Jelqing: The Penis “Workout” That the Internet Loves, and Doctors Hate


On May 6, 2016, YouTuber Billy Berigman (aka The Penis Professor) posted a seriously NSFW video that begins with him 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 nearly 27 million views, is one of the definitive success stories for “jelqing:” a penis stroking technique that can—allegedly—increase penis length and girth.

The origins of jelqing (pronounced jel-king) are mysterious. Some sources claim the practice originated in the ancient Middle East to prepare young men for sexual conquests. Others say it’s nothing more than a 21st century viral craze.

Nevertheless, there’s an untold number of dudes who are hell-bent on tugging their twinkie in hopes of adding a couple of inches.

But does jelqing actually work?

How to Jelq (at Your Own Risk)

There are several variations on jelqing, but the consensus seems to revolve around three key steps:

  1. Lubricate your penis and and achieve a partial erection
  2. Make an “OK” sign with your thumb and index finger and pinch the base of your penis
  3. Pulling downward, slowly stroke your penis until you reach the head

Jelqing enthusiasts and coaches (who charge as much as $250/month and “supervise” your sessions via Skype) insist that jelqing for 10 to 15 minutes per day 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 Actually Work?

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.

Our deepest apologies if you had your hopes up, but jelqing contradicts basic human anatomy. 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.

Is Jelqing Safe?

Jelqing may not endow you with a schlong. But is there any harm in trying?

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.

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 that can result in 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.

Stop Stressing 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.

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