You need: A clock or an egg timer.
How to play: Pick a time interval -- 20 minutes, let's say. (If you're like us, even 10 minutes will be a change from the norm.) Whatever interval you choose, absolutely do not allow penetration until that much time has elapsed.
Why: Most busy couples have foreplay down to a science -- and a bare minimum as well. "Time Bomb" refocuses you on the pregame show, the part that used to be so much fun before you lived together. You'll be surprised by how much slowing down changes things. You get really creative. You get really hot.
BLIND MAN IN THE BUFF
You need: A scarf, a man's necktie or a blindfold.
How to play: Blindfold him. Lead him to the bed or other locale. Then proceed to ravish him -- slowly, recklessly, teasingly, however you feel like doing it. You call the shots. Let his arousal be your guide.
Why: Not being able to see during sex has two major effects -- it dramatically increases both sensitivity and psychological vulnerability. Either one is a powerful aphrodisiac. Together they can create a love explosion.
Variation: He blindfolds you.
YOU ARE MY PRISONER
You need: Four men's neckties or more elaborate restraints available from a sex-toy store or from an Internet site; and a bed, preferably with bedposts.
How to play: He ties your wrists and ankles to the bedposts and has his way with you.
Why: I have to admit, this is my favorite game -- and I never even tried it until I was in my late 30s. I find it incredibly erotic to be completely powerless, to be the absolute center of his attention and to have no responsibility for or power over what happens. I find it erotic just to think about. If you've never tried it, please do.
Variation: If you don't have bedposts, you may be able to tie your wrists to some part of your headboard or tie them together over your head or behind your back. You can get extra-long ties and be tied to the legs of the bed. This can be combined with blindfolding, but I actually prefer to see.
You need: A hairbrush or a riding crop -- or nothing at all.
How to play: Tell your husband all the things you did wrong today. (You failed to take your coupons to the grocery store. You forgot the name of your new receptionist at work. You told your adolescent son to go to hell.) Then kneel on the bed. Your husband spanks you, using his hand or a hairbrush or a not-too-scary disciplinary accessory.
Why: Spanking feels good, actually. A smart smack on the butt creates a tingly, alert sensation that combines well with the other feelings of sex. This is another thing I tried quite late in life and have been surprised to find is fun. I like it even without any role-playing or confessions -- really.
Variation: The sensations are especially interesting if he combines them with playing with the various woman parts that will perforce be on display during your spanking. This is an excellent time to try inserting a vibrator.
BEACH BLANKET BINGO
You need: A big towel or blanket and a bottle of massage oil or cream.
How to play: Spread your towel on the bed or carpet and grease each other up with massage oil -- legs, torso, breasts, everywhere. Now roll around for awhile and see what happens.
Why: You will really be surprised at the difference a little lubricant makes in the feeling of skin on skin. Sure, it's a little messy. But worth it.
Variation: If you have a favorite secluded spot, this is fun to do outdoors, even on your own patio.
Tip: Don't put mint or eucalyptus oil on sensitive genital areas. But if you have a nonirritating lubricant, greasing up the sexual equipment can be part of the fun.
Note: Oil-based lubricants, including massage oil, can degrade latex. So don't play this game if you're using condoms or a diaphragm.
You need: Scissors, a brand-new razor and shaving cream.
How to play: Your husband shaves your pubic hair. First, take a hot bath to soften your skin and hair. Second, use scissors to trim the length. Third, lie on the bed or on a table and let that shaving expert, your husband, foam you up and shave you. It's scary at first, but if he's gentle you will not get nicked. He can shave everything or just neaten you up. One friend's artistic husband shaved her hair into a heart.
Why: This is how the girls in porn magazines look, and you will be amazed at the sparks that fly. Many women find the whole area much more sensitive without the fur.
Variation: Shave yourself without telling your husband, and let him discover what you've done. Be careful when shaving parts you cannot see (this is what mirrors are for). Also, once you've shaved, decorating yourself with the edible treat of his choice -- whipped cream, warmed fudge sauce, frozen orange-juice concentrate -- can be fun.
Note: Later, use baby lotion or another gentle cream to soothe the freshly shaved skin. And yes, it does get a little itchy when it grows back.
You need: A car and a parking spot where you won't be interrupted (your driveway and your garage late at night are possibilities).
How to play: Have sex in the car.
Why: A blast from the past.
Sex School You need: Nothing.
How to play: Pretend that one of you is a virgin. The other is going to teach him or her how it's all done. Give a step-by-step lesson on how to use hands, lips and other body parts to stimulate the teacher. Part of the game is to correct and improve technique as you go along.
Why: You find out things your partner likes that you didn't even know. When we did this my husband showed me things to do during oral sex that I really had never tried before, and I know I'm doing a better job now.
If you'd like to get the action started with a board game, try those available via the Website Hustler.com. Hearts Are Wild, for example, is a love adventure game for two players; it comes with a game board, card decks, cinnamon massage oil, a blindfold and a feather tickler. Around the World in Bed comes with a dartboard and male and female cutout figures to stick on the wall. Bumps and Grinds involves stripping, drinking and candlelight. This could be a great birthday or anniversary surprise -- for both of you.