It's taken until 2009 to prove something that any upstanding member of the establishment could have told us back in 1889: excessive how's-your-father or indulgent self-abuse is bad for your health. A new study from Nottingham University suggests that men with active sex lives or prone to onanistic extremes in their 20s and 30s are more likely to develop prostate cancer.
This finding - which is perhaps easier to accept at the age of 40 than the age of 14 - raises all kinds of difficult issues.
Let's say we discovered that nookie was as dangerous - and as life-shortening - as smoking. Thankfully, both activities are already banned in public places. But we might have to consider further measures. Warning teenagers in schools, for instance, of the dangers of what tabloid newspapers euphemistically describe as "solo sex". Placing prominent health warnings on copies of Zoo and FHM.
I can see the agony columns of magazines changing radically in the future. Some bloke will write in worrying that he only enjoys relations with his girlfriend once a month. Instead of receiving advice on how to "spice up" activity in the bedroom, he'll be told that he's probably got the balance just about right. In fact, he should maybe consider cutting it out altogether.
It can only be a matter of time before patches are produced. Or we're carrying around chewing gum that reduces our testosterone levels. It will be distributed free at the beach volleyball during the 2012 Olympics.