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Summer Penis Has Come and Gone. Gird Your Loins for Winter Penis.

Surely as the leaves must fall, the dick has its autumnal transition. Here’s everything you need to know about cold-weather shrinkage

There can be no light without darkness; there can be no happiness without sadness. And so it only follows that there can be no summer penis without a winter penis.

Just as warm weather causes the summer penis to emerge swollen, relaxed, excitable and full of get-up-and-go, the chilly months cause the member to return to its dormant state — shy, shrunken and taut. Call it Newton’s third law of dick physics.

But why is winter penis all over your timeline? No, don’t blame Cocktober. This is entirely my fault, and I accept your condemnation. But at least allow me to explain.

Some deep dick background: In July, as the waning summer sun beat hotly down upon us, we investigated a phenomenon called summer penis, thanks to a 24-year-old dude we found who said he has sex more in the warmer months because he’s “bigger” in the summer. Other internet dudes echoed the sentiment, like this guy who asked if other men experienced bigtime summer penis fun due to higher temps.

Intrigued, bewildered and slightly aroused, we rushed it up the penis flagpole to a real doctor, urologist Dudley Danoff, author of The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health. Danoff confirmed it’s indeed a thing. The reason is vasodilation, and also something about how your penis is like a sausage:

“The warmer the ambient environment, the more the blood vessels dilate, and the warmth allowing vasodilation increases blood flow,” he explained. “So if we think of the penis as these two sausage casings that fill with blood, and the one channel that carries the urine, then the sausage casing will swell and expand to its genetic limit depending on the volume of blood. The increased blood flow will increase, and the corpora [the erectile tissue] will be expanded, and the penis will be ‘larger.’ But I don’t think it holds true in the flaccid state. There would be no explanation for that.”

Summer penis set off a slew of coverage, much of it welcoming and celebratory, some of it predictably dubious. But it was too late, and summer penis was canon.

But just like all sacred cows must be sacrificed on the altar of progress, or something, summer penis faded like a late-July fling, and another neologism emerged: winter penis.

Writing at Metro U.K., Ellen Scott informs us that as the weather gets colder, the penis has a reaction to the cold, according to sex and relationship expert Annabelle Knight. “The blood vessels in the penis shut down because of the cold temperature,” Knight tells her. “Men can expect their penis to shrivel by up to 50 percent in length and 20 to 30 percent in girth when the weather gets chilly.”

And as for why, well, that’s just science: “The body is programmed to preserve heat and energy,” Knight continues. “So in the cold, it funnels its resources into maintaining blood flow to the middle of your body, where your vital organs are. But in order to do that, your body has to reduce blood flow to your appendages — your fingers, toes and your penis. The testicles also retract and rise closer to the rest of the body so they can also stay warm.”

All this leads to greater desensitization, which means it could also be harder to get hard, and harder to get off. “Men can take longer to orgasm when they are cold,” Knight says.

Uh, isn’t this just shrinkage? Which we already knew was real?

In a sense, yes. Assuming we take all this at penis face value, it makes logical sense: In the same way summer penis makes your dick look and feel bigger, winter penis would make your dick and balls look and feel smaller, because baby it’s cold outside. “Not a big deal,” Scott writes, “but worth being aware of.”

Not big, indeed! In fact, quite small. But certainly perplexing. But it’s basically the same thing as summer penis. No, your dick isn’t really bigger or smaller, but it’s susceptible to weather changes that offer a clear assist or a frustrating cockblock.

So for that, we apologize — for opening up this veritable Pandora’s dick box of information about the penis that now pushes penis owners onto an emotional roller coaster of seasonal conditions to anticipate. If summer penis roars like a lion, then yes, winter penis must cry like a snowflake. But what of spring and autumnal penis? Do they offer a neutral respite from the summer tentpole, the winter discontent of the tiny dong? Do off-season penises manifest in a soft sigh of defeat? Exist in a kind of penis equilibrium, neither good or bad, big or small?

But before we all drive ourselves off a cliff, we should remind ourselves, in the words of George Harrison: All things must pass. “Surely as the leaves must fall,” my colleague Miles Klee writes, “the dick has its autumnal transition.” Just as summer penis takes its own opportunistic turn toward greatness, winter penis pesters only as long as the season itself. It is a state of being only if you let it be, or alternately, if you actually don’t layer up your dick enough in the winter so that the cold actually affects it. (Pro tip: Learn to crochet. Or quilt.)

In other words, it’s only really applicable if your dick is actually constantly out there in the cold right before you try to fuck. Sure, it’s cold in the winter in most places, but unless you’re trying to fuck in a park on a blanket of snow, or within 30 seconds of getting inside the door after taking a cold breeze up the pant leg, chill out. Most of us aren’t trying to ramp up that dick until we’re inside in toastier conditions.

In other other words, don’t worry. Most partners of the winter penis don’t try to go from zero to hard dick in 60 seconds in the winter anyway. Unless you’re actually in a position of having zero heat in your humble abode, or, say, trying to fuck in a walk-in freezer — and please don’t — I think most men are probably immune from the winter penis freeze. You’re probably wearing long johns or layers, and you’re probably not getting into the mood until the fires are lit, the gas heater is on, or at the very least, you’re under a blanket. You get inside, you warm up, you light a fire, you have a hot toddy, you run to the bathroom, you stretch out your frigid member, and so on.

So if you’re not whipping your dick out in subzero conditions, I don’t believe any man should let winter penis stop him — or his johnson — from living the fully engorged summer penis life he, like the partner he loves, is entitled to.