"Get a bigger dick! Grow two inches overnight! Surprise her with your biggest length!"

While I'm sure you've heard those promises about penis pumps, you will probably not be surprised to learn that those claims are just that: claims. Penis pumps will not increase your length more than a circumstantial amount. They will not increase your width. They are not a permanent solution to achieving an erection.

What they will do in the short term, however, is give you a rock hard erection, increase sensitivity to the area, and add to your pleasure. A penis pump works as a suction cup around your genitals. Pressing the pump firmly against the skin creates a seal, and then the pump is used to remove air from the chamber and create vacuum pressure. The pressure pulls the penis and forcibly draws blood into the penis, creating a very strong erection. Some men may find that the penis pump creates an erection much firmer and harder than they can usually achieve on their own. In fact, it's also a very natural and frequently-used way to treat erectile dysfunction!

Using penis pumps can be a pleasurable activity between you and your partner - or a way to enjoy an intense erection on your own as well. Some couples prefer to use the pump together as a foreplay activity while other people prefer to use the pump before any activity, in private, to have an erection that's ready to go for foreplay. Most pumps will come with a "constriction band" that can easily be slipped onto the base of the penis after pumping to retain the erection. Outside the world of penis pumps, this type of ring is called a "cock ring." It helps trap the blood in the penis to keep the erection as firm as it was when the vacuum was made.

Above All, Safety First

Of course, as with any sex toy, make sure you use your penis pump with safety in mind. You should thoroughly read the instructions that come with your pump before using it. As far as sex toys go, penis pumps are slightly more dangerous than your standard vibrator - but a lot less dangerous than many other kinky activities. The biggest dangers are over-pumping or using the constriction ring for too long. To combat these dangers, pump slowly and only increase the maximum intensity slightly over every session. Remove the constriction ring before you've worn it for over 30 consecutive minutes. (A good, telltale sign you've worn it too long is that the penis feels numb, painful or cold) You may also want to talk to your doctor before using a penis pump if you have any blood disorders. (Learn more safety tips in Curious About Cock Rings?)

Now that I've piqued your interest, it's time to buy your first penis pump! At a loss for where to start? Consider these six things before buying to better your chances of finding a pump you'll fall in love with.

Read the Reviews for Penis Pumps

More than anything else, you need to read the reviews for any potential penis pump. Don't even consider buying one of these unless you can find some positive reviews on the product. As penis pumps depend nearly entirely on getting a good suction and a good, airtight seal, any poorly made pump will instantly become ineffective. Reading reviews will let you know if the manufacturer skimped on the rubber seal or if the pump loses air during use. You want something that's going to work exactly how it was intended to work.

Know Your Measurements

Get out a ruler. Actually, and genuinely, measure your penis - both length (tip to base) and width. Don't fudge the measurements. When purchasing penis pump, you want to make sure the cylinder is at least as big as your width and height. It can be a bit bigger, but it can't be any smaller. To avoid using an unwieldy, large pump that's hard to hold onto, it's best to find something as close to your measurements as possible. You should look for something that's at least 1/4" larger in width than your penis measurements.

Compare Manual to Electrical Pumps

Like most manual and electrical devices, there are differences to consider. Manual pumps are going to use the power of your hands to to squeeze the mechanism and increase the vacuum in the tube. These types of pumps give you better control over the pressure. They also tend to be less expensive. Electrical pumps are battery-powered and will take care of increasing the pressure and intensity just by flipping a switch. They tend to be more costly, but they are a good alternative if you don't have the physical strength or dexterity to operate a pump. Aside from these two, a newcomer to the world of penis pumps are the "hydropumps." These use the power of water to provide a safer and different experience during pumping.

Think about a Pressure Gauge

Some penis pumps will come with a pressure gauge attached to the pump. This allows you to regularly achieve the exact same pressure with every use. If you plan on using your penis pump regularly, this might be a good addition. It will provide an easy-to-see number that lets you know exactly where your pumping "sweet spot" is located.

Consider Your Budget

Like most things in life, better pumps tend to cost more money. While it isn't always a perfect correlation, you're more likely to get pumps that offer a better seal, better durability, and better parts when you spend a bit more money. For most people, however, it may not be possible to go out and splurge on a luxury penis pump. Try to balance the availability of your budget with the best quality of toy you can afford. Reading the reviews will help you make an educated guess for this one.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you're choosing a penis pump for health reasons instead of purely "fun" reasons, it may be worth talking to your doctor. Some penis pumps are medical devices sold only with a prescription; and in some cases, health insurance may cover the purchase of one of these devices when used for health reasons. If you think you might qualify under that umbrella, it may be worth talking to your doctor.

Now that you have some good things to look at before your purchase, you're ready to buy a penis pump. Unlike other sex toys, though, learning to use a penis pump properly might take a few tries. Don't give up after your first try. Read tips online and give the pump another try. You'll be impressed by the results once you master the ability to use a pump to provide strong, intense erections. Of course, keep safety in mind and be prepared to experience a whole different type of pleasure!