Traction is a nonsurgical method to lengthen the penis by employing devices that pull at the glans of the penis for extended periods of time. As of 2013, the majority of research investigating the use of penile traction focuses on treating the curvature and shrinkage of the penis as a result of Peyronie's disease, although some literature exists on the impact on men with short penises.
So how can we be sure it really exists? “Because the number of men seeking surgery, or the growth of this strange industry selling pills and other so-called enlargement remedies, these numbers do not map up with the numbers of men who actually have a significantly smaller penis than average,” Veale says. “So, these men are worrying about – and seeking solutions for – a problem they do not have.”
I ask for his pre-op dimensions. He doesn’t want his exact measurements reported, but they are surprising: while flaccid, he was smaller than most men; erect, his penis grew significantly. Modecai, it seems, experienced two decades of stress despite the fact that, fully extended, he was bigger than the UK average. This apparent contradiction does not surprise Angela Gregory, a psychosexual therapist based at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. “Penis enlargements can be about a lot of things,” she says. “But the amount of anxiety a man experiences rarely, in my experience, correlates with his actual size.”
At his Harley Street clinic, Dr Roberto Viel is explaining how a typical enlargement works. First, surgeons sever the organ’s suspensory ligament, causing it to hang an inch or two lower, giving the impression of extra length. They then extract fat from the patient’s stomach and inject it into the penis shaft, increasing girth by around two inches. Erect, it’s worth noting, it remains roughly the same size, suggesting the motives for many men are not necessarily to enhance either their – or a partner’s – sexual experience.
It's important to remember that male enhancement is a big industry which reinforces men's insecurities about the size of their penis. Penis enlargement pills do not work, and neither do creams, lotions, supplements or other male enhancement products. If there was an approved and effective treatment it would be available from pharmacies rather than illegitimate online pharmacies only.
Another option for an “emergency” short term size increase is simply having a warm bath, a shower, wrapping your penis with a wet and warm towel or simply pulling it by hand. The blood flow increases and the flaccid size increases, too. The effect only lasts for minutes, but there are situations this may become handy, especially if you were in a cold environment before and your penis size has “shrunk” to even smaller than usual.
In a last brief conversation with Alistair, he asks if I would ever consider going under the knife. I tell him I’ve seen such a bewildering array of shapes and sizes over the past few weeks, I don’t even know what normal is any more. If it does the job nature intended, I say, that should be enough. For many men wanting an enlargement, it’s probably not so much about what’s in their pants as what, somewhere along the way, has got into their minds – and that can’t be fixed by a fat injection and a severed ligament.
Also keep in mind that, with a few rare exceptions, these devices aren’t certified medical devices. Don’t get fooled by advertisements with people in a white coat, not everybody wearing one is a real doctor or a doctor qualified to give advice on male enhancement. There are only two pharmacies are allowed to sell (Phallosan Forte and Penimaster Pro) which are relatively safe if you correctly follow all instructions. Especially if you are a beginner, the chances of hurting yourself with one of those agressively advertised extenders is high, even if you stick to the instructional videos or guides. Any severe damage done to the erectile tissue may require corrective sugery or may even result in irreverible erectile problems. Taking unnecessary risks just to add a few inches isn’t a good idea. Stay safe!
Brandon Bartling, store manager of The Pleasure Chest, an erotic store located in New York City's West Village, understands this as well. His store carries any number of products that cater to this manly desire, everything from dietary supplements to a “penis extender, which is a sleeve that you literally wear over your penis to increase length and girth. Kind of like a thick, firm condom in a phallus shape,” he told Medical Daily in an email. He added his customers tell him that “the Blue Wolf pills work the best to help boost one’s ability to obtain firmer, longer lasting erections, while others swear by the Bathmates line of Hydromax and Hercules pumps.”
Instead of furtively turning to untested methods, men with persistent concerns should consider opening up about them with their doctors. That's because performance problems sometimes act as an early warning signal for serious health problems. Your doctor might be able to prescribe something that can really help, or least provide a valuable dose of perspective about what constitutes "normal" sexual performance.