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Message updated 25th June 2023

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Tom's Bar Predators

For me, Tom of Finland's 'Bar Predators' set from 1965 is one of his classic works.
In five, highly erotic pictures he captures the ultimate male conquest fantasy.
It's quite different to my 'Flying Suit' bar fantasy in the last post.

The stances of the leather bikers hanging around outside the seedy bar are well observed, Tom has captured a bit of real life here. They are dressed like raunchy Hell's Angels with torn clothing and jackets decorated with chains and studs - but they are perhaps a little too clean-shaven to create the full 'wild gang' effect. The familiar 'Kake' face is recognisable but hasn't fully hardened yet and is still quite cute. The beauty of these early pictures is the intensity of the erotic detail - the shading and creasing of the white T-shirt, the hairy pec showing through, the rounded bottom of the seated biker. The rear zip (another unexpected link back to my flying suits) is not exactly Hell's Angels territory, but is an equally outrageous statement of rebellion. It would still cause a stir today.

I'm not sure what the collective term is for a group of sexy bubble butts (a froth?). The young stranger is framed by the marauding bikers in quite a sophisticated composition. He seems to be some sort of building worker, a lumberjack perhaps and is depicted as blond, wasp waisted and dressed in light coloured clothes, suggesting he's not part of the biker brigade. An innocent? Well, maybe, but the leather wristband, tight clothes and boots are not exactly the attire of a na├»ve young man. Looking at these two pictures, I get the impression that Tom is rather less interested in this character than his bikers. He has a beautifully shaped torso but his clothing and poses are relatively unconvincing. However, this indistinctness does help to create a sense of distance and depth. 
Tom did not complete the third picture in this series, but we have a good sketch. The bikers 'bookend' their target, causing him evident unease, although he's unaware of the 2nd biker eyeing up his backside (which is rather more voluptuous than in the preceding images).
We can only speculate about why Tom didn't finish this picture but he famously remarked that “if a picture doesn't make me hard when I'm drawing it, I know it's no good”. The angle of view here is quite different from the other four pictures which makes it a bit of an odd man out, style-wise. It's from further back too, which tends to diminish the dramatic impact and also makes sexy detailing less prominent. However, I've posted a cropped version below which shows there's still plenty of erotic punch. 
In this cut down version I've removed the bartender offering a light. For me its a bit of scene setting which diverts attention from the erotic drive of the bikers and their story. You start wondering if the bikers are regulars here and why the barman is wearing a bow-tie in a seedy joint like this. Instead I've focussed on the backsides of the 3 protagonists as providing all the erotic interest. You will see in the next image that Tom himself seems to have made a similar editing decision.

(Subsequently to this post, I created a finished version of this picture myself, 
using Tom's composition and shading style, you can see it posted in 'Bar Predators Revisited')
The bikers casually delve into their victim's pants. They're unzipped and down and the bikers even get fingers inside him without any reaction other than a shocked expression. 
Speed and surprise perhaps - or sheer intimidation - or perhaps he doesn't really mind! 

The biker in the foreground is an amazingly erotic figure. 
Compare the rigid cock straining at his jeans with the first picture. I've spoken before about Tom's ability to make impossible angles seem convincing and this biker reaching behind his back to finger the blond's ass is a good example - just try it! 
The various different faces in this picture are a treat, each with it's own distinct personality. Sadly in later pictures drawn from imagination Tom seemed to lose interest in this aspect of figure drawing. 

The disembodied hand squeezing the nearer biker's pec appears to be the bartender's but it's severely cropped and the result is quite confusing. It's a stylistic feature which is not unknown in Tom's other work but perhaps (as I suggested above) Tom changed his mind about the bartender's role and edited him out.

In the final picture, the victim's head is trapped between the second biker's legs while the first prepares to enter him. It's an embarrassing as well as a vulnerable position for the victim, but there still doesn't seem to be much resistance, he just braces himself. The biker's cock brushing the anal opening is very sexy but we don't get to see penetration. Tom wasn't usually coy about depicting this detail so it's a surprising omission. 

There are other clues in this picture that it may have been intended as a longer series. The other bar users are beginning to join in. The sailor in the background looks like he's going for that rear zip we saw earlier, while another helps out with the biker's jeans. This has all the makings of a typical Tom orgy - which would explain the earlier involvement of the bartender. Are there some lost drawings here? Is the incomplete drawing the point at which Tom stopped working on it? We'll probably never know what really happened, but I'm happy with the series as it is, orgies are not my style and this forceful seduction is highly erotic - even if there's no coup de grace. 

Update - January 2015

I recently discovered what seems to be a further picture from the series, shown below.

A cop breaks up the party, the only question is, who's he going to nail?

See the whole story of how I identified this sketch as part of this series here


Anonymous said...

I must agree
Tom is one of my favorite erotic artists if not my favorite but this
is likely his best
I always wish he did more on this series

juicer said...

Certainly makes me hard