Summer's in full swing. And the boys are livin' large! - (8/9/2022)

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

Jim came into the pharmacy, glanced from side to side, and walked up to the pharmacist. "Hey, Doc, you got a minute to talk privately?" The pharmacist motioned for Jim to join him in the counseling room. "How can I help?" asked the pharmacist. Jim cleared his throat nervously and said, "My cousin, Joe, came back from his doctor and announced that he had 'summer penis.' I looked it up on my phone, and it seems to be a real thing. Something to do with the sun making the penis bigger. His doctor said to put Benadryl cream on it, and she gave him a prescription for an antibiotic. I think a summer penis would be a good thing. But Joe says it itches like crazy."

Then, it hit the pharmacist what Jim was talking about. "Do you mean 'summer penile syndrome'? Did your cousin mention anything about chigger bites?" the pharmacist asked. "Yes! He did say that his ankles were also itching." The pharmacist explained to Jim that "summer penis" and "summer penile syndrome" were actual "things." Aside from the Internet, where one can find all sorts of true and false information, People Magazine and the Huffington Post ran soft-core stories about the summer penis. According to both rags, vacationtime hog is a May-to-September rise and fall in girth and length caused by the sun's heat. Men love it. 

Conversely, summer penile syndrome is a painful swelling of the penis due to chigger bites. Men love it not. A chigger, for those of us who need the rock hard facts, is a tiny mite. Its larvae live on the skin of warm-blooded animals – or hot-blooded animals like Jim's cousin – where they irritate the skin. And what better place for a baby chigger to spend its formative minutes than when a guy is swinging free and easy? Unlike lice, which burrow into the skin and suck blood, chiggers feed on juicy skin cells. Itching starts about 3 to 6 hours after they bond with one's Balzac and can hang around for up to 14 days. Clawing the croakies removes the mite and soothes the itch, hence the Benadryl. But scratching can result in a secondary infection, thus the antibiotic. 

"Jeez, Louise," exclaimed Jim. "Sounds nasty!" "Oh, it can get worse," replied the pharmacist. He pointed out that the secondary infection could be typhus. This bacterial disease causes a high fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. "No wonder Joe was not as thrilled as I was when I thought he said it was summer penis."

Getting back to man's BFF, summer penis may just be wishful thinking – sort of a pipe dream, if you will. One's penis could appear to be larger because, in warm environments, blood vessels expand. As a result, one may be more likely to fill one's shaft to full capacity during warmer months. "I wonder if guys in Australia have 'winter penis' when it's hot down under," Jim mused. The pharmacist was unsure whether "summer penis" was universal or not. Although he noticed that condom sales have ballooned since July 4th. Especially those that are the size of Hefty Bags. "So, it's like going from a C cup to a double D for gals," Jim wisely observed. "I guess I am kind of a year-round guy," Jim continued. "No seasonal fluctuations here!"

As fascinating as this conversation was, the pharmacist had to get back to the business at hand. "Hey, Doc," Jim said. "You know that old song 'Theme from a Summer Place'?" Don't say it, Jim. Do. Not. Say. It. "We could change the name to 'Theme from a Summer Penis'!" And for the rest of the day and far into the night, the pharmacist could hear that song in his brain. "There's a summer place. Where it may rain or storm. Yet I'm safe and warm…."

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a recovering pharmacist and writer-in-residence at Rx-Press.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk.


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