The first quote in this post title is the way the NYT described the work of Touko Laaksonen, AKA Tom of Finland, and the second quote is from someone in Finland who chose the particular images for the stamps, who added: "There is never too much [sensual life force and being proud of oneself] in this northern country."
I'm showing more of the stamps than the NYT saw fit to print in its pages, though it did link here, where I got this:
The NYT just had a cropped image of the man on the left, in the center. The cropped image includes the emphatically glistening nipple. As for the image on the right, the NYT says it "depicts a mustachioed man staring out from below a pair of muscled naked buttocks."
Staring out from below, indeed. "Why is that mustachioed man staring at us from behind a naked ass, Mommy?," I imagine a child asking, as she picks up the mail somewhere in Finland. Mommy says: "Why, darling, it's because we're living in a northern country, and our government cares very much about our life force and our pride in ourselves. Doesn't this make you feel alive and proud, sweetheart, in spite of having to live in Finland?"
I'm sorry. That's a very unrealistic scenario. No child would use the NYT-y phrase "mustachioed man staring out from below a pair of muscled naked buttocks." 1. "Mustachioed" is a silly word, particularly silly when — from what I've seen so far — every man Tom of Finland depicted has a mustache. 2. Are those buttocks particularly "muscled," or is the NYT just mindlessly crediting Tom with making his men even more attractive than he was obviously straining to make them? 3. The bodiless head isn't really in a "staring out from behind" relationship with the headless body. It's more of a surreal image in which the head takes the place of what would be a very large scrotum.
Those are my insights from the northern country of Wisconsin, where blogging random items early in the morning is enough to stir my sensual life force and make me proud of myself.