Meet the King of Gay Porn

by:   |   May 16 2014

Nobody has done more to advance the boner community in the last 100 years than Touko Laaksonen, a shy Finnish WWII vet born in 1920, who got his start in advertising. I’m talking, of course, about Tom of Finland.

gal tom kissing


Tom of Finland is the official illustrator of gay men everywhere. But his hypersexual black-and-white sketches of hot cops, hot sauna employees, hot construction workers, hot sailors, and hot lumberjacks aren’t just iconic because of their context. They’re really, really beautiful.


gal tom sketch

Touko was a self-described “ass man,” FYI


Recently, I read that the Finnish postal service planned to sell postage stamps with Tom of Finland images on them. Apparently the demand for these stamps brought so much traffic to the postal service’s website that it crashed. Why am I totally unsurprised?

gal tom stamp

 That’s just how they do things in Finland

And while most Tom of Finland drawings depict these insanely butch, musclebound hunks in various states of aggressive humping and BDSM, there’s something cheery and joyful about the way he drew them. There’s no shame about the coitus happening here, despite the fact that Touko was creating most of these drawings at a time when the world was decidedly less tolerant of “aberrant” behavior. That’s no accident—Touko said, “My drawings are primarily meant for guys who may have experienced misunderstanding and oppression and feel that they have somehow failed in their lives. I want to encourage them. I want to encourage this minority group, to tell them not to give up, to think positively about their act and whole being.”

gal tom 3some




gal tom finland sauna


gal tom fight


Touko passed away in the early ’90s (the NY Times wrote that he “died in 1991 after a career of gay erotic cartooning,” which I would LOVE to have in my obit, FYI) but he’s still inspiring young artists, and his illos are beyond-iconic in the art and fashion worlds. In 2009, Taschen released a massive coffee table book with a collection of his work, with essays from Camille Paglia, John Waters, and Armistead Maupin. My birthday’s just around the corner, you guys…


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