Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. We may earn a commission through links on our site.

Does Jelqing Actually Work? The 'Ancient' Technique Is Said to Make Your Penis Bigger.

Can you literally stretch your way to a bigger penis?

banana with tape measure
  • Men on the internet are obsessed with jelqing, a stretching technique that is said to increase the size and length of your penis
  • Some people say that it's an ancient Arabic technique, but this is unconfirmed
  • Excessive jelqing may also come with some serious risks, including penile "leaking"

    In some men's eternal quest to increase the size of their junk, you might have heard lore of an ancient technique known as "jelqing." Hell, you might have even tried it yourself. But does the stretching technique really make your penis bigger? And is it even safe?

    Before you wade into the world of jelqing, remember that as a society, we have an unhealthy obsession with big penises. Not to mention that porn has distorted our sense of how big the average peen actually is. In fact, the average erect penis is 5.2 inches long, and 90% of penis-owners fall within the range of 4-6.3 inches. A 7-inch dick is a rarity, and as for those 9-ers you see in porn? Those big fellas are super rare.

    Still, plenty of people with a penis want to change the size of their penis. According to a 2015 YouGov Survey, penis enlargement surgery (penoplasty) is still one of the most desired cosmetic procedures among American men, second only to fat reduction.

    In 2020, there are plenty of ways besides penoplasty to make your penis thicker and longer, including dermal fillers, fat injections, platelet-rich plasma injections, and penis extenders. Since many of those options are ineffective, cost-prohibitive, and dangerous, some people decide to go down the free and non-invasive path of jelqing. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    What is jelqing?

    According to jelqing enthusiasts, jelqing can be traced back to ancient Arabic civilization, though cynics say it was introduced more recently by online intermediaries looking to turn a buck. The practice revolves around a series of stretching exercises designed to add length and girth.

    Most guides suggest waiting until you’re almost erect. Once there, it’s time to lube up and grab the base of the penis, using just the thumb and index finger. Apply pressure, and slide your hand down the shaft, as if “milking the organ.” Release, and repeat.(Most jelqing guides recommend tapping out after around 20 minutes of exercise.)

    Men's Health
    Subscribe to Men's Health
    menshealth.com
    $15.00

    There appear to be two leading principles behind the purported "science" of jelqing. Some claim the exercises can help increase the amount of blood the penis can accommodate during an erection, causing an increase in size. Others believe that the force administered by jelqing creates microtears in the penile tissue. New cells then grow to repair the tears, leading to an increase in size. The idea is that it's essentially bodybuilding for your penis.

    There is one legitimate medical philosophy that appears to support the concept of organic penile enhancement. It’s called “tissue remodeling," and it revolves around the reorganization of existing tissue. Dr. Paul Turek, a leader in men’s reproductive and sexual healthcare and research, suggests we look to dental braces to demonstrate the power of remodeling. “The physics of time and pressure can lead to change in almost anything on this good earth,” he tells MensHealth.com, with emphasis on that "time" part: it would take months of pressure applied for hours per day for this principle to actually work.

    OK, but does jelqing actually work?

    Sorry, but most members of the medical community say no. “The fundamental flaw with jelqing is a poor understanding of penile anatomy by its proponents,” says Jesse N. Mills, MD, a urologist specializing in male reproductive medicine and surgery. “When a guy jelqs, he is squeezing blood into the erectile chambers and fluffing his penis. If there’s any growth going on, it’s just taking a soft penis into a semi-erection."

    Furthermore, jelqing might actually do more harm than good. “Jelqing may lead to too much force applied for too little time to produce real change. Like pushing on your teeth really hard for several minutes a day to move them around, instead of just getting braces,” says Turek.

    Perhaps more concerning is that applying too much pressure on the penis can cause vascular damage, scarring and erectile dysfunction. Some urologists have suggested that aggressive jelqing might even lead to a curvature of the penis.

    yellow banana with measurement tape on orange background men penis size concept with empty free space for text or design
    PhanuwatNandeeGetty Images

    So what, if anything, can lead to a larger penis?

    First of all, your penis is probably fine just the way it is. In fact, according to one British survey, most women care a lot less about penis size than you probably think. That hasn't stopped men from obsessing about their penises, though: according to one survey, more than 45 percent of men wish they were packing more below the belt, and this issue has become so pervasive that psychotherapists have started diagnosing patients with small penis anxiety or Penile dysmorphic disorder.

    That said, if you’re really set on looking bigger, there are safer methods of modification than jelqing out there. Losing weight is one of them: the less fat you have around the pubic area, the larger your penis will appear. Manscaping can also help make the shaft more visible. There are numerous other ways to make your penis bigger, but they're riskier and more expensive than the two aforementioned options.

    If none of the above helped resolve your insecurities surrounding size, remember: In the context of heterosexual sex, intercourse isn’t typically what leads to orgasm. Men are much more likely to help their partners reach climax by performing other sexual acts, like oral sex, than by plumping up their penis. So if you want to be better in bed, here's a tip: Try improving your swing before looking for a bigger bat.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below