Select a treatment to
get started

Jelqing Exercises: A Promise of a Bigger Penis?

Read on

A tale as old as time, the next big thing “promising” a bigger, better penis: jelqing exercises. Well, not quite. But the internet sure thinks so. What is jelqing? Allegedly an ancient penis stretching technique, jelqing methods are questionable in regards to both efficacy and safety. In this article, we will outline all you need to know about jelqing.

What is “jelqing”?

Jelqing (pronounced “jel-king”) is a penis stretching exercise wherein a man pulls on the base of their penis with the overall intent of increasing the size of his member. Mayo Clinic describes it as a hand-over-hand motion pushing blood into the penis. They also mention it can lead to scar formation, pain, and disfigurement. There is an understandable amount of debate and concern surrounding penis jelqing. As well as a considerable amount of male interest. There are some very compromising how-to YouTube videos demonstrating jelqing that have more than 29.5 million views.

To put an image in your mind’s eye, to jelq, a man would put his fingers into an “okay” sign, touching his thumb to his pointer finger and begin applying pressure while stroking his penis firmly to engorge it with blood. This exercise is also called “milking”. The motion seems similar to masturbation however the technique is made of pressurized repetitive pulling movements. Some urologists say these movements are traumatic to the penis. There are two hypothetical ways this stretching exercise claims to increase penis size.

Hypothesis one:

By stretching the penis tissue, the skin creates “micro-tears” that will encourage collagen production. Giving the appearance of a fuller, longer penis. Similar to the idea of building muscles by weight lifting. However, the penis is not a muscle and cannot grow by way of micro-tearing tissue.

Hypothesis two:

These exercises claim to increase the amount of blood a penis can hold by pulling and squeezing an erect or half-erect penis to add more blood flow to the erectile tissue. The idea is to stretch the tissue for a bigger erection.

Even if this does make for a seemingly bigger erection, it is likely as fleeting as the “bigger” erections created by vacuum penis pumps.

Is jelqing safe?

Most medical experts would respond to this with a perplexed but resounding “Um, no, it’s not safe, nor is it recommended.” There is no evidence that jelqing is effective or safe. Urologist at NYU Health, Dr. Seth Cohen says “My familiarity with jelqing comes mostly from people arriving at my office with damaged penises as a result of it.”

Penis jelqing is not without its risks. Before considering something like this, you should know the risks involved.

Worst-case and best-case jelqing scenarios

Worst case:

  • You permanently damage your penis.
  • You induce permanent erectile dysfunction by damaging the erectile tissue or by increasing scar tissue from repeated traumatic movements.
  • You cause vein ruptures in your penis.
  • You cause scar tissue to build, causing a curvature to the penis, otherwise known as Peyronie's Disease.

Best case:

  • You achieve momentary size results.

Temporary gains, with the risk of permanent damage. Doesn’t sound worth it.

Possible side effects of jelqing

  • Bruising on the penis
  • Pain and soreness along the shaft
  • Scar tissue formation from rubbing
  • Numbness or loss of sensation in the penis

If you’ve tried jelqing once or twice with no bad results, you’re not out of the woods yet. These side effects and more serious complications could take time and repeated self-inflicted trauma to occur. With more serious issues like scar tissue build-up, it could take 3 to 6 months of jelqing to see the damage done. With most sites and jelqing ambassadors encouraging repeated and long term use of these methods, it seems like a recipe for disaster.

The big question: But does it work?

Urologist Jesse N. Mills, MD, says much of the ideas behind jelqing are based on a misunderstanding of anatomy. He says, when you do these exercises, you are essentially “fluffing” your penis. Causing no change to your penis size.

Much of the “success stories” of penis jelqing are entirely anecdotal. Of the limited scientific research available, only small levels of success were found with extreme stretching techniques involving wearable penile traction devices, worn for at least 9 hours a day. In a 2011 study, researchers used extreme methods of penis stretching through the use of traction devices that were worn for at least 9 hours a day for 3 months. Only 25% of participants saw an increase in penis size after more than 900 hours of penis stretching. This study concludes by saying “Performing more studies is recommended.”

Stop worrying about the size of your penis

As a society, we may have an unhealthy obsession with the pursuit of a bigger penis. Don’t allow the facade of movies and pop culture to fool you into feeling like most men are walking around with 9-inch penises. Spoiler: they’re not. If you are thinking about trying jelqing it’s recommended you stop and consider why. Maybe, your perception is distorted. Your penis size may be on par with 90 percent of all men.  

Read related: The Guide to Size Stigma

Did you know, according to research, most men have a penis that is within one inch of the average size? Meanwhile, many men worry about how they stack up to others. The fact is, you are likely to have a penis that is on par with everyone else’s. Hoping to answer the question “Does Size Matter?” a recent study revealed interesting results. Researchers showed that 45 percent of men reported feeling unsatisfied with the size of their penis and wished it was larger. While in the same study, only 16 percent of men fell below the average penis size. So, where does all this insecurity stem from? From this study, it’s safe to say it’s not rooted in fact. The average penis size is while erect is 5.1 inches. While soft, the average penis size is 3.5 inches.

Strut Health does not encourage or recommend jelqing

There is no scientific basis supporting jelqing exercises and it could cause long-lasting damaging effects. If you are feeling emotional distress when it comes to the size of your penis, it is best to speak to a medical professional. Key Takeaways

  • Jelqing is a penis stretching method over-hyped by the internet at the expense of men hoping to increase their penis size.
  • Jelqing is not recommended by physicians and they often find their patients have severely damaged their penis by trying jelqing.
  • Jelqing could result in causing penis numbness, erectile dysfunction, and Peyronie's Disease.
  • Word to the wise: there are hundreds of first-hand accounts of men damaging their penises with these techniques on online help forums. (And even more, saying it does nothing to help with penis size.) While some sensationalist marketing strategies might tempt you, make sure you get the full picture before trying jelqing.
Free shipping
Free follow-up care
Cancel anytime, no fees
Free online MD visit

Related posts