The fine and futile art of penis towel origami

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I’m not sure the old origami masters considered this particular iteration of the meditative art form, but damn if I haven’t tried it

Drawing a dick on something seems like the most accessible art to me. It takes no real skill to do it – it’s just a cylinder and two circles – and no understanding of the art to figure it out. It’s also universal – in all languages, a dick is a dick when you see it stretched.

I imagine napkin origami—the practice of folding napkins into little animals and shapes—records much the same thing. Although it takes a lot more skill to put it together, it’s just as legible and still attractive.

But why should the two be separated when they can be so beautifully (and inappropriately) combined together? Here is the dick towel:

Online, there are several guides on how to impress your guests and loved ones by turning your napkins into phallic sculptures. “Feel the stress and worry leave your body as you impress your roommates,” one promises. Meanwhile, on Reddit, it’s been a popular “useless skill” to learn for several years. It’s also apparently a trick some bartenders like to do, or a prank people leave behind in hotels. There is no real expert or source behind the creation; we just think it’s a fun little skill to perfect.

The thing is, unlike drawing a dick, folding one out of fabric isn’t an easy task. In fact, I’ve spent the last half hour sweating, contorting myself on a myriad of towels around my house in an attempt to form the perfect towel cock. Worse still, I think I failed.

Tutorials make it easy. You take a napkin and fold it in half, though it’s not clear if it’s burger or hot dog style. I honestly can’t figure it out just by looking – it seems like every towel origami artist has some sort of rare, almost square towel to work with. Anyway, I think it’s a hamburger fold, but some tutorials don’t even fold the napkin in half and instead skip to step two: folding two corners inward, like you’re making a paper airplane.

Then you supposedly take the tip of your “plane” and fold it back. Then you begin to firmly roll the wings inward. If you manage to roll both wings inward at the same time, a well-curved cock will begin to rise like an erection, with that little wedge you’ve tucked inward forming the head and the free ends of the rollers forming balls. And if you flip it over and hang it over a towel rack, you’ve got a nice dick to show off.

But such a process has not evolved for me. Using a regular bath towel and a hand towel, I was able to form Something similar to a penis, but never the perfect boner. I also tried using a square towel, which gave the most impressive erection when folded, but it couldn’t even hold its shape long enough for me to take a picture.

To me, the other two towels looked more like elephants than penises, although you could definitely tell they looked like towels folded to look like penises. I think although the tutorials vary, bending it in half gave a better goof than not doing it, but if you want a penis that keeps its shape – maybe for laying on your bedroom bed friends when you have company – not folding it in half worked better.

Either way, I came away from this process with an even greater appreciation for dick art and towel art. No matter the medium, we will always try to make dicks out of them, and that’s special! There will never be an art form where this is not true.

And as for the towel shirts, they really have remarkable craftsmanship. Next time I’m in a hotel with a towel folded into a critter, I’ll leave at least five bucks more. If I want to incorporate more dick-shaped objects into my bathroom, however, I think I’ll need an alternative. Maybe I can carve bars of soap into dicks instead?

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