Getting comfortable with Tomi  as he opens up with Yummy about his drive for evolution and how pleasure as a priority.

Getting comfortable with Tomi as he opens up with Yummy about his drive for evolution and how pleasure as a priority.

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Classing himself as an ever changing being on the move, Tomi Mikael Lappi opens up to Yummy about his life growing up and the momentous moves that he has taken as in individual. Placing growth, fitness, and sensuality in his foresight, Tomi discusses his reasonings for placing “pleasure” at the heart of his drive for the 2023 - starting with Yummy. Having met Bartek in a bar in Mykonos, a surprise encounter led to this exclusive full-frontal feature for Yummy 7 and we couldn’t be happier. Read the full interview below and jump into the vast mind of Tomi Mikael Lappi.

The images are cropped/ made safe for online purposes, full images available inside Yummy Issue 7

Photo story by @SMIGGICENSORED
ADRIAN GOMIS EXPOSITO. Your roots are in Finland, but I believe you’ve lived in multiple cities across the globe and you also are a polyglot. Firstly, could you tell us about yourself and why you have such a multicultural background? How many languages do you speak?
TOMI MIKAEL LAPPI. I'm Finnish, born in Germany, raised in Finland, spent my early 20s in London, and lived in Spain from 2017 until recently. The real story is far less linear, with some back-and-forth movement and singular random months here and there. My mother is Finlandssvensk (a Swedish-speaking Finn) and speaks four languages, and my dad spoke three, so I guess it runs in my blood. My brother and I were raised in two mother tongues, Finnish and German. English, Swedish, and French were added to the mix early in school, and I also have some Swiss and Italian families, so I was exposed to those languages too at an early age.
I would argue that the biggest factor in my upbringing that made it easy for me to pick up languages is that in our family, no one was ever judged if they didn't get it perfect. I've concluded that all you really need to pick up a language is courage and some self-compassion. I speak Finnish, English, and Spanish daily. My German is fluent, though it often catches me off-guard since I don't use it much. My Swedish is very rusty. I still understand Italian and French well, but learning Spanish pretty much replaced my skills in those languages due to the similarities. I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to linguistics and language.
A.G.E. I feel like you’re a very interesting person, not only because of what we’ve just talked about -which is honestly quite impressive- but because you’re very dynamic. You’re a model, actor, and dancer. How did you start in all these disciplines?
T.M.L. It was actually my dad who took me to my first dance class when I was 6 years old. He was an ice hockey coach, and my brother played hockey, so I guess he was more nervous than I was. I was obsessed with 'The Shoop Shoop Song' by Cher, and I loved the sound of dancing shoes hitting the wooden floor. That was motivation enough for me. It all began 25 years ago, and dancing is still one of my closest companions, sometimes my worst enemy. When you attach expectations, make a living, and tie your sense of worth to a passion, you have to battle quite a few demons.
I've fallen in and out of love with dance more times than I can count. I made it my priority to figure out who I am and what I'm worth, regardless of whether I'm getting paid for dancing or not. Acting started as a hobby when I was 11, along with singing and playing the drums, and they all accompanied me through my adolescence. Dancing was my number one, and while it provided energy and income, there was little space for anything else to come in until Human Design and mentoring came along.
Modeling was a dream of mine that seemed unlikely to come true. I was an awkward-looking boy from a small country, definitely a late bloomer. I started modeling in my early 20s when I was scouted on the streets, but I had a very different look back then—more on the androgynous side, super skinny, but not the typical fashion model type. I never really managed to break into the industry. From age 26 or 27, my physique and look changed a lot, and I became more centered within myself. I was lucky to have opportunities to work with super inspiring people and photographers without the pressure or expectation of it having to lead to something. Now I enjoy having a pretty balanced and healthy relationship with modeling, and I'm excited for what's to come. I enjoy it way more than I did when I started out.
A.G.E. Besides all these skills you have, you’ve also mentioned Human Design. Could you tell us about this fascinating subject, what it is about, and what you do?
T.M.L. To sum it up, Human Design is a hybrid combination of four ancient spiritual tools: Western Astrology, Kabbalah, The Chakra System, and the Chinese I Ching. While it's based on neutrinos being filtered or not through planetary energies at the moment of birth, esoterically, it's more like the contract your soul makes to decide which energies it will have constant access to in this lifetime and which ones it wants to play with and absorb from the exterior. I know all of this might sound out there and woo-woo, but whether it resonates or sounds like nonsense to the reader is kind of irrelevant. One can still be open to experimenting with it and take it as a fresh perspective on oneself.
I've always been passionate about self-help and self-discovery, embracing the scientific, psychological, and spiritual aspects. What made me fall in love with Human Design is that it's esoteric yet tangible and easily applicable. It's important to note that these modules are not a substitute for professional therapy or addressing mental health issues. However, the combination of Human Design and good mentoring, along with access to a wide variety of tools, can be incredibly helpful for anyone interested in better understanding themselves. We often lack objectivity when it comes to self-reflection, so having the right people and tools around us to provide positive and empowering mirrors can be a game-changer.
A.G.E. I really loved that in our first chat, you mentioned that you’re trying to create the archetype of beauty and brain, or how to use your physical appearance as the Trojan horse. What do you really mean by this?
T.M.L. This is actually something a good friend of mine mentioned at a dinner table while she was talking about my Instagram account to her friends, and it led to a significant shift in perception for me. One of my biggest internal battles has been finding an organic way of adjusting what I publicly share about myself to include both sides of me. There's one aspect that's more 'superficial' which involves posing in speedos or without anything and working in entertainment, show business, and modeling. On the other hand, there's the side of me that's more interested in the cognitive, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of life. This side has a lot to offer if not more than the other. I constantly struggled to combine these two aspects and found myself polarizing into one or the other.
While I haven't completely figured it out yet, what my friend meant with the "Trojan horse" analogy is this idea of luring people in with what's on the exterior or what first meets the eye and then revealing something completely different on the inside. People's first impression of me is rarely even remotely accurate until we have a conversation, and now I've learned to just roll with it. So, on social media, for example, the more important the message I want to share in a caption, the more visually captivating the photo is likely to be.
A.G.E. As you’ve just stated, you have an outstanding physique but also a brilliant mind. How do you usually present yourself to other people, bearing in mind what we have just talked about of using your physical appearance as a shield that hides that brilliant intellect of yours? What are your tactics?
T.M.L. I feel like the mix of my exterior and interior worlds is inherently complex and constantly shape-shifting. That's a fancy way of saying I'm nowhere near having this figured out. I feel like I'm nowhere near the same person I was last month, and who I was this time last year is someone I barely recognize. What I've learned to do is to try to hold on to my identity and my presentation to the world way more lightly and to stop figuring out 'who I am'.
I almost see wherever I go or whoever I meet as an opportunity to choose my character for that particular level of the video game. I am a bit of a chameleon in my day-to-day life, starting from the clothes I wear to the language I speak, depending on which parts of my personality are appropriate for that specific situation. I feel like my close circle has a much better sense of who Tomi is and which qualities define me in the long run. I know there's a certain showmanship about me, which can be both useful and entertaining, and sometimes even serves as protection. However, beneath that, there's definitely a loving, caring, considerate, and surprisingly timid and vulnerable Tomi.
A.G.E. During your stay in Mykonos, you met with Bartek Szmigulski to create this beautiful story for Yummy Issue Seven. How did this happen? Did you plan this project together beforehand or was it something spontaneous?
T.M.L. This was actually a pretty serendipitous mix of coincidences. I was first approached by a photographer at the beginning of the year for a story, and I remember replying, 'I'm not going to do full frontal unless it's Yummy.' He replied, 'It's Yummy.' And I was like, 'Oh, okay.'
However, that particular shoot didn't end up happening for me, so I thought that if it's meant to be, it'll circle back around. A few months later, Yummy got in touch, and we started planning a shoot in Ibiza, but unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn't manage to make it happen before I moved to Mykonos for the season. At some point, we had talked about shooting in Mykonos with Bartek separately, and once I finally got there, I think a few days later, we had everything organized for the shoot independently of all the other conversations. So that worked out neatly in the end and lined up perfectly.
A.G.E. The island of Mykonos is incredible, and the chosen location for the shoot was also stunning. How did you feel during the shoot being naked all the time?
T.M.L. There are three different answers to this, one for each location that we shot in. I'm definitely a creature of comfort, so being indoors or by the pool in the sunshine naked was literally heaven for me. I'm not a big fan of clothes in general, especially in summer, and I felt super comfortable shooting with Bartek. I felt super sexy and empowered.
The rocks and the sea were a little bit more complicated. You have to remember that I was raised in the forest and in snow, so the ocean and its rocks are not exactly my natural habitat. Also, I was one misstep away from twisting my ankle and messing up my dancing season. So we had to be super careful, and it definitely wasn't as sexy as the result. It was definitely more like Gollum moving from one place to the other than Baywatch.
Lastly, we had an idea for one more shot that had to be done in a semi-public place, and we just opted for daredevil mode. There's definitely something that turns me on about the risk of getting caught naked, so it was hard not to get too excited. But we managed to make it happen semi-elegantly in the end. 'Semi' being the keyword.
A.G.E. From what I know about you, I feel like you’re also a very open-minded person. What’s your take on nudity and sexuality? Tell us about your view on these topics.
T.M.L. My take on nudity is pretty straightforward. After all, in Finland, you're way more likely to find yourself sitting in a small hot sauna full of strangers than to receive a hug from someone. I think I've been lucky to grow up in an environment and culture where nudity has been normalized from a young age. It took me some years to be comfortable enough with myself to be naked in public, but now my favorite thing is lying naked on the beach, either by myself or with other people around. While it's super normal to me, and there doesn't have to be anything sexual about it, it's also nice to get to know people or exchange some looks without the protection of clothes. The special mix of feeling vulnerable and empowered at the same time is kind of hard to put into words.
On the other hand, sexuality is such a complex topic, and I'm still learning so many lessons about it. I've had to get over a lot of shame and feelings like there's something wrong with me. Navigating pleasure, sexuality, sex, who I am, what I want, and what my needs are has definitely been a journey. And whenever I feel like I've cracked the code, there always seems to be the next layer underneath.
A.G.E. Now that we’ve mentioned these topics, I’d like to raise the temperature of the interview a little bit. First off, what does the word yummy mean to you?
T.M.L. The first thing that comes to mind is the word pleasure. I feel like there's something that happens in our body when we perceive something delicious with any of our five senses that has the ability to really make us fall in love with life. As a Taurus rising in my astrology, I'm very fond of sensory pleasures, whether it's a nice touch, good food, the smell of freshly cut grass or a good perfume, enjoyable music, or seeing something or someone beautiful.
A.G.E. Seeing your perfect body I’m sure you love to take sexy selfies. Do you like to do that regularly? When do you feel the sexiest and how do you act?
T.M.L. I feel my sexiest when I'm not navigating some sort of breakdown or existential crisis, haha. I feel like sexuality and our self-esteem, in general, is something that's meant to fluctuate. There are days where I feel really sexy and others where I'd much rather hide in my bedroom and not walk past the mirror. This is such a cliché, but I believe we all do feel the sexiest when we're at our happiest. As for sexy selfies and thirst traps, I don't really take them for myself. I think it's the most fun when there's another person involved. At most, maybe I'll take something to have in my camera roll for a rainy day or to have something to draw from if things ever get heated up in conversation with someone I like, haha.
A.G.E. What attracts you to another person? What’s the first thing you notice?
T.M.L. I love people with balls, metaphorically and literally, haha. I'm super sensitive, which can be a ball ache at times, but it also serves as a superpower because I'm really good at reading people. Romantically and sexually, the most attractive thing is when someone isn't intimidated by me. I can perceive when they know what they have to offer and what they bring to the table. I don't have a type per se, so whether that confidence is packed in whichever kind of package is kind of irrelevant. But I know what I'm bringing to the table, so the other person better have things clear on their end, too. Otherwise, we're going nowhere. I also tend to be a bit timid when it comes to taking the first step, so anyone who has the balls to come up and say hi is much appreciated. But I won't play hard to get; if I like you, I've probably been staring at you all evening.
A.G.E. Regarding your sexual life, I’m sure you’ve had mind-blowing experiences. Could you tell us one of the best sexual experiences of your life?
T.M.L. My most mind-blowing, earth-shattering, legs-shaking experiences I've actually had with myself not too long ago. Who knew there's a whole world of pleasure to be discovered when you start to get curious and treat your own pleasure as a priority? That's actually been really empowering too and taken a lot of pressure off of sex because suddenly whether I'm enjoying myself or not isn't a responsibility I'm delegating to my sexual partner. There's so much to discover, though, and I feel like I'm only getting started with exploring sex, sexuality, pleasure, my body, and other bodies too. In terms of mind-blowing experiences, there's also a very fond memory from the beach where I got nervous after seeing something I really, really liked. I had to swim further away to calm myself down, and let's just say everything that I liked found its way to me pretty soon after that.
A.D.E. Do you have any fantasies? What turns you on and what would the best night of your life be like?
T.M.L. I do have a few fantasies, and sometimes just fantasizing can be a huge turn-on, even if it never becomes a reality. They're a bit wild to share though. Also, just talking about fantasies with your partner can be a huge turn-on. I'm most turned on when things are kept light and playful, even in a committed relationship. And the best night would be some good fun, playing, massages without any rush or anywhere to be, interesting conversation, and a good laugh. Add hot weather, a good glass of wine, and a nice dinner, followed by 9-10 hours of sleep with some cuddles and kisses.


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