Can too much masturbation hurt my sex life? -- Jeremy, 22, Wasilla, Alaska

Sure. And the reason is pretty straightforward: the more often you spank the monkey, the less responsive you’ll be to additional sexual stimulation.

As most guys know, after ejaculation, the penis is unresponsive to further stimulation for a period of time called the latency period. This period can range from only a minute or so for teenagers, to several hours for older men. With repeated ejaculations, the latency period lengthens until you can’t get it up no matter how hot or skilled your partner is in bed.

If you’re masturbating once or twice a day, you’ll be both less interested in sex and less responsive to stimulation than if you didn’t. Whether this is a problem depends on how often you typically have sex and whether you tend to ejaculate too quickly. If you’re only having sex once a week, then beating the bishop once in awhile is normal and probably won’t affect your performance. And if you’re the kind of guy (and there are lots of them) who tends to jump the gun--meaning you orgasm faster than either you or your partner would like—then masturbating a few hours before having sex might actually help things.

Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He’s here to answer reader questions in an effort to get guys to “man up about health.”