The Story of Tom of Finland Heading to Film

April 10, 2013

It doesn't matter what age you are, Tom of Finland is something that every gay guy knows about. I don't know about you but I always dreamt that these icons and erotic drawings would jump off the page and into the real world. With a new movie coming out about Touko Laaksonen, the man behind the pencil, we're one step closer to that dream.

"Until the year 1971, being gay in Finland could land you in jail for years. There was a boy born in 1920. In his childhood, he drew pictures of naked men. While drawing, he wore only leather man boots. As a young man, he fought in the war and had sex with his fellow soldiers, both Finnish and German. During his adulthood, he lived a double life. By day, a talented advertising artist and a pianist, by night a genius creator of erotic drawings. We remember him through leather, huge muscles, even larger cocks and humour — empowering the masculine gay man. We know who Tom of Finland is. Now meet Touko."

It's a true testament to his art and talent that these drawings came to define a generation and culture of gay men and, like the description says, empower the masculine gay man.

What are your first memories of Tom of Finland?

Tags: Art, Leather, Film, Tom of Finland, Drawing
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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this was an exceptional article and film clip TOM OF FINLAND certainly affected my life and to a degree still does his work is much more sexual sensual than a lot of new gay films and gay art his work still and will keep turning me on now if I could only find it in person woof

Try as I might, I never attained the shape of these guys. And I worked out at the gym 6 days a week for 2 to 21/2 hours a day. Used to be real huge but still never attained the perfection in Tom's drawings. Darnit. It was a great goal to try to attain.

Great idea that at last we will have the opportunity to know the life of this talent that was a pioneer in express and show the gay fantasies.

Where can this film be seen?

I liked Tom of Finland's art since I first saw it. His greatly exaggerated genitalia and muscled leathermen and sailors were eye candy for all who saw his drawings. I'd love to see this film. Tried to find it on Imdb, which has films yet to be released, and found nothing. I watched a documentary film on the history of IML in Chicago recently and it was great! The film's director was at the screening here in San Diego. The S.D Eagle's restroom walls are covered with Tom's art. I've seen the books, now I'm looking forward to the film!

My first two exposures to Tom of Finland was seeing the booklets of his drawings at a former gay bookstore on Christopher Street in the early 70s, and later in a segment in a porn film starring Roy (or Ray) Garrett and a ranch hand named Lucky. Even back then I noticed the pictures were the extreme, that no man could possibly look that way. Even looking around me, as I walked along the streets in the Village, I'd notice men who came close to the 'reality' of the drawings. They were a small percentage of the 'real men' I noticed. Personally, my favorites weren't the leather men. I was drawn (no pun intended) to the men in military, policemen uniforms, plus the 'uniform' of the streets growing up in the 60s and 70s - bomber jacket, baseball cap, plaid shirt, any style boots, hanky hanging out of either pants pockets and the keys jangling on the side. *SIGH!* How I do miss those days! I don't remember if I ever saw any drawings of my second personal favorites, cowboys. As for the film, I would definitely see it, if and when it's ever released.

"It doesn't matter what age you are, Tom of Finland is something that every gay guy knows about." I'm a gay man and I have no idea who Tom of Finland is. Why do people assume that some cultural references are something everyone must have heard of? We each live our own lives and might or might not have heard of everything under the sun.

I can really relate to the scene where he looks at the hunk, lets his imagination soar, and starts sketching. I often see men out and about and imagine them as Tom men; good thing they can't read my mind. I also see clean shaven men and sometimes think, "God would he be a hot daddy with a beard and stache. LOL. Never underestimate the eyes and imagination of a horned up gay man! I must see this movie, but one question: how will it be rated given the subject matter? One assumes the movie must at some point show some of the art. I gather I will not be able to see this one on Time Warner "Movies On Demand". Talk about a brave choice of subject matter..