Inside the Subreddit for Guys Desperate to Enlarge Their Penises

"Who doesn’t want a bigger penis, right?"
gettingbigger penis enlargement reddit
Illustration Mel Lou

It’s just after lunch on Wednesday afternoon, and it’s time for your first spring compression session of the day. You take your plastic vacuum cup and place it around the end of your penis. You hook the ring at the end of the cup to a metal frame that’s pressed against your pelvis. Slowly, you turn two screws on either side of the apparatus until your dick skin pulls taught. After leaving it stretched out like this for 15 minutes, you take a quick rest and repeat three times. You’ve just used the “frankenstender,” a tool that sounds like a medieval torture device but is proving popular with a certain niche of men online. 


This is the world of r/gettingbigger, a subreddit offering “community-driven research” on all things penis enlargement (PE), from turkey necks and vacuum pumps, to stealth-stretching and cock kegeling. Its 80,000 members share their enlargement journeys, compare girth gains, tell each other when their “nuts don’t feel okay,” and commiserate when things don’t quite go to plan. 

For instance: “Welp I just shit on the floor,” one user posted after an experimental set of a “reverse kegeling” pelvic stretch landed him in some hot water. “My eyes are closed. I’m starting to feel the zen. The muscles are relaxing. My third eye opens… my brown eye opens… a small turd just falls right out… the horror… the horror”.

As much as r/gettingbigger might appear to be a chaotic corner of the internet, there are quite a few ground rules. False gain claims are a big no, as is saying that the average penis size is larger than it actually is (around 5.1 inches erect). You can only upload one picture of your penis per day, and if you post any memes, they “better be DANK”. 

“The best thing about running this community is the fact that I can impact more than 70,000 lives a day, helping that many people get over their insecurities,” says the community’s founder, a 27-year-old former software developer from Pittsburgh who goes by the name BD. 


He started the sub at the beginning of 2021 and also heads up a website, Peak Male Physique, where he sells all manner of penis paraphernalia, including vacuum hanging kits, penis pump cylinders, and “horse rings.” There’s literature, too – BD’s Big Book of Length, Science Based Penis Elongation – and he runs a consultation service that’s currently fully booked, offering 1-hour sessions of “thoughts and opinions” on your current penis situation for $100. 

“So, for the past 4 or 5 months, I've been doing this full time,” he adds.

It’s not hard to see why this subreddit is so popular. It’s very common for men to worry about their willy, and studies have shown that up to 45 percent of men are unsatisfied with their size. r/gettingbigger wants to change that, one post at a time.

“Who doesn’t want a bigger penis, right?” says Adam Romero, a member who goes by the name PerveMcSwerve. He found r/gettingbigger when looking for ways to manage “soft tissue” aches he was experiencing as a result of powerlifting. He soon became hooked. But after some time on the forum and months of “DEEP” research, he decided he could make a much better extender than what was on the market at the time. The frankenstender was born.

frankenstender penis extension tool reddit

The Frankenstender, image courtesy of Adam Romero

“At first, I just posted it to Reddit because I thought it was cool. Then I started getting these DMs from guys BEGGING me to make them one. So I took to my garage and started building them one by one.”

Fast forward one year, and now he runs what he says is a “million-dollar” penis extension business, Massive Novelties, where he employs his partner and his best friend. Their top product is the $170 APEX Xtender, a slicker and more refined version of the frankenstender. He also has YouTube and Pornhub channels where he shows his face “and penis, for educational purposes, haha,” and regularly talks about everything from penis enlargement to fitness and mental health.

“PE is this 24/7 thing for me now. It's my job, my girlfriend's job, and it enables me to do what I've always loved, which is helping people.” He says he’s grown from 6.5 to 8.75 inches in length, something he backs up with before and after pictures in a post on r/gettingbigger. The caption: “MAKE DECENT SIZE WEEWEE INTO BIG PP BY PULL HARD FOR LONG TIME”.

But he is reluctant to put a definitive number on how long it took him to grow this much: “I don't think that answer provides any benefit to anyone.” But typically, users report several months of mostly daily exercises and often mind-bogglingly extensive routines before “gains” materialize.


One member, who goes by Kaz, shared his particularly lengthy extension routine, which he calls the “Advanced P Protocol.” It includes multiple “compression hangs” (attaching weights to your limp penis so it is yanked downwards for several minutes) that cover two angles: straight down and “BTC” (between the cheeks). Then there are 10 pumping sessions, whereby you place your penis in a tubular vacuum chamber and pump the air out to draw blood into your cock. The only logical next step here, of course, is to move on to the “Python clamping” sets for those all-important girth gains. The Python is the “world’s first air-powered clamp designed specifically for girth (thickness) enlargement work,” and, as far as I can understand, it’s a cock ring that can be pumped full of air allowing the user full control of tightness, as well as an instant pressure release if needed. Finally, there’s the application of electrical heat pads to promote blood flow, followed by 50 Gua Sha Scrapes, the practice of scraping the skin with a coin, spoon, or stone until tiny red spots appear. This is an ancient therapeutic technique that was used to help muscle pain by supposedly promoting circulation in tissue.

And what does Kaz want to come out of all this? To go from 7.1 inches erect to 9.1 inches. 


So forum members are clearly going to great lengths to achieve their goals, using methods that, at best, have mixed anecdotal results. But is there any hard evidence that your cock will actually get any bigger if you hook it up to a rack and start cracking until it hurts?

“Regarding the APEX device specifically, there is no data supporting that the device is safe or effective to my knowledge,” says Justin Dubin, urologist and men’s health specialist. “I would not recommend anyone use it without talking to their local urologist beforehand,”

Hanging weights from the penis is also something that patients ask Dubin about. The idea behind this method is similar to jelqing (repeatedly pulling your penis in the hope it might extend). “Neither compression hanging nor jelqing have data supporting that they can improve your penis length,” says Dubin. “In fact, these treatments can potentially be harmful to your penis. They can cause tissue damage, nerve damage, and blood flow issues, all of which can result in erectile dysfunction and other penis problems. Therefore I would not recommend anyone use compression hanging devices or jelqing. Instead, go talk with your local urologist.”

The most important thing to remember, Dubin adds, is that “while looks may be important, function preservation is key. After all, this is your penis, and you only get one of them.”


Given that evidence for the success of penis extension is anecdotal at best, it begs the question, why are guys potentially putting their penis in harm's way? Some members mention they have body dysmorphia. For many, the risks are outweighed by their desire for self-improvement or out of a belief that it will benefit their partner. For some guys, the desire for a large knob is so strong that it goes intergenerational: “I want my son to have a big hog,” reads a popular post from a month ago. 

While there is undeniably a sense of brotherhood on this forum, it can sometimes manifest ideas you often see around the manosphere, like that women’s expectations of men are unreasonably high—including penis size. But do women really want big dicks, or are these guys just stuck in a feedback loop of telling each other they do? Is any of this actually solving anyone’s problems, or is this subreddit merely self-reinforcing the idea that something needs to be done about penis length?

It seems like what a lot of these guys are really after isn’t necessarily an enormous johnson but approval from their peers, to be appreciated and seen within a community that has a shared interest. It just so happens that their shared interest involves placing their manhood inside homemade metal instruments.

“A lot of us come here fucked up, we’ve got scar tissue from somebody or something,” Romero says in his latest YouTube video, which is a very personal and confessional message to the members of r/gettingbigger. “I’ve watched porn my entire life, and I’ve been fed the same fucked up shit, and I am just as susceptible as the rest of you guys.”

But, he adds, “I truly believe that we have the power within this community to build each other up, to such a level of greatness. I truly believe that we have such a strong community of intelligent like-minded guys that we can do wonders for each other.”

“What we need to do for each other is be the person that somebody wasn’t for us in our life.”