If these scientific facts do not change your feelings, consider the fact that maybe, like a woman bombarded by photoshopped images of "vixens" who have been surgically enhanced, you may also be comparing yourself to some unreality and suffering needlessly as a result. In fact, one 2005 study appearing in the journal Urology found exactly this to be the case. Of 92 patients who complained of a short penis, almost all of them had “overestimated the normal penile size,” noted the authors. More importantly, not one of these men actually had short penises.
No two penises look alike. Some penises curve, while others are straight. Some men have been circumcised and have had their foreskin removed while others have not. The tip of the penis is called the glans and looks a bit like a little cap. It is very sensitive with the meatus (or the tip), the frenulum (the base that looks like a “y”), and the corona (the ridge of the glans). All of these parts have varying levels of sensitivity for each person.
In July 2017, the 55-year-old decorator, from London, became one of a growing number of British men to have a surgical penis enlargement. Talk of enhancement was once the preserve of promotional spam mail for bizarre-looking pills and pumps; now, it is serious clinical business. British clinics, which have taken consultancy rooms in Harley Street and in UK cities including Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Leeds, report record numbers of patients calling on their services. One practice, the London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery, has gone from performing a handful of penis procedures annually when it opened in 1990 to more than 250 in 2017. Between 2013 and 2017, members of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery carried out 45,604 penis enhancements worldwide. Previous numbers are unknown; the procedure was considered such a minority concern that it wasn’t included in surveys. This increase in demand seemingly caters to a growing anxiety about penis size, but it is by no means a risk-free procedure. For Alistair, dreams of a larger penis were overtaken by infections, lumps and an erection that no longer rises above a 45-degree angle. And he is not alone. In recent years, the General Medical Council has recorded stories of “wonky penises” and erectile dysfunction following surgery. In Stockholm, last summer, a 30-year-old man died after suffering a cardiac arrest following an operation to enlarge his penis.
Apart from the risks, penoplasty (surgical penile lengthening and girth enhancement) is the most expensive way for penile enhancement. According to About Health it ranges from $4000 up to $17000. If you are interested in surgical enhancement, we recommend reading the in-depth article on Medscape about possible surgical techniques and results. There is a less risky new method, the FDA-cleared Penuma implant developed by Dr. Elist (James Elist, MD) for flacid size enlargement, but the erect size lengthening is minimal and the cost is in the low five digits, too.
Professor Ralph at UCL believes that some clinics are feeding patients’ unrealistic expectations. “Initially, they don’t see doctors, they see sales people. It’s a hard sell: ‘We can get you an extra inch or two.’ I’ve been practising in the NHS for 30 years: if it was that easy to increase the length of a normal penis, I’d be in the Mediterranean on my cruise liner now.”
“Let’s get one thing straight,” says sex adviser Dr Pam Spurr, and author of Sensational Sex: the revolutionary guide to sexual pleasure and fulfilment (Robson Books). “Penis size is your problem – 99% of women are happy with what you’ve got to offer.” And if you are on the smaller side of average, use another appendage – your fingers, your toes, your tongue, whatever it takes – to get her to orgasm. “Women aren’t so different to men,” says Spurr. “They’re delighted if they reach climax – you’d be hard pushed to find a women who had an orgasm yet complained about the size of your penis.”
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.