Bigger penis promises: True claims or false advertising?

1) Dear Alice,

I know you've covered this question several times over, but here is a new twist for you.

I've noticed several sites on the Internet that promote a larger penis through "ancient" techniques of strengthening (and yes, lengthening) the penis through exercises. These sites claim that since the penis is a muscle, it can be conditioned and exercised for greater and permanent length and girth.

Is this possible?

Ancient Wonders

2) Dear Alice,

I've been reading about a penis enlargement program that is based on hypnosis tapes. Does it work? Or is it just some kind of rip off?

Penis size worried

Dear Ancient Wonders and Penis size worried,

A quick review of the anatomical structure of a penis may help clear up some of the confusion regarding penis enlargement. Enclosed in a case of skin, the penis is composed of nerves, blood vessels, fibrous tissue, smooth muscle, and three cylindrical bodies of spongy tissue that fill with blood when the penis is erect. There is no bone in the penis, but there is skeletal muscle at the base of the penis. While some books and websites advocate exercises practiced "since ancient times" to lengthen or strengthen the penis, including hypnosis, medical research indicates that without surgery, penis lengthening isn’t considered possible.

As any quick internet search will tell you, there are many purported “ancient” penis enlargement techniques out there. However, most of these techniques consist of simple masturbation techniques that have no effect on penis size. For example, jelq, a technique thought to originate from early Middle Eastern cultures, is portrayed as either wrapping the index finger and thumb around the base of the penis and pulling up, or pinching the penis with the index finger and thumb and pulling up. This exercise operates on the premise that the penis is a muscle that can be toned and buffed similar to your biceps. But, for better or worse, the smooth muscle of the penis can’t be exercised. 

The surgical techniques used for enlargement aren’t well researched or defined at this point. Surgical techniques used to enlarge the penis include fat injections, implants, and tissue grafts. These procedures, are still considered experimental and can leave scars, which could require additional corrective surgery. Furthermore, for procedures such as injecting fat into the penis, the body could reabsorb the fat unevenly, making the penis curved or asymmetrical. There are also techniques involving cutting the ligaments that attach the penis to the pubic bone but may result in an erection that points downward due to the loss of the penis's anchor to the pubic bone. It’s worth noting that this technique doesn’t really affect the size of the penis, rather it simply allows the penis to hang lower when flaccid. Another risk of surgery is the potential for nerves to be cut and damaged.

If you’re seriously considering surgery, be sure to discuss the surgical procedures, possible effects and complications, your concerns and expected results, and cost (since this procedure likely wouldn’t be covered by insurance) with a qualified, trained, board-certified surgeon who specializes in surgical penile enlargement.

It’s possible that the state of penile enlargement options will change in the future. In the meantime, perhaps talking with your partner or a mental health professional can help you accept your body as it is and learn to “love the one you’re with.”

Last updated Jun 24, 2022
Originally published Jan 18, 2002

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