Nowadays, stress is a very common problem experienced by most people at some point in their lives. As well as affecting your emotional state and mental health, it can also have an impact on your sexual health.

If you're experiencing stress then it's important that you take the steps to help yourself unwind and ensure that it doesn't affect your sexual wellbeing.

How does stress affect your sex life?

Although sex can actually be a way of relieving stress, it can also be negatively affected by stress, making you less aroused and less likely to want sex which may affect your sexual confidence - and potentially that of your partner.

This can put more pressure on your relationship, especially from a physical point of view, potentially adding to your feelings of stress and creating a vicious cycle.

How can you stop stress affecting your sex life?

If you often feel stressed and find that these emotions stop you from wanting or enjoying sex, here are some helpful sex tips that could help you:

Don't think sex only covers penetration

Sex can encompass a range of activities from erotic caressing, massage and touching to oral sex and play with sex toys and other items. If you're not in the mood for penetrative sex or, if a man is struggling to get an erection then engaging in other forms of sexual activity can help to build your arousal and confidence without placing pressure to perform. You and your partner can still enjoy orgasms from this kind of sexual activity and will benefit from the intimacy of being together without any pressure.

Never fake it

If you fake interest in sex or an orgasm then, despite your best acting skills, your partner may smell a rat. Knowing that you are just going through the motions will not do their confidence any good or make you feel better about sex. If you're not in the mood then you're best off being honest with your partner and getting intimate in another way or at another time.

If you fake interest in sex or an orgasm then, despite your best acting skills, your partner will be likely to smell a rat.

Rekindle the romance

Sex isn't only a physical act, it's also a largely emotional and psychological one. For this reason it is important that you don't purely focus on the physical aspects of lovemaking but take the time to rekindle the romance with your partner too. Enjoy a romantic candle-lit meal together and talk to each other. Paying each other compliments and discussing what attracts you to one another - both physically and emotionally - can really help to boost your confidence and make you feel more relaxed and less stressed.

It is important that there is no pressure or expectation of sex during this quality time though. Any sexual activity should always occur naturally and not be forced or scheduled for the sake of it.