Everything is going right.

The whole night has been a lesson in creating a masterpiece, but one piece is missing. The mood is right, you both are feeling it. Yeah, everything is perfect; you remember that you have a paper due on Monday and you have three tests next week, plus your boss is hounding you to work more and now the mood’s gone.

So perhaps everything isn’t as peachy as you thought.

Fear not, you’re not alone. A new study conducted by Yankelovitch Partners shows stress as the number-one distraction affecting sexual enjoyment.

“We all feel stress at one time or another,” said Katy Zvolerin of Adam and Eve, a mail-order distributor of erotica. “What’s important is that we recognize it for what it is and make a commitment to do something about it. Remember, sex is often the best way to relieve stress.”

Short-term stress can actually enhance sexual enjoyment, but long-term stress can have adverse effects on one’s proficiency in the bedroom. One of the major effects of stress is fatigue, which does not allow one to relax and enjoy sexual activity.

One-third of those surveyed said they have problems with sexual activity. The problems can vary from person to person.

Alcohol and drugs, including some prescription drugs, can inhibit sexual activity.

“Most people do not know that drugs and alcohol can interfere with their sexual performance,” sociology professor John Delamater said. “Also up to 25 percent of women report to lose sexual desire when on birth control.”

Boredom with a sexual partner can also lead to problems in the bedroom; however, it can easily be remedied.

“Bring the experience away from the bedroom,” psychology professor Janet Hyde said. “Try it on the desk, on the stairs, on the counter, but don’t try it in the sand because you can get sand in some nasty places.”

Experts also recommend purchasing a sex manual or renting an X-rated video for ideas on spicing up your love life.

However, Delamater said boredom can be a sign of a more serious issue.
“Boredom can be a problem in the relationship,” Delamater said. He said he recommends sitting down and communicating with a partner about relationship concerns.

There are also ways to separate everyday life from bedroom experiences.

“Set aside a time and a special place for sex,” Hyde said. “Adequate time is important; don’t engage in sexual interaction when you only have five minutes.”

“Couples who are effective in fighting stress often establish a specific plain, consisting of setting time aside to relax together and to focus on each other,” said sex therapist Dr. Nicholas Aradi.

Aradi said knowing your partner is also an important issue. Casual sexual relationships may cause more performance problems than a steady partner. Address any problems at their sources.

Many problems can be alleviated through simply confronting them. Exercise is also an excellent way to relieve stress, Delamater said.

The overall consensus is to not worry excessively about any problems in the bedroom. Communication with partners is key.