When it comes to masturbation, there’s no magic number that captures the ideal frequency for health and sexual well-being. Cranking the rod is certainly good for it - when it comes to erectile function, the rule is generally "use it or lose it." Not all masturbation techniques are healthy, however, and some can just get old. For optimal sexual function and penis health, men should consider the following four masturbation tips.

1) Avoid the death grip. Squeezing real hard and going to town might feel great in the moment, but it can lead to reduced sensation and pleasure when with a partner. That’s because this masturbation method trains the penis to respond to this particular type of pressure, and only to this. Men who strangle the tool during solo play may find that the sensation when inside a partner’s body is quite different, and the penis may not feel as much pleasure as it could. This can lead to performance and relationship problems.

2) Avoid the hardcore stuff. It’s natural to be curious about the breadth of visual stimuli out there - and, thanks to the internet, the territory is vast indeed. However, regularly watching very hardcore, extreme pornography can, like implementing the death grip, train the penis to respond to a narrow and unrealistic range of visual stimuli or scenarios. Since many of the things seen in extreme videos are not likely to be recreated with a partner, at least not every time, sexual function can suffer.

3) Switch up the technique. There are many different ways to self-gratify. Most men use the full hand wrapped around the rod and have a routine involving certain rhythms and variations on grip tightness. If this is feeling stale, or if a man just wants new experiences, he can try some of the following exciting methods:

- Thrusting into the hand - rather than moving the hand up and down, lube it up and thrust the penis in and out as if it were a body orifice of a partner.

- Focus on the base - the base of the penis is highly sensitive in some men, but doesn’t always receive due focus.

- Palm play - apply lube to the palm and rub the head of the penis against it.

- Alternating rings - make a ring around the base of the penis with the forefinger and thumb of one hand and then slide it up to the head; once there, do the same with the opposite hand and continue alternating.

- Incorporate the balls - some men find they enjoy pulling the testicles down rhythmically or massaging them, especially when nearing release.

- Edging - a man can perform this practice by bringing himself near the point of climax, then stopping, waiting for the erection to soften slightly, then starting the process again, repeating three or four times. The resulting release will be very intense.

4) Use lube. Friction is pleasurable, but a lack of adequate lubrication can lead to a dry, raw and sore male organ. This may cause delays in one’s ability to masturbate again or to have sex with a partner. Keeping the hand lubed up will help men protect their members from damage.

Men can keep their members in tip-top shape by washing in warm water daily; they can up their penis care routine with the daily application of a quality penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). Use after a vigorous solo play session will help soften and smooth out the skin, thanks to ingredients like Shea butter and Vitamin E. Another skin-friendly ingredient to look for is vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and, therefore, youthful-looking skin. Also look for vitamin A, whose antibacterial properties help fend off unwanted odors.