We'll be joining the fun of Finlandization, bringing Recon Helsinki on Friday 23 August. Earlier this year we chatted with current Mr Fetish Finland, tominfinland, get to know him more here.
Recon: What are your main fetishes?
Tominfinland: That's tricky, I really like a wide range of things in the fetish world and you could say I have a massive fear of missing out (thank you millennialism), so I tend to live by a motto of "try everything once, and then twice just in case".
Ultimately, however, it all depends on the guy(s) I'm playing with. It really does come down to chemistry and what clicks, that's what decides what I'll venture into in that session.
Butt! (See what I did there?!), if I had to choose, power play is at the core of what I am into, and it is the reason for whether I am into something or not. I love the chase and the sexual tension that builds up from that: who is going to cave in first and make the first move, and what is their role in the resulting play?
In terms of gear, leather, uniforms, and wrestling gear all represent that power play, making them a natural fit in manifesting that fetish for me.
I also get quite turned on by having a by day/by night contrast. So basically, you could say I'm two-faced when it comes to fetish. I get massive kicks if I hook up with a guy and he thinks I'm a bit innocent and vanilla (and I know he is not) and the next minute we're in a full-on fetish fuck-fest, and they are left somewhat stunned. It's always fun.
R: How did you first get a taste for leather?
t: I came out very early on, and my sister, being the awesome, supportive person she is, gave me an address book with a Tom of Finland image on the cover. I don't think she knew what Tom of Finland was, or that there was a whole world of his work out there, but that one image definitely triggered frantic searching online, amongst other things...
I actually started playing in leather in my last year of high school, when I was dating a guy who was also into fetish, particularly leather. Before we got together, he had been to San Francisco and had come back with some leather gear (and a few bath-house tales) and we started exploring fetish together.
Neither of us revealed our interest in fetish for a while, but eventually we did, and thank fuck we did! It taught me a very good lesson about being open with partners about what I am into and, for better or worse, I've been open about it since.
R: What do you love about leather and the leather scene?
t: I love the smell of leather. I'm not sure what it was at first, but now it has an association of sex, lust, sweat, power, control and lack of it. The symbolism of uniforms (leather or not) encourages that power dynamic that I love so much. It's hard to not be turned on by it!
I've always admired the whole leather Sir/boy relationship that existed (and in some ways still exists). Not just for the sexual aspect, but what it does and did represent: creating your own family, looking out for each other, and providing a safe environment to explore your fetishes.
I guess that is what I see and love in the leather (and fetish) scene as a whole. When you dive in, you find that it's a community full of people discovering themselves and their sexuality, free of judgement (about your fetishes at least).
R: What's the fetish scene like in Finland?
t: The fetish scene here is bigger than what you would expect! Our local fetish club, MSC Finland, has been around for over 40 years, and being the home of Tom of Finland there is the obvious legacy.
While there are monthly fetish nights organized by MSC Finland, there are also a lot of private parties where people get their start, and from there (or other places) as they develop and learn more about their fetishes and interests, they start joining in MSC nights.
The scene is also quite diverse! Finland is a very white European country, but in the fetish scene you find quite a high representation of different ethnicities, countries and ages, which I think is awesome.
R: What made you enter the Mr Fetish Finland contest?
T: A few people suggested that I should consider entering, but I wasn't sure if I would be any good or if I even knew what I was doing, and I didn't know what to expect so I sort of shelved the idea.
Like many guys I have met over the years, I sat on the edges of the fetish and MSC Finland community for a number of years, attending some parties but never throwing myself into it fully. I saw running for Mr Fetish Finland as an excuse to push myself fully into the scene, to be open and proud of my fetishes, and to hopefully encourage others to do the same.
I'm also a big on sex positivity and being pragmatic about sexual health. About 4 years ago I decided that I wanted to start PrEP, and after being almost laughed at by a doctor, I made it my mission to find out how to get it. I had the last laugh, now I am a big advocate for PrEP and all things sexual health here, and saw Mr Fetish Finland as a platform to promote this in the fetish community.
R: How was the contest, and what was it like to win?
t: I was nervous as hell. This was the first thing like this that I had ever entered. On top of that, being someone on the fringes of the scene, I was up against two great fellow contestants: Anton, who is well established in the community; and Zafar, the first Mr Rubber Mexico.
Just to add another level of nerves the audience was not men only, but open to anyone, so you had to be really sure you were willing to be out and proud about your fetishes, because it would quite possibly get out anyway!
Winning was of course fantastic, but even if I hadn't won, I got a chance to rant about PrEP accessibility and make more people aware of it. One of the most heart-warming and surprising things was the support and congratulations coming from places I was not expecting, from my brother-in-law posting about it on his Facebook, to clients congratulating me, and friends, whom I would have expected to be a bit shocked, being incredibly supportive. It definitely taught me a thing or two about assumptions!
R: What's the best thing about being a Mr Fetish?
t: My election was less than a month ago so it's all very new, so this might change! For now, it's meeting people. I've loved already meeting so many fetishists and kinksters in Helsinki and in Antwerp. It's great to see how proud this community is, and I can't wait to meet more of you out there.
I'm looking forward to being able to work on some projects this year in the general community and also for MSC Finland, to do what I can to help foster and build on what is already a great community.
Aaaand it pushes me to wear my gear even more, or at least flag fetish whenever I can, and to encourage guys to be bold, proud, and join in.
R: What do you go for in fetish men?
t: Well probably Captain Obvious is an interest in gear, whether it is leather, sports, punk, chav, rubber... they all have their own thing that they bring to a session and it's half of the fun!
Guys who can go with the flow and don't need a script. Guys who can try new things. Guys who can have a conversation after (or during) sex. Most importantly, guys who can laugh at sex! Sounds happen, people fall off beds, heads get banged, dogs manage to open the door and all you can do at that point is laugh. It doesn't need to be too serious!
One thing I learnt quite early on is to throw out the concept of a "type", especially in the fetish scene. You never know what is behind that person's eyes and work suit. If I look at the guys who I have had some of the best sex with, none of them fit what I would have considered to be my type in the past, but the connection and the fun I had with them was phenomenal.
Oh, and the quiet ones who sit back and wait (especially in groups)... they are always the most dangerous fun.
Tell us about your preferred play scenarios?
t: I tend to be a fan of playing for longer. It gives me the chance to explore a connection, take my time, and find out what makes the other(s) tick.
It totally depends on the dynamic with the other guy(s). Some good toys, a sleazy piggy mind, some gear to wear, a bit of aggression, animalistic urges, being excited about what might happen, and focusing and enjoying what is going on. And, if it's a group, getting involved with everyone.
If it's an animalistic fuck-fest, awesome! if it's spending a whole session being teased by a Dom, awesome! if it's an aggressive piggy switch power play session full of choke holds and gobbing, awesome! if it's wrestling in gear with our hard dicks almost bursting out of our singlets, fucking awesome!
I think it's fair to say I just like great, no-holds-barred sex.
R: Finally, if there's anything else you want to say to our members – or the fetish world at large – now's your chance
t: Help out and support newcomers, both in getting over the mental hurdle of coming out as a fetishist, and the hurdle of not having gear. Some of us are bolder than others, but some of us need some time and encouragement to feel comfortable enough to join in. We are all from different situations in our lives and we should remember that. Not everyone is able to live their fetish in their day to day life (hell, for some people having a double life is part of the turn on).
Remember that the coolest thing about this community is the friendships. There is more to a person than their photo. They might not be your type, they might not match with what you're into, but especially in this fetish community, they are people and they might become a friend. Don't overlook the value of that.
If you see me around, come and say hi! Even if I have my trademark "fuck off" face (that's a whole level up from a resting bitch face). Apparently, I'm a nice person.
And lastly, come join the Recon crew in Helsinki at the 33rd edition of Finlandization in August! We tend to do things a little bit differently up here in the Nordics, and Finlandization won't be an exception...
If you'd like to take part in a Recon interview, you can apply by sending your username to: firstname.lastname@example.org