Q: I have been married for only eight months now, and even though my relationship with my husband has never been heated or passionate, I want to change that. How can I add passion, romance and heat to my marriage? We don't get much time alone; he has three kids and I have one (from previous marriages). I have tried to read as much as possible online, but everyone says the same thing -- give him a sex coupon book. But I am modest and shy, and initiating intimacy is tough for me. I want to learn how to do it without fear.--from iVillager christy_west
A: You have already taken the first -- and often the hardest -- step just by asking for help and wanting to do something to fix a sex life that needs a passion injection. Now, here's what I'd do: First up, don't beat yourself up about this. You've got four children around, and (God bless them) children are a definite lust dampener. You're tired most of the time and have little privacy, so I wouldn't put unrealistic expectations on your sex life -- it's unlikely you've got the time or energy for wild, passionate sex seven nights a week. Instead, set aside some time on the weekend, preferably at a time when you're both a little relaxed. It's not sex time, it's just time for the two of you to connect. Do you have a support system -- maybe grandparents or friends who wouldn't mind baby-sitting for a few hours over the weekend? Talk to your husband and tell him you think you both need private time together to do something nice. Let him help you organize this, and ask that he make it a priority -- that he not organize anything else for that time.