What Is A 'Summer Penis' And Does It Really Exist?

Please hurry up, winter.
Biddiboo via Getty Images

This story was originally published in 2018.

Hot weather like the kind we’re seeing right now has often been accompanied by reports that men are feeling a little better endowed downstairs, so we decided to ask the question: can a change in the weather really make your penis grow?

Logically one could assume that if your genitals can visibly shrink in the cold – in order to preserve heat – then when the mercury rises it wouldn’t be totally wishful thinking to expect the opposite.

The notion of a “summer penis” (which honestly sounds like you’ve got a seasonal wardrobe of genitals but whatever) has been floating around on the internet for some years now.

Individual men have claimed to enjoy the benefits of the heat in the bedroom, in Facebook posts and Reddit threads.

One anonymous poster said: “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.”

And others agreed: “Just another part of your body’s homeostasis trying to better regulate ideal temperatures.”

Others were so committed to the theory that they were willing to hand over exact measurements as proof: “My flaccid size in the summer can be around 4 inches... In the winter it can go down to 2, especially if the temp starts hitting -10 C,” said one user. Okay then.

Despite believing it was a thing, the men in question had never bothered to come up with a catchy name for the phenomenon.

All that changed when Tracy Moore of MEL magazine decided to coin the term ‘summer penis’ in the hazy days of 2018.

Davizro via Getty Images

But biologically can this actually be a thing? The NHS says that “the length of a flaccid penis can vary a lot, for example depending on how cold the room is”.

So there does seem to be some correlation between temperature and size.

Dr Kenny Livingstone, a GP and doctor at ZoomDoc, said anatomically it does make sense. “When we are hot, blood vessels (capillaries) supplying blood to the skin can vasodilate. This allows more blood to flow to the surface giving the appearance of swollen extremities including in this instance, the penis.”

But Dr Preethi Daniel, clinical director at the London Doctors Clinic, said that although your body does experience changes in different temperatures, this doesn’t mean your penis is “growing”.

“The penis does not grow during the summer heatwave nor does it shrink during the winter. The apparent variation in perception of size is simply your body trying to maintain an optimum temperature at all times. We call that thermoregulation,” she said.

“You may have noticed your crown jewels shrivel up when it is cold as the blood vessels on the surface of the skin contract to preserve heat and conversely it may be possible for the skin blood vessels to dilate (expand) to release heat. Much like what happens when you sweat from your forehead. But just as your forehead does not grow in the summer, neither does the penis.”

Well, that clears that up then.