Roll my log for Pride

(Well, it’s Tom of Finland, so pretty much saturated with the worship of men’s bodies, especially their genitals, and allusions to, or outright depiction of, incredibly enthusiastic mansex. But no actual genitals are shown or described here, or any mansex either; use your judgment.)

In yesterday’s mail, a 2020 Pride postcard from Ryan Tamares, from the Tom of Finland store:

(There’s a Page on this blog about  my postings on Tom of Finland drawings and cartoons, and his cultural significance.)

(#1) “River Duo” from Physique Pictorial in 1966

A ToF-fantasy version of a lumberjack/logger couple — a duo, nicely contrasted as black-haired vs. blond — dueling atop floating logs, using their pike poles as weapons. You know that, when one of them has won, they will fall into flagrant mansex, probably still balancing on those logs, and then kiss affectionately.

ToF is so dramatically over the top in every way, but with a vein of playful sweetness shot through his material (his characters almost always take visible pleasure in whatever is happening to them), that it’s hard to stay offended by him, even if gigantic male bodyparts and extravagant male sexual couplings aren’t your thing.

#1 drips with all of ToF’s obsessive preccupations (turned into an art form of its own), plus those high-phallicity logs and poles (both log and pole are well-attested as slang synonyms for the penis). Without anything that’s technically immodest. Nothing there to offend the USPS.

The lumberjack/logger stuff. The cultural context of the drawing might not be familiar to many of my readers (I only dimly remembered it, and then had to refresh my knowledge). First, from a section of the Wikipedia article on lumberjack:

Before the era of modern diesel or gasoline powered equipment, the existing machinery was steam powered. Animal or steam-powered skidders could be used to haul harvested logs to nearby rail roads for shipment to sawmills. Horse driven logging wheels were a means used for moving logs out of the woods. Another way for transporting logs to sawmills was to float them down a body of water or a specially-constructed log flume. Log rolling, the art of staying on top of a floating log while “rolling” the log by walking, was another skill much in demand among lumberjacks. Spiked boots known as “caulks” or “corks” were used for log rolling and often worn by lumberjacks as their regular footwear [ToF’s loggers don’t seem to be wearing them, but then they’re hyper-realistic creatures; however, I certainly wouldn’t want to walk on logs in ordinary slippery-soled boots, without any gripping mechanism]

So much for the logs. Then the poles, in a photo from ca. 1945 on the Columbia Basin (which is primarily in WA, but also OR and a bit of NV) Institute of Regional History site:

(#2) [notes on the site:] “Logger holding a Pike Pole standing on the log pond at Mineral Lake”: …  In lumbering they are used to control logs floating on a river in a log drive and constructing log rafts. Pike poles used in log rafting were originally made of wood, typically spruce or fir. In the mid-1960s they began to be made of aluminum tubing plugged with a wooden knob to maintain buoyancy.

(Most commonly, a pike pole has a  metal hook at one end for grabbing onto logs.)

They would naturally be made into jousting sticks. It’s a guy thing: pretty much anything that can be pressed into service for symbolic warfare probably will be. Yes, that includes penises. From my 9/6/11 posting “Penis-to-penis”, with some discussion of

mock play (referred to metaphorically as swordplay or a swordfight, with the figure of penis as sword)

In any case, if you’ve got poles (including pike poles), sooner or later, guys are probably going to fight with them, especially if they’re in high-masculinity contexts. (I was an anomalous boy in a vast number of ways, but I enjoyed mock fights with sticks and the like. Though I certainly knew other anomalous boys who weren’t attracted to this sort of rough play at all. It’s obviously a complex topic.)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: