Tom of Finland gay erotic stamps are the biggest sellers in Finland’s postal service history

The homoerotic stamps officially went on sale Monday, but even before then they had been in stiff demand, with pre-orders booked in 178 different countries. Apart from Finland, the greatest interest came from Sweden, Britain, the United States and France.

Touko Laaksonen or Tom of Finland is one of Finland's best known artists. Posti said that the stamps have received more international attention than any other Finnish post mark, having been featured in traditional and social media, and online publications.

Posti officials said the stamps' popularity took even them by surprise.

"We haven't seen this kind of interest before in Posti's history and we probably won't again soon," said Posti development chief Markku Penttinen.

"Our starting point was to get Touko Laaksonen's artwork in our stamps. We know that he was very well-known globally. Of course the subject matter is also topical and much discussed. This equation has worked better than we anticipated," Penttinen speculated.

Finland a pioneer in bold postage stamps

Penttinen pointed out that the homoerotic nature of the Tom stamps would prove too much for many other countries to swallow.

"But it's not for us Finns. We want to live in our times," he added. Read more via yle