To my readers......


Thanks for visiting mitchmen, home of Mitchell's Gay Art

The Caps and Collars/ Flat Cap Gang story at Google Groups has been on a break since January, I hope to resume shortly. (see Group News for link)

Message updated 5th May 2024

Wednesday 31 August 2016

Tom of Finland's Beards - 3

(Read this series from part 1)

The woodland whipping scene which rounded off the group of more positive bearded roles in 1973, (see Part 2) is followed by this fisting scene in 1974 (one of Tom's better known pictures which I mentioned previously in Part 1).  Here Mr Beard is the central character once again, but more clearly portrayed as an object of desire, seemingly securing his full acceptance into Tom's leather scene.

We can't know exactly what has brought about this change in Tom's perspective but this period of his work coincides with the emergence of a notable S&M porn star, Val Martin, and the release of the ground-breaking film, 'Born to Raise Hell', variously dated as 1972 or 1974. If you follow the first link you'll see Val wearing a beard and a kinky, studded denim jacket. It seems likely that at the very least, Tom's periodic interest in this specific combination (mentioned in both parts 1 and 2 of this series) was reignited by these developments which he surely must have been aware of, although he had yet to visit America at this point. By way of circumstantial evidence, 'Born to Raise Hell' also includes a fisting scene.

Tom's picture above is also remarkable for another reason, the portrayal of the 'supporting cast' entirely as black men. This marks it out as trying to make a point, although for all the contribution it makes to equality, the black men in this picture are still playing a very secondary, servicing role. If you read my article on Black men in Tom's pictures you will see this picture is part of wider maturing in Tom's outlook.


This 1981 picture is an eerily similar reworking of the same fisting theme (this time featuring gay stereotypes of a different type). It's not uncommon for Tom (or any artist) to rework ideas he likes, but the underlying similarity in these two pictures is exceptional. You'll note that the bearded character plays the exactly the same role, as the willing recipient of some pretty kinky sex (note the sounding rod in the '81 picture). It's hard to dispel the notion that there's some significant experience behind Tom's attachment to this idea.

There's a gap of 7 years between these two pictures. The flurry of beard interest in 1973-75 ends with the appearance of a rather interesting bearded, 'older brother', character in 'Loggers', the first of the Pekka stories, where he becomes a fully recognised character with a personality (described  as 'quiet and withdrawn') and bad habits too, (see my blog about Tom's Pekka Beard).

Apart from that I have discovered only 2 other pictures in this intervening period featuring beards. Both are portraits, (of an unknown conductor and of the porn stars, Mike Betts and Rick Wolfmeier) and therefore somewhat separate from the pictures reflecting Tom's sexual imaginings. Arguably they are more significant choices for that very reason. It's possible that there's an element of personal acquaintance in it, although the porn star image seems to be based on a photograph.

By the way, the crate featured in both fisting drawings is a favourite prop of Tom's, but you'll pleased to know I have no plans to write an article analysing that! Yet.


The next example comes 3 years later in 1984 and although it's also a portrait of sorts there's no escaping the sense of admiration from afar, as though we are studying this man across a crowded bar. The cigar in his hand is suggestive of a certain, powerful type of gay masculinity but you wouldn't expect it to be matched with a hairless body or slender physique. For me it's as if Tom has taken a bearded 'model' who he likes or admires and has dressed him up (very neatly) in the leatherman's paraphernalia to visualise his enhanced 'man-appeal'.

In the following year (1985) this image appeared and although the landscape is of long-standing familiarity in Tom's work, it's protagonists are startlingly different. It's as though Tom has completely re-evaluated his perception of what a bearded man is in these pictures. This one is uncannily real. His beard is neatly trimmed and although he has a hairy torso, it too is neat and natural-looking. In reality, this is probably a portrait, perhaps of two lovers known to Tom*. Despite the belt, there's absolutely no sense of menace here. He's put them in a fantasy setting which is the standard Tom of Finland 'Woodland Stage Set', a place of sexual adventure. Joshua Reynolds placed his subjects in the rolling landscapes they owned, Tom has allowed these two into his own special fantasy world to play. It's a setting that features in a number of important pictures around this time so this is quite a compliment and is another sign that Tom is treating bearded men as people with personalities and not as a stereotype for wickedness, extravagant wealth or straightness.
*since publishing this one of my correspondents has confirmed that this was indeed a commissioned portrait - Mitchell (Oct 2016)

This final sketch is dated 1989 in Tom's last years and it  harks back to his lumberjack days. Although you can think of nostalgic reasons for this it sticks out like a sore thumb in the work of this period. I wonder if it might have been conceived as an off-shoot of the Kake in Canada story (1984). Although this is an action scene drawn from the imagination the bearded character is not a by-stander and you can see how central he is to Tom's intentions, not only by the role he is playing - valiantly taking on a cock that would make lesser mortals quail - but by the fact that he is the most fully-drawn element of the unfinished picture.  He's come a long way from the sneaky thief in Kake 2.


There's another very formal portrait of a couple of leathermen in the same year as this picture featuring a notably mustachioed and bearded top. If you like puzzles you can also just spot a beard amongst the gang of black men banging a Tom Cop over the bonnet of their convertible car in the well known picture from 1987 (two years earlier).


The sporadic appearances of beards in Tom's pictures over the years don't suggest he had any great liking for them, but it does seem as though they had powerful associations for him, quite threatening ones in his 40's. The notion that bearded men had something to hide was not uncommon at that time so it doesn't necessarily reflect a personal experience. But although he gradually discards this notion in his later images it's remarkable that bearded characters nearly always take bottom roles (with the notable excption of the Woodland Whipping in Part 2). This seems counter intuitive but suggests to me that Tom's 'rehabilitation' of bearded men is primarily based on acquaintance with softer types of Bears, as suggested by the man in image 16 who does have this sort of look. His visits to the US from 1977 onwards may have contributed to the changes evident in this last period.


If you enjoyed this feature on Tom of Finland there are others on this blog,
click on the label below or consult my Index of Tom Articles

Monday 29 August 2016

Tom of Finland's Beards - 2

Continued from part 1

The next appearance by a bearded man is in the rather bizarre Kake No 8 (The Hijacker).
In this story he actually plays a leading role. It's as a villain again - the rather stylishly-dressed leader of the hijacking gang. Unfortunately he has a weakness for men in leather jackets. He forces Kake to service him at gunpoint, but Kake seduces him and distracts him long enough to save the passengers. (This was pre-9/11 of course when hijackers generally did not kill their hostages but just carted them off to remote runways). Like his previous incarnation as a thief, this villain has a very hairy body as well as a beard - and he seems equally inept too.

In Kake No 9 'Coq D'Or' (1971) there's a rather delightful cameo role for the the bearded character as a deliciously muscular, but very rough-looking (dock?) worker. He makes up a threesome briefly by taking advantage of Kake's unprotected ass whilst he is otherwise engaged with a Sailor (whom I take to be French on account of his hooped T-shirt). Unfortunately beardie is soon whisked off, being ear-tweaked by his indignant wife . I suppose it's a matter of opinion whether you see infidelity as a villainous role (interestingly Tom gives him a hairless torso this time). This man certainly perpetuates the tradition of hapless, bearded misadventurers.

This is the last beard appearance in the Kake series. However, the hairy bandit in 'Kake in the Wild West' much later on (1982) is also an inept villain and seems to be a bit of a throwback to this era, but with a makeover. He sports abundant stubble but not a true beard and his prolific body hair is also much more tidy compared with the bearded characters we've been looking at up until now. I can't work out if it's beards or bodily hair (or both) that Tom associates with incompetence and villainy.

 As a slight diversion, one of my older articles on Tom Sailors includes two separate examples of hairy-chested men, one is a bullying sailor (villain) and the other an inept motorcyclist (incompetant), Neither have beards, but this ying and yang of masculinity - manly assertiveness and boyish foolishness are the essence of Kake himself if you think about it.

The bearded stereotype reappears in 1973, in one of the short-lived 'Mike' series of cartoons. Here he plays a smug-looking man, conspicuously well dressed. In other words an embodiment of conventionality and possibly vanity too. He allows himself to be seduced and sucked off by Mike while talking to his girlfriend (or wife) at the same time in a Public Telephone kiosk. He even allows a passing Sailor to join in, but makes off, narrowly escaping exposure when an indignant woman demands to use the phone.

Up to this time Tom only used bearded characters in his comic formats, not in his more polished and sensual pictures, which suggests he was more interested in them as characters rather than as objects of desire, worthy of being laboured over in the creation process. This all changes in 1973 when there's a flurry of notable pictures. In this one, the beard is being rehabilitated from the role of outright villain. It's not clear whether he's shed the role of moonlighting husband, but for the first time here, he's seen simply cruising, seeking to hook up with a Kake-like biker who's fresh from another steamy encounter, by the look of it. This beardie is once again notably well groomed and tidy, still somewhat straight-looking and conventional (an irresistible challenge!). He actually seems to be aspiring to become a biker himself here, although he's not yet fully leathered up. In fact this denim outfit harks back to the starting point of this article and the Hell's Angel character in Part one.

In this 1973 picture the transformation is startling. This is the first time where Tom fully expresses the beard character's 'beef-cake' and erotic credentials and the quality of the drawing tells you how much Tom cares about him. He's even manging to distract 'Kake' from a stunning, black Adonis in this image. His relatively youthful appearance signifies a sea-change in the way Tom see beards.

In this image, the bearded man fully sheds his recent image of respectability and becomes a fully fledged leather man. He even gets to take the lead in this memorable image of a woodland spanking ritual. If you look at the picture it really seems as though the other bikers are standing aside and allowing him to take charge, somewhat to the consternation of the immobilised recipient who is perhaps reflecting anew on the rough, bad and masculine associations of this character which go back to Kake 2. Certainly the way he's flexing that belt promises no easy ride for this initiate.

This dominant leatherman is quite a promotion for beardies from the roles of thief and philander. Still playing the bad guy in a sense, but this is a bad guy who commands respect.

continued in  part 3

For other Tom of Finland material click on the label below or consult my Index of Tom Articles

Monday 22 August 2016

Tom of Finland's Beards -1

This article originated when I was (nerdily) trying to assign a date to this Tom of Finland image in my collection. It has a rather nice cop domination flavour with a tough looking, bearded guy on the receiving end.

Beards appear in some of Tom's best known pictures, like the fisting image shown above from 1974 which was notable at the time for it's inclusion and positive portrayal of black participants.

However, when I investigated further I found to my surprise that beards were not common in Tom's art generally. I only managed to find 18 instances amongst a couple of thousand of pictures.
But where they do appear these characters do seem to play significant roles.

This fisting picture also proves to have a significance all it's own which I will reveal in due course.


The earliest manifestation of beards seems to be in Kake No 2 (1968) where Kake seduces a boy on the beach. A bearded tramp-like character with an exceedingly hairy torso appears, watches their fun and then makes off wearing Kake's leathers (above). This theft leads to Kake's arrest by the Police, a severe thrashing and a spell in clink.

  (Note: In compiling my count of beards in Tom's pictures, I have counted the multi-frame appearances in these Kake stories as 1 per book, not 1 per picture, counting them separately would double the total approximately but not affect very much the proportion of beards in the whole of Tom's work).


The same man reappears in the closing scenes of Kake No 4, up to his voyeurism tricks again.
But this time Kake spots him and recognises his stolen leathers.


In Kake No 5, the villain gets caught and is given a painful come-uppance and general seeing-to by Kake and the lads. At the end they leave him to the tender mercies of the police, having 'fitted him up' for the theft of Kake's police uniform.

 (This uniform was actually 'borrowed' by Kake in No 3 as part of a 'Tale of Two Cities' style exchange of places in jail with a sympathetic Policeman). 

The bearded man plays a key role in this sequence of stories but his characterisation, though very strong, is much less generous than that of the jolly fistee of the 1974 picture and this piqued my interest to investigate further.


The next beard occurence is also in Kake, in story No 7 (1971) which depicts the progressive growth of a daisy chain orgy in a public toilet. This bearded man is the last to arrive. He's dressed as a Hell's Angel and makes an emphatic, dramatic entrance which is in stark contrast to the mild-mannered, well-dressed participants who preceded him. In those days a Hell's Angel was regarded as the embodiment of anarchic violence and villainy and even through modern eyes he's still emanating dark, raunchy sex, come to take charge. Tom seems to use his beard and hairy body here to underline this rebellious different-ness. Disappointingly, all he actually does is take his place at the end of the line, showing similar opportunist traits to incarnation number 1.
This image could be the clue to the date of my original mystery image (top) where the bearded man wears a similar studded, denim top with cut-off sleeves. The 1971 date of the Kake story also chimes perfectly with his fashion flares.

continued in the next post

For other Tom of Finland material click on the label below or consult my Index of Tom Articles

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Peter Bound in Tights

 More images from BdmanBrazil showing Peter again (as in my last post).
He's tied up in tights again, but a different sort this time, the kind dancers wear.

This series of images shows him half-stripped and tied up. 
His captors have left him lying on his bed while they arrange collection.

 You sense his rising panic as he discovers the effectiveness of his bindings.

 He knows his helpless body is their prize, the threat is strangely exciting.

Then he thinks about his life and all he has.
About to be snatched away from him - for what?

 He makes one last effort to twist his wrists out of the ropes

 It's no good, he can't escape.

When his captors return, they will find him ready and waiting.

More pictures from this series at BdmanBrazil

Saturday 13 August 2016

Men Sharing Clothes 21 - Tights

Another article in my on-going series examining the plight of models who have to wear clothes already used by someone else before them.


I've called them tights but I'm not totally sure what the correct term for this garment is. They resemble Long Johns but lack any sanitary provision, this is a roll-down situation. The tantalising see-through panels dispel the idea that these have any modesty function. What makes them particularly suitable for this series is their very tight fit which will ensure intimate contact with any man who wears them.  This is Peter of Bdman Brazil by the way.

 In this picture Peter looks like he's waiting to see the dentist or some other practitioner of unpleasant, invasive procedures. His anxiety won't be helping the studio's tights to stay fresh and clean, especially as they are clearly not made from natural, breathing fibres.

I must say that these tights make a terrific bondage outfit, showcasing Peter's legs while the dodgy thigh panels accentuate his groin area very sexily (click on the picture to expand if you want to inspect him more closely). Nice shoot, but who's next in line to try them on?

William Pezzoto

Those slinky tights are even more revealing on William's body, possibly because his bigger frame is stretching them out, spreading them thinner, but also pulling everything in tight and close.
William doesn't quite have Peter's 'little boy lost' appeal but has a look that suggests he's thinking about something slightly disturbing, like the news that other men have modelled this particular garment.

Unfortunately there's no time for discussing the provenance of the body-hugging, crevice invading hosiery. The shoot must go on and William, bound hand and foot - and gagged as well, is in no position to object. His discomfort is our pleasure.

Pictures for this article all come from Bdman Brazil continuing the loose Rio associations of my last post. Unfortunately Bondage of fit, young athletes has not been accepted as an Olympic sport yet but we can hope. There's always a chance that there might be sympathisers on the Organising Committee.

For other articles in this series click on the 'sharing' label below.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Synchronised Speedo Bondage


Despite all their dedicated training and preparation
 and all their efforts to reach Olympic qualifying standard for Rio,
one of Brazil's Synchronised Diving Teams
didn't to make the it into the final competition after all.

They used the pool for one practice session and were looking pretty good.
Hot favourites you might say (for a medal or a meddle).
But since then they haven't been seen at all.

(photo: BDManBrazil)

Sunday 7 August 2016

Torture Central - 2

There's a selection of good photographic imagery and clips at Torture Central. My choice here is not really fully representative of the material on the blog, I have concentrated on the eye-candy, but if you like rougher stuff you'll find that as well.

 This handsome, chunky, young man sports a pair of briefs that might cause amused comment in some circles but I find them strangely beguiling as torture-wear. I can't work out of it's the vaguely historical, loincloth flavour or the off-beat, mannish fashion sense, but either way it seems to impart a feeling of a man unexpectedly plucked out of his life and exposed, unprepared, to a bizarre, pseudo-medical examination.  This model's facial expressions are marvellous and on that account I expect his images will be with us for many years to come.

 I'm drawn to this image for a similar reason, there's a sense of ordinariness about this young man's face and dismay in his expression that makes his situation seem disturbingly unplanned and weird. His body is far from ordinary of course, displaying a lean muscularity, unblemished by tattoos that is showcased by the stresses he is subjected to. This is not your typical fetish physique and that makes this image out of the ordinary too.

(photo dreamboybondage - I think)


Another refreshingly clean cut, young man about to be subjected to strange practices. He doesn't look like an obvious volunteer for the collar and ball-stretching device (improvised by coiling pink cord round his scrotum). It tells us that someone else has plans for him that go beyond admiring his good looks. The tap of a riding crop and the close proximity of an electrical circuit box are ominous signs that this beauty has fallen into the clutches of a beast.
(This studio, slaveboytraining, was new to me but seems to have disappeared off the web, I can find traces in search engines but they don't go anywhere, the tumblr blog has been taken over by parasites)

 Another Russian Boy with dodgy underwear but the cut of it suits his physique immensely. The sensible size and incongruous colours bestow an ordinariness upon him that makes you wonder whether he understands or is up to the challenge he faces. The chunky collar assigned him seems to acknowledge his bulky, potentially dangerous physique - after all you don't tether a bull with a piece of string. However his bowed head suggests that the rebellious phase may have passed.

This is a much older image from a Tom 'Ropes' McGurk video but it's no less memorable than the others. It follows the formula of the previous images with a pretty boy captive and a mean looking master (Jason Branch). However, the atmosphere here is completely different. That's partly down to the professional dungeon metalwork which tethers the captive but doesn't provide tight limb restraint. But the main difference is that this boy is facing up his captor with defiance - albeit a defiance that's not quite sure of itself.

The captive's nipple ring tells us he's not a complete greenhorn and the veiny detailing of his arm in the foreground might make you wonder about his age too! There's a reddish colour cast in this image which fortuitously highlights what looks like chafing on his neck, as though caused by attempts to find a more comfortable position for his unforgiving metal collar. 

(photo: Tom 'Ropes' McGurk)

Bondadge without rope. A still from Man at Play that is striking for it's simple composition and message of self-assured superiority and calm submission. What power has caused this strong-looking, fully adult man to strip naked like this and allow his most intimate parts to be examined so casually in a public place? He's being treated like he's a piece of livestock who has no control over what happens to his own body or indeed has no other asset than his own body. Staff assessment never used to be like this! But you can see that he accepts this fate without surrendering his pride. Like the McGurk model above who is in line for similar treatment, he seems to defiantly challenge his molester to do his worst. Which no doubt he will in due course.

(Photo:- Men at Play)

This image has a sense of drama and movement. It's as though a particularly nasty lash has just landed on this last, tasty Russian Captured Boy. This captor seems to emanate power, privilege and depraved cruelty. His fully-dressed state highlights the captive's own subordinate status. As is usual at this site, he is allowed retain his underwear, a concession to everyday mores that scarcely lessens his humiliation, stripped before the boss as it were. But it suggests that this scene is about pure punishment rather than an artificial S&M ritual with an erotic outcome.

(photo: Russian Captured Boys)


Billy Santoro has the honour of signing off this little selection, struggling manfully with the irritations of an electro butt plug for 'Men on Edge'. Billy has a very different look to the other guys performing here, very grown up and masculine, but for my money he's just as cute. His familiar face and the sophisticated bondage paraphernalia spell out pure S&M fantasy, despite the anatomical wall charts and blue fatigues his tormentors are wearing. However I never grow tired of these electro scenes, which are usually riveting visually and often prompt interesting, genuine responses from the long-suffering guinea pigs.

(Photo from Men On Edge)

If you like images like this have a look at Torture Central

Friday 5 August 2016

Torture Central - 1

Torture Central is a relatively young blog with an interesting selection of S&M images and clips. The emphasis seems to be on quality rather than quantity so although the collection is not vast, most of the exhibits hit the button (for me at any rate) and there was plenty of stuff I hadn't seen before. This article is based on the modest collection of artwork featured there.

 Cavelo - Talk or your buddy gets it

I not totally complimentary about Cavelo's style in my A-Z article about him, but this image with a very handsome captive on the left (picturing them is surely Cavelo's greatest strength) and a classic 'buddies in a predicament' storyline certainly gets my thumbs up. That seat-less torture chair surely was inspired by 'Casino Royale' and brings all the associations of that story to the party, but Cavelo also makes the most of it's capacity to humiliate whoever sits on it.
Crucifixion - Artist - Cyrano/Mahoney?

The artist of this picture is not given an attribution at the site but it looks like Mahoney or Cyrano who I believe are the same person. Cropping out the crosspiece makes a striking image that focusses attention on the man being punished rather than the mechanics of the punishment.
Nath66 - Alien Experiment

A fantasy image featuring a human male fertilising/laying an alien egg was included in my 
A-Z article on Nath66 in 2010 but a reworked version of the idea has appeared recently showing a notable advance in technique. This is a rather nice sample (click to enlarge) borrowed from a bigger selection at Torture Central (link to Nath66 in my original article). 
Kajlet - Durst (thirst)

There are a number of examples of Kajlet's work on the Torture Central blog, this one is rather less intense than most of them and intriguing to say the least. The military overlay is stylishly done and adds greatly to the interest of the piece.

Visit Torture Central or follow my links above for more work by these artists.
There's a master index of artists on my blog here.
In my next article I will review some of the photographic imagery at the blog.