What is jelqing and does it actually increase your penis size?

4 min

If you’re unhappy with the size of your penis and you want to take matters into your own hands, you might have come across jelqing. But before you attempt the technique, let’s look at what jelqing means, whether it works and the possible side effects of jelqing.

What is jelqing?

Jelqing is an exercise that aims to increase the length and girth of the penis. It involves pulling and massaging your semi-erect penis forward with your hand or a specially designed device. The idea is that you’ll create microtears in the penis that supposedly expand as they heal.

Does jelqing work?

There is no evidence to back this theory or that jelqing is effective for changing the size of your penis. Literature reviews from 2013 and 2016 found that traction devices were only effective in treating penis deformities, like Peyronie’s disease, not increasing penis size. We’re not going to give instructions on how to jelq because we don’t advise you try it.

The side effects of jelqing

Excessive or aggressive manipulations of your penis through jelqing could lead to fibrosis and plaque formation, causing Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease is where scar tissue formation under the skin of the penis causes excessively curved erections and pain.

What actually helps increase your penis size?

It might be possible to increase the size of your penis through surgery but the safety and efficacy of some techniques used in penis augmentation are unproven. A recent study concluded that it should only be offered “after a multidisciplinary consensus” (which means multiple specialists have weighed in) “followed by a time of reflection given to the patient after full disclosure”. Another study stated that it should never be done. The US Urology Care Foundation (an initiative of the American Urology Association) recommends that surgery for penile augmentation be limited to cases of micropenis (a stretched penile length of less than 7.5 cm). Using injectables to increase the girth of the penis has a high complication rate.

Penis size perceptions and reality

It’s likely that the size of your penis is completely normal and you don’t need to go great lengths to change it. Penis size does not affect the amount of pleasure that you’re capable of feeling and it doesn’t have to affect the amount of pleasure your partner feels.

The average flaccid human penis is just a bit longer than nine centimetres; 95% of men have flaccid penis lengths ranging from six to 12-and-a-half centimetres. Most men (two-thirds to three-quarters) think their penises are of average size, but only about half are content with their penis size and half would like a larger penis (almost no one wants a smaller penis).

Counselling can help the majority of men understand their penis is normal and discourage further treatment.

Anxiety about the size of your penis could be a symptom of an underlying issue like body dysmorphic disorder. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a debilitating preoccupation with a perceived defect in your physical appearance, which may be non-existent or so minor it’s unnoticeable by others.

If these resonate with you, have a chat with your doctor to get in touch with a counsellor. 


Body dysmorphia
Body dysmorphic disorder
Penile implants
Penis health
Peyronie's disease

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