Ask a guy what he thinks is the most appropriate time for masturbation and likely answers might be "Whenever she’s tired," "Whenever I have an erection" and "Now!" Although the rate of masturbation varies from man to man, most guys are happy to take matters into their own hands on a fairly regular basis. And why not? Masturbation is part of a healthy sex life and can be really good for penis health as well. But pursuit of pure penile pleasure aside, are there times when masturbating pays off beyond merely putting a big smile on a dude’s face?

Absolutely. While there is nothing wrong with engaging in self-fondling simply because a guy feels horny, there are times when the act of masturbation can have some much-needed benefits.

Examples? Read on!

- Before bedding a stranger. A lot of men have had this happen to them. They meet someone at a bar when they’re feeling especially randy. Before thinking about it, they end up in bed with them - and regret it the next morning (or even soon after ejaculating). The truth is that often when a guy thinks with his penis, he ends up wishing he hadn’t. One way to address this next time is by slipping into the men’s room and masturbating before taking the step of running off to bed with someone. With the urgent desire for sex at least momentarily sated, a dude is in a much better place for judging whether he’s really interested in someone or just interested in relieving his erect penis.

- Before accepting a job. Or buying a house. Or any of a hundred important decisions. Why? Basically because masturbation releases oxytocin and prostaglandin, two hormones which have the effect of calming a man down and making him feel more at ease. This is an ideal state in which to weigh the pros and cons of a situation and therefore make a better decision. So before rushing into a life-changing decision, try a little reflexive self-stroking first. It pays off.

- At bedtime. Actually, partner sex at bedtime is fine, too. The point is to have an orgasm before drifting off to dreamland. Studies show that masturbation can help a guy fall asleep more easily and sleep more peacefully for longer stretches. Again, it’s those relaxation-inducing hormones at work here.

- To focus. When the brain is all scattered and it’s hard to focus on the important job at hand - try a little handjob. When a man masturbates, he is turning all his concentration and attention on himself. The brain goes into something resembling a meditative state, so that after orgasm, a guy is in a much better position to re-focus on what is important.

- During that mid-afternoon slump. Lots of people hit a wall in the afternoon. The rush that got them through the morning is gone, and the after-lunch surge has slackened off. A nice siesta is what is called for, but that’s not possible at work. However, a quick trip to the men’s bathroom can give a fellow just the pick-me-up he needs to get over the hump and make it through the rest of the day.

Masturbation pays off in many ways - but in order to get that payoff, a guy needs to be sure his penis is in good shape for all that stimulation. Regular use of a first level penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can help here. Frequent or aggressive masturbation can sometimes lead to a bit of de-sensitization of the penis due to peripheral nerve damage. A crème with L-carnitine, which has neuroprotective properties, can aid in restoring lost penile sensation. In addition, a crème should contain L-arginine, an amino acid that helps boost nitric oxide production. This helps keep penile blood vessels open and receptive for increased blood flow.