Tom of Finland at 100

(Well, it’s Tom of Finland, so it’s all about men’s bodies and mansex, and not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

On the Advocate site on 9/14, “Happy 100 Years: The Tom of Finland Biography”, on a new book on ToF:


ToF is flagrantly about huge penises and muscular buttocks, and about intense sex between men, but (more important) also about the emotional relationships beween those men. It’s all extravagant fantasy, but also a celebration of gay male desire and affiliation in all of its forms, and so it has provided reassurance to untold numbers of gay men who scarcely resemble the fantasy sexually heroic figures of ToF — we are, variously, indetectable in the straight world and effeminate and dorky and little-dicked and horse-dicked and insecure and out-and-proud and full of shame — but can find in these figures validation of their desires and practices (notably, receptive anal intercourse: Real Men Take It Up the Ass). Plus, a lot of it is funny.

(Note that the foreword for the book comes from the designer Gaultier — see my 9/7/20 posting “Le Male, the men’s fragrance”.)

From the Advocate:

Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero

Tom of Finland (born Touko Laaksonen, 1920–1991), was an iconic and groundbreaking artist who rose to cult status in the international queer community and beyond for his work celebrating the male figure and masculinity during a time when being gay was taboo. “Although he never attended a march or waved a banner at a demonstration, in the second half of the 20th century no one did more for the furthering of gay pride than Tom did,” said F. Valentine Hooven, III. “Many may have forgotten, or never knew, the shameful stereotypes of queer people that were once damn near universally believed and which Tom deliberately combated with each stroke of his pencil.”

The piece includes quite a few illustrations of ToF’s work (none of them X-rated). One example:

(#2) Untitled, 1962, graphite on paper

Tom’s favorite character, “Kake”, was always just as willing to get his hole plowed as he was to do the plowing and clearly sent the message out that sex between men is just plain manly – no matter what position one takes. By his characters’ actions Tom showed unbridled sexual passion between men and, afterwards, a brotherhood and camaraderie. His drawings also encouraged guys to experiment and push boundaries, to do anything to turn your partner on and get him off.

(Note: the Finnish name Kake has two syllables, accented on the first, roughly [káke]. It has nothing to do with cake, but a lot to do with cock ([kak]).]


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: