourse.

Here are some samples of Tom’s cultural icons from inside ToFXXL. First, a solo figure, rougher in appearance than the cover guy, and with his shoulders, biceps, pecs, nips, and abs set off by a shirt-lifting display:

And then two ToF workmen — Like With Like — doing extreme Basket displays, making it unmistakably clear that they are indeed the truly huge Truly Huge:

This is as far as I can take you on WordPress, but let me assure you that ToF men revel in displaying their huge hard dicks to anyone who’ll look, but especially to each other. And they get it on with each other with tremendous joy.

One more Like With Like, with the giants doing Basket and Butt displays in total tight leather:

They’re about to kiss. They’re rough fuckers, but affectionate. [For those of you who aren’t entirely tuned in to the iconography of Gayland, the guy on the left is, at least for the moment, the top, since he has his arms around, and enclosing, his buddy. It is, however, a close call, since this gesture is partially offset by the fact that the guy on the left is blonder; in the Gayland B/T code, darker hair tops lighter (and shorter hair tops longer, etc.). It’s left as an exercise to the reader to figure out which of the two construction workers above is taking the T role.]

There’s an action figure, of course, though (like Billy, Carlos, and Tyson) it’s called a doll — the Gay Rebel doll — on the Always Proud gay-stuff  site and on amazon.com. Description (a treat in itself) from Always Proud:

FLEXIBLE hips, elbows, knees, hands, feet and boots. BALL JOINTED neck, shoulders and hips. INTERCHANGEABLE hands, feet and penis. Includes commemorative dog tag, play safe condom for you and the Rebel, official booklet and Certificate Of Authentication.

(In this context, even the word articulation becomes sexually charged.)

And photos from Amazon:

Scary image, the Rebel imprisoned in his (plastic) vitrine, not out, proud, and gay at all.

4 Responses to “Who is this message intended for?”

  1. The Tom of Finland action figure « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] But that’s the extent to which the posting I’m working on, a follow-up to the one here (with a photo), involves language; now that I have my X blog, I’ll continue the posting […]

  2. Basket : moose knuckle :: butt : ? « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] text is from a posting on this blog on ToF, with illustrations that are (just barely) acceptable on this blog, including one […]

  3. Men kissing | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] This one drips masculinity: men in uniform bumping bulges, with guns and those big black boots. The photo is pretty much a re-creation of a Tom of Finland drawing – […]

  4. Finnish stamp surprise | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] On Touko Laaksonen (“Tom of Finland”) on this blog, see here. […]

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