At 16, I had been kissed, but never reciprocated. When I finally encountered a guy I actually wanted to kiss, I called on my best friend for advice. "Close your eyes, open your mouth and it's a done deal," she said.

When the opportunity for my first real kiss showed up, I leaned in. He closed his eyes; I closed mine. He opened his mouth; I froze. Nothing happened. In fact, the only thing I could do was grab my shoes and run out the front door towards a bus stop. The ride home was a blur. That night, I learned kissing doesn't come naturally. Today, I know that neither does sex.

The older I get, the more I realize good things take time. If I plan to stay married, have fun and build a strong family, I have to put effort into my relationship. And if I want us to be a strong couple, sex must be a priority. We need to keep it fresh and exciting. How do we do that?

Let's talk about sex, baby.

Many couples only talk about sex right before, during, or just after they have it. Why is that? If sex is a major part of marriage, why don't we talk about it more often?

The foundation for great sex is an intimate relationship with your partner. That it turn comes from open, honest communication. Turn off the TV, close your book, and talk. Talk about your expectations; talk about what you like and what you don't; talk about what you want. If we wait until we're having sex to vent our frustrations, desires, inadequacies or insecurities, it takes away from the experience.

I'm too sexy for my man.

We often go to great lengths to impress others – colleagues, friends, even acquaintances – but we forget to take the same care for the person who matters most. Ask your husband what he finds attractive. Does he like it when you dress up? Does lipstick turn him on? And perfume? Or does he prefer you au naturel? If you're comfortable with his suggestions, go ahead, tempt him. He'll appreciate it and you'll both reap the benefits.

My girl wants to party all the time.

Most men think about sex about 39 times a day. Most women don't. No wonder when your husband asks you if you want to "go upstairs" you might reply "What for?" Preparing for sex builds excitment. Giving it some thought ahead of time can help make the experience more enjoyable. Think of it as getting ready for a party.

When throwing a party, we women go to great lengths. We remember the tiniest details. Not only do we sweep, scrub and decorate the house, we make sure we look and feel fabulous ourselves. Do we take the same care preparing for the party in our bedroom?

Since sex is one of life's keenest pleasures, a little extra care in planning will heighten our anticipation and enhance our experience. Some couples add ambiance with candles and sparking nectars. Others have fun with scavenger hunts leading up to the bedroom. Experiment with ways to spice things up. Be daring, while ensuring both of you still enjoy yourselves.

Are we having fun yet?

Finally, laughter is truly the best medicine. Learn to laugh at yourself, even in the bedroom. Enjoy each other. Don't be too serious. Let your conversation be playful and your heart light. Sex was created for pleasure; it's a gift the two of you share. Enjoy it as one of the benefits of a fulfilling marriage.

- Women Today Magazine