Anticipation. It’s one of life’s most underrated and overlooked sensations. Remember the moments leading up to your first kiss? How you felt seconds before you touched someone you’d been longing for? The wondering. The waiting. Would it happen? When? What would it be like?

When we’re dating, we have the chance to experience this again and again. But once we have a partner to whom we’ve committed monogamy, well, then, the anticipation is gone. You know your partner is there. You know what it’s going to be like. You know how he or she will react and how you will as well.

Well, there is one surefire way to bring back the sweet agony of anticipation. Don’t do it.

Seriously. Put an all out ban on all things sexual. Make it a rule. Set a date. And don’t cheat. It’ll ruin all of the fun. Decide on the rules. No touching at all? Only non-sexual touching? Fooling around, but no sealing the deal?

It’s totally up to you as a couple how you play. Or, rather, don’t play, in this case. But I can tell you this, the more extreme the ban, the more delicious the reward.

Now, just because you’re not having sex doesn’t mean that all things sexual are off limits necessarily. Here are three ways to help stoke the fire when you’re just not doing it:

1. Something to talk about. Just because you’re not actually doing it doesn’t mean you can’t write about it or talk about it. Leave your partner notes about how much you can’t wait for the ban to be lifted and what you plan to do to him or her. Call your partner in the middle of the day and tempt him or her with promises you intend to keep. It’s all about keeping your minds engaged until your bodies can get back into the game too.

2. Fly solo. There’s no reason you can’t still take care of business yourself even though the partner play is temporarily off the table. This can be the perfect time to take some time for yourself that you might not otherwise bother to take. Maybe experiment with a new toy or two or tend to yourself differently then usual. And be sure to tell your partner what you’re up to. He or she will likely be terribly jealous that you’re pleasuring yourself instead of him or her.

3. Do your homework. If you’re not doing it, you have more time to learn more about doing it in other ways. Read an erotic book. Watch an educational adult film. Maybe even take a class. It’s vital that you sharpen your saw when it comes to your career. And it’s just as important when it comes to sex. How can you be the best possible partner if you don’t do your homework? Practice may make perfect. But you have to have something to practice first!

So much of sex has to do with the build-up. But, at least for some, it also has to do with the forbidden. Sex in public, talking dirty, any number of fetishes, all of that has to do with the how being naughty ramps things up when you’re, well, being naughty. That’s what purposefully not having sex can simulate, because once you do it again, you have the sensation of being bad.

I say purposefully because it’s not just a matter of not doing it. It’s about not allowing yourselves to do it. It’s the game that gives it its appeal. And, yes, it is a game. And, no, it isn’t rocket science. But the point is, it’s a simple way to play with a partner who once drove you mad and can once again if you just reset your thinking a bit.

That’s why, believe it or not, this works for couples who aren’t having enough (or any sex). If you’re carelessly not having sex, your head isn’t in the right place to improve things. The less sex you have, the more you forget about it. But when you disallow sex, when you all out ban it, you may suddenly find you want it. Just like telling a kid they can’t have something. They didn’t care about it before. But now that it’s unattainable, they want it. A lot. Same phenomenon at play here.

The only thing hotter than having great sex is having even better sex after taking a hiatus. So, have one last hurrah and mark your calendars. You’ll be amazed at how hot your engine will burn once it’s been banned from the track and had plenty of time to rev up in earnest. Ladies and gentleman, start your engines!

Jenny Block is a freelance writer based in Dallas. She is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Her work appears in "One Big Happy Family," edited by Rebecca Walker and "It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters," edited by Andrea Buchanan.Visit her website at www.jennyonthepage.com or check out her blog at www.jennyonthepage.blogspot.com.