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The Rare Truth About Penis Size

Are there safe, effective ways to increase penis size? Yes.

Ask any credible sexologist, and you hear four words: Penis size doesn't matter. But size matters a great deal to many (most?) men. Why the disconnect? Many reasons. Are there any safe, effective ways to increase size? Yes, but they don't involve pills, potions, or surgery.

Here's why sexologists say size doesn't matter. Any size penis can provide great pleasure for the man it's attached to. An estimated 95 percent of penises are average size (3 to 5 inches flaccid, 5 to 7 inches erect). Very few are significantly larger or smaller. When women have been surveyed about what they want in a lover, they consistently mention attractiveness, kindness, caring, listening, sense of humor, and shared interests and values. Very few mention penis size. Finally, sex therapists report that women clients almost never complain about their partner's size. As a result, most sexologists say size doesn't matter.

But many (most?) men feel very differently. They've compared themselves to the huge penises they've seen in porn and have concluded: Mine's much smaller. They've received countless junk emails for enlargement products. They've seen casual sex personal ads looking for men with huge ones. Men are convinced that size is key to women's pleasure and orgasm because a big one stretches the vagina more and penetrates deeper. And if you add up all the authoritative information men receive about size, it amounts to a thimbleful of water in a vast ocean of porn whose message is that hot sex is all about having a huge penis.

Of course, an extra inch couldn't hurt. If you want to be bigger:

• Forget enlargement products. They are expensive, cynical frauds, every one of them, and the people who sell them are huksters who deserve prison. No pill, potion, device, or exercise can permanently enlarge a penis.

• Forget surgery. The full monty, lengthening and girth enhancement, is expensive (around $15,000) and problematic. Lengthening surgery cuts the ligament that makes an erection stand up. This adds an inch, but erections no longer salute. They just hang between your legs and must be manually directed into erotic openings. Girth enhancement takes fat from the buttocks and injects it under the penis skin. Sounds good, but quite often, the result is a lumpy, deformed-looking penis.

• Quit smoking. Flaccid or erect, size depends on the amount of blood in the organ. Less blood means a smaller penis. Smoking narrows the arteries, including those that carry blood into the penis. Smoking limits blood flow into the organ, which makes it smaller.

• Exercise regularly. Exercise improves arterial health, allowing more blood into the penis. But exercising the penis itself is pointless. The sex media sometimes refer to the penis as the "love muscle," implying that like the biceps, certain exercises can buff it up. But there are different kinds of muscle tissue. The penis contains smooth muscle, not the kind that gets bigger with exercise.

• Eat less meat and cheese, and more fruits the vegetables. A diet high in animal fat raises cholesterol, which narrows the arteries, including those that carry blood into the penis. Try going a day or two a week without meat or cheese. And eat five to eight daily servings of fruits and vegetables. They contain antioxidants that help keep the arteries open.

• Lose the pot belly. Exercise, less meat and cheese, and more plant foods help men lose weight, which also helps size. A big belly encroaches on the base of the penis, making the organ look smaller. Lose abdominal fat, and your penis looks larger.

• Embrace meditative relaxation. The arteries the carry blood into the penis are surrounded by muscle tissue. When men feel anxious (including worrying about penis size), these muscles contract, constricting the arteries and reducing blood inflow and size. But as men relax deeply, these muscles also relax, opening the arteries, maximizing blood flow, and boosting size, (Erection drugs work by relaxing these muscles.)

In addition, anxiety triggers the "fight or flight" reflex that sends blood away from the central body, including the penis, and out toward the limbs for escape or self-defense. But as men relax, blood returns to the central body, including the penis.

• Stay warm. You've probably noticed that in chilly locker rooms, your penis seems to shrink. But after a hot shower, it looks larger. Warmth is relaxing and increases blood inflow and size. Before sex, bathe or shower with your lover.

Beyond these approaches, here are two ways to enhance size temporarily:

Cock Rings. These rubber donut-shaped devices tightly encircle the erect penis. Typically used to help maintain erection, they also provide a small--temporary--size boost. Flaccid or erect, blood circulates in and out of the penis. One of the veins that carries blood out runs close to the organ's skin (on top). A ring restricts outflow somewhat by compressing this vein. Don't expect miracles. Any effect is modest and temporary.

Penis pumps. These plastic tubes create a partial vacuum around the penis. The vacuum draws blood into the organ, resulting in temporary size enhancement. Models differ, but all include a plastic tube and a pump operated by a hand bulb. You squeeze the bulb, which evacuates air from the tube, drawing a little extra blood into the penis. Just remember, the effect is modest and temporary.

Now that you know how to be all you can be, guys, I'm here to explain that men hung up on penis size are clueless about good sex. Any size penis can bring its owner great pleasure. But the best way to impress women erotically is to give them pleasure without using your penis. Only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic during vaginal intercourse no matter what the man's size, so for the vast majority of women, vaginal stretching and deep penetration are not direct routes to pleasure and orgasm. Most women need--and appreciate--gentle, patient, sensual clitoral stimulation with fingers, tongue, or toy.

"It's a real shame that penis size hang-ups make so many men feel inadequate," says sex educator Betty Dodson, Ph.D. "I urge men to make peace with their penises. It's fine as it is. Enjoy what you've got, and you'll be a happier lover--and probably a better lover. And if you want to be a really great lover, understand that while most women enjoy gentle, well-lubricated intercourse, what makes them come is clitoral caresses--and for most women, intercourse doesn't provide much clitoral action. I couldn't care less about a man's size. Give me an enthusiastic tongue on my clit any time."

 

 

San Francisco journalist Michael Castleman, M.A., has written about sexuality for 36 years. more...

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