Why are people putting apple cider vinegar on their dicks?

Maxine McCrann
Originally Published: 

Despite the fact that we all have enough health concerns to deal with due to the raging pandemic, penis-havers’ quest for more continues apace. Recently, ads have been popping up on porn sites that recommend dousing your dick in apple cider vinegar (commonly referred to by wellness influencers as ACV) to make it bigger. One ad brags that Braggs ACV can make you a "conqueror of women." Let's just set that problematic claim aside for a moment to face the reality that some people with penises may actually try it. Here’s what apple cider vinegar will actually do for your dick, according to doctors.

As a person without a penis, I am mystified. Experts, too, are confused by the ACV dick dunking fad. “Putting your penis in apple vinegar is one of the more interesting and perplexing trends I've seen,” says Joseph Pazona, a Nashville-based urologist. Vinegar is, after all, known to be caustic, and dermatologists have been trying to tell us for years not to put it on our faces, so it seems natural to avoid putting it on something else that’s kind of sensitive.

The impetus for trying a potentially dangerous cock-tail (sorry) is not particularly surprising though: The ads claim that ACV will make your dick 65% bigger. For reference, according to studies, the average dick size is between 5.1 and 5.5 inches, so if you add 65% to a 5.5 inch dick, that would put you at a whopping 9.25 inches. Those are some impressive gains, but I’d also like to point out that the average dildo is only about 4 to 6 inches, which leads me to believe that bigger may not necessarily be better to folx who want to be penetrated. But that’s a whole other story.

“Men will do anything to increase the size of their penis,” confirms Pazona. Fair enough. But if you click through the ads that make these giant claims, they aren’t even actually selling ACV. I personally couldn’t deal with enough of the infomercial to figure out what it was selling, but VICE’s Samantha Cole persevered through a whopping 40 minutes of the penis enlargement instructional videos the ACV ad linked to (thanks, Samantha, for taking one for the team). She reported that, in fact, the product the ads are selling has nothing to do with apple cider vinegar and is instead some kind of “magic” penis supplement.

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It’s hard to say how many people with penises are trying it, but it isn’t hard for doctors to say what the consequences might be. “Since apple cider vinegar is acidic, this could cause severe irritation or inflammation of the urethra,” says Ponoza. I don’t have a penis, but I did try ACV as a toner on my face and found that it made my skin look inflamed and really burned in places where I had small abrasions.

So is there any truth to the claim that it’ll make your penis bigger? “Unfortunately no. If it did, then I'd have a gallon jug of apple cider vinegar in my pantry at home,” Pazona jokes.

If you’re worried about the size of your dick, Pazona says that you can see a doctor, but they probably can’t help much. “As a urologist who sees a lot of penises, most are about the same size,” he adds. “There are no known ways to increase penis size with any therapies,” Pazona says. “What you're born with is what you've got.”

Where did this misinformation about ACV come from? Well, like many urban legends, there is some tiny crumb of it based in fact. A few small studies have shown that ingesting ACV can increase cardiovascular health — in rats. And some people inferred that if that health benefit also extends to humans, then ACV could help with erectile dysfunction (ED), since ED is linked to heart health. That’s a lot of ifs. But there is one teeny-tiny reality-based reason that people may think an apple cider vinegar bath makes their dick look bigger.

Because apple cider vinegar is an acid, when you apply it to the skin, it increases blood flow in that area, explains London-based nutritionist Ramona Lehadus. “ACV will not make your penis bigger — but it might make it slightly firmer due to the increased blood flow,” Lehadus says. She emphasizes that this increased firmness is very very temporary, so it can’t be considered a treatment for ED and it definitely won’t make your dick bigger.

Not only will ACV not help your dick health, it could hurt you, so experts are literally begging people to stop putting ACV on their dicks. “If you have a concern, visiting with a board-certified urologist is a better option than putting your penis in something potentially dangerous,” Pazona says. Or, as Lehadus quipped, “You'll have more luck in using the law of attraction to increase your penis size than ACV.”