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Message updated 25th June 2023

Friday 2 January 2009

Mitchell's 'In Praise of Sailors' - 14

Like MacLane, Tom drew sailors together on board ship in the early 60‘s.
In (51) a sailor shows off his tattoo - Tom did quite a collection of tattoo scenes about this time.


You can’t miss the bulge of course and the close proximity to it of the recumbent sailor’s mouth. This figure leaning on his elbow isn’t quite right but I admire Tom’s depiction of the standing sailor - the youthful face, strong hands and graceful long legs that show just how impressive those white bell bottoms can be on the right man.
My favourite Tom picture of sailors is also from the less explicit 60’s. There are no leathermen involved at all. Just sailors on board ship(52).


A sailor is being chastised for spilling coffee on his colleague’s white uniform. Though handsome and broad-shouldered he nevertheless is forced to his knees and subjugated, forced to display his shapely buttocks - to the amusement of the rest of the crew. His head is inches from the bully’s bulge but for me the erotic charge is this picture is the forced humiliation and the possibilities offered up by his sexy, unprotected bottom.


Tom produced a similar picture involving bikers about the same time and I have a similar high regard for this piece (53). This time the bikers muscular hairy body underlines the humiliation of his chastisement.


The attractiveness of sailors bottoms is illustrated in another Tom picture (54, from the Jungle Jack series) showing a shipwrecked sailor drifting ashore astride an oil drum. To a pedant like me the full dress whites are more incongruous than ever in this picture but the erotic effect is enchanting.

Continued here

Read this series from episode 1

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