Penis Pump Review

photo of the basic penis pump from love honey used for this review

My experience using the pump

There are moments in life when you wonder if you’re being a bit weird. You can’t miss them, thanks to the little voice in your head that casually asks “what the hell am I doing?”

The first time I casually inserted my penis into a plastic tube and squeezed the attached hand pump in the hope that it would give me an erection was definitely one of those moments.

More importantly, it was also a moment when I discovered something that actually helped deal with what was starting to feel like a serious problem with sex.

If you’re reading this, I imagine you know exactly how frustrating it is not being able to get an erection when you most need it. When your brain is shouting at your penis to “get hard, damn it!”, but your penis doesn’t take orders.

It’s a problem I have every time I meet someone new. It sometimes takes me weeks to relax enough around them to be able to have fulfilling sex. And it’s not unheard of for me to go through periods of erection problems out of nowhere, even with an established partner.

I’ve tried Viagra, herbal remedies, getting fit, stopping smoking, and a whole host of other techniques. But the penis pump was arguably the most effective in terms of how quickly it worked and how little effort was required.

In this review, I’ll be talking about my first time with a basic penis pump. If you’re thinking of trying one too, I recommend reading around rather than going off just my experience. But I hope what I have to say paints a clearer picture of what it’s actually like to use one.

Choosing my penis pump

Some websites recommend using a medical-grade pump or the best one you can afford. These can be very expensive though – I’ve seen them for as much as $500 in the U.S. and £200 in the U.K.

I decided to find out if you can still get good results from a more basic pump instead, as not everyone has that kind of money to spend.

So I picked up the Basics Textured Penis Pump from LoveHoney.com. This simple pump had plenty of positive reviews and was reasonably priced.

Packaging, discretion, and what you get

It’s important that products like these are sent in an unmarked and discreet package. Love Honey is good for that – they use plain boxes with no clue as to the contents.

The pump itself was sealed in a plastic packaging, which is an important hygiene point. It was already assembled and good to go out of the box. And there’s an enclosed leaflet with clear instructions and safety advice.

penis pump in the packaging

It didn’t come with a constriction ring to help keep your erection, or with a lubricant which is necessary to form a seal.

Personally, I chose not to use a constriction ring anyway and already had lubricant of my own. But these are two extras to bear in mind if you buy a pump. If you decide to get a more advanced pump, you might find these extras are included.

First test

After reading the instructions carefully, I applied some lubricant to the opening of the pump, and inserted my flaccid penis into the cylindrical chamber.

I pushed the pump to my body to make sure the seal was airtight, and then gave the hand pump a very slow first squeeze.

Interestingly, nothing happens when you squeeze the pump; it’s when you release it that you feel some movement. And as I slowly released my grip on the pump, I both felt and saw my penis start to enlarge inside the tube.

Flaccid to erect in little time

It’s a strange sensation, and you definitely feel the pressure from the vacuum even on that first squeeze. I was surprised that it had such a visible effect on the first pump.

I decided to take a minute to check the quick release air valve worked properly, just in case. It does work well and releases the feeling of pressure quickly, which was reassuring.

I then continued with a second and third squeeze, making sure I was very slow with every squeeze and release.

After just five pumps I was fully erect, which was sooner than I’d expected. So even though it’s advisable to pump slowly, it still gets you from flaccid to erect in just a minute or two.

Removal

I turned the release air valve a little and twisted the cylinder to remove it, which was easy enough.

I checked for discoloration but didn’t find anything unusual. My feeling is that discoloration is more likely if you pump too quickly, too much, or too often.

The important thing is that I had a full erection, which stayed even after I stopped pumping. I was then able to make love to my partner in the same way as I would when getting an erection naturally, so I was happy about that.

My ongoing tests

I decided to use the pump almost daily for a month to see how reliable and safe it is, and if it affects penis size at all. Here’s what I discovered:

  • It worked every time, regardless of my libido, physical or mental state.
  • If you pump too fast, it’s uncomfortable.
  • I had some slight discoloration the one time I pumped more than necessary.
  • I personally found the erection stayed for long enough to have sex. But I also tried a constriction ring, and it does seem to help keep your erection harder for longer.
  • It’s possible to give yourself an engorged erection, making your penis appear bigger temporarily.
  • I didn’t notice any permanent flaccid size increase after a month.

Criticisms

1. You need to be careful how you use it

The main issue is that you do need to be careful when using a penis pump. It’s uncomfortable, and a little worrying, if you pump too fast or too much in one session.

You do get used to the odd feeling of the blood quickly filling your penis. But to avoid pain or discoloration, you really can’t overdo it.

2. Claims of a bigger penis are probably exaggerated

I found the pump can temporarily give you bigger erections by engorging it more. But I remain skeptical of claims it can add inches to your size, even with daily use.

To be fair, I only used it for a month, and maybe you need much longer to see results. But it didn’t make any difference in the first month, that much I know.

3. Not so subtle to use

Another issue is when to use the pump. Do you let your partner watch? Or do you sneak off to the bathroom and reappear a few minutes later with a surprise erection?

“So I was in the bathroom thinking about you, and suddenly got all hard…”

I think it’s fine to use it in your own time, and if you have an understanding partner. My partner thinks it’s quite funny and finds it fascinating to watch. I’m not letting her anywhere near the actual hand pump though, no matter how much she asks…

But if you’re with someone new, it’s perhaps not as convenient or subtle as a quick pill like viagra.

Summary

Pros

  • Effective and reliable way to get an erection
  • Easy to use
  • Works very quickly
  • Cheaper than drug treatments
  • Much cheaper than advanced pumps
  • Only need to use when you have sex
  • No side effects in the rest of the body, such as with Viagra or Cialis
  • Has a quick release air valve
  • Good instructions

Cons

  • Doesn’t increase penis size permanently, if that’s what you hoped for
  • You and your partner need to accept using it
  • Less subtle than drug treatments
  • Risk of minor discoloration, bruising or pain

Verdict

There’s no denying that the penis pump did its job during the month I used it. I was able to get an erection whenever I had sex, and in very little time. So as a way to treat erectile dysfunction, I was very happy with it.

Compared to strong erectile dysfunction drugs, it was great not to have any of the unpleasant side effects like headaches or a blocked nose.

Although it can give you a bigger erection when you use it, I didn’t find that it changed my size once the effect had worn off. So if you’re thinking of using it because you’ve heard it can increase penis size, I think you might be disappointed.

I’m sure I’ll use the penis pump again with my partner though. We’ve gotten past the initial awkwardness, and she finds it kind of entertaining. So for us, this is an effective and easy way to deal with a frustrating sex problem.


Further information


How to use a penis pump safely

The specific pump you buy should have detailed instructions for correct usage and safety advice.

Based on my own experience, medical websites, and research (see below), here are some safety points I think are worth keeping in mind:

  • If you’re using the pump following cancer treatment/surgery, make sure you get guidance from your doctor on correct usage for you personally.
  • If you use a constriction ring, apply it after you gain an erection. Don’t keep the ring on for longer than 30 minutes.
  • Only use a penis pump that has a quick pressure release valve.
  • Shaving pubic hair can help create a better seal.
  • Make sure you apply lubricant to your penis and the opening of the tube.
  • Push the tube against your body to create a tight seal.
  • Make sure you only put your penis inside the tube, and not your testicles.
  • Pump slowly, and wait until your penis stops growing after each squeeze before continuing.
  • Only pump until you have an erection. As soon as you do, release the tube.

Evidence for the effectiveness of penis pumps

A review of erectile dysfunction treatments in the U.S. looked at different research studies, finding:

  • A penis pump produced a good enough erection for sex in over 90% of men.
  • 69% of men continued using it for at least two years, with only 31% stopping.
  • In a group of 100 men, 68% said they were satisfied with the pump.

According to the British National Health Service website, a penis pump will work for most men with erectile dysfunction. They say:

Vacuum pumps encourage blood to flow to the penis, causing an erection. They work for most men and can be used if medicine isn’t suitable.

The British Society for Sexual Medicine also suggests that the cause doesn’t matter:

VCDs are highly effective in inducing erections regardless of the cause of the ED.

And researchers in 2013 found strong evidence that a penis pump helps after radical prostatectomy surgery, saying:

There is convincing evidence that vacuum erection devices are successful in the treatment of ED following RP, especially when used in combination with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors,

Risk of side effects

As long as they are used safely, penis pumps are generally regarded as having a low risk of side effects, especially compared to some drug treatments.

According to the British Society of Sexual Medicine:

As compared to drug treatments for ED, a major advantage of the VCD is that it has a low risk of systemic side-effects and therefore the potential to be used in a greater number of patients…The VCD can be used to ensure multiple erections on a daily basis.

However, studies have shown that some men do experience some side effects during pumping. The U.S. study (above) found the following statistics:

  • 20% to 40% of men experienced some pain during the suction process.
  • 25% to 39% experienced petechiae (small purple spots caused by minor bleeding).
  • 6% to 20% experienced some bruising.

Despite, those concerning statistics, it was the same study that reported the 90% satisfaction rate!

Safety warnings

The FDA recommends not using a penis pump if any of the following conditions or situations apply to you:

  • If you have a bleeding disorder, sickle cell disease or severe Peyronie’s disease.
  • If you take aspirin or blood thinners.
  • Impaired pain perception.
  • Reduced hand strength (and are unable to easily remove the pump or use the safety valve).
  • A history of prolonged or painful erections.

Can it improve penis size?

Some men say on forums and blogs that pumping increased their penis size, and manufacturers often claim they can too. However, there isn’t much scientific evidence to back this up.

The Mayo Clinic says that a penis pump can only make it look bigger in the short-term, and remind users to be careful:

A vacuum pump can make a penis look larger temporarily. But using one too often or too long can damage elastic tissue in the penis, leading to less firm erections.

And an Italian review of multiple penis enlargement studies found that six months of pumping gave no significant improvement. However, men did report psychological satisfaction due to the temporary increases.

So my advice would be to take claims they help with penis size with a grain of salt.