As midterms draw to a close for the semester, many students are dealing with the pressing issue of sex vs. studying.

In the hellish race to cram months worth of material into a week of studying, it’s very tempting to slow down and smell the bed of roses. Sex in any form is a release, a pleasure and a very appealing way to procrastinate.

Whether you are bogged down with the task of reading three novels, developing a marketing strategy to sell skateboards to the elderly or trying to remember the parts of the brain and their functions, studying is never an easy chore. This is why it is all too tempting for students across campus to answer the phone whenever their boyfriend/girlfriend calls to suggest another “study break.”

If you haven’t started Dostoeveky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” by now, why not wait another hour or two? Besides, sex is such a release, maybe it will clear your mind, right?

Although the argument that sex will clear your mind and allow a greater understanding of the literature you are about to devour is very probable, it still does not excuse the fact that midterms are this week, and sex is anytime.

It may seem easy to run over to Dan/Dana’s apartment right now and study for that bio-chem test tomorrow, but will it be so easy to jaunt across campus when your parents have dragged you home due to your low GPA? I don’t think so. That is why I have tried to develop some rules and guidelines for the student with sex on the brain.

First of all, get your mind out of the gutter. I know this seems hypocritical coming from a sex columnist, but it’s time to get down to business (and not that kind of business).

If you are studying at home alone, the easiest way to avoid the temptations of cross-campus lovin’ is to turn off your phone.

I know, I know, you like to leave it on at all times, just in case there’s some kind of emergency, right? Well, it’s the middle of October, all your friends are studying, your family’s just fine without you and who’s going to call a college student when they’re in an emergency, anyway? So turn the damn thing off, and allow yourself some time to get things done.

Another tip for those students studying within the confines of their own homes: Instead of listening to music that’s going to put you in the mood, why not try listening to something that is going to get you so far out of the mood that you won’t even have to think about sex? A little Kenny G. maybe? Some Yanni?

These sure-fire mood-killers are guaranteed to keep your mind clear of anything having to with sex, allowing complete focus on the tasks at hand. If you don’t own the latest Smooth Jazz compilation disk or Michael Bolton’s Greatest Hits, try surfing the radio for any station with a heavy rotation of music best suited for an elevator.

Now, for those of you who choose to take the risk involved in studying with your significant other, the temptation to lose focus and fornicate is much harder to overcome. When your other half is lying right next to you with that cute look of concentration on his or her face, no cd or radio station is going to stop you, Kenny G. be damned.

This is when you need to set up a reward system so that there are clearly defined rules separating pleasure and pain. Why not try taking a half-hour break every couple of hours for “private time.” This allows ample time to cram in as much information as possible for a long period of time but still allows for a release before the pressure becomes unbearable. Also, knowing that you are guaranteed nooky in the near future will allow you to liberate your mind from the concerns of your libido.

And for those of you with real control problems in relation to sex and studying, there’s always the attempt to combine the two. Billy Madison had the right idea here when he studied with his girlfriend/teacher Veronica. For every right answer Billy had, Veronica removed an article of clothing, and for every wrong answer she put one back on. Although this method is only recommended as a last resort, the fact that there is some studying involved remains promising.

So whether you are chilling at home to the smooth sounds of Michael Bolton or on minute 93 of the 120 minutes between study breaks, just remember that cutting down on pleasure is better than no pleasure at all. And of course, when battling the forces within, never forget, it’s always better to fight in armor!

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