If you have Internet access, you have probably heard of the thriving industry of penis enlargement. Pills, pumps, creams and other “male enhancement” treatments abound touting a cure to men’s insecurity about their genitalia. They also profess to make men better lovers and more capable of satisfying their partners. Truthfully, no product developed for the purpose of penis enlargement has ever been proven to work.
Thomas Walsh, a urology professor at the University of Washington, asserts that, “To date there’s never been a cream, a pill, or anything of that nature that’s been shown to benefit phallus size.”
Nonetheless, companies that sell penis lengthening products routinely advertise endorsements from medical professionals. These claims are often poorly cited and sometimes outright fabrications. Because these treatments are legally considered dietary supplements, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore do not have to meet rigorous standards for effectiveness or safety. Instead, these businesses can present their own data as fact with no repercussions.
A topical or oral treatment that makes penises larger will likely never come about. The spongy fibers that fill with blood when a penis is erect are bound to the pelvic bone, which pretty much fixes it in place.
Some medications and treatments can hasten and increase blood flow to the penis so it becomes harder fast, but it won’t get any bigger than it already is capable of becoming. Vacuum pumps work this way and are sometimes recommend to patients with erectile dysfunction, but these devices can become dangerous with frequent use and result in less firm erections. Pills and creams are usually mixtures of various herbs, vitamins, hormones and minerals that are harmless at best, but there is always a chance of an adverse reaction. There are also hundreds of websites detailing stretching exercises, such as jelqing, and even using weights to extend the penis. These techniques are not only ineffective, but they can also cause severe disfigurement.
While pills cannot solve all of life’s problems, there are small steps most men can take to emphasize the size of their phallus, namely losing weight. Fat in the pubic area can actually start to encompass the penis and make it look smaller, so losing weight may unveil an extra inch. Also, trimming pubic hair makes the penis stand out more.
In our culture, men are obsessed with their members. They are forced to be as jokes about penis size permeate popular culture and high school locker rooms. The proliferation of pornography has also given men a skewed perception of what the average penis looks like. The old joke that “the camera adds 10 pounds” is not completely untrue; some creative camera tricks can be employed to make things seem bigger than they are, and most male porn stars are chosen because they already have larger penises.
There are dozens of studies about average penis size with different findings, but the issue is really moot. Just like breast size, penis size is widely variable and seems to be based on genetics. Unlike with women, however, men’s penises are not always on display, so it is a topic that does not get discussed frankly very often. In other words, all men are different, and what is considered “normal” or “average” is really just an illusion.
While penises typically cannot get larger, a penis that is decreasing in size can be indicative of a serious medical issue. Evidence has increasingly shown a link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular problems, so men should see a doctor right away if they notice any changes in their genitalia or sexual function. If a man’s only concern is size, he has nothing to worry about.