By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
By Angelica Leicht
By Jeff Balke
By Sean Pendergast
By Sean Pendergast
By Jeff Balke
By Ben DuBose
Akers started restoring with the help of an O-ring and now uses the TLC Tugger, with great results. The proof is in the penis: Akers says he's gone from less than 1 on the CI scale to a 3.5. His goal is to have "full coverage" when he's erect.
While the promise of better sex was his primary motivation to restore, Akers mentions an added benefit.
"Part of it was to make myself different from what my dad is," he says, adding later, "It was something that I did for myself because I have no relationship with my dad to speak of at all...at the time that all of this started, I...finally came to grip with some things and I got some treatment for some chronic depression and with the family issues...this was another thing that kind of helped me feel better about myself and to kind of set a little distance between me and the way I viewed some of the problems."
He also understands what brings others to the restoring community: "A lot of the guys on these Web sites, they really feel violated, that something was torn away from them. I don't feel that as strongly...as they do about it, but I can see their point. And I can agree with them."
Ron Low remembers the moment he decided to restore the way someone might remember a wedding anniversary.
About ten years ago, Low (sounds like "cow") noticed his libido was flat-lining. Sex just wasn't what it used to be.
"For me, intimacy just wasn't getting any better. It was getting worse. And at the same time, it was getting better for my wife. You know, here we are approaching 40, and I felt like...'I can't believe nature is so cruel that intimacy would just get worse and worse and this is all I have to look forward to.'"
He found some information about restoring online, and then came that magic moment: "It was April 1, 2001, at about nine o'clock in the evening," he says, speaking on the phone from the Chicago suburb of Northbrook. He and his wife "were sitting in front of the TV set and I said, 'Hon, I've got to tell you about something. I'm going to start applying tape to my penis every day because I want to stretch my skin and make a new foreskin grow.' And she said, 'Well, that's crazy. That's ridiculous.' And I had to look her straight in the eye and tell her I was deadly serious. 'It's not crazy, and I'm going to need your support, dear.'" And she's been supportive ever since.
Low started with the film canister method, but used his training as an engineer to design a new device what turned out to be the TLC Tugger. He says he secretly tested it on himself, not wanting to announce his invention until he knew it worked. Even his mother, who lives next door, did not know her son was walking around constantly stretching the skin of his penis.
"For a long time she would see me wearing shorts and notice a knee brace on one leg, which was there to conceal the tugging straps, and she would express concern about my poor knee," he says. "I usually just said I strained it."
But after 21 months' tugging time, his libido rejuvenated, he offered his device on eBay. There was immediate interest, but he hadn't actually made any more because he wasn't sure if anyone would actually want to buy any.
He started making the molds for the Tugger's two cones in the family kitchen, but, with the greater demand, he now has a "dedicated lab oven" in his basement, with the capability of making about 12 Tuggers a day.
Low moderates an online Tugger user group, which he launched last fall and which now has 1,000 members. He says he ships the product all around the world. (Per his Web site, he offers "free shipping to Israel, Muslim states and third-world nations where ritual mutilation of children occurs.")
He looks forward to the day when the Tugger and other restoration devices are sold at the local drugstore. Until then, he's just one dude making dick-cones in his basement. The device hasn't made him rich, but none of the people selling restoring devices online appear to be in it for the money. They appear to be genuinely interested in helping other guys feel at peace with their penises.
Guys like John Long, who admits that, since his second child a son was born seven months ago, he's been too busy to wear the Tugger consistently.
"People going to get into it...you need to be committed to it: It can be a long haul," he says. He's happy with the results he's seen so far, but a little bitter that he has to go through the process in the first place.
His wife describes it best in an e-mail: "When our son was born in December, we left him intact. For the first few months, during diaper changes, my husband would look at our little boy and shake his head, saying 'Lucky little bastard.' But we know that by the time our son is old enough to know the difference, his dad will look like him, too!"