This is mostly for the those new to pumping, who have so many questions. Since I've been at this for almost 30 years, I've picked up a tip or two along the way. In this article, I thought I'd pass along some of what I think I know to those who are looking for help.
FIRST- WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUMP?
In this process, you place a sealed container or cylinder over your pump area, and then the pumping process removes part of the air inside the pumping cylinder, creating a Partial Vacuum. This creates a difference between the cylinder pressure and the ambient or surrounding pressures on the rest of your body. The area outside the cylinder is under normal air pressure, which is just under 15 pounds per square inch at sea level. The area inside the cylinder will be less, depending on the level of vacuum. Blood and body fluids in your system are at the normal pressure, so they push toward and try to expand into the low pressure area inside your cylinder, around your penis and/or testicles. However, those areas in your genitalia are not open chambers like balloons, they are tissue. Fluids enter and leave tissue slowly. In pumping, the primary enlargement is not accomplished with blood as it is in an erection; it comes from the increase of clear fluids in the fine tissues. This fluid is slowly drawn from the blood as it passes, and through the lymphatic system just beneath the skin. This process can't be rushed without creating injury, so patience is a fundamental requirement of safe pumping.
The enlargement of pumping is almost all temporary in nature. When you remove the cylinder, these tissues are now stretched and over extended creating a higher pressure inside them than normal, and thus the process reverses- with blood and fluids returning to the normal levels. This process takes from 18-48 hours. The potential for any lasting enlargement comes from the stretching of these tissues, so that in the return process they are not quite as small as they were before, and to some degree from the cell replacement and healing processes, similar but not comparable to what occurs in muscle from weightlifting.
There are many ways you can injure yourself pumping, some minor, some not. Here's a rundown on the more common risks and kinds of injury.
If you apply Excessive Vacuum trying to speed the process, damage to the tissues is automatic. The damage can be as simple as the hickey we have all experienced, but it can also do serious damage resulting in permanent injury. A hickey is small, and only skin deep- but it's actually a hemorrhage (a rupture and internal bleeding) of the capillary vessels in the skin. In pumping, we are dealing with a much larger area, and doing so in such a way that the pressure differential affects deep internal tissues and larger blood vessels that a hickey can't reach. The longer the excess vacuum level lasts and/or the greater the pressure differential, the greater the damage. Once tissue is damaged, reducing the vac level does not end the hemorrhaging, it only slows it- healing can't begin until pressures normalize.
The best results are achieved with low pressures and patience anyway, so excess vacuum should always be avoided. What is excess? Because different people have different elasticity and toughness in their tissue, the maximum safe level varies some. Obviously, tissue damage of any kind is an indication of excess. So is pain, bruising, purple color or irregular redness.
Most pumpers find that they begin to show skin level damage around 5" of vacuum and above. Vacuum levels are expressed in inches of mercury on most gauges, with a total vacuum being 29.5". One PSI of vacuum is about 2" of mercury, so a vac level of 5" is the same as a 2-1/2 PSI pressure differential. How much is that? It's not difficult to create a 15" vacuum just with oral suction- so it's very easy to damage yourself without trying hard!
Too Much Heat causes another type of injury. If you pump wet (filling the cylinder partly with warm water to make tissue relax) and the water is too warm, another type of injury is likely to occur- blisters on the "head" of the penis where the skin is especially tender. The water does not have to "feel like it's burning you" to cause this! While pumping, you are already adding pressure beneath the skin, pushing it out. Skin becomes weaker when wet, and weaker still when it's temperature rises. Combine these and that excess can turn the entire penis head into one big blister- a nasty experience you don't want to go through! Use a water temperature that is warm to the touch, just a degree or two above body temp. Most importantly, pay attention- watch what's going on! After you have learned your capacity, you will know what you can and cannot do.
If you Restrict Circulation of your blood through the pump area, cell death and nerve damage can occur. Ways in which you may cause this include using any kind of a rigid constraint (cock-ring, for example) while pumping, particularly inside the pump. It can also be done to a lesser degree by having a narrow edge at the seal point, which can create enough pressure on your pubic area that it reduces blood flow through the skin and underlying tissues. Last, by keeping the pump in place for long periods of time at strong vacuum, you reduce the oxygen delivery to some tissues, and this can result in a loss of sensitivity and nerve function.
Solutions- Never restrict the blood flow, it's what allows the enlargement to take place by delivering the fluids needed. Use a wide, soft seal on the pump that will distribute the seal pressure over a larger area. Pump a while, then remove the pump, massage the area, give it a break- then begin again. This produces better results than continuous pumping anyway due to improving the circulation.
One other note: If you look at the extreme photo groups and think you want to do it, be very skeptical and very cautious. Many of the photos on line are fakes. Of those that aren't, it's often obvious that they have damaged themselves significantly in the process. If you want your genitalia to still be functional and attractive next year- avoid the extremes!
You can buy a wide variety of equipment- some good, some not so good. You can also make your own. That process can be simple and inexpensive, or as complex as you like. Let's start with a brief review of the commercial cylinders. Almost all are made of some kind of plastic- usually acrylic tubing. Quality cylinders are made from cast material. Cheap ones may be made of extruded stock, which is much cheaper. It does not stand up, don't waste you money on an extruded plastic cylinder.
COMMERCIAL CYLINDERS and PUMPS:
A "single stage" cylinder is a straight piece of tube with a cap on one end and an open end on the other- hopefully with a soft seal ring. The tube has a fitting for a hose. It may be plain, perhaps having a push-on extension and a little shut-off valve, or it may have quick-disconnect couplings with a built in check valve. A single stage is usually used for pumping the penis only, and the size is typically from 1-1/2" to 2-1/2", with various lengths available.
A "two-stage" tube has the same features, but is used for pumping the penis and balls together. It uses a smaller piece of tube for the entrance, then a larger one for the main body. Why? Two reasons. If you pump to a large size, you need more than 4" diameter inside the body- possibly as much as 6"! But a 4" is about all you can use on the seal end. You can't get a 5 or 6" straight tube in your crotch comfortably, let alone get it to seal. Worse, when you pump with a large opening against the body, the pubic mound engorges along with everything else. When the cylinder is removed, the genitals are part of a large bulge and don't hang or swing free as they do normally. So the main reason for the use of a two stage is to gain comfort and seal reliability while reducing the pubic bulge. The downside of two-stage cylinders are these: When you are pumped larger than the first stage or neck size, you have to pump yourself out of the tube with pressure instead of vacuum. To an extent, that limits the advantage by reversing the process. Next, it usually makes a less durable device because it has more joints in the plastic.
A third type of device is like a clam shell- two pieces that separate. They are irregular in shape rather than cylindrical. These are either cast in a mold from liquid acrylic resins or are vacuum formed. They have a lengthwise seam that needs a seal. The "Monster-tube" is of this type. What's good about this approach is that the tube can have a small neck with a very large body, which you open to get out of, as opposed to pumping back. The disadvantages are that more sealing surfaces make leakage a bigger problem, and the devices tend to be substantially more costly.
Commercial cylinders start at about $40, run to $300. Good acrylic two-stage cylinders are available in the $90-$150 range. Specialty cylinders like the PumpToys 3-stage run a little more but are much easier to use. To find sources for various cylinder types, visit our great Links page.
The term "Pump" actually refers to the mechanical device used to create the vacuum. Many hand pumps look similar to small bicycle pumps and work the same way, except their valves are reversed. There are numerous electric pumps on the market as well. However, the level of vacuum needed to injure yourself is quite low, you can easily do it with oral suction.... your own lung power. So, fancy things aren't needed; high power or volume isn't needed. One of the least expensive and easiest vacuum pumps to find is the Mity-vac, a device with a squeeze handle and a gauge, made of plastic. It's designed as a vacuum system testing tool and brake bleeding tool for auto mechanics. It works very well, and costs $30 at most automotive stores. It's also available in a hard-to-find (but more durable) model made of aluminum, called the Silver-line Mity-vac, usually costing $60-70. The Mity-vac holds the vacuum each time you pump it, and has a release valve built in, so it can connect directly to a plain cylinder without any other type of shut-off.
HOME-MADE EQUIPMENT: THE STJ- and other hints
The simplest pumping device is the STJ, or Sun Tea Jar. This is a glass gallon jar with a wide mouth, sold virtually everywhere in the spring and summer for $3-4. Wal-mart, K-mart, hardware stores all carry them. This jar can be converted into a combination cylinder quite easily. Complete information on making an STJ cylinder is in our library.
Simple pump cylinders have been made from everything that has the required shape- Plastic drinking glasses, bottles, pitchers, canister jars and so on. Most of these are chosen because they are a pre-formed container, leaving the maker to construct a vac opening and a sealing method. Most home-built projects take a fair amount of time, and don't produce a reliable or durable product. However, should you wish to build your own- the STJ information link above will give you a good base of information to work with.
SOME TIPS AND TRICKS IN GENERAL
If you have never pumped before, you may see substantial distortion of the penis as the swelling goes down- which may scare the hell out of you. Not to worry, it's very temporary; you will look normal tomorrow...
If you have extra tender skin, you may have trouble with blisters popping up easily even when pressure and temperature are right. One solution is to make a protective cap for the penis head from a small balloon, like a 7-9" round size. Blow it up once to stretch it, then deflate and cut it off smoothly where the neck and body meet. Fold the balloon lengthwise, and clip about 1/16" off the tip to vent it. Stretch the large opening out and pull it over the penis head, letting the edges roll in behind the ridge. You want that opening to be just tight enough to hold the bulb in place. If it's too tight, trim it further- too loose, cut another one. This gives that tender skin extra support, compressing it against the internal pressure. It may take a little practice to learn just where to cut the balloon to get it to stay in place without being too tight at the neck. They don't last too long, but they're cheap.
REASONS YOUR SEAL AREA LEAKS:
The term "seal" refers to the integrity or air tightness of the cylinder to the body, OR to a separate seal device, either homemade or a soft plastic ring which makes that joint close better, such as PumpToys' Precision Seals.
ABOUT LUBRICATION AND MAINTENANCE
Lubricants are used to reduce skin friction and increase seal reliability. A variety of products are used, by personal preference. As a rule, avoid lubricants that are petroleum-based, such as Vaseline, as they will damage acrylic tubes over time. They will also damage plastic seal materials in a fairly short time. PumpToys Creme Lubricant is designed specifically as a pumping lube, and is highly recommended. However, even vegetable oil is widely used, as are aloe-vera and vitamin-E lotions. Just be sure the contents do not include petroleum or mineral base oils.
By cleaning your cylinder and equipment after each use, you can remove any lubricant that might be harmful, and you sanitize it to prevent bacterial problems. Clean your vacuum hose and pump inside- especially if you use oral suction; as this hose can develop a scum-like lining that becomes a breeding ground.
WHY CAN'T I GET AS BIG? WHY DON'T I SEE PERMANENT GAIN?
Size is relative to lots of things. Some people just have more elasticity than others and will pump larger. Some will pump quicker than others. If you pump regularly over a period of time, you will see both size and speed of enlargement improve dramatically, because you have conditioned the tissue to do that. Avoid competing, and avoid excess- work with what your body wants to do.
Is there a way to permanently enlarge? Yes and no. Permanent penis enlargement is not common in significant degrees, but does happen. Permanent testicle enlargement and scrotal enlargement usually happens with regular pumpers, and much of that seems to be retained if they quit pumping altogether. But, without exception- permanent gain is the result of a planned regimen performed faithfully over a period of time, and it is usually accomplished with a combination of objective pumping and special exercises. Watch the library for articles written by successful permanent-gainers.
WHAT ARE LOW-HANGERS?
The term refers to a long scrotal sack and low-hanging balls. One method of building low-hangers is to combine bulk pumping (using a large capacity cylinder like the ASTJ), and stretch pumping (with a special objective cylinder like the LongJohnny) and alternating between pump schedules and weight or tension use. Bulk pumping always uses large diameter cylinders. Stretch pumping uses a medium-large single stage that is sized to do some enlarging, then pull the testicles (and penis) down. PumpToys LongJohnny is specifically designed for that purpose. The bulk pumping stretches the softer tissues, enlarging the scrotal sack; the stretch pumping works on the ligaments and suspensory tissues that hold the testicles.
About alternating pumping and tension sessions: After the main swell of pumping has reduced, there is a period where you have a loose and long scrotum. If this is prevented from receding by weights or tension devices, the regenerative process that is always going on inside us tends to rebuild your body more to the new configuration. One other note on this objective is temperature maintenance. Cold makes your scrotum and testicles recede. Keeping them warm, especially while stretching helps substantially. For example, a wool sock foot worn over the scrotum retains body heat, while weights (worn over the sock for comfort) maintain and encourage stretch.
A FINAL NOTE:
Achieving growth or change of any kind on a permanent basis requires a good system, and adherence to a regimen or schedule in using it. Pumping is part of the process you are using to promote the change- but nothing permanent happens from occasional efforts, except damage if you are careless. Of course, most of us find that it feels really good, and like the looks- even when they are temporary. Besides, it's hard to pack a set of 15" balls into your everyday clothes!
Got a question we didn't answer? Check the library for more assistance, or- Ask the Bagman!