Masturbation is not only a common activity but also a healthy one. It’s a safe and completely natural way to explore the body, release built-up sexual tension, and sexually educate one’s self. Everybody does it, and it’s becoming more and more common for people to talk about it in public and share tips and truths about self-pleasure. Despite all the myths out there, there are actually no physically harmful side effects of masturbation when done in moderation. However, excessive masturbation can harm relationships, health, and everyday life. When does as part of a healthy routine though, masturbation is an enjoyable, normal, and healthy way to amuse oneself.

Here are five common side effects of masturbation. Some are good and some are bad, you make the choice on how to benefit from the good and steer away from the not so good.

1) Reduces Prostate Cancer – Some studies out there suggest that regular ejaculation, like that done through masturbation, has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. How much is regular? A 2016 study confirmed that men who ejaculated 21 times or more each month saw a 20 percent decrease in the likelihood of prostate cancer. This is the best of both world – men can fight cancer and do something they love!

2) Mood Improvement – Stress is a killer and often is the result of or leads to poor mental health. Engaging in regular sexual stimulation (solo or with a partner) can lead to several mood-altering benefits. Some of these include the release of built-up stress, relaxation, boosting the mood, and feeling pleasure. These all stimulate the release of dopamine, the feel-good hormone.

3) Physical Improvements – Want to sleep better, perform better, and tone up? Masturbation can help! Not only does it relax participants leading to better sex, but it is also its own kind of workout. It relieves muscle cramping and strengthens the muscles in the pelvis and anal areas. Not only that, but it also puts a man more in touch (no pun intended) which his body and encourages self-esteem and positive body image.

4) Guilt or Shame – Well, there are a few unfavorable side effects and shame is definitely one of them. Many men feel guilt or shame for masturbating due to a whole host of circumstances ranging from religion, social mores, and even fear of upsetting a partner who is threatened by masturbation. Any man who experiences guilt or shame from masturbating should take the time to talk to a professional to work through issues and embrace a healthy attitude toward masturbation.

5) Addiction – Like any other pleasurable experience, masturbation can be addicting. Masturbating too much or with too tight of a grip can reduce sensation and cause performance problems with partners. It can also cause penile injury if a man is not careful.

Keep the penis in tip-top shape for self-love

Keep the member in shape for ultimate self-gratification with a few no-nonsense tips. First, keep the penis clean and dry at all times. Wash daily, or more as needed, and be sure to be thorough in process and use a gentle cleanser formulated for delicate skin.

After cleansing the skin, a specially formulated penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which has been clinically proven safe and mild for skin) should be applied to promote supple skin and decrease friction and nerve damage that can sometimes come with frequent masturbation. Look for creams with a natural base like Shea butter or vitamin E and include other vitamins that promote penile wellness like A, C, and D. Regular moisturizing with these special creams will keep the skin elastic and always ready for whatever activities await it.