May 8th, 2016 would have been the 96th birthday of Touko Laaksonen, a name few people know. The reason you may not recognize this obscure Finnish name is because Mr. Laaksonen is better known for the empire of homoerotic art he built under his pseudonym “Tom of Finland.”
While studying advertising in the late 1930’s in WWII Europe, Touko was surrounded by men in uniform. Secretly, during the wartime blackouts, he was able to explore his sexual fantasies with these uniformed men that filled the cities. As an artist, these experiences helped shape the way Touko viewed the way man could be represented on paper. After the war ended and he returned to the normal everyday world of freelancing and piano playing at cafes, Touko began to craft gorgeous homoerotic art in the privacy of his own home.
It wasn’t until a friend pushed Touko to submit some of his artwork to an American muscle magazine that the world finally got to see some of his drawings. When Touko sent his art to the magazine Physique Pictorial he knew his name might be a bit challenging for the American’s to unravel. In place of his real name, he simply signed his name “Tom.” With this simple change, Tom of Finland was born. And when his tantalizing sketch of shirtless lumberjacks hit the front cover of the magazine, Tom of Finland became a sensation.
Tom of Finland’s men are often clad in black leather. Silhouetted and moving towards an embrace. Shirtless. Pantless. Wearing only a cap and a grin. The men in Tom of Finland’s work know what they want and aren’t afraid to go for it.
The popularity of his art grew and soon he was able to quit his advertising job and devote all his time to bringing his fantasies to the page. From the start, Tom of Finland aimed to convey gay men in a strong, masculine light, something that hadn’t necessarily been part of the homosexual male persona. Before the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and before Tom of Finland’s art depicted them as figures of masculinity, many gay men felt they were seen in a feminine light.
Tom of Finland stood for confidence, individuality, openness, positivity, AKA everything we care about at Sin in Linen. We love encouraging you to embrace your sexuality, no matter where your fantasies may take you. And we love helping you get there.
If you want to channel the strength and passion of Tom of Finland into your daily life, we’ve got you covered! We’re thrilled to carry Tom of Finland bedding on our site. Choose from Duvet Covers and Pillowcases printed with his iconic imagery and pair with classic sturdy black and white top sheets. It’s the perfect way to enhance your bedroom fantasies, by falling asleep under the steamy images of Tom of Finland.