Jelqing is a technique commonly misconceived as a method for penis enlargement. It has recently gained popularity with the rise of online blogs and how-to videos. However, due to the lack of reputable scientific research on the technique and the serious health risks that come with jelqing, we cannot recommend the technique or condone the effectiveness of jelqing.

What is Jelqing?

Jelqing is an exercise that some people use to try to increase penis length permanently.1 Jelqing is particularly intriguing for a male who wants to increase the size of their penis because it is advertised as one of the only “natural methods” of penis enlargement. It is seen as “natural” because it does not involve medications or surgery, however,  none of the techniques have been studied nearly enough to prove its effectiveness.2


Jelqing, also sometimes called “milking,” is believed to have started in the Middle East, where fathers would teach their sons sexual techniques in preparation to become a “desirable” marriage partner. Males from all periods of history have gone to extreme, and sometimes dangerous extends to increase the length and girth of their penises, as well as the duration of their erections.1 Although a person can have an extremely satisfying sex life without altering the size of their penis, males have continuously sacrificed safety and security for a chance to enlarge their penises. Pressures of the mainstream media may cause some people to view their bodies in an unsatisfactory manner, despite the fact that every body type is beautiful and natural in its own way.3Although penis enlargement may be glamorized in the media, it is almost always unnecessary for true satisfaction.

Does Jelqing Increase Penis Size?

While some males have reported, through online forums and videos, that jelqing is an effective means of increasing penis size, no scientific study has ever concluded that it works.4 People that support the technique claim that routinely pulling and stretching the penis will cause the tissue to fill with blood and permanently swell.2 However, the basic anatomy of the penis does not allow this to happen. The penis is an organ, not a muscle that can become stronger or be changed through exercise.1 The size of an erect penis comes from the corpora cavernosa tubes.3 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 helps the expansion and growth of penile tissue.1 The process may be able to cause increased blood flow, but most urology experts say that this technique cannot permanently enlarge the penis.5

The market has taken advantage of the message pushed by the media that penis size matters. This has led to the creation of tools on the market that claim to provide the same “traction” technique as jelqing. For example, a penis pump is meant to provide a similar pressure gradient within the penis.1 The penis pump is a vacuum that draws blood flow to the genitals.1 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.3 However, permanent damage from using a penis pump is possible.1

Safety Risks

No current methods of penis enlargement are considered 100% safe or effective, so it is always recommended you see a doctor before attempting any new sexual practices.2  

Whether done “correctly” or not, there is a risk of penile damage during jelqing exercises. It is important to consider the potential benefit from the exercise against the possible risks and side effects. Jelqing often leads to pain, irritation, scar formation, or blood vessel tears.1 The rush of blood to the penis can cause bruising, discoloration, and blood spots that may itch. Even though jelqing is usually an attempt to improve one’s sex life, more often than not it can simply lead to less sensitivity and pleasure to the penis.1

Injury is more common if a male attempts to jelq on a fully erect penis. 4Doctors have reported patients that have developed Peyronie’s disease, when fibrous tissue and plaque on the penis causes bends and dents in the penis, due to aggressive stroking during jelqing exercises.1 These bumps can be felt along the penis and are often painful.1

Sexual Performance

Jelqing has not been proven to make the penis larger but individuals that can help the penis appear larger by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising. This will ensure that excess fat around the midsection does not make the penis appear smaller than it is. Also removing hair around the penis may make the penis stand out more, therefore, making it appear larger. These tips are not a guarantee either but they may help increase the perception of the penis size, and these methods have a lot fewer health risks than other penis enlargement methods and devices. It is important to embrace your natural penis size and to remember that anyone can have a satisfying sex life regardless of the penis size of themselves and/ or their partner(s).

Jelqing is not intended to improve a male’s sex drive or general sexual performance. If you are concerned with your libido or sexual performance, it is likely that the size of your penis is not the root of the issue. For improved sexual performance, you may consider attempting new sex positions or adding novelty into the bedroom. Be sure to talk to your partner to make sure that you are both comfortable and feeling satisfied. There are also many treatments available for erectile and libido issues, such as erectile dysfunction management and medication, that could provide more satisfying results for your sex life. Any medication should not be taken without consulting a doctor first.

Concluding Remarks

If you are interested in trying jelqing, we would like to emphasize that a “large” penis is not necessary for 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. Both male and female bodies are constantly put under scrutiny in the media, which tends to give people lower self-esteem and unrealistic expectations. In fact, the majority of men who try to increase their penis size actually have false perceptions that their penises are below average.3 Almost all men who believe their penis is too small fall within the average range.1 Anxiety about your penis size can actually lead to sexual difficulties in the future, so it is always best to learn acceptance of your body before attempting any drastic method of alteration.3 None of the jelqing techniques or enlargement devices have been proven to actually work. They can also cause serious pain and irreversible damage to the penis and the person. A person who is unhappy with their sex life whether it be concerning their penis size or not can communicate with their partners, try new things and consult a doctor.   



  1. Hoppe, Jane. "Myth Busting Male Enhancement: Does It Work?" Healthline. August 1, 2016. Date Accessed: May 13, 2019.

  2. Strange, Keith. "Arabic Jelqing Exercises." LIVESTRONG.COM.May 26, 2015. Date Accessed: May 14, 2019.

  3. Scutti, Susan. "Penis Enlargement Is Tricky Business: Here's What Works." Medical Daily. N.p., August 26, 2015. Date Accessed: May 13, 2019.

  4. "What Is Peyronie's Disease?" Urology Care Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

  5. "How to Do Jelqing Exercises Step by Step for Beginners – VKool." Health Fitness Beauty Lifestyle Magazine RSS. N.p., 20 Aug. 2016. Date Accessed: May 14, 2019.

Last Updated: 14 May 2019.