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Hungarian “Jailhouse Rock”: Incidence and Morbidity of Vaseline Self-Injection of the Penis


Zoltán Bajory, MD, PhD, Department of Urology, University of Szeged, Kalvaria sgt. 57, Szeged 6725, Hungary. Tel: 709420429; Fax: +36-62-561-301; E-mail:


Introduction.  Vaseline self-injection into the penis is currently a popular procedure in prisons. Since such injections are illegal, severe complications of the procedure can often remain hidden.

Aim.  To identify the incidence, motivation, and morbidity of Vaseline self-injection into the penis among inmates.

Methods.  A total of 4,735 inmates at the largest Hungarian prisons were asked to complete a questionnaire relating to their sexual life, whether they had self-injected Vaseline into their penis, the motivation leading them to resort to Vaseline self-injection, any complications observed and the level of satisfaction attained.

Main Outcome Measures.  A 17-point questionnaire on the circumstances, motivations, and complications of Vaseline self-injection among prisoners.

Results.  Of the 1,905 responders, 15.7% admitted Vaseline self-injection. Only around one-fifth of the Vaseline injected subjects had not been satisfied with the original size of their penis and their sexual life up to the time of the injection, a proportion similar to that among Vaseline nonusers. While the satisfaction with the sexual life became significantly worse after the Vaseline injection, the satisfaction with the penis size did not change and an erectile dysfunction developed de novo in 21.4% of cases. The most common motivation for self-injection was a recommendation by another inmate; it was rarely recommended by a sexual partner. Complications had developed among 25.4% of the Vaseline users and 50.3% of them were not satisfied with the result of the Vaseline injection. Of the Vaseline users, 22.4% regretted the self-injection, while the rate among those who had developed complications was 53%.

Conclusions.  The self-injection of Vaseline into the penile skin proved to be somewhat of a trend among these inmates. The complications depended mainly on the amount of Vaseline injected, the poor hygienic circumstances, and the personal tolerability. Increased awareness is needed for the prevention of this social, psychological, and physical problem. Rosecker Á, Bordás N, Pajor L, and Bajory Z. Hungarian “jailhouse rock”: Incidence and morbidity of Vaseline self-injection of the penis. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.