1 min

Popping culture: a massively hot sweater for the upcoming winter

Sweater weather has arrived in full force. So why not wear something fun and sexy all at once?

Massive, a website that deals in gay erotic manga, is now selling a sweater that checks both those boxes.

It’s based on a piece by Jiraiya, an artist who is known for his images of gachimuchi — a Japanese term for muscly and chubby men. One of the people behind the sweater and Massive’s site is Graham Kolbeins. Kolbeins was one of the forces behind The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame, a book detailing the work of Japan’s answer to Tom of Finland. He spoke with Xtra about the sexy sweater, created by celebrated artist Jiraiya.

"Jiraiya’s hyperreal computer illustrations were my first exposure to Japanese gay artwork, and I was instantly hooked,” Kolbeins says. “I found within them crucial representations of male-male desire that seemed to reaffirm my sexuality more than any art I’d seen before.”  

You’d think that commissioning a piece of clothing with a very specific fanbase would make for a hard sell. Not so, says Kolbeins. “The response when we posted the first images was immediate and overwhelmingly positive,” he says. “It’s been reblogged by so many different types of people on Tumblr: Japanese fashionistas, gay porn blogs, kawaii enthusiasts, bears, et cetera. So the types of people who’ve preordered extend far beyond preexisting fans of Jiraiya and Massive. It’s my hope that this sweatshirt will help induct a whole bunch of new people into the Jiraiya fandom!"

Mission accomplished.