“I’ve seen a lot of shifts over the years,” Big Al says after explaining a reverse kegel called the DLD Blaster. “When I first started, most guys were just looking for raw size — length and girth.” As time has passed, though, he’s given much more attention to things like erection quality, sexual confidence and addiction to porn. In fact, these days, four out of five of Big Al’s clients are self-diagnosed porn addicts.
But when the Supreme Court took the case, it gutted this logic. "The Fourth Amendment protects people, not places," wrote Justice Potter Stewart for the majority. "What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected." He went on: "No less than an individual in a business office, in a friend's apartment, or in a taxicab, a person in a telephone booth may rely upon the protection of the Fourth Amendment. One who occupies it, shuts the door behind him, and pays the toll that permits him to place a call is surely entitled to assume that the words he utters into the mouthpiece will not be broadcast to the world. To read the Constitution more narrowly is to ignore the vital role that the public telephone has come to play in private communication."
This led to short-terms gains but long-term problems. Angry customers, unable to get satisfaction from Berkeley, went to their credit card companies instead. Berkeley's "chargeback" ratio went through the roof as customers disputed charges and banks took money back from Berkeley, putting the company's very ability to accept credit cards in jeopardy. (Payment processors would have cut off Berkeley if more than one percent of its transactions were chargebacks).
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.