Leon, 41, Philadelphia My wife and I had been married for nine years. Sex was good, but after our two kids were born, it became much less frequent. On my birthday, she arranged for her mother to stay with the kids while we had dinner at our favorite restaurant and spent a night at a hotel. There my wife gave me my birthday gift—a Polaroid camera. As I opened it, she undressed, revealing some very spicy underclothes. She opened an overnight bag packed with an array of lacy underthings, floaty scarves and assorted toys and creams. My wife told me I could photograph her any way I chose, playing out any scenario I wanted. This was a fantasy I’d once shared with her, and now, for my birthday, she was making it come true. I dressed her up and she teased me with all sorts of salacious poses and role-playing. By the time we actually made love much, much later, with those hot snapshots spread all around us on the bed, it was absolutely indescribable. Let’s just say it was my best birthday ever.

Benjamin, 51, New York I had planned a vacation at an exclusive hotel in the Caribbean. It would begin Memorial Day weekend and end the following Wednesday. My girlfriend was coming with me but made it clear that she could not stay past Memorial Day; she was extremely busy at work. Wanting to support her and despite my disappointment, I accepted her caveat. After we had an amazing time, Memorial Day came and she packed to go home. Late that night we made love on our oceanfront balcony, beneath the stars with the moon lighting our faces and bodies, and the waves crashing in the background. And even though it was as if every lovemaking cliché in the movies had come to life, it was truly the most wonderful sexual experience I’d ever had. At the end, as she lay in my arms and we stared out at the ocean, feeling the warmth of the wind blowing in, she whispered in my ear: “I think I have to stay another day.”

Charles, 30, Colorado Springs My wife and I had been married about five years, and we were having problems with sex: I wanted sex more than she did. In the heat of one of our frequent arguments about the topic, I said, “What do you want me to do, find a woman who actually wants to do it with me?” I didn’t know if I even really meant it, but I was frustrated. After that we stopped arguing about sex, but we also stopped having it. After about two weeks of the silent treatment, we attended the rehearsal dinner before the wedding of a friend of ours. There was much love in the room. We were getting lots of congrats for being married and staying together. I looked over at my wife, and she was looking at me, smiling. She signaled me to walk out of the room with her. I followed her upstairs into a guest bedroom where people had put their coats. She lay on top of one—it might have even been somebody’s fur—opened her legs, pulled up her skirt and whispered, “F— me.” I was so turned on—that she was making a move, that she wanted me, that we were doing it in secret in the coatroom. It blew my mind.

Safe and Sexy
Dr. Hilda Hutcherson offers five tips on how to protect yourself without losing the passion

1. Create a pleasure pack. Fill a red satin pouch with a variety of condoms in different shapes, colors, textures and flavors. The Japanese condoms, like Kimono, as well as the new Pleasure Plus and Inspiral condoms, have a reputation for a higher degree of sensitivity and pleasure.

2. Use your lips to roll on the condom. With your mouth in the shape of an O, place the condom between your lips. Use your lips and tongue to slowly roll the condom down his penis. Be sure to cover your teeth with your lips to avoid damaging the condom. Practice with a cucumber.

3. Make love with the lights on. Sensual massage will add heat to your sex play and will give you the opportunity to inspect his genitals before becoming more intimate.

4. Plan a safe-sex date. Schedule an appointment with a physician or clinic for each of you, and go together. Celebrate your completion of testing for STDs with dinner.

5. Use a toy to stimulate each other. One of the most exciting is a new vibrating condom that can be purchased at condomania.com.