Penis Enlargement Techniques

image showing penis measuringDo you feel that your penis is too small, especially compared to other men? It’s a common worry people have, especially if you start comparing yourself to some of the larger men out there.

On this page you’ll find out about all the different techniques for penis enlargement to help you understand your options, and if they even work.

There are some facts and statistics about average penis sizes, which I recommend reading as you might find that your size is totally normal.

And I’ll also suggest some simple and effective ways you can make it appear bigger to yourself and others.


Key Points

  1. Is penis enlargement possible?
  2. What’s the average penis size?
  3. What do women think about penis size?
  4. How to make your penis appear bigger 

Enlargement techniques

  1. Penis stretchers / traction devices
  2. Penis vacuum pumps
  3. Stretching and jelqing exercises
  4. Pills, supplements and lotions
  5. Alternative – penis extension sleeves
  6. Conclusion

key points

1. Is penis enlargement possible?

Many medical organisations warn that penis enlargement is difficult, with lots of bogus claims made by companies. For example, the British NHS says ‘there’s not much you can do’ to increase penis size.

Having said that, there is in fact some research showing that it is possible, though not exactly easy or fast to achieve.

And on a more positive note, many men who’ve tried different techniques say that it’s possible to achieve at least some growth. Maybe not the inches that some unscrupulous marketers promise, but a cm or two seems possible.

2. What’s the average penis size?

image showing 6 inch measurement

Before considering the penis enlargement techniques, you might find it useful to look at some penis size statistics.

Many men feel like their penis is too small, but are actually within the normal range.

In 2015, researchers at King’s College London University looked at 17 previous studies involving over 15,000 men. This is what they found:

  • The average flaccid length is 9.16 cm (3.6 inches)
  • The average stretched length is 13.24 cm (5.2 inches)
  • The average erect length is 13.12 cm (5.1 inches)
  • The average flaccid circumference is 9.31 cm (3.6 inches)
  • The average erect circumference is 11.66 cm (4.6 inches)

Of course some men do have shorter or longer penises than others – that 5.1 inches is just the average. Another study of 1661 men by Indiana University in 2013 found the following:

  • The average erect penis size is 14.14 cm (5.6 inches)
  • The range of sizes was between 4 cm and 26 cm (1.6 inches to 10.2 inches)

In medical terms a penis is only considered to be abnormally small if it measures less than 3 inches when erect. So before trying any penis enlargement methods, you may find your penis is within the normal range.

3. What do women think about penis size?

photo of a woman looking surprised by a manAs a man, it’s important to feel good about the size and shape of your penis. But it’s also useful to consider what women think about penis size.

In 2007, researchers in the UK looked at more than 50 research projects spanning 60 years, with information about over 50,000 men and found the following:

  • 85% of women were satisfied with their partner’s penis size, whereas only 55% of men were satisfied.
  • 90% of women prefer a wide penis to a long one.

In 2015, researchers at the University of California found that women might prefer wider penises only for short-term sexual experiences.

However, they prefer their long-term partner to have a more average size penis. They concluded that it’s probably the ‘novelty factor’ behind their interest in larger sizes.

The reality is that women often find a very large penis uncomfortable during sex. And as they say, it’s not the size of the boat that matters, it’s the motion of the ocean!

4. How to make your penis appear bigger

Before even considering enlargement techniques, here are some ways to make your penis appear bigger, both to yourself and others:

  • Lose weight – if you’re overweight, the extra padding can make your penis appear smaller.
  • Shave or trim your pubic hair – if you have a lot of pubic hair, it can make your penis look considerably smaller. So if you trim or shave it, you might find your penis looks much bigger.
  • Don’t look down – when you look down at your penis, the angle always makes it look smaller. Look at yourself in a mirror instead.
  • Don’t compare your downward angle to other guys – if you’re in a shared changing room for example, when you look at yourself and then other guys, you’ll look smaller for the same reason as above. So think how your penis looks in the mirror if you find yourself comparing your size to other guys.
  • Measure yourself correctly – if you measure yourself with a ruler, don’t just rest it against the skin. Put the ruler on top of your penis and push it into your stomach to the pubic bone.
  • Remember your age – it’s common to worry about your penis size when growing up. Remember though, teenagers develop at different times, so there’s no point comparing yourself to others. And your penis may keep growing until your early twenties.
  • Don’t compare yourself to guys in porn films – guys in porn films are often chosen for their larger size. They don’t represent what’s considered average, so try not to compare yourself to them.
  • Consider counseling – research has shown that in many cases counseling is effective in helping men feel good about their size. So before trying enlargement techniques, it may help to speak to your doctor about how you feel.

Enlargement techniques

1. Penis stretchers / traction devices

penis stretcherIn theory, penis stretchers work by exerting traction on your penis and slowly stretching it over time. It’s the only non-surgical technique which does have research evidence to say it works, albeit very slowly.

In 2010, 2 Italian researchers published their interesting research into penile lengthening, reporting that:

Although there are only a few well-conducted studies to assess their efficacy, it seems that these devices can produce an effective and durable lengthening of the penis, in both the flaccid and the stretched states.

They discuss 5 different research studies in which there had been significant gains in flaccid penis size.

For example, a study in 2002 showed gains of between 0.5 cm and 3.1 cm. A 2008 study showed gains of 2.3 cm. And a clinical trial in 2011 showed average gains of 1.8 cm.

The main problem is the amount of time you have to use them to see any results. The 2008 study, for example, required men to use the extender for 4 hours a day for 6 months, and the 2002 study 6 hours a day for 3 months.

Importantly, the researchers did say that penis traction appears to be relatively safe to use, stating:

Treatment with penile extenders is generally reported to be well-tolerated…the application of such devices can be recommended in all patients regardless of the penile length, because of the low risk of complications

So it could be a technique to try, but only if you have a few hours a day, for several months, to dedicate to it.

2. Penis vacuum pumps

bathmate penis pumpPenis vacuum pumps are sometimes used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction as they can help improve erection strength when used.

They work by creating a vacuum which then draws blood into the penis, and because of that are also sometimes marketed as helping increase penis size.

The downside is that they will probably only make the penis bigger for a short while after using them. There’s a lack of scientific research into their effectiveness for increasing size permanently.

The only research I could find was conducted by Iranian researchers in 2016. In their study, 37 men used a penis pump for 6 months.

The average size increased from 7.6cm to 7.9cm, which they say isn’t statistically significant. They did report though that 30% of the men were satisfied with this increase, concluding that:

Vacuum treatment of the penis is not an effective method for penile elongation, but provides psychological satisfaction for some men.

Anecdotally, some guys do say in forums and customer review sites that they’ve had success in increasing their penis size using penis pumps.

So although a penis pump could have the potential to help with erection strength, it’s not guaranteed to significantly increase your penis size on a permanent basis.

One important safety note worth mentioning is that they can cause tissue damage if used excessively. So if you do decide to try one, make sure you read and follow the safety instructions carefully.

3. Stretching and jelqing exercises

Stretching and jelqing both involve penis exercises you can do using just your hands to increase your penis size naturally.

Jelqing is similar to stretching, using actions similar to milking a cow to force blood into the penis, slowly expanding the parts which hold the blood. This in theory then leads to penis growth.

As far as I can tell, there again isn’t any scientific evidence proving that these techniques work. However, medical websites like mayoclinic say that stretching and jelqing do at least appear safe to practice.

Despite a lack of scientific evidence, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence from guys – particularly on sexual health and body building forums – saying that the exercises do lead to size increases.

There are, unfortunately, some rather dubious penis enlargement guides sold online, often requiring you to take some controversial supplements. Have a read of my penis enlargement guide reviews for more about that.

Interestingly, an article in Science Daily in 2011 reported researchers as saying:

There is no scientific evidence to show that penile lengthening exercises work. Despite this, it is very attractive to patients who like the idea of a non-invasive, low-cost method of penis enlargement and is widely discussed on the internet.

4. Pills, supplements and lotions

malemax penis pillsIn a similar way to the penis pumps, there are many different pills and creams which are sold online with claims to help with erections and penis size.

The main selling point is usually to help guys with erectile dysfunction or low libido, but a secondary effect can be an apparent increase in size until the pill wears off.

The main problem is that they are only intended to help for short periods of time. So even if you do notice an increase in size, it won’t be permanent.

A second problem is that some pills and supplements have ingredients which can be harmful. The regulation of this industry isn’t very tight, so you often just don’t really know what the pills contain.

And finally, many experts say that these type of pills simply don’t work.

On the British NHS website page about penis enlargement, there’s a definitive quote from Professor Kevan Wylie, who is a sexual medicine consultant:

They’re a complete waste of time…pills and lotions have no proven benefit. If they were effective, they would be on sale at chemists. Using a lotion may help a man become more familiar with his penis, which some men shy away from. So lotions can help a man become more comfortable with his penis but they certainly won’t make it any bigger.

5. Surgery

Surgery is probably the most controversial of all the penis enlargement methods. Generally, surgery to change penis size is reserved for men with birth defects or abnormalities.

There’s very little research available about the risks and benefits for men who are considered to have a normal size. In the 2010 study by Italian researchers, they concluded that surgery had a “high risk of complications and unwanted outcomes.”

And the Sexual Medicine Society of North America have a clear statement about penis enlargement surgery on their website:

The Society for the Study of Impotence has found no peer-reviewed, objective or independently- monitored studies, or other data, which prove the safety or efficacy of penile lengthening and girth enhancement surgery.

The Society believes that, in men who do not have congenital anatomical anomalies of the penis, the safety and efficacy of penile lengthening and girth enhancement surgery have not been established.

Therefore, penile lengthening and girth enhancement surgery can only be regarded as experimental surgery.

If this is something you’re thinking about, it’s a good idea to talk it through with your primary care doctor. They can help you understand why surgery isn’t usually recommended, and provide you with advice about safe alternatives.

6. Penis extension sleeves

image of a penis extension sleeveA penis extension is a sleeve which you can wear over your penis to increase the girth and/or length. They come in a wide range of different sizes, shapes, colors and contours, so you can experiment with new and exciting ways to stimulate your partner.

They are also great for erectile dysfunction – if you lose your erection strength during sex, the sleeve will allow you to continue without having to stop to try and get your erection back.

The main positive is that they are safe, easy to use and don’t require months working on your size. Most online sex shops sell a range of sleeves if you’re interested in trying one.


Despite what some clever advertising campaigns may try to convince you of, scientific research shows that there’s no quick and easy way to permanently increase the size of your penis.

There are several different approaches to enlargement, with penis traction being the only one that research has shown to be effective.

Many men have described in forums how penis pumps and stretching exercises helped them, but there isn’t much scientific evidence to back them up yet.

There are some things you can do to make your penis look bigger, which are relatively easy to do. And it may be that the best option is to remember that most men do have a normal size, and to be proud of your body.

You might also like

It’s not all about physical size – your technique and attitude to sex is important too. So I recommend taking a look at some of our helpful sex advice articles.

In particular, I recommend learning about better foreplay, along with oral sex techniques. And for the adventurous, take a look the top female fantasies to see if you can make them a reality.


    • Hi Sammas
      I think they can help make it appear bigger by pumping a little more blood in. But I also think this works better for men who have erection problems. If you don’t have a problem getting a good erection, kegels might not make that much difference, if any.

  • Thank you for the helpful article and advice. I have a small(ish) penis and feel it’s not good enough for my gf. She says it is though. So I don’t know if I should trust her or not.

    • Hi Herbert
      I’d say trust her! If she seems happy with your body, that’s great. It’s normal for men (and women) to feel bad about their body. So if someone is telling you it’s fine, then go with that if you can.

  • Awesome article and advice. thank you. I have issues with penis size and have done for years. It sucks to know you’re way below average. I’m going to try your advice about making it look bigger. Hoping it helps.

    • Hi Drew
      You’re welcome. I can understand your concern – it’s normal to feel bad when we compare ourselves to others if we don’t feel we measure up. But do remember size isn’t everything – being a good lover is much, much more than just what you bring physically!

  • Hey ethan,while doing kegels i have to hold my breath and it becomes very difficult to do it, i doing it the right way?If not,what is the right way?

    • Hi Vergara
      Have you seen my kegels exercise instructions? You might find that series of articles helpful to read. But to answer your question, you shouldn’t have to hold your breath. If you have to, it might just mean you still have a little way to go before getting the control needed to do kegels at will, just using the pelvic floor and no other muscles. Don’t stress about it, but just keep practicing in a sensible way without overdoing it by tensing too much.

  • Hey ethan,thnx for being a great help…my penis is 4.4 and i am 19 now …i m trying some stretching and jelquing excercises….are they safe?…and do kegels increase size?

    • Hi Vergara
      I think they are safe as long as you don’t overdo it. Just take it easy and remember to have adequate breaks from them. Kegels don’t increase size, but you can use them to help pump more blood into your penis, perhaps increasing the erection size in the moment.

  • Hey there, I am 20 and have already gone through puberty, however I have always been 4 inches when fully erect, is there something wrong?

    • Hi Jon
      It’s not that there’s something wrong, as it’s still within the normal range. But I can understand if you feel like it’s below the average size. Have a think about the ideas in this article if you like, as perhaps there’s something that can help you feel better about your size.

  • Hello sir. The size of my penis is just 4 inches, and it is already erected. But, I’m still 18 years old. Do you think I can please a woman during sex, or make her cum, regardless of the technique?

    • Hi Jude
      Definitely! If you do have difficulty making her orgasm during penetrative sex, then there are still many ways to pleasure her. And in fact, many women don’t orgasm through penetrative sex alone. So I recommend learning how to give great oral sex (check out this excellent article about oral for some ideas). And you can of course bring toys into the bedroom if you feel like it. I also recommend getting good at the art of teasing your partner. Anticipation and build up can be so erotic, that if done right, you don’t need much penetrative sex to give someone an orgasm.

  • Hi,
    I’m an “old guy” now, at 68. I discovered penis exercises about eight years ago, and tried them out, but was very skeptical. I also found a 30 year old lady and had a sexual relationship with her at about the same time. The exercises definitely worked for me, as my penis girth and length increased, and the young lady was impressed with it. I didn’t measure the girth, but it definitely APPEARED larger, but I did measure the erect length, and I went from 7 3/8ths inches to 7 5/8 inches in about 6 months. I did the stretching and jelking two or three days in a row, then a day off. I did them for about 15 to 20 minutes a day, and over a period of approximately one year.

    Out of curiosity, I have also tried just about every “penis enlargement” pill that’s out there, and most don’t do anything at all. But, a couple of them have helped me temporarily, but are much too expensive, since the limited effects are only temporary. However, I have found that…for me…Extenze, which I buy at Wal Mart, for an acceptable price, does give my penis a “plumper” look and feel when flacid…if I take them every day, AND, taking a daily supplement of L-Arginine…about 1500 to 2000 mgs a day, in pill or powder form also ads to the “plumpness”, as it increases blood circulation, as well as makes it much easier for me to obtain a full, firm erection…or two…when needed. lol

    If you look at it as just part of your “fitness” program, and not become obsessive about it, I think you might get some increases and be happy with it. Either way, you simply have to make the most of what you’ve got, because that’s basically all you’re gonna get. Give it a try.

    Good luck.

    • Hi Dan
      Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s very interesting to hear from someone who’s practiced the exercises for such a long time. I guess it’s something that you did see some gains, but it also seems like a fair bit of work for quite small growth. But, for guys who are deeply unhappy with their size, every little bit counts.
      As for the supplements, I haven’t tried Extenze, so can’t comment. But I had noticed better erections when taking L-Arginine at a time when I was having some erection problems. As you rightly say, the increase to blood circulation can have that effect.

    • Hi Vergara
      It’s within the normal range for your age, yes. You might find it still grows more in the next 2 or 3 years, so don’t worry about it.

  • Thanks for the useful article ethan. I’ve been worrying about my penis size since I started getting laid but now I think I’m ok actually. Definitely not interested in enlargement any more after reading this and seeing how difficult it is.

    • Hi Chris
      I’m happy to hear the article was useful. If you can accept your size and stop worrying about it, your sex life will be much more enjoyable without those thoughts interfering.

  • I tried a penis pump and it definitely gives you bigger erections for a short while. I also think my dick has grown by a cm in the months I’ve been using it too, but I also lost some weight, so idk. Maybe it’s a bit of both…

    • Hi Jeff
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve heard other guys say they think they had more lasting results, albeit small gains, from the penis pumps. It’s a shame there doesn’t seem to be any clear evidence that they work on a permanent basis, but stories like yours are certainly interesting.

  • Hi ‘someone’
    Yes, that’s normal. It will very likely grow in the next few years, so there’s no need to worry about it.

  • Hi James
    It might still grow over the next few years, so I wouldn’t worry too much right now. But if you’re really not happy with the size, it might be worth discussing it with your doctor to get their advice.

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