Two minutes into his most popular YouTube video, Luigi Domenico (aka Elite Manliness) stands completely naked before the camera. He’s stroking his mostly erect, uncircumcised penis in a downward motion with his index finger and thumb, then switching to his index finger and middle finger in slow, firm, outward strokes. Despite Domenico’s display of dick, the video is allowed on YouTube because it’s intended to be educational. Domenico, who also publishes videos and blogs on topics like sexual coercion and increasing the length of your money shot, is teaching men how to “jelq.” His videos have amassed more than 26 million views.
“Jelqing” is the practice of specific massage/stroking techniques of the penis in the hopes of increasing its length and girth. It’s unclear exactly how the practice began, though some sources cite its origins as ancient as the Middle East. Today, however, there’s a fairly sizable online community united by jelqing, with channels that garner millions of views and entire forums dedicated specifically to the endeavor. (Here’s a NSFW video.)
According to jelqing enthusiasts like Domenico, jelqing isn’t just regular jacking off — if you’re fully erect or ejaculate, you’ve defeated the purpose. Instead, jelqing for 10 to 15 minutes a day will increase blood flow to your dick, allegedly making it permanently bigger after a few months. Penis pumps, Bathmates (a penis suction device that utilizes water pressure and is meant to be used in the tub), the Penilizer (essentially a dick clamp) and cock rings can be incorporated for the same purpose.
Some say it works: Signs of a “successful” jelqing sesh include redness of the shaft and a swollen pee hole. And over time, jelqing will essentially result in a permanently swollen — but bigger — penis, they claim. In fact, the Arkansas Health Care Access Foundation, a site devoted to dick-growth techniques and products, touts that jelqing should result in an inch of growth in length and half an inch in girth over eight months of routine practice.
But according to medical professionals and people who have tried it, jelqing can lead to nerve damage, scar formation and erectile issues. More specifically, per the University of California, Santa Barbara’s website SexInfo, “Jelqing often leads to pain, irritation, scar formation or blood vessel tears. 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 desensitize the penis to pleasure.” This can even be true, they add, if one practices jelqing “properly.”
PEGym, a forum for jelqing, has nearly 1.5 million posts and 164,000 members. One of the most popular subcategories is labeled “Progress,” where men share the intimate details of their jelqing routine and before-and-after photos. One moderator, who posts under the account “Ujjayi,” has been sharing his progress since May 2016. An early post details his routine (he’s posted his results daily almost ever since):
Hot kegel clenches (100 kegels — 3 sec hold)
Basic stretches x 2 sets x 5 positions (31 sec hold) — twisted stretches
Helicopter shake (31 sec)
Wet Jelqs (180 reps) — Self-talk included and I used different grips: C-grips, OK grips, alternating jelqs as well.
Helicopter shake (31 sec)
Hot kegel clenches (180 kegels)
I finish with a contrast shower and then cold blast on the testes.
Though jelqing itself is free (obviously), there’s a large market that surrounds it. Elite Manliness peddles a variety of wares, from the Bathmate, to weights intended to build dick strength, to magnetically charged cock rings, to supplements like horny goat weed.
On top of that, there’s a market for “penis growth coaching.” Elite Manliness, for instance, links to coaching services from meCoach, a company run by a man named AJ “Big Al” Alfaro. Alfaro’s primary service is teaching men how to grow their dicks an average of more than two inches in length and an inch in girth over three months, though he specializes in fixing dick curvature, porn addiction and erectile dysfunction. (Though Alfaro — and Elite Manliness — say jelqing can help straighten a curved dick, SexInfo states that jelqing can actually lead to a curved dick.) His services involve developing a training plan and undergoing video, Skype or email coaching with him or other members of his team. The program also includes jelqing supervision — as in, he/his team watch(es) you perform the exercises. (His three-month plan costs $77.77, with his premium service going for $257.77.)
“Too many men overtrain, perform exercises incorrectly or focus on the wrong techniques for their goals,” the meCoach website laments. “Going overboard can lead to slow gains — or worse, an injury that leads to temporary erectile dysfunction. We make sure your workouts are safe and will maximize your efforts.”
In terms of those maximized efforts, jelqing is also alleged to help guys last longer during sex, produce more cum or even learn to have multiple orgasms. Case in point (or just good marketing): Domenico frequently details how often he gets laid — apparently having had sex with at least 155 women. That could be attributed to his bigger dick, too. “I estimate that my gains have been: 1 full inch in girth and 0.78 inches in length,” he claims.
Of course, if the medical experts are right, he won’t be able to use it.