What do the NBA and the porn industry have in common?
Where else would you find, in one place, a collection of seven-footers or seven-to-twelve inchers? Endowment is to porn what height is to basketball, and neither is representative of the male population.
Nonetheless, more and more men are sizing themselves up against what they see in pornography, and (no surprise) they're coming up short. According to multiple peer-reviewed studies, the overwhelming majority of men who seek some form of penile enlargement do so because they mistakenly believe they have an abnormally small penis when in fact they do not.
Now, where would they get that idea?
What they likely do have, say researchers, is a form of the mental illness body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is characterized by an excessive concern or preoccupation with a perceived physical defect. According to Amanda Hill, a licensed counselor with extensive experience helping patients overcome BDD, standard treatment involves cognitive-behavioral therapy and possibly anti-depressants. Instead, these psychologically compromised men tend to look to much different forms of “treatment”.
In the crooked world of male enhancement, over-the-counter supplements present a path of least resistance for hucksters and their troubled customers. The marketers of these supplements often blur the line between carefully worded insinuations that taunt and entice male viewers, and unsupported medical claims that attract lawsuits and the ire of regulatory agencies like the FDA.
Supplements appeal to guys for a couple of reasons: 1) Their pitch includes statements asserting 'scientific' or 'clinical' data; and 2) getting them precludes the humiliating experience of a physician consult. Of course, any responsible doctor would confirm the value of such a consult, right?
Well, maybe not all.
Dr. Daniel S. Stein, the physician who “researched and studied” the popular male enhancement supplement ExtenZe, wrote in the now-defunct Journal of the American Association of Integrative Medicine that the benefits of ExtenZe included no "inconveniences connected with scheduling the doctor’s appointment" and no "embarrassment of being diagnosed with a sexual 'problem'." One ExtenZe web site (there are several) flaunts Stein's achievements and points to his findings, but no mention of the following:
And then there’s Stephen Warshak, the Boner King of Cincinnati, who’s doing 10 years in federal prison (recently reduced from 25) for scamming millions of men through auto-shipping, a negative-option program that makes fraudulent charges on customer credit cards.
According to the testimony of Warshak's COO James Teegarden, Enzyte's clinical support was entirely fabricated, as were the names of two Ivy League doctors credited with creating the formulation. Most despicable, though, was Warshak's insidiously clever requirement of any guy who demanded a refund: Sure thing, all we need is notarized documentation that you have a small penis.
Ross is a freelance journalist and writer specializing in medical topics and men's lifestyle. His work appears in numerous online and print publications, including AskMen, Forbes, AOL, and Fox News. He is the editor of several published quotation collections, and in addition to work as a cancer care advocate, he plays ice hockey and blogs for two pro hockey web sites.