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The Fine, Futile Art of Penis Towel Origami

I’m not sure the ancient origami masters envisioned this particular iteration of the meditative art form, but damn it if I didn’t give it a try

Drawing a dick on something strikes me as art at its most accessible. It takes no real skill to do this — it’s just a cylinder and two circles — and no understanding of art to comprehend. It’s universal, too — in every language, a dick is a dick when you see it drawn out. 

I imagine that towel origami — the practice of folding towels into little animals and shapes — registers much the same. While it takes far more skill to assemble, it’s similarly legible and perennially appealing. 

But why should the two be kept separate when they can be so beautifully (and inappropriately) combined together? Behold the dick towel:

Online, there are several guides on how to wow your guests and loved ones by turning your towels into phallic sculptures. “Feel stress and worry leave your body as you impress your flatmates,” one promises. Meanwhile, on Reddit, it’s been a popular “useless talent” to learn for the last several years. It’s also apparently a trick some bartenders like to pull out, or a prank people leave behind at hotels. There’s no real expert or source behind the creation; it’s just thought to be a fun little skill for anyone to hone. 

The thing is, unlike drawing a dick, folding one out of fabric is no easy task. In fact, I’ve spent the last half hour sweating, contorting myself over myriad towels in my home in an attempt to form the perfect towel cock. Worse yet, I believe I’ve failed. 

The tutorials make it look easy. You take a towel, and fold it in half, though it’s unclear whether it’s the hamburger or hot dog way. I honestly can’t figure it out just by looking — it appears as though all the towel origami artists have some sort of rare, near-square towel to work with. In any case, I think it’s a hamburger fold, but some tutorials don’t even fold the towel in half at all, and instead skip to the second step: folding two corners inward, as though you were making a paper airplane.

Next, you supposedly take the tip of your “airplane” and fold it under. Then, you tightly begin rolling the wings inward. If you manage to roll both wings inward at the same time, a nicely curved cock will begin to rise like an erection, with that little corner you folded inward forming the head and the loose ends of the rolls forming the balls. And if you flip it around and hang it over a towel bar, you’ve got yourself a nice dick to display. 

But such a process did not evolve for me. Using a regular bath towel and a hand towel, I was able to form something penis-like, but never the perfect boner. I also tried using a square-face towel, which yielded the most impressive erection while folded, but it couldn’t even hold its form long enough for me to take a picture.

To me, both the other towels looked more elephant-like than penis-y, though you could definitely say they looked like towels folded to look like a penis. I do think that while the tutorials vary, folding it in half did yield a better boner than not doing it, but if you want a penis that keeps its shape — maybe to lay on the bed of your guest room when you have company — not folding it in half worked better. 

Either way, I’ve emerged from this process with an even greater appreciation for both dick art and towel art. Regardless of the medium, we’re always going to try to make dicks out of it, and that’s special! There will never be an art form where this isn’t true. 

And as for the towel folders, they truly have a remarkable skillset. The next time I’m in a hotel with a towel folded into a critter, I’m leaving at least five extra bucks. If I want to incorporate more dick-shaped objects into my bathroom, however, I think I’ll need an alternative. Maybe I can whittle bars of soap into dicks, instead?