Dear Jack: What a fascinating topic! This is not a theory Lucy has heard before, but as a strong promoter of all kinds of health—including prostate health—she wasted no time in tracking down an answer for you.
In fact—and, admittedly, much to Lucy’s surprise—what you’ve heard is true, confirms Dr. Leigh Firn, a primary care provider here at MIT Medical. “High ejaculatory frequency does seem to protect against prostate cancer,” he says. “This includes sexual intercourse, nocturnal emissions, and masturbation.”
According to Firn, the Harvard Health Professionals Study, which followed almost 30,000 men aged 46–81 for more than eight years, found that men who ejaculated 21 or more times a month reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 33 percent compared with men who reported just 4–7 ejaculations a month. A smaller study in Australia obtained similar results. “How this protective mechanism works is unknown,” Firn continues. “In theory, emptying the prostate of potentially irritating or harmful substances might be one such mechanism.”
So, there you have it: Not only do researchers and experts in sexuality agree that masturbation is part of normal, healthy, sexual behavior; it’s actually good for you! Lucy thanks you again for an interesting and entertaining question and wishes you the best of health from head to, uh, toe. —Lucy