Summer bloating may be unpleasant for most, but some men are enjoying a very welcome type of swelling in a certain part of their bodies. Need us to spell it out for you? A few men are claiming they have "summer penis," a phenomenon in which their penises grow larger during the warm season.
From the worst heat wave of the year in the Northeast U.S. to four consecutive days of record-high temperatures in Dallas-Fort Worth, extreme heat this month has left some internet users wondering whether the weather is affecting their nether regions.
Debate around the legitimacy of the "summer penis" was spurred a few years ago when one Reddit user created a thread, writing [grammar and spelling mistakes left in for authenticity], "Anybody notices size fluctuation during the year? I know mine is bigger, i have better erections in the summer and i also tend more to of a shower instead of a grower. In the winter, it is the exact contrary. Why is that? More heat= Better bloodflow? Does that happen to you guys also?"
A few users chimed in, relating to the poster's experience and providing a few theories as to why this might be happening. One cited homeostasis, which is the process by which the body maintains a stable temperature throughout various conditions, while another said the summer only affects his testicles, causing them to sag lower than normal.
So what, if anything, actually happens? LIVESTRONG.COM spoke to Orlando urologist Jamin Brahmbhatt, M.D., to get insight on this seasonal occurrence. It turns out, those who speculated that "summer penis" is a result of homeostasis were on to something.
Dr. Brahmbhatt says that in order to regulate the body's internal temperature, capillaries, or small blood vessels, in the skin open up to expel heat in a process called vasodilation. This can cause your skin to get slightly looser and take on a different color or tone.
"When you scratch yourself or you get a mosquito bite, you notice the whole area gets red," he says. "That's basically the capillaries in that area opening up. And when they open up, they're going to look a different color."
The same thing happens throughout your body when it needs to expel heat, possibly causing the skin around a man's penis to look thicker and looser. The opposite happens when it's cold, which is why a penis may look smaller in the winter. Ultimately, according to Dr. Brahmbhatt, there is no actual change in the size of things down there when summer comes around. Sorry, guys.
"Summer penis" may be an optical illusion, but there is one very real benefit — the boost in confidence that comes with believing your junk just got an upgrade. So if you think your penis gets bigger in the summer and that makes you happy, then by all means, go on with your bad self.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you or someone you know experience "summer penis"? Do you think that "summer penis" is a thing, or do you think its all in men's heads? Share in the comments section!