what is jelqing

What Is 'Jelqing,' A Controversial Technique For 'Looksmaxxing' Males?

In 1980s "Seen and Not Seen," David Byrne of the Talking Heads said:

"He would see faces in movies, on TV, in magazines and in books. He thought that some of these faces might be right for him and that through the years, by keeping an ideal facial structure fixed in his mind, or somewhere in the back of his mind, that he might, by force of will, cause his face to approach those of his ideal."

Forty-four years later, men are supposedly doing something very similar to what Byrne described, except instead of trying to change their face, they're trying to change their penis. Here's what you need to know about Jelqing.

What Is "Jelqing?"

"Jelqing" refers to the practice of attempting to enlarge one's penis by stretching its skin until it slightly tears, causing the healed penis to look bigger. To do this, one basically pulls the skin from the base to the head of the penis with one hand and then repeats the motion with the other hand for roughly 30 minutes several days a week.

ream PHOTOGRAPHY Just tried jelging for the first time. I hope that the extra size will one day be permanent OR whisper

The term has been an urban legend since at least the 1990s. Men frequenting the blog "Bathmatedirect.com" in 1990 could have learned about the practice. It also appeared on Urban Dictionary in 2005, with the definition reading:

An exercise to increase penis size naturally. First a warm rag is use to stimulate blood flow and put the wang into a semi-erect state. Then lubrication is used on the hands and the mumbo jumbo in question. Use a thumb and index finger positioned in an "OK" grip on the base of the schlong. Slide your hand up to the head then take your other hand and grip the base. Release the grip of your first hand and return it to the base to repeat the motion while the second hand is sliding to the head of the penis.

The idea saw renewed interest in the mid-2020s among the popularity of Looksmaxxing techniques like Mewing, which also posit that by sheer force of will and specific exercises, one could alter the shape of their face.

Does Jelqing Work?

Evidence suggests that no, yanking on one's penis to try and create small tears will not lead to increased length and girth of said penis.

@realdavidboydmd There is no evidence this works, but if it intrigues you… profeed with caution. #fyp #health #doctor ♬ original sound – Dr. Boyd

It appears that, depending on who's talking about it, "jelqing" is either sexual hooey or an intentional prank. A close reading of the 1990 Bathmatedirect article explaining jelqing raises significant doubts that even the author sincerely believed jelqing was a useful technique. The first paragraph of the piece even admits:

"For centuries, men around the world have used a secret technique to increase the size of their penises. While some ‘experts’ deny it, and the average guy’s never heard of it, there’s no doubt that jelqing can make a real difference" (emphasis added).

One would think that if "experts" deny it, there is in fact "doubt" that "Jelqing can make a real difference," as the article claims.

Furthermore, the Urban Dictionary definition features a line that may suggest its writer knows it's a load of baloney. They write:

"The goal here is to force more blood flow within the cellular walls of the one-eyed weasel. The result out of consistent exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week is a gain in 2+ inches in length and girth from 6 months to over a year. Mostly fails to work due to a lack in effort" (emphasis added).

The line about jelqing "failing" due to "lack of effort" is reminiscent of old fake guides to catch Pokémon that didn't exist in Pokémon Red and Blue through performing an extremely specific and grueling set of tasks.

It seems that Jelqing falls in the grand tradition of snake oil urban legends that attempt to use the "one simple trick" method to get men to believe that a bigger penis is just a click (or in this case, a yank) away. Sorry, fellas.

For the full history of jelqing, be sure to check out Know Your Meme's encyclopedia entry for more information.

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