Boots, biceps and bulges
The late Touko Laaksonen, the Finnish artist also known as “Tom of Finland,” probably did more to push gay male erotic images into the mainstream than anyone else in the 20th century. His illustrations were designed to inspire lust and to erase the boundary between art and pornography. They also helped re-create happier, hornier self-images for many gay men in the 1970s with their fantasies of muscular masculinity, confidence and outsize sexual achievement. One documentary short film, Boots, Biceps and Bulges: The Life & Works of Tom of Finland, arrived in the late 1980s, while 1990’s Daddy and The Muscle Academy was an LGBT film festival staple in its moment, just as Tom himself was dying at age 71.
Now a biopic currently titled Tom of Finland is in production, ready to tell the story of the sexual and artistic pioneer. Finnish director Dome Karukoski will helm the feature, which has yet to be cast. And it has the official, authorized blessing of the Tom of Finland Foundation, so as extremely hot men find their way into the cast, you’ll hear about it here first.