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What is jelqing and how does it work?

What is jelqing and how does it work?

Stefano Mirabello NowPatientGreen tick
Medically reviewed by Stefano Mirabello, BPharm and written by Rajive Patel, BPharm - Updated on 4 Sep 2023
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Table of contents
OverviewWhat is Jelqing?How do you jelq?How would jelqing make my penis bigger?Does jelqing work?How long should you do jelqing exercises for?Does jelqing help premature ejaculation?What are the potential side effects of jelqing?Do jelqing exercises really work?What can i do instead of jelqing?Do you really need a bigger penis?Any other questions about your penis and sex?Sources

To jelq or not to jelq? It’s a big question being asked by loads of guys.

Is jelqing just messing around downstairs on your own without any of the real benefits, or does it actually make your penis bigger, wider and perfectly proportioned for your partner?

Well jelqers, let’s find out.

What is Jelqing?

Jelqing is a type of massage technique for your penis. It’s supposed to improve the length and thickness of your erections, without any medication or medical interventions. Yep, you read that right, a bigger erection from just massage.

Depending on who you listen to or what website you’re on, some people claim jelqing is an ancient technique developed in the distant past in Arabia. Others say it’s a recent internet fad, and that the ancient history bit was added to make it sound exotic. As there’s no evidence that jelqing was practiced in ancient Arabia, we suspect the latter is probably true.

How do you jelq?

According to the perceived wisdom of the internet, you should jelq once a day, for 20 minutes. The details of how to jelq vary by website and YouTube video, but this seems to be the most common approach:

  • Get yourself semi-erect
  • Make an O-shape with your thumb and index finger
  • Place your thumb and index finger at the base of your penis (you don’t need a jelqing device)
  • Tighten your thumb and finger until you’re putting gentle pressure on your penis
  • Slowly pull your finger and thumb up the length of your penis, a bit like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube
  • Release when you reach the end of your penis, then start at the base again, and repeat for 20 minutes

It’s advised you use lube as you jelq, as twenty minutes of “massaging” could chafe.

How would jelqing make my penis bigger?

Jelqing is supposed to do two things to your penis.

Number one. It’s claimed that by massaging in that particular way, you stretch the vessels in your penis, improving the flow of blood into it. Increased blood flow makes it easier for you to get and keep an erection – this is basically what erectile dysfunction meds like Viagra do.

Secondly, it’s also claimed that jelqing causes micro-tears in the tissue of your penis. As these tears heal, it’s thought that new cells grow to fill them, increasing the bulk of your penis. This is a bit like how weightlifting works. When you lift a heavyweight, you cause micro-tears in your muscles, and as they heal you produce more muscle fibers, giving you bigger and thicker muscles.

But, and here’s the killer question, is any of this true?

Does jelqing work?

There are lots of men online who say jelqing has worked for them. Often they’re passionate about jelqing. They’re big jelqers.

But, if you want to know if something really works, you need to look at the scientific evidence. Sadly, there isn’t any for jelqing.

There has been some research conducted on the use of traction devices though. These are contraptions that are worn on the penis over a number of hours to stretch it. But the scientific evidence isn’t encouraging, with most studies concluding traction devices don’t improve penis length or thickness. If traction devices don’t work, it doesn’t look good for jelqing.

Other than the evidence, or lack of it, the reasons stated why jelqing gives you a longer and thicker penis don’t sound very convincing either. There’s no evidence massaging can improve blood flow in your penis. Your penis doesn’t have that much muscle tissue in it either, so it wouldn’t respond to micro-tears like your muscles do.

The two ways that jelqing is supposed to make your penis bigger doesn’t fit with our current scientific understanding of how the body works. We can’t say 100% that jelqing definitely doesn’t work, but it’s very unlikely it does.

How long does it take to see results from jelqing?

Committed and experienced jelqers claim you can see improvements in the length and thickness of your erections within one month, with more noticeable gains by three months. Remember these are anecdotal reports though, not verified scientific evidence.

How long should you do jelqing exercises for?

Advice varies, but most jelqers say you should do the exercises every day for twenty minutes.

Does jelqing help premature ejaculation?

There’s no evidence to say either way, but it’s unlikely. Despite what you may see claimed online, there’s no known way that jelqing could help with premature ejaculation.

What are the potential side effects of jelqing?

Jelqing hasn’t been studied scientifically, so no evidence exists of side effects or jelqing risks. Is jelqing dangerous? Probably not. But if you massage with too much pressure, you could cause pain and bruising, as well as irritating your skin, or even rupturing veins in your penis.

Can jelqing cause erectile dysfunction? Without any research, it’s hard to say. It’s unlikely but can’t be ruled out entirely.

Do jelqing exercises really work?

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that jelqing works. The theory behind it doesn’t fit with our scientific understanding of how the body works either. If jelqing really was effective, if it really gave you longer and thicker erections, it’d probably be a lot more popular than it is.

What can i do instead of jelqing?

So, let’s say jelqing doesn’t work. Are there any other ways to get a permanently bigger penis outside of surgery?

A quick search online reveals a wealth of penis enhancers, from herbal pills to penis yoga, but there’s no evidence any of these actually work. And as with jelqing, if they really were effective, they’d be global best sellers.

One option to make your erections look bigger without actually changing the size of your penis is to trim your pubic hair around the base of your penis. You can also try to keep your weight down, to stop the base of your penis being buried as fat accumulates on your pubic bone.

You might also want to consider a cock ring. These are rings you fit around the base of your erect penis. They trap blood in your penis, helping you maintain an erection for as long as you’re wearing it. Other than helping you with erections, giving you stronger orgasms, and making your penis vibrate on command (some of the rings vibrate), some men say they make their erections larger. The evidence of this may not be too convincing either, but at least cock rings do have proven benefits.

Do you really need a bigger penis?

Lots of men worry about the size of their packages. It’s one of the most common sources of anxiety in men around the world. But usually, the worry is unfounded.

If you’re watching porn you may feel as though you don’t measure up. Trust us, this really isn’t representative of real life. In the real world, 95% of men have a penis between four and six and a half inches long when erect, and under four to five and a half inches in girth. Chances are you likely fall comfortably within this range. Even if you don’t, there are sex positions that suit different penis shapes and sizes. Remember there’s also more to sex than just penises.

If you’re still concerned about the size of your penis, and it’s affecting your life, talking to a mental health professional may help. You can ask your doctor to refer you, or you can try finding a private therapist online.

Any other questions about your penis and sex?

If you have other worries about your penis, like problems with erectile dysfunction, or premature ejaculation, we may be able to help. We offer a range of prescription medications which treat these conditions, including sildenafil (same active ingredient as Viagra), and Priligy for premature ejaculation.


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