Longform

Growing Pains

Page 3 of 6

Bigger penises also seem to cure this sort of thing, and Safford is filled with stories of happiness, hope and size. There is the one about the "blue-collar guy" whose business was failing; enhanced, his outlook improved, and today his business is growing at an unprecedented rate.

There is the "LSU student" who struggled along as a "B or C student." Now his penis is bigger and he gets straight A's. And the Army recruit who couldn't bear the closeness and scrutiny of barracks life before his personal amplification. "When I last spoke to his drill sergeant two years ago, he told me now they're thinking of throwing him out of the Army for being an exhibitionist," Safford says.

"I'm exaggerating, of course," he adds, smiling. "It's not that bad."
Doctors whose business it is to make men's penises bigger often find themselves justifying why they do what they do. The party line on penile enhancements is that, regardless of where the knife actually goes in, the primary benefit is in the brain: A larger penis is a sure way for a man to improve his self-image or boost his confidence.

Still, the purpose of the operation is to increase a man's penis size, and satisfied patients will brag on occasion. Take, for instance, the middle-aged man who had been celibate for forty years.

"He told me that the closest thing he had gotten to sex during that time was going to a titty bar," Safford recalls. "But after the operation, he came into my office and leaned over my desk and whispered, 'Doc, guess what! I've got three steady girlfriends and a fourth on the way. I go to bars and women give me their phone numbers, and I don't even know who they are!'"

And a letter that Safford distributes to potential patients reads: "I can't thank you enough for the wonderful results. My erections are completely rigid compared to the semi-hardness I was experiencing. That, combined with the extra girth and length, leaves a real smile on the wife's face. She really gets excited as do I! Our sessions last for over an hour now and I can experience ejaculation twice in the same session (not to mention my wife!)."

Which leads to the sticky issue of women and their opinions of big penises. Despite what they've been telling men since the beginning of time about the non-relationship between size and satisfaction, women apparently are very pleased with Safford's work. (There are indications the sexes still aren't on the same page, however. When it comes to enhancement, Safford says, "Men like the length and women like the girth.") The story of the staunch Baptist woman is typical.

"Sex is not a language that these people speak," Safford starts off. "But I was at my Houston clinic, on the floor on my knees, checking out this woman's husband. She was sitting next to us, with her very tightly coiffed hair and a dress reaching down to her ankles, sitting very primly. I was surprised she wasn't wearing white gloves. And she reached over and tapped me on the shoulder and said--with just a little hint of a smile, but still looking straight ahead--'Dr. Safford, ever since you've done this surgery, I come every time we have sex.'"

Safford leans back in his chair, nodding. "Now, that's the most satisfying part of this job," he says.

With penis enhancement, it seems, there is a fine line between self-esteem, which is desired, and self-aggrandizement, which is wrong. Dr. Safford must walk it every time a new patient walks into his office. "When I started doing the procedure," he says, "I saw a lot of emotionally unbalanced people.

"I won't do someone who wants to be another John Holmes," he continues, referring to the well-known and well-hung late porn star. "If all they want to do is create a bigger penis to hammer somebody, I won't do it.

"I'm really a psychiatrist who happens to be a surgeon," he adds. Safford says he turns down about one-fifth of the men who come into his office seeking enlarged sex organs.

Some people wish he were even more selective.

There are only a few procedures we won't cover," says Dr. Robert Brittain, risk manager for Copic Insurance Company, which writes medical-malpractice policies for about 85 percent of Colorado's physicians. The company will not cover doctors who perform transsexual surgery; doctors who inject chymopapain drugs into spinal disks; chelation therapy as a treatment for anything other than using heavy metals to leach lead out of children's bodies; and privately run sperm banks. Copic also won't insure doctors who perform penile-enhancement surgery.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eric Dexheimer
Contact: Eric Dexheimer