Exclusive Our recent piece on pornogami - the art of teasing paper into representations of copulating couples and human genitalia - certainly proved a hit with readers.
Accordingly, we have secured an exclusive interview with the man who literally wrote the book on the subject: Master Sugoi, author of "Pornogami: a guide to the ancient art of paper-folding for adults". Below, Sugoi explains the history of pornogami, its spiritual element and offers a few tips for the wannabe pornogamist. Read on:
Give us a bit of background info about yourself.
Born in a log cabin on the top of Mount Fuji, the great Buddha of laughter shined down on me and inspired my creativity upon my entry into this world - or was it Toledo, Ohio? My memory of the event is a bit hazy.
Tell us a bit about the history of pornogami.
Origami has been around for about 800 years in Japan, brought over from Korea & China. Though Japan has a long history of Erotic art in their woodblock prints and netsuke ivory carvings, I have never seen erotic origami before. I may be a pioneer in this area, but I cannot say for sure.
How and when did you first become interested in pornogami?
My sister was going to see Chippendales with her friends and they were planning to bring large coins to drop in the boys' g-strings. I told her I had a better idea and folded the money into peacocks and bow ties and wondered to myself, can I make something a little more risqué? After a few quick attempts, pornogami was born back in 1988. About five years ago I made a video of my hands folding and sold it through eBay. The video turned into a small book of seven figures I self-published and sold on eBay. It was picked up by Green Candy Press and became a real book just this past summer.
Estimate the number of pornogamists currently practising world-wide.
As you know, the Origamiunderground.com has become a big novelty site known internationally and has probably brought more exposure to erotic origami. I would have to guess the number of folders is in the thousands, but only a few invent! I would estimate about 20 world-wide.
What do the Japanese make of pornogami?
Hmmm... They either love it or HATE it. The hip 20-somethings seem to really like it, but traditionalists see it as a bastardization of an ancient art. When I was selling the handmade book on eBay though my first orders were for Japan.
Is pornogami in any way related to Feng Shui?
Nope, Not at all.
Does pornogami have a spiritual as well as a pornographic element?
The actual invention of a pornogami figure is spiritual indeed. To become one with the paper, to caress it, ease it into position after position, to coax it and convince it to do what you desire. If you go to far it can be quite messy, but when Ki (spiritual energy) flows and the folder becomes one with the figure, it can be quite satisfying.
Most people will never know the true pleasure of invention, but do enjoy following the well worn path to sexual enlightenment. When folded with your sexual partner, pornogami can be fun to teach, spark conversation and hopefully passion. Some people are uncomfortable about talking about their sexual desires and pornogami may be a way to break through the frigid ice.
I find that they really get attention when I am in a bar or club and want to get noticed. The money folds make an awesome tip your bartender will never forget.
Is the pornogami acolyte at any stage required to change his or her name to "Grasshopper" and walk on rice paper in a candle-filled temple like that bloke in Kung Fu?
I am not suppose to tell you this, but they do need to fold a vagina from a sheet of wet rice paper while nude during a new moon. Some go on to copulate with the figure, but that practice if frowned upon - or laughed at.
What's the age of consent for pornogami and do you think it should be lowered to, say, 14?
I don't think teenagers would find genitalia of any interest. They are so sophisticated these days.
What's the best way for the tyro pornogamist to get started and what's a good sexual position for beginners?
It's really hard to fold when you are on top! I have bruises to prove it, but while on one's back, I can recommend the basic breast fold, not too difficult while one is "otherwise engaged".
What do you consider to be the most technically-challenging piece of pornogami?
In my book it is the last figure called the 3-D Penis. It has veins and can be seen from any angle even from the bottom. It's very sculptural. Definitely my favorite. At some point I was calling it a Paper Dildo. In any case, I am very proud of the figure but hesitate showing it to my mother who is usually proud of everything I do.
You have written a book on pornogami. As with all proper interviews, we'll now give you a chance to shamelessly plug it...
The book is available world-wide through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most major book sellers for about $15.00. If your bookstore doesn't carry it they can order it, just ask. I actually prefer people to demand their local store carries it. If you want a signed/inscribed copy you can go to my website or you can e-mail Mastersugoi care of AOL.com.
Finally, do you have any plans to nominate pornogami as an Olympic sport?
If it is coupled with gymnastics, I think that would be hot!
Agreed. With that lovely thought, we'll let you get back to your pornogami. Thank you.