As fall winds turn to winter shivers, it’s natural to crank up the heating while piling on the layers and blankets. Interesting fact: when the temperature drops, the human body has its own ways to conserve heat by maintaining blood flow around vital organs located in the center of the body. This means the body will reduce the flow of blood to appendages like toes, fingers, and for men, the penis. We’ve heard time and time again that cold weather and cold water causes penis shrinkage. But is it true? We’ll discuss the science around the effects of cold weather on men, and possible solutions.
When winter approaches, some men notice changes to their genitals. While it’s not technically hibernation, it’s possible for some men to feel like their penises are retreating or shrinking. Cold water’s effect on penises has become somewhat of a joke in movies and TV shows; fans of the show Seinfeld might remember George Costanza’s famous line when he was caught with his pants down: “I was in a pool!“
While it may seem humorous, a man can experience the surprise of his penis “shrivel” up to 50% in length and up to 30% in girth when exposed to colder temperatures. Frigid conditions can also cause the testicles to retract, so they can stay warm. In addition to the size of a penis changing, cold weather can cause some desensitization; it can take longer to become responsive to touch when it comes time for foreplay, sex, or masturbation. Due to all these physical changes, it can take some extra steps before getting in the mood. Here are some tips to stay warm and increase your chances for intimacy:
Wear socks for sex
Because of heat conservation, hands and feet will be colder during the winter months as the body pulls blood to its center mass. Wearing socks ensures at least some external appendages are nice and cozy. In at least one study, 80% of couples who wore socks to bed reached orgasm, versus 50% of barefoot couples.
Use an ED device
Wearing a device for erectile dysfunction can help with blood flow in and out of the penis, and is a popular option for men in not just the cold, but all year round. A wearable option like Giddy’s medical device for ED can help men maintain an erection. The device is worn at the base of the penis, and can be used before or during sex. It was designed to place pressure on the dorsal vein for improved blood flow, to help maintain penile rigidity.
Switch to boxer briefs
When the body is cold and blood flow is decreased, it can actually cause the penis to become rubber-like, which can be uncomfortable or result in painful friction. Swapping looser-fitting boxers for boxer briefs during colder weather may help contain the penis and reduce unwanted friction and contact.
Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Longer periods of gray, dreary days can also contribute to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a winter-time depression that can negatively impact your libido, or sex drive. Incorporate light therapy, physical activity, or meditation to your daily routine to combat SAD.
While it may seem like winter is stacking the cards against healthy penis function, these shrinkage changes are normal and temporary. Once temperatures increase, signs of shrinkage will typically disappear in minutes. Easily deal with penis shrinkage and keep being intimate in the winter time by using the solutions above.
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