Hi Alice,

I was just wondering... Yes, I know that you advocate that the penis size is not everything, but I have noticed that there are ads out there that advertise about size increases and building a stronger penis. I was wondering if those pumps or vacuums really do work and if you can, please explain how it works. Are there side effects? In the ad, it also states that it prolongs one's erection and it prevents premature ejaculation. Is this also true?


Dear Confused???,

Advertisements are designed to attract attention so that people will purchase a usually unnecessary product. The advertisers' job is to sell products; therein lies the contradiction between the health-oriented position that penis size is merely one measure of a lover versus ads about ways to increase penis size and strength and duration of erections.

Okay, now that that's clear...

Pumps are medical devices, many of which are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), designed to help create erections in men by means of suction. Pumps usually consist of a plastic cylinder that fits over the penis. A lever causes air to be pumped out, creating a vacuum that draws blood into the penis, resulting in an erection. (Sometimes a slight and temporary increase in penis size may occur.)

When a man has a full erection, he removes the cylinder after placing a specially designed rubber band or tourniquet at the base of his penis. This holds the blood in the penis, keeping it erect during penetration. Even if a man ejaculates, his penis will remain erect as long as the constrictor band remains in place. Once removed, blood will flow out of the penis and the erection, and any temporary size increase, will subside. Penis pumps cannot prevent premature ejaculation, but as long as the band remains in place, the erection will remain (though the band should never be left in place for more than 30 minutes).

These devices provide serviceable erections when they're wanted, and are a great help to men who cannot or who choose not to take drugs such as Viagra. Some products claim that using the pump daily for 30 minutes will lead to a larger penis. These claims, however, have NOT been tested by the FDA. Furthermore, using a vacuum pump daily for extended periods could cause pain and/or damage. Again, remember it's important to remove the constrictor band from the penis within 30 minutes.

Bernie Zilbergeld's book, The New Male Sexuality, also has information on the pumps as well as on penis size. The books The Viagra Myth: The Surprising Impact On Love And Relationships by Abraham Morgentaler and Great Sex: A Man's Guide to the Secret Principals of Total Body Sex by Michael Castleman have information you may find helpful, as well.

Again, pumps help create erections. Claims of permanent size increases are nothing more than hot air.


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