Personal trainer Dan Salas stands attentively next to his client, a 38-year-old guy, in a capacious room filled with your traditional workout metal—dumbbells, barbells, bars. They're the only two working out in this private Anaheim gym, and except for the fact that they're naked while performing forward and backward lunges with a 50-pound weight, there's nothing unusual about the scene. Except also, maybe, that the 50-pound weight isn't in their hands, but is attached by a condom-like vacuum cuff filled with white lotion to the shafts of their penises.
Their goal? "To take the size of my client's penis to the next level—in length, girth or both," says Salas.
See—and here's the weird thing—Salas' client just went through penis-enlargement surgery, and the first result of such surgeries, you can imagine, is a traumatized penis.
"Doctors fail to mention that your penis may get smaller before it gets bigger," he says. "It can be very depressing."
Salas, 35, is the owner of Phallocare, and he trains clients in the Anaheim offices of Dr. Richard Wineland, a urologist. During the past several years, Wineland says, he's seen an increase in the number of men seeking some form of penile enhancement—"four inquiries a week from men interested in the surgery and other options."
Some of the men who hire Salas have been through surgery; others want to avoid surgery, hoping to add size through regimented personal training. Salas says he provides the tools, such as vacuum-weighted pumps, stretching devices and training videos. Training sessions are held at Anaheim and Tustin workout locations and at his clients' homes.
Salas first saw the market in 1995, after his own botched enhancement surgery. He was out $10,000 and lost a full inch in penis length. In 1999, he underwent three corrective surgeries with little luck. Doctors recommended a number of devices to stretch his penis back to size but offered little instruction.
That's when Salas began researching and testing the various penis-stretching devices and methods. Armed only with a high school diploma and his meticulous records, he says, he approached doctors to help design his program.
"The doctors confirmed that you actually lose length during the healing process," says Salas, who for the interview is neatly dressed in an aqua-blue button-up shirt, blue jeans and brown shoes. "At that point, I knew I had to do something. I didn't want other men to go through what I had gone through."
A recent national survey reported that close to 95 percent of men are dissatisfied with the size of their penis, yet it's a concern that men often refuse to talk about; it just doesn't come up in polite company.
"For some reason, men equate size with manhood," says psychotherapist Dr. Ana Robles. "Yet everything seems to circulate around the penis. Even men of adequate size often feel there's something wrong, that they're small. But size definitely matters. It matters because it builds self-confidence. Men feel more of a man, more sexual prowess, with a bigger penis."
In fact, most of the men who hire Salas were never really small to begin with. "Most are normal-sized men, about 5 to 6 inches," he says. "But we don't want to settle for average. Men are curious in how they can enhance themselves. The penis is the core of a man's sexuality."
Penile-enhancement surgery to increase length involves making an incision at the base of the penis and snipping the ligament that anchors it to the pubic bone. This causes the portion of the penis that is normally inside the body cavity to fall forward, giving the illusion of more length—typically about an inch. To prevent shrinkage during the healing process, patients must hang weights from their penises for up to a few months following the procedure.
Some men even opt for a second surgical option in which fat is removed from the abdomen, inner thighs or love handles and injected under the skin of the penis to increase girth. Patients can expect gains of about 30 percent. Salas reports he is now satisfied with his own progress, measuring in recently at a length of 7 inches and a girth of 8.5 inches. And yes, those numbers are correct.
There is a third, non-surgical option that Salas has developed for clients. With this route, he provides a combination of stretching devices and pumps in a regimented training program. His clients maintain results of up to 3/4 of an inch in length and 1 inch in girth—but only so long as they stick to the workouts.
The average man who enrolls in Salas' program is in his mid-30s, frequently divorced or just out of a relationship and entering the world of dating. The cost of the six-to-eight-month training program runs from $800 to $1,000.
During his eight years in business, Salas says, most of his clients have left satisfied—except for the guy who brought Salas a candle about 9 inches long and 7 inches thick.
"He asked to be that big," says Salas. "I told him you can only be as big as what we have to work with."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.