Even the best-laid plans - and relationships - hit roadblocks. The obstacles that litter this particular path are sensitive ones and must be handled carefully, says Caroline Tiger, author of "The Newlywed's Instruction Manual" for Quirk Books. Here are a few issues and suggestions for how to deal with them:
You find porn. There's a stash of magazines in a paper bag under the bed; you walk in on your husband is surfing porn sites online; or you notice on your cable bill that someone rented "Jugs Across America." You should definitely say something and not keep quiet for fear of embarrassment. Porn is nothing to be ashamed of - it's a way to get to know and understand your partner's sexual appetite and preferences.
Use this to open up a line of conversation - how often do you watch or look at porn? Why do you like that? Etc.
You have trouble asking for what you want. She's been pulling the same moves in the same places, and what she thinks are your pleasure spots are actually just dead zones. To let her know what you want, you're going to have to speak up and that isn't always easy. There are a few ways to go about it:
-Ask what she wants. That'll give her the idea to turn around and do the same (and you should probably be doing this, anyway.)
-Segue into The Ask with some positive reinforcement. When she does something that feels good, you can say, "Oh that feels so good. You know what else would feel great?"
One of you is much more experimental than the other. If your partner shies away from the introduction of toys and positions, ease into your experimental ways gradually. Consider visiting a sex shop together or looking at them together online. That way, you can talk about them and decide together what to try. Keep any discussion light and positive so that your reluctant partner doesn't feel pressured or intimidated.
Your spouse wants to keep a "salsa lesson" appointment, but it falls during a visit to your in-laws. If one of you doesn't feel comfortable in this situation - if the thought of your in-laws walking in on you is distressing rather than exciting - your spouse should make an exception to the usual regimen and agree to postpone the bedroom rendezvous until later.
Caroline Tiger is a freelance journalist and author of "How to Behave," "How to Behave: Dating & Sex," and "The Long Distance Relationship Guide." Visit her online at www.carolinetiger.com.