Reprinted from The Girlfriends' Guide to Getting Your Groove Back, by Vicki Iovine, by permission of Perigee, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright (c) 2001 by Vicki Iovine. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.
1. Go to bed before you're tired. Remember how in the old days you used to stay awake long enough to notice if the sheets felt like they needed changing, if not to devote another half hour or forty-five minutes to playing the Hokey Pokey? Parents with kids living in their home stay in the laundry room or on the computer until they are seeing double. Then they tumble into bed wearing whatever they put on to cook dinner. This is a romantic "don't."
2.Go to bed naked. Then put on your T-shirt and leggings around midnight (for those mini midnight ramblers). After sleeping together for nearly twenty years, my darling husband an I have gotten a little lazy about the art of flirting, but there's no avoiding the invitation that a smooth nude body brushing against another to get the sparks to fly.
3. Don't rule out sex over dinner. In fact, don't discuss intimacy of any sort during the hellish hours between dinner, the kids' baths and bed. It always sounds like a bad idea when you're looking at a sink full of dirty dishes. Reconsider at least 30 minutes after the last child has retired and you've downed half a glass of nice wine. I promise, it will sound a lot more appealing then.
4. Smell good.
Not like detergent, not like the kids and not like his mother. I don't know about your beloved, but mine loves the way I smell, especially if it's not like the lasagna we just ate. If you can squeeze in a quick shower and a spritz of cologne, better still. Remember sex is for animals and we animals lead with our noses.
5. Shave or wax away unnecessary body hair. Many years ago, my Girlfriend Sondra shared with me the secret that men take hairless legs and armpits to be a personal invitation for fun. According to her, this is so universally understood that saying, "I shaved my legs lest night" is the same things as saying, "I had sex last night."