What is Jelqing?

Men from all periods of history have gone to extreme, and sometimes dangerous, lengths to increase the length and girth of their penises, as well as the duration of their erections. From manually stretching the shaft to hanging weights from the tip and the scrotum, males have sacrificed safety and security for a chance to enlarge their penises.

Over time, penis enlargement exercises have been broadly labelled as “jelqing” or “milking.” Some say that jelqing originated in the Middle East, where fathers would teach their sons sexual techniques in preparation for marriage.1 The penile massage technique (jelqing) began as an attempt to make the penis larger in hopes that it would make the man a more desirable marriage partner. Others argue that the word “jelq” could be a corruption of the term "jerk-off" (a slang term for masturbating) as the movement is very similar to some masturbation techniques. regardless the source of the word, jelqing has come to be one of the most colloquial terms for manual penis enlargement exercises.


Does Jelqing Increase Penis Size? 

While many men have reported jelqing to be an effective means of increasing penis size on online forums and videos, no scientific study has ever concluded that it works. Proponents of the technique claim that routinely pulling and stretching the penis will cause the tissue to fill with blood and permanently swell. However, the basic anatomy of the penis contradicts this theory. The penis itself is an organ, not a muscle that can be strengthened or altered with exercise.1 The size of an erect penis is genetically predetermined by the corpora cavernosa tubes.2 If the tubes were able to be stretched, erections would not be fully firm.

Jelqing supposedly works by forcing blood to swell into the penis, creating pressure that promotes the expansion and growth of penile tissue. Most urology experts assert that this technique cannot permanently enlarge the penis. A penis pump is another method that claims to provide such a pressure gradient within the penis. While the blood flow caused by penis pumps may provide temporary penis enlargement, or offer therapy for men with erectile dysfunction, permanent growth has never been recorded. However, permanent damage is possible.3


Whether done “correctly” or not, there are risks of penile damage during jelqing exercises. It is important to weigh any potential benefit from the exercise against the possible risks and side effects. Jelqing often leads to pain, irritation, scar formation, or blood vessel tears. The rush of blood to the penis can cause bruising, discoloration, and blood spots that may itch. Injury is more prevalent if you attempt to jelq on a fully erect penis.3 Jelqing can overstretch the nerves and tissues in the penis, resulting in scar tissue.4



Despite the risks listed above and scientific disclaimers, we understand that many men will attempt to jelq in hopes of an inexpensive and “natural” way to achieve penis enlargement. We provide our understanding of the exercise below.5 By using these techniques, the jelqer should minimize any potential damage and hopefully maximize any desired gains.

  1. Warm Up
  2. Apply Lubrication
  3. Exercise
  4. Rest

Warm Up

Jelqing workouts are based around short sessions that should be repeated regularly to maintain results. The exercises should start with a penis warm-up, which involves a warm bath or a towel soaked in warm water applied to the penis.5 The purpose of the warm-up is to increase blood flow to the penis by opening up the blood vessels. Once the warm-up is completed, the jelq techniques can begin.5

Apply Lubrication

Lubrication will allow one to smoothly and effectively jelq without causing friction burns or discomfort. Before jelqing, lather the penis with lubrication. Water-based lubricants, like Astroglide and Wet, are commonly used lubricants.5 As the jelqer engages in the exercise, these lubricants may dry out; however, lubrication can be reapplied as needed. Water-based lubricants are water-soluble, which means they dissolve in water. Be cautious of oil-based lubricants; they can clog the pores of the skin, breeding infection, and should never be used in conjunction with condoms.

Jelqing Exercise

The handgrip should completely encircle the base of the penis, using the standard “OK” grip.5 This grip is supposed to restrict blood flow. The “OK” grip can be applied in two ways:

1. Palms up, facing away from the body (a standard OK).

2. Palms down, facing toward the body (an overhand OK).

The jelqing exercise is similar to the motion of masturbating. To jelq, the male will encircle the base of his lubricated, partially erect penis with the “OK” hand grip. Again, never jelq on a fully erect penis, as it can be extremely dangerous and cause lasting damage to the penis.3 Once one hand has stroked the penis from the base to the glans, the same “OK” grip is applied with the second hand at the base of the penis and the motion is repeated. Each stroke should be slow and take no less than three seconds. The jelqing exercises should not exceed 100 strokes, and should be stopped immediately if the jelqer experiences any pain or if the penis becomes fully erect. Ejaculation should not be able to occur with the strength of the erection.5 

The elements of one’s handgrip while jelqing are critical to the safety of this exercise to avoid deforming or misshaping the penis.

•    Strength—It is important to match the strength of your grip to the strength of your erection to avoid changing pressure as a stroke progresses. This includes only applying firmer pressure if your erection is getting harder. However, if your penis becomes too erect, stop the jelqing technique rather than applying stronger pressure.

•    Consistency—The grip should be consistent throughout the stroke. It is easy to subconsciously increase or rotate the grip partway through a stroke. Proper jelqing consistency will ensure proportionate growth and reduce any tearing.

•    Starting at the base—Your grip should start at the base of where your penis is attached to your body, and should stop once you reach the glans. Never grip the head, or tip, of the penis as the glans is more sensitive and more prone to injury than the shaft.


Individuals new to jelqing should start with a maximum five-minute workout and work their way up to ten-minute sessions over the period of a few weeks. It is important to take days off to let the body rest and recover from potential harm.5


Concluding Remarks 

If you are interested in trying jelqing, we would like to emphasize that a “large” penis is not necessary for a satisfying sex life. Your body is a beautiful, wonderful thing just how it is. Meaningful partners will care more about YOU than the size of your body parts, and you deserve to have acceptance and a realistic expectation of your body. Both male and female bodies are beautiful and natural regardless of what size their organs may be. The majority of men who try to increase their penis size actually have false perceptions that their penises are below average.6 There is no such thing as an inadequately sized penis, and therefore the need and desire for male penile enlargement is oftentimes unnecessary.7 If you do choose to jelq, be sure to do it in as safe a manner as possible.


  1. Woods, Stacey Grenrock. "Sex." Esquire 141.6 (2004): 84. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
  2. Scutti, Susan. "Penis Enlargment Is Tricky Business: Here's What Works." Medical Daily. N.p., 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
  3. Ruiz, Michelle. "What the Jelq Is Jelqing?" Cosmopolitan. N.p., 7 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
  4. By Herballove Editorial Conditions. "The Dangers of Jelqing Exercises." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
  5. "How to Do Jelqing Exercises Step by Step for Beginners – VKool." VKoolcom Health Fitness Beauty Lifestyle Magazine RSS. N.p., 20 Aug. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
  6. "Male Enhancement: Is It Worth a Try?" CBS News. N.p., 14 Sept. 2007. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.
  7. Shamloul, Rany. "Treatment of Men Complaining Of Short Penis." Urology 65.6 (2005): 1183-1185. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.


Last Updated 27 October 2016.

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