Last updated: Mar 02, 2016
With long hours at the office, money woes, and all the other stuff of family life, who has time for passion? But according to psychotherapist and sex educator Laura Berman, PhD, passion is so essential to healthy relationships that its worth making time for. In her new book, aptly titled The Passion Prescription: Ten Weeks to Your Best Sex—Ever! (Hyperion, $24.95), Berman offers a fun, easy-to-follow plan to improve your sex life.

Her step-by-step passion-makeover program wont require you to master the art of sexual aerobics. Instead, the clinical assistant professor of OB-GYN and psychiatry at Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine explores ways to overcome emotional hang-ups and health issues that take the fun out of sex.

Though you may not levitate, Berman promises you that after the 10-week program, you can definitely count on having a rapturously good time.

So how do you put more sizzle into a love connection?
Well, to really bond with your partner on an intimate level, you must do two things: be willing to discuss your sexual desires and be honest with yourself about why youre not getting what you need.

Isnt that easier said than done?
Youre right. Talking about sex can be emotionally draining. And with so many of us suffering from ‘hurried woman syndrome—trying to do everything from having a career to taking care of a family—its no wonder we dont have the energy to feel sexy, talk sexy, or even complain about whats going wrong sexually. Shutting down isnt the answer, though. If you arent willing to explore your sexuality and express your desires, your relationship may eventually unravel. Why? When the sexual energy in a relationship hits low tide, couples often disconnect emotionally, even if the marriage doesnt end in divorce or isnt shattered by an illicit affair.

How do you discuss improving your sex life without suggesting that your partner is lousy in the sack?
Let me be clear here: You cant have a candid, productive conversation about sex if you dont trust each other. Remember, sex is a very sensitive and personal issue. Blaming your partner for your dissatisfaction will quickly squash any fruitful discussion. Instead, share what you learned from this article or my book that will help you spice things up a bit. Just having the talk may spark your partners creativity and willingness to find new ways to turn you on.

How do you start acting sexy if youre tired, overworked, and maybe a little embarrassed?
Women are overly critical of themselves, especially when it comes to sex and body image. They often think things like, ‘Im not sexy enough, not pretty enough, ‘My body isnt perfect, ‘Im just no good in bed. If you want to achieve great sex, you must forget that negative script and release your ‘inner vixen, which may not be easy.

Although most women arent exhibitionists, learning to love our bodies will make us feel sexier. Looking the part helps, too. Dressing up in sexy outfits can be fun and take many forms. Wrap yourself in his starched white shirt and leave just enough buttons open for a hint of cleavage. Or slip into a silky red-hot negligee and watch the sparks fly. If you want to greet your partner in a boa and a pair of stilettos, and little else, just do it. Men are visual creatures. Hell love anything you try.

OK, enough foreplay. Will your guide guarantee the Big O?
You may be surprised by this, but for many women having an orgasm isnt the key to sexual satisfaction. Sex is about pleasure, and the emotional and physical intimacy that women feel during the act of sex. By focusing on the sensations and enjoyment of the moment, sex can be wonderful even if you dont achieve an orgasm.

So whats the bottom line?
Thats simple: Take responsibility for your own pleasure. Learn what your body responds to and use that knowledge to guide your partner. The amount of sexual energy you devote to a relationship determines the level of passion youll experience. And sexual energy comes from connecting with your partner in a way that involves your bodies and your minds.