Lee, who will be 60 in October, posted the original NSFW image across his social media accounts late last week. Several hours passed before it was removed from Instagram, whose user guidelines prohibit nudity.
"For a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram," say the company. "This includes photos, videos, and some digitally-created content that show sexual intercourse, genitals, and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks."
The image has since been removed from Facebook, although it remains live on Lee's Twitter account. Meanwhile, on Instagram, the drummer posted a version of the original photo that's been given a psychedelic makeover, resulting in a less explicit image, albeit one that still doesn't leave much to the imagination.
The new image was created by Ziva Barrett, wife of Cannibal Corpse guitarist Rob Barrett. Ziva is now selling a signed limited edition run of 500 prints of Tommy and his todger via her store on Etsy.
The exercise appears to have been a success for Lee on the personal branding front – the drummer added 200,000 Instagram followers and 66,000 on Twitter since posting the image – and while the original post was greeted with a mix of delight and dismay, it has also prompted much debate over apparent double standards in the way men's and women's bodies are policed on social media.
"Let's talk about the comments under Tommy's pic too (there were thousands of them, and the image garnered over 50,000 likes before its removal), shall we?," wrote Cosmopolitan's Jennifer Savin, in an editorial headlined 'Tommy Lee just posted a full-frontal nude – but why does he get a free pass?' "It's pretty astonishing how jovial, praising, pat-on-the-back and non-slut-shaming they mostly were."
Meanwhile, Stylist's Gina Martin wrote on Instagram, “I would fucking love to know why a full frontal nude picture of Tommy Lee and his clearly visible penis is allowed to stay on Instagram for five hours when the female body even with nipples covered is consistently censored with threats to delete the account.”
"2022 and we have to witness Tommy Lee being praised for posting a frontal nude," one Twitter user pointed out, "while Britney Spears is constantly momshamed for posting sexy pics."
The Stadium Tour
Aug 14: Minneapolis U.S. Bank Stadium, MI
Aug 16: Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium, IN
Aug 19: Houston Minute Maid Park, TX
Aug 21: San Antonio Alamodome, TX
Aug 22: Arlington Globe Life Field, TX
Aug 25: Glendale State Farm Stadium, AZ
Aug 27: Inglewood SoFi Stadium, CA
Aug 28: San Diego Petco Park, CA
Aug 31: Seattle T-Mobile Park, WA
Sep 02: Vancouver BC Place, BC
Sep 04: Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium, AB
Sep 07: San Francisco Oracle Park, CA
Sep 09: Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium, NV