P.E. practitioners know all this, which is why they call what they do "natural" penis enlargement: no pills, no surgery, no snake oil. There might be a gray-market cottage industry riding the coattails of Cialis and Levitra, but P.E.ers want no part of it. In fact, many see these spam-fueled businesses as a stumbling block to their legitimate form of enlargement. "My biggest problem is dealing with all the other bullshit out there," says Salvini. "Having people see a clear line between what I'm doing, and pills and patches and all the other bullshit. We get tossed into that same pile, because people aren't educated enough to see that there's a difference."
Still, the P.E. movement has absolutely zero legitimacy in the eyes of science. No one in the American medical community has yet deigned to study P.E.; speaking softly and carrying a bigger stick is still folly. "The penis is a beautifully designed anatomical marvel that has evolved through millions of years," says Dr. J. Francois Eid, director of the Advanced Urological Care Center in New York. "It's immature, arrogant even, to think that we can do better." Making one's penis bigger through exercise, he says, is akin to making one's nose bigger through exercise -- and about as likely to happen.
The urologists at Boston University's Institute for Sexual Medicine refused even to comment on P.E. for this story. According to a spokesperson, "the topic is not to their liking." Dr. Ira Sharlip of the American Urological Association was willing to consider the possibilities. "Nobody knows the answer" to whether or not natural exercises could increase one's penis size, he said, "but I'd imagine that up to some reasonable limit the spongy tissue" -- more on this later -- "could expand." Even the most grudging concessions, though, come with a stern caveat: "I don't think you can conclude that [P.E. is] medically sound," Sharlip said, "just because there are numerous anecdotal experiences with it."
"There's something about P.E. that doesn't make sense," Mike readily admits. "How can you take a penis and make it bigger?" But he and the rest of the P.E. practitioners are convinced you can. Anecdotal experiences are what they rely on, how they keep each other going. While they'd love to see their beliefs validated, most P.E.ers are perfectly content to keep flying under the radar. If everyone catches on, averages will rise, and they won't be so special anymore. Still, they're tired of being dismissed by skeptics, of being lumped in with the creams and magical elixirs. "Let them believe what they want," wrote "Sundown" on Matters of Size, "those with faith and effort are reeking [sic] the benefits." A P.E.er named "Supra" responded, "let me pull down my pants on CNN and lets [sic] see what they say about PE."
Anger aside, some of P.E.'s other advocates are hardly whom you'd expect. Bib -- or "Bigger Is Better" -- is a 48-year-old Texas real estate salesman who agreed to be interviewed only if his real name wasn't used. Bib loves his wife and kids. And thanks to a routine that involves hanging 45 pounds of weight from his member for up to seven hours at a time -- working from home grants him the necessary privacy and time -- he boasts a 10-and-a-half-inch erection. "This has completely changed my life," he says, "on many, many different fronts." Bib was a virgin when he married because he was afraid to let any woman see his 1-inch flaccid penis. Not long ago, he found himself standing in front of a seating section at a basketball game, scanning the crowd for his wife. As his eyes flicked across the many female faces, he was certain they were all staring at his crotch. His wife doesn't believe him, but Bib knows what he saw. Now, he can't wear sweat pants in public anymore. "It's pretty neat to have to worry about the bulge when you go out," he says.
The penis might be designed to reach for the sky, but anatomically speaking, it is not built to grow. It's not a muscle, but a series of chambers and veins bound by a fibrous sheath -- a marvelous tool, supremely adaptable to changes of heart and climate. It lives in a state of constant flux, responding with ease to the onrushing variables of circulation, comfort and libido.
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