Jelqing: What are Penis Stretching Exercises?

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Jelqing: What are Penis Stretching Exercises?


Have you ever wanted a bigger penis, and wondered about the magical world of jelqing? Have you ever considered putting your penis in various stretching contraptions to see what kind of magic can ensue? 

Look no further, my potential penis-stretcher, we’ve got you covered. We’re here to demystify the intriguing world of jelqing: the word that doesn’t follow the q-u rule.

First, the basics:


What is Penis Stretching, aka Jelqing?

Some believe jelqing is an ancient art; its origins are thought to be traced back to nomadic tribes in the Middle East. 

Essentially, jelqing involves handling your cock in a way that stimulates blood flow. It’s a practice of massaging and stretching your penis, using your hand as a traction device. In many ways, it’s similar to masturbation, but with a different end in mind.


How exactly does it work (and by how much)?

Wondering if and how to extend and lengthen the penis through jelqing? This fabled penis enlargement technique creates micro-tears in the penile tissue, and when those tissues heal from the damage, your cock ‘looks’ larger and more engorged. Some state that jelqing increases the amount of blood in the penis shaft, which can also make it appear larger.

By how much, you ask? Some penis owners claim that jelqing can help you increase your penis size substantially — for some, by as much as 2 inches. It’s important to understand the potential risks of the practice, though, because you want to make sure to keep your cock in good working order.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the origin of the word, it’s essentially stolen from the Persian term jalq zadan, where jalq means “to masturbate,” and zadan means "to strike, hit, or throb.” Some say the term "jerking off" actually comes from the word jelqing.


Does Jelqing Work? Is it Effective?

While there are several anecdotal success stories out there, the truth is there’s very little scientific or verified information on the efficacy of jelqing. It’s one of those things you can try for yourself to see whether it lives up to the hype. In other words, it’s up to you to use a penis-stretching device to make your penis into a peeeenis. ;) 


How do you Perform a Jelq Exercise?

Jelqing is performed by first taking a firm grip on your equipment, right at the base of your penis. However, instead of using your whole hand like you do when you masturbate, you want to make the OK sign, where your thumb and pointer finger make a ring (your palm can be face-up or face-down). 

Once you’ve got your OK shape, hold your cock right where it meets the pubic bone, just in front of the suspensory ligament (the attachy-pulley part that makes your penis look up, excited, and alert). Then increase the pressure you’re using until the skin feels constricted; then slowly and repeatedly pull up toward the tip of your penis. You should feel some pressure, but not so much that it’s painful. 

If you’re doing it right, it’ll take about 3 seconds to do one jelq. Some people recommend switching hands each time, but you’ll find your own rhythm. If you don’t want to do the OK sign, you can also jelq by using your pointer finger and middle finger in a V-shape.

Important: Jelqing should be only done when you’re on the way from flaccid to hard (in other words, semi-erect). Don’t do it when you’re all the way hard — if you’re fully erect, the blood vessels are full of blood, and you could damage the penis shaft, create scar tissue, or cause issues with blood circulation. So if you’re starting from totally flaccid, give yourself a little love to get a little blood flowing; then you can start jelqing. And if you accidentally get hard all the way, back off. Don’t jelq with a full-on boner.


Are There Any Side Effects to Consider?

Jelqing is fairly safe — just use common sense. If it hurts or feels bad, stop right away. As long as you’re cautious and ready to pay attention to your own body’s, “No thanks, no more” message, you should be in good shape. 

It is important to note that too much jelqing can cause scar tissue — since you’re creating micro-tears, you’re actually able to generate a scar. You don’t want to hurt yourself in one of your most sensitive areas, so be sure to listen to your penis. Always stop at the safe word, even when it’s being issued by your own johnson.


What precautions can you take to minimize side effects?

The most important thing is to make sure to jelq with a semi-erect penis, not a fully hard one. This is the one rule you don’t want to break when conducting this stretching exercise.

As far as prep, some master jelqers suggest preparing the pecker by warming it up first — literally. You can either take a warm shower or wrap your schlong in a sarong (just kidding, a warm towel). 

Jelqing can also irritate the skin, so make sure to use lube to have a more comfortable penis traction experience. Never tried coconut oil as a lube? It’s a great option for solo play, since a little goes a long way, and it doesn’t pill like some synthetic lubes. It’s also antibacterial and soothing to the skin, so it pairs well with jelqing. (Just know that coconut oil doesn’t play well with latex, so don’t use it with latex condoms.)


How Long Should You Continue Jelqing Exercises to See Results?

When it comes to jelqing, roughly 10-20 minutes a day should do the trick. If you’re doing it regularly (i.e., 3-5 times a week), according to experienced jelqers, you should start to see a fuller and more engorged penis within a month. You may see even more obvious gains after 3 months.


At what point should you discontinue this and seek out other options?

Stop jelqing immediately if you notice consistent pain in your penis, or if you start to experience itchiness, bruising or altered coloration. This can include seeing red spots on the shaft of your penis, experiencing numbness or tingling, or if you have a vein rupture. You should also consult your doctor or another appropriate medical health professional if you notice any of these kinds of issues. Protect your precious penis; it’s the only one you’ve got.


What else can you try?

The sad reality is that due to the prevalence (and inherently unrealistic nature) of porn — not to mention overused dick jokes — some penis-owners can feel down on their member. Like they’re not a member of the memorable member club. And that can be distressing, leading men to feel ashamed of their bodies. 

Let’s take a short stroll down the absurd lane of this line of thinking: In the 1950s, the CIA funded an operation to use weather balloons to drop anti-Communist pamphlets into parts of Europe controlled by the Soviets. Not weird, right? Except that they also wanted to drop extra-large condoms labeled “small” or “medium,” in an attempt to lower morale by implying that American men had huge cocks. The plan was never executed, but it goes to show the cultural bias towards massive members. 

That was over fifty years ago, and large penises are still much in the cultural zeitgeist, despite the verifiable fact that the average penile length and girth are much much more normal, and many women who have sex with men actually prefer an average-sized cock.

Another way people commonly think to enhance their penis size are penis pumps. Although penis pumps are thought to only have lengthening effects, they have been known to help with longer and stronger erections, theoretically boosting your sexual performance.  If you have questions like, “Do penis pumps really work?”, “How to use a penis pump?” “Are penis pumps safe?” and what is the best penis enlargement pump, read our linked blogs! 


What is an average size for a penis?

Glad you asked. It turns out the average penis length is 5.16 inches (13.1064 millimeters), and the average penis girth is 4.6 inches (11.68 millimeters). In point of fact, having a dick that’s too large for partners is very much a thing and can cause discomfort for partners. In other words, average penis size is that way for a reason. 

Here’s another fun fact: the average depth of a vagina is about 3.77 inches, though the depth can vary widely. So the average 5” penis is more than enough to fill ‘em up.

If you’re wondering how to get a longer penis, jelqing exercise isn’t necessarily as viable as other options. Penis pumps, for example, are a tried and true method of getting fun, full erections on demand. They don’t enlarge the penis, but they do pull blood into it, causing an “erection on-demand button,” essentially. It can take a bit to learn how to use one properly, but if you’ve got erectile dysfunction, Peyronie's disease, or a medical reason you need to do penis exercise, a penis pump might be the right tool for you.


When should you see a doctor or other healthcare provider?

If you have any of the above conditions or no longer can generate natural erections, it’s time to talk to your healthcare provider. Getting blood into your penis is vitally important for penile health, and doing penile exercises can help. 


Is there anything else I should know?

Actually, yes. If you’ve got a condition such as phimosis (when the opening of your foreskin is wide enough to let the fully erect penis head through), though it’s not jelqing, stretching the foreskin can be a helpful technique to create a bit more comfort in your ‘lil dude’s hood.


Remember that sex is a mental game as much as a physical one, and feeling down on your cock can make it such that your penis might not want to rise to the occasion. Your particular cock is the only one you’re going to have, and learning to celebrate it in all its currently-sized glory will, in the end, be far more enjoyable than going on a hunt for the holy grail of penis enlargement. Your member is more than enough, and so are you.

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Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sunny Rodgers

This content was reviewed for accuracy and relevancy by Dr. Sunny Rodgers.

Dr. Sunny Rodgers is a clinician, author, and speaker who has worked in the wellness industry since 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, a Master of Arts in Clinical Sexology, and is an accredited Sexual Health Educator. She is the Founder of The Institute of Intimate Health, an Ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, regular lecturer for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Sexual Confidence Coach for the Marigold App, and a professional Sex Toy Concierge™. Rodgers hosted a popular weekly show on Playboy Radio, has been an expert guest on several TV and radio programs, and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Men's Health, Cosmo, Bustle, and many more publications.