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Nature's Magic Trick: The Dramatic Reveal of Growers vs. Showers

The “grower versus shower” debate is as ancient as bulges in togas. Find out which team you're on with Grindr’s handy guide to erectile tissues.
Editorial team
May 22, 2024
June 22, 2024
min. read
Table of Contents

Dick is on the tip of a lot of tongues — and no, we're not referring to blow jobs. We're talking about the collective human captivation with cock size. Whether debating the best technique to measure every single millimeter of our dicks to the right selfie angle to show off our bulges’ best side, we can't help but wonder what that dick do. 

The “growers versus showers” question is arguably as ancient as the stars; people with penises — regardless of their sexual preferences and whether they’d admit it or not — have most likely always been curious about (if not downright obsessed with) how each others’ schlongs size up. We gays take it to another level, especially when gray sweatpants season rolls around, and we can’t help but think, “Is it a compact dong that blows up like a pool toy? Or is he just walking around with a permanent half-chub?” 

There’s no denying the fascination with wieners can be a source of sexual anxiety, especially if you’re comparing your member to every nude that lands in your DMs. But that’s why understanding more about your body is the first step to embracing your authentic self, no matter how your flaccid penis spends its free time. 

What is a grower and a shower? 

A grower is someone whose dick grows considerably when they go from soft to stiff. Showers (pronounced “show-er”) don't do much growing, remaining more or less the same size when they get an erection. 

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Scientific researchers have studied boners to define whether a penis is a grower or a shower. According to an extensive study of 274 phalluses published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, if your erection grows more than 1.5 inches, you're a grower, not a shower. 

Out of all the penile participants, about 74% were showers. Likewise, growers grew an average of 2.1 inches in length compared to the 1.2-inch change with showers. Researchers didn't find any correlations between race, flaccid penis length, or an erection's hardness. There were, however, correlations with age. Growers tended to be younger than showers. 

That means those 274 erect rods represent only about 0.0000068% of the penis-bearing population. You probably have more dongs in your DMs. It's not exactly the quantitative study of schlongs we deserve. Wherever you land on the member meter, your penis is perfect just the way it is.

What makes you a grower or a shower? 

Your body is a mysterious temple. But there actually are some explanations about why you hang at half-mast. 

It’s elastic, it’s fantastic

Just how much your penile tissues stretch and grow contributes to your wiener's overall look and feel. And it's a team effort! The outer layers of skin, inner layers of fibrous tissue (especially the sexily named tunica albuginea), and the ligaments that attach your dick to your groin all have varying natural elasticities, which are determined by your genetics.  

It’s got that good collagen

Half of your penile tissue is collagen, a protein in your body's connective tissues. Your genetics also determine how collagen is distributed throughout your body. Showers likely have lots of collagen and low elasticity, whereas growers have less collagen and more elasticity. 

Lots of collagen in the penile tissue could lead to Peyronie's disease, a connective tissue disorder in the penis where scar tissue develops and creates an uncomfortably curved or twisted penis.

It’s got blood pumpin’ in its veins

Scientifically speaking, an erection happens when you get aroused, and your brain signals your body to send blood straight to your shaft. Your overall health is what determines the strength of your erection. Poor health doesn't really contribute to your natural predisposition to grow or show, but it can cause weaker boners or difficulty maintaining an erection. 

If you have difficulty getting or keeping an erection, consider seeking the help of a urologist. It's also another good reason to hit the gym, do those booty exercises, and proactively treat erectile dysfunction. 


Can a grower become a shower and vice versa? 

Like every other part of your body, your penis changes as you age. Over time, it might wind up showing off all the goods all the time or looking like it just came out of the pool. And there are lots of reasons why. As you grow older, collagen and elastic fibers in your erectile tissues decrease, changing your penile predisposition. Likewise, as your testosterone levels begin to drop, your penis might shrink slightly. 

Does it affect the overall size of your erection? 

No, the size of your flaccid penis isn't a strong indicator of the overall length or girth of your hard cock. So, just because someone sends you a picture of a big softie doesn't necessarily mean it'll grow into a colossal cyclops. 

But let’s be honest: Exaggerating one’s penis size is… a thing. And why wouldn’t it be? Even before we hit puberty, a lot of us hear the more length and girth our peckers have, the more desirable we are as sexual partners. While a dick’s measurements are important to some people (here’s lookin’ at you, size queens), it’s just one part of sex. For lots of submissives, a top who knows how to work his magic stick and make his partners feel sexy is more important than just having a massive cock. And many Doms get off on degrading kinks or locking up their subs’ junk in BDSM gear.  

Plus, we all experience a little bit of “grass is always greener” syndrome. A grower might be jealous of a shower's big cock outline. But a shower might feel frustrated having to constantly readjust or feel uncomfortable in their clothes. Showers experience the thrill of showing off their massive softie during a sexy striptease. But growers give their partners the excitement of a penis getting bigger and bigger when they rub it the right way

No matter how far your dangler hangs, remember this: Your penis is beautiful. But if your satisfaction with sex is negatively impacted by its dormant size, again, think about talking with a medical professional who specializes in sexual health. 

Show ‘em what you’re working with

Now that you know the meaning of growers versus showers, it's time to grab your measuring tape and get to werk. You’ll find plenty of guys on Grindr who’ll be happy to assist you in determining whether you cross the 1.5-inch mark. Download the Grindr app today. For science… and stuff.

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