Jelqing: The Viral Penis “Workout” That Doctors Hate
If you’ve ever glanced down at your ding-dong and felt like you could benefit from some extra size, you’re far from alone. Nearly half of men want a bigger penis, according to a study titled “Does Size Matter?” in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity.
For decades, dudes have searched long and hard (pun intended) for ways to get a larger penis: supplements, fillers, injections, penis pumps, traction devices, the list goes on.
But one penis enlargement technique is taking the internet by storm: jelqing. This controversial “exercise” involves stretching and stroking your penis every day for months with the hope of gaining a few sacred centimeters of length.
Thanks to a few viral videos, there’s an untold number of dudes who are tugging their twinkies every day. However, doctors warn that jelqing (pronounced jel-king)could cause irreversible damage to your penis.
Read on to discover the origins of jelqing, how it’s done, and whether it’s worth your time.
What Is Jelqing?
Jelqing is a penis stretching technique that can (allegedly) increase your penis length and girth. It involves repeatedly pulling your semi-erect penis to elongate the tissue. The idea is that by creating micro-tears in the penile tissue, new cells will grow back, leading to more size.
It’s like bodybuilding for your dick—at least that’s the idea.
The origins of jelqing are as mysterious as its potential benefits. Some sources claim the practice originated in the ancient Middle East to prepare young men for sexual conquests. But it didn’t go mainstream until 2016, when YouTuber Billy Berigman (aka The Penis Professor) posted a seriously NSFW video.
It begins with Berigman holding his flaccid penis in his left hand and a wooden ruler in his right hand. Berigman proceeds to stretch his penis outwards, so as to demonstrate how he extended his penis after four months of “workouts” that involved lathering his wang with coconut oil and yanking it 20-50 times per day.
The video, which now has over 30 million views, has inspired countless dudes to adopt this regimen. There’s even a subreddit dedicated to jelqing, where guys share tips, ask questions, and voice some (very) disturbing concerns.
How to Jelq (At Your Own Risk)
There are several variations on jelqing, but the consensus seems to revolve around five key steps. Disclaimer: DUDE doesn’t endorse any of this, so jelq at your own risk.
- Warm up your penis with a heat compress or warm shower/bath. This will increase blood flow to your penis and make it more malleable.
- Lubricate your penis to minimize friction and skin inflammation. Any type of lube will work here.
- Make an “OK” sign with your thumb and index finger and hold the base of your penis (AKA the glans).
- Apply pressure and slowly slide your hand down the shaft until you reach the head of the penis downward, then release.
- Repeat the motion for about 20 minutes.
The trick here, according to jelqing experts, is staying semi-erect without getting a raging boner like you would during masturbation. This is apparently the optimal consistency to stretch the fibers.
Jelqing coaches (who charge as much as $250/month and “supervise” your sessions via Skype) insist that jelqing daily will yield a bigger dong in a matter of months. Not to mention, they tout bonus benefits like harder erections, bigger loads, and “curve correction.”
Alright, so YouTubers, dick coaches, and guys on reddit are sold on jelqing. But what does science say?
Does Jelqing Work?
To sum up the scientific evidence in one sentence: the odds of jelqing increasing the size of your penis is slim to none.
The rationale for jelqing seems like common sense: If you want to lengthen a muscle, you massage and stretch it, right? That’ll work for your hammies, but not your hog.
Contrary to popular belief, your penis is not a muscle that you can alter or strengthen with penis enlargement exercises. It’s more like a sponge that fills with blood when you get horny.
In 2018, a urologist conducted a study in which he enlisted men to do 200 jelqing strokes every day for three months and asked them to measure their penises along the way. After the three months, the average length gain was 3 millimeters—about the width of two pennies.
“The clear conclusion is that jelqing exercise does not have a significant effect on erect penis size enlargement,” he said.
So, jelqing may not endow you with a schlong. But is there any harm in trying?
Is Jelqing Safe?
There’s barely any research on the side effects of jelqing, so it’s hard to say whether it’s safe or not. However, doctors aren’t exactly enthused with the amount of guys putting micro-tears in their penis.
As we mentioned above, your penis consists of spongy tissue (the corpus cavernosum and corpus spongiosum), two arteries that carry blood and thousands of tiny nerves. These body parts aren’t built to sustain aggressive stretching, and can subsequently be damaged by jelqing. Not to mention the soreness.
But don’t take our word for it.
“I routinely advise patients not to perform [jelqing],” says Yaniv Larish, MD, partner at Fifth Avenue Urology in Manhattan. “When you do that stretching technique, essentially what you’re causing is a microvascular injury to the erectile bodies of the penis, the corpus cavernosa.”
Larish explains that stretching the penis can potentially damage the corpus cavernosa to the point of developing Peyronie’s disease, a condition where scar tissue creates permanent curvature of the penis and, in some cases, erectile dysfunction.
“A guy who is on this quest to gain length of the penis and has a totally normal functional penis, ends up damaging the penis to the extent where it can no longer function as a sexual organ,” says Larish.
Oh, the irony.
Don’t Stress About Size
As long as penises have existed, dudes have been preoccupied about their size.
According to a “Penis Perception Survey” of 15,000 people conducted by the University of Kentucky, nearly half of men reported wanting a bigger penis. However, size wasn’t anywhere close to the top of the priority list for women, who placed higher values on sexual communication, creativity in the bedroom, attraction, and sex session duration.
Remember that before you lather up with coconut oil and hire a penis coach to tell you how to stretch a muscle that doesn’t exist.