Earlier this month, a truck driver in Australia called into a morning radio show to admit that he’d happily done something most men would have nightmares about: He had his dick shortened surgically. As he explained to the hosts, his wife of 21 years continuously complained that his 10-inch penis was uncomfortable for her during sex, and so, to keep his marriage thriving, he had his penis “chopped down a little bit shorter.” All in all, he claims he had an “inch and a half taken off.”
Meanwhile, the penis enhancement industry is booming. The penile implant market alone is expected to reach a global value of $643 million within the next five years, and Google search results are riddled with desperate queries for how to get a bigger dick. Still, there are a few select men who have the opposite anxiety — they want their dicks to get smaller. Some, like our anonymous radio caller, are even willing to go under the knife to do so.
In some cases, these men cite their desire to make sex more comfortable for their partner as the inciting cause. But the people of r/PenisShinking (no, that’s not a typo), a subreddit with just under 4,000 members, seem to have other reasons for why they wish their dicks weren’t as big. Most commonly, they fantasize about the emasculating experience of having one’s dick shrunk — for some, it’s a delicious punishment to be inflicted upon them by a dominant goddess.
“I write stories and make content within the fantasy of shrinking and adjacent kinks like giantess and chastity,” r/PenisShinking moderator and ManyVids creator u/Massageherkelly tells me.
“It’s a fetish that taps into a dynamic of dom/sub in a physical way,” fellow moderator u/boobgrowth says. “Many men grow up thinking their dick is too small. Some men try to combat this and use techniques to grow their penis, and some who are more submissive fantasize about being emasculated further. I see it as an exaggeration of the small penis humiliation fetish.”
But it isn’t just a fantasy or a fetish — some of these guys are actually making their dicks smaller, through both surgery and more DIY means.
There are only a few recorded cases of penis-reduction surgeries, or reduction corporoplasty, as it’s known in medical texts. One of the more famous instances, touted as the “world’s first penis reduction surgery,” was performed on a 17-year-old Florida teenager who, as a rare side effect to sickle-cell anemia, had developed a penis with a circumference of 10 inches when flaccid.
As Daniel Boyer, a medical doctor associated with the Farr Institute who specializes in internal medicine, surgery and gynecology, tells me, the few other cases of penis-reduction surgeries pertain to an outgrowth of tissue, as was the case with the 17-year-old. “It involves making an incision around the circumference of the penis, rolling the skin back and removing any outgrowth that’s making it bigger and uncomfortable,” he explains.
Beyond this, there’s seemingly only one medical establishment, Moorgate Andrology in the U.K,. that promotes itself as offering penis-reduction surgery. Per their website, they typically perform the procedure on men with very long, but very thin penises. They do not, however, explain exactly how the procedure is done (nor have they responded to my request for comment). According to one member of r/PenisShinking, the procedure costs around $27,000.
Perhaps due to its rarity, difficulty and expense, many of those active in r/PenisShinking have pursued other means of shrinking their dicks. Most commonly, they share photos and reports of their experiences using chastity cages, though some also use chemical methods such as topically applying phenylephrine (a nasal decongestant) or hormonal treatments like estrogens and antiandrogens typically used by those transitioning genders. A few members of the subreddit do seem interested in transitioning or are shrinking their dicks as part of doing so, but many are simply men who want a smaller dick. If their posts are honest, even just regularly using a chastity cage appears to be effective. Men report decreasing their dicks from eight inches to 3.5, or dwindling them down by half an inch every few months.
Any of these practices run the risk of impacting erectile function long-term. Wearing a chastity cage is typically safe, but only when it’s not too tight or restrictive. This is part of why u/MassageHerkelly decided to become a moderator for the sub in the first place — she’s particularly interested in safe kink/sex practices and wanted to help prevent people on the group from permanently damaging themselves. “Chastity can cause some temporary shrinking but no real damage,” she says. “Some, however, have decided that by causing erectile dysfunction, they can cause size loss, or through scar tissue build up, they can restrict erections.”
“These methods are just body mutilation through ignorance or foolishness, not body modification,” she continues. Most significantly, she worries about participants in the sub destroying blood vessels in their penises. Above all, she just tries to get people to consult with a doctor before trying any of the methods long-term.
In all likelihood, though, they may not really care — after all, wanting to decrease the size of your penis by locking it in a cage isn’t too far off from wanting to not be able to use it at all. And regardless, these are people who, despite all societal norms, actually want their dicks to get smaller. They probably aren’t too interested in what doctors might have to say about their penis health.