Masturbation tends to get a bad rap, but it's an activity that the vast majority of men engage in - and enjoy tremendously. In addition to being a great way to pass a boring afternoon, masturbation may also help to relieve the stuffy nose that so many men acquire during the cold and flu season. Paying proper attention to penis care (which may include using masturbation to keep the penis in good working order) may have an impact beyond a guy's mid-section.

Penis-nose connection

How can masturbation help a guy get rid of a stuffy nose? There really doesn't seem to be much of a connection between the penis and the nose - beyond the fact that the nose has a vaguely phallic shape to it. And sometimes both body parts release a thick, gooey liquid.

But beyond that, there seem to be more differences than similarities. A guy rubs one for a good time, but gets little pleasure from rubbing the other. One stays firmly in place; the other swings freely. The nose is always out and about for all to see; the penis is generally more selective about where he makes an appearance.

Yet according to a 2008 paper, there is indeed a connection between these two distinct body parts.

The paper

The paper in question appeared in a 2008 issue of a medical journal called The Journal of Medical Hypotheses. It is entitled "Ejaculation as a potential treatment for nasal congestion in mature males."

The reasoning behind the article is actually kind of simple. As is well known, the male sexual response typically includes the phases of stimulation, erection and ejaculation. In the final phase, ejaculation, the sympathetic nervous system of the body gets kicked into high gear. When that happens, the adrenergic receptors get to working. After ejaculation, these receptors send messages that tell the blood vessels in the penis to constrict. At the same time, this message is sent to other parts of the body - including the nose.

When the nose is suffering from congestion, part of the reason is that the vessels have become inflamed, narrowing the nasal passage. Medications for stuffy noses work to cause constriction to open these passages; the paper theorizes that this same situation occurs after ejaculation.

Not just masturbation

Clearly, masturbation is not the only way for a man to ejaculate. Anything that causes a release of seed, including intercourse, oral sex, or a spontaneous ejaculation from especially exciting visual stimuli, can have the same effect. So a man with a stuffy nose has a whole range of enjoyable options to choose from - theoretically.

However, it seems clear that much of the time, masturbation would be the option most readily at hand, so to speak, for clearing up nasal congestion.

When a man has a stuffy nose, he often has other symptoms - and unfortunately, the hypothesis doesn't extend to positing that masturbation can cure the common cold, alleviate hay fever, banish the flu or decimate an allergy. There also haven't been any controlled studies to validate this hypothesis. Still, it does make good logical sense - and for most men, there wouldn't seem to be a downside to trying to treat that stuffy nose with a little self-gratification.

It's good to remember, though, that as fun as masturbation can be (and as potentially beneficial for a stuffy nose as it may be), sometimes guys get carried away and treat the penis a bit too roughly while giving it a workout. Regular use of a top-notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) can help here. By rubbing in a crème with superior moisturizing agents like Shea butter and vitamin E, a man can soothe a sore penis and help repair topical damage that causes pain. And if that handling has caused some loss of sensation, using a crème with acetyl L-carnitine, which protects against peripheral nerve damage, can help bring proper sensitivity back to man's favorite organ.