We’re coming up on that time of the year—when the weather warms up, the clothes come off…and the work piles up. People are sunbathing left and right, half-naked hotties are heating up the basketball and volleyball courts; but all of them go unnoticed when final papers, projects, and presentations start to add up. Who can think about sex when Word, statistics software, and Excel are the only programs running on your laptop? Your workload invades even your dreams—instead of having a few hours to fantasize, you toss and turn because you can’t remember if you posted on Sakai or not. The bottom line is, stress sucks, and it zaps your libido to levels that even 75-year-old porn star Shigeo Tokuda would mock and scorn. To help you deal with your anxiety without letting it get in the way of your sex life, I’ve compiled some tips for those who need some assistance in de-stressing.
Put down that shot glassOK, you’re probably simultaneously saying “WTF,” “Oh heck no,” and “she must be crazy,” but while alcohol may temporarily decrease your stress levels, it also opens up blood vessels on the surface of your skin, thus diverting precious blood from your happy nether regions and making it harder for you to get aroused and lubricated. If you want to release some tension, watch how much you drink before you try to get it on, or you risk ending up worse off in the morning: not only being hungover, but sexually frustrated, too.Lighten upYou know how it’s really hard to be angry when you can’t stop laughing? Same logic applies to being stressed. When you find yourself getting overloaded—for me, I develop a serious eye twitch—take a step back and find a way to laugh. You could listen to Mitch Hedberg, watch a few Chris Rock skits, or catch up on South Park—basically whatever will make you laugh will help relax you, which will put you in a better mood and make it easier for you to get in the mood. If you don’t think you could possibly manage to find the time to laugh—which believe me, you can—just give yourself 20 minutes. Pencil in your sex lifeBeing organized is crucial to surviving college in general, but when life gets especially hectic, don’t forget to set time aside for yourself. Not only will this help prevent you from melting down at the Coop because they’re out of your favorite ice cream, but it will help keep your sex life strong. Try to set aside a certain time each week—or day, depending on how ambitious you are—that guarantees uninterrupted time for you and your partner, or just for yourself. While the thought of having to schedule “alone” time into your planner might seem awkward, it’ll go a long way in maintaining your sexual health.Keep in touchOftentimes when people get stressed out, they have the tendency to hole themselves up in their rooms/the library/Hahn Computer Lab/etc, emerging from their havens only for food and classes, but it’s important to maintain contact with the outside world (such as your friends). Even if you can’t spend a lot of time with your partner or friends, try to keep lines of communication going—if anything just to let them know you haven’t collapsed under a pile of research. It’s sort of surprising how far little texts that let someone know you’re thinking of them go—provided that you don’t go overboard.Keeping in touch also applies literally. If you’re just way too exhausted and don’t want to fall asleep in mid-coitus—good luck talking yourself out of that one if you do—cuddling and massages are a great way to relax while still being intimate. Remember the Golden RuleFor those of you who are lucky enough to not be completely stressed out and sexually frustrated, congratulations, but try to practice some empathy for your less fortunate peers. If you’re getting ready to have a headboard-banging good time, be considerate of your hard-working and horny neighbors who really don’t want to be reminded of what they’re missing by having to listen to the rhythmic noises of your passion.