Dirty



If you know me, you know how much I like smut (just one look around this blog and voila! You can confirm it) and it just happens that this book had been on my nightstand for months before I was able to crack it open and read it. Nope, it's not erotica. Even though I really like erotica, this time it was a book that called my attention while I was out shopping for a gift. I found it at some Barnes and Noble. I loved the face of the clerk who rang it up. He didn’t even try to make small talk. So this book is not really about smut, in this case it's more like a monograph, written about one of our favorite subjects: homoerotic drawings. Yeah, I know. I'm geeky. And smutty.



One of the good things about smut is that people write both one handed literature and interesting stuff about it. It can get you off and turn you out to new things at the same time.  It can help you see things that many people consider, well, dirty under a totally different light. Ramakers explores in this book the work of our dear Tom of Finland (I see you, Maddie!) one of the premier homoerotic illustrators in this century. Tom’s men are inexorably linked to gay culture, those buff, luscious, hypersexual avatars having tickled our fancy more than once. This book takes a look at where they seem to have come and the references the artist pulled to make his art both memorable and enjoyable. And I agree with the author that looking at Tom's work and analyzing its impact in both media and art is also looking at the history of the gay movement in the XXth century. For more than fifty years, Tom’s men have been linked to gay men and the way we see and enjoy erotica. 



Pornography (because of course Tom's work has been considered pornographic) and art are surprisingly not too far away from each other and this author sees the connections between the two and how the homoerotic illustrations of Tom blurred that line. It's undeniable that erotica (and therefore its smutty cousin, porn) goes straight to the point: it arouses us. But most importantly, smut can help us become more political, it tames down that internalized homophobia some still harbor and it helps us become more sex-positive. I certainly would like some sex positivity after eyeing some of Tom's work, that's for sure. 



Yes, Touko Laaksonen made smut that intersected masculinity, sexual expression and art. It created a blueprint that many have followed and many, many more have enjoyed. His men gave birth to the clones of the seventies and eighties and even now we see them in coffee table art books and everywhere from tote bags to t-shirts. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Can it be a little stiff and scholarly at times? Yes, but that's part of the the fun of it all. So if you can pull your hand away from your crotch for a few hours, pick this book up. Or if not, well, just keep enjoying the artsy smut of Tom.

XOXO 














Comments

  1. The interesting thing about Tom’s art, and it is art, is that it wasn’t all lily white, which one might expect from someone from Finland. It’s sprinkled with men of color. And those men aren’t being subjugated, they are the ones in control.

    Tom’s work is iconic and, though it may seem exaggerated, does entertain. 🍿

    Thanks for the post, babe.

    XOXO 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, he did draw some black men. He was accused of racism at some point though.

      XoXo

      Delete
  2. Tom's art is extraordinarily erotic, sexy, provocative, smutty, and arousing all at once. I never tire of looking through his cowboys, seamen (ha ha ha seamen!), and leather men. They're as hot as Maddie's bum in white pants. My only qualm: the hyper-masculinity of his subjects has been taken out of context in the gay community, idealizing a specific type of man/body that many aspire to have and be. For me, the erotic is for the mind. That which tantalizes and sparks a twitch in the pants is what makes someone sexy and hot. Nonetheless, when I peruse through my big book of Tom's art, I find myself wondering where and when I can have my Kake and eat him too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha. I’ve seen that book and it’s AMAZING. Do want one, too. And yes, just like Barbie, Tom’s men physiques are absolutely unattainable. Hehe seamen.

      XoXo

      Delete
  3. I agree with HuntleyBiGuy. The diversity is interesting given that many of these images are rather old; I like that. I like that they are, he is, unapologetic and in your face, etc.
    Speaking of faces, I imagine the one on the clerk who cashed you out;I know "that" look from cashiers and it always made me smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG it was hysterical. Funny thing is, I went back to the bookstore and got The Little Book of Big Penis the next month. It was the same clerk. Now they all hopefully think I’m a slut.

      XoXo

      Delete
  4. Yes you know I LOVE me some Tomof Finland. He was quite the artist. I have a lovely book with his drawings, autobiography and some commentary in it. You had me at the first picture. I may have to go excuse myself to the restroom room now.......excuse me...........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaha yes! That’s my Maddie.
      I have this one and a bigger Taschen one with the whole Kake series. Very inspiring.

      XoXo

      Delete
  5. "a little STIFF and scholarly" . . . good one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! If someone was gonna get that one, it was gonna be you!
      Brava!

      XoXo

      Delete
  6. I'll admit it, I'm odd. I understand the intrinsic nature of his artistry, but I never found the drawings erotic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, there are many ways to appreciate his art. Same with Mapplethorpe, no?

      XoXo

      Delete
  7. I'm trying to read your blog in public... lol.. I'm a little uncomfortable right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, folks, my job is done here.
      I gave Steven a stiffie.
      I’ll see myself out....

      XoXo

      Delete
  8. (sings) it's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A!
    that's what these pix remind me of right now.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like 'Talkies' better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaha of course you do, Jimmy. Of course you do.
      XoXo

      Delete

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