Long before Ariana Grande injected “big dick energy” into the mainstream vernacular, the most desirable members — the pinnacle of penises, if you will  have usually been described as long, girthy, and maybe even a bit veiny.  But, not every person with a penis has one with a length and circumference that could rival an extra-large bratwurst. In fact, a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Urology International reports that the average erect penis size is 5.16 inches in length and 4.59 inches in width. Yet, the endeavor for an above-average dick size seems to be never-ending: Penis fillers are not only on the rise, but multiple cosmetic surgeons say it’s their most popular procedure.

According to Carla Manly, PhD, a clinical psychologist based in Sonoma County, California, the desire for a larger penis is more of a current phenomenon. “Ancient Greeks believed that those with smaller penises were more likely to possess positive traits such as intellectualism, restraint, and heightened wisdom,” she says. So, how did we get to such a “bigger is better” mindset? “In today’s culture, large penis size is associated with virility, strength, and manhood,” says Dr. Manly. “Given that social media exposes the public to images that support the idea of a large penis, many men — be they cis or trans — feel that they should have larger penises to prove their virility or manliness.” 

Other mental health factors that could sway someone into exploring the procedure are gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, or a simple desire to enhance their sexual appearance, according to Dr. Manly. “In my experience, individual choices are generally affected by personal preference, influences of cultural norms, and the individual’s psychological history,” she adds.

No matter what modern standards may make you feel, your worth, sexually and in general, is not defined by the size of your penis. With that being said, if the prospect of a girthier (and, potentially, longer) dick via a quick and, surprisingly, painless in-office treatment piques your interest, we tapped a few experts on the subject so you will know exactly what to expect. Read on for a crash course on penis filler, including results, risks, and costs.

Meet the experts: 

  • David Shafer, MD, is a double board-certified plastic surgeon located in New York City.
  • Jason Emer, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in West Hollywood.
  • Norman Rowe, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon located in New York City.
  • David Goldberg, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist located in New York City.
  • Hadley King, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City.
  • Justin Houman, MD, is a board-certified urologist at Tower Urology in Los Angeles.
  • Carla Manly, PhD, is a clinical psychologist based in Sonoma County, California.

What is penis filler?

In its most basic explanation, penis fillers are injections into the penis shaft that can instantly increase its girth. According to David Shafer, MD, a double board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, who happens to specialize in this procedure, both hyaluronic acid and biostimulatory fillers (ones that have an immediate plumping effect, but also prompt collagen production) can be used for this procedure — albeit off-label.  As of now, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any type of injectable for use on the penis. But Dr. Shafer recommends starting with hyaluronic acid fillers because their formula is dissolvable if patients aren’t happy with a newly plumper look. 

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