Last updated: June 12, 2018 By Ethan Green
Do you worry that your penis is too small, especially compared to other men?
It’s a common concern men have, especially when they don’t think they quite reach the size they feel their partner will be happy with.
On this page, you’ll find out about all the different techniques for penis enlargement to help you understand your options.
There are some facts about average penis sizes, which I recommend reading as you might find that your size is within the normal range.
I’ll also suggest some simple and effective ways you can make it appear bigger to yourself and others.
- Is penis enlargement possible?
- What’s the average penis size?
- What do women think about penis size?
- How to make your penis appear bigger
- Penis stretchers/traction devices
- Penis vacuum pumps
- Stretching and jelqing exercises
- Pills, supplements, and lotions
- Alternative – penis extension sleeves
Many medical organizations 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 some research showing that it’s possible, though not exactly easy or fast to achieve (see below).
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 companies advertise, but a centimeter or two seems possible.
Many men believe their penis is too small, but are actually within the normal range.
In 2015, researchers in London 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 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)
Medically, a penis is only considered to be abnormally small if it’s less than 3 inches when erect.
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!
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, when you look at yourself and the other guys, you’ll look smaller for the same reason as above. So think how your penis looks in the mirror if you compare yourself to other men.
- 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 adult movie stars – guys in online movies 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.
In 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, 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:
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.
Penis 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.
You can find an excellent selection of penis pumps at LoveHoney.com
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 Mayo Clinic 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.
Interestingly, an article In Science Daily 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.
In 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, 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.
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.
A 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.
LoveHoney.com sell a good range of affordable penis extension sleeves in all shapes and sizes.
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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.