Remember when you first met? The sex was amazing. It was new. It was exciting. And it was frequent. You couldn’t wait to get home to one another. Sometimes you had it twice a day. It was always on your mind. Will he touch me there tonight? Will she lick me here? Will we do it all night? I wonder if we’ll try…

And then life sets in. It’s great being a couple, but if familiarity doesn’t breed contempt, it certainly does breed predictability. I mean, it’s nice to know you have someone to be intimate with. And familiarity can be very sexy, knowing just how to get her revved up or knowing just how to keep him panting at the brink.

But after a while, your sex life can also get, well, boring. Or, even worse, nonexistent. Nature of the beast, I’m afraid. Sadly, you might not even notice how bad it’s gotten. It can be really easy to get so busy paying the mortgage and going to work that you forget about the good stuff. Not to worry, though. Once you admit there’s a problem, you won’t even need 12 steps to recover.

Nothing is more fun or more inspiring than a good challenge. Remember when you were a kid and there was nothing to do? You invented something. Well, as adults, we can learn a lot from those days when it comes to improving our game … or getting back into it, for that matter. It can be something you do alone or that you each do separately or, perhaps best of all, that you do together. Challenge yourself and you’ll be amazed at how invested in “winning” you will quickly become.

A challenge can be almost anything, depending on your lifestyle and sexual preferences. But here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Have sex every day for a month. I know, I know, it sounds nuts. And who has the time? Or the energy, for that matter. But the truth is we can always make time for the things that are important. If you or your partner was dying, God forbid, you would find the time for life-saving treatment, right? It doesn’t have to be a marathon session every time. Quickies count too. Try it. Trust me. You’ll find yourself thinking about it all day long and cooking up new things to try while you’re at it!

2. Focus only on her for one week and then only on him the next. Why not make the sex all about one partner for a change? We all try so hard, hopefully, not to be selfish in bed. So why not give your partner permission to be just that for one week. You only touch her. Only she comes. And next week, he gets to be king of the universe. It is so sexy to have all of your combined sexual energy focused on one person. And by the end of the week, you’ll be dying to get your hands on your partner.

3. Introduce a new toy to the bedroom. If you’ve never used toys before, a challenge can be the perfect opportunity. And if toys have long been a part of your repertoire, now’s a good time to add something new to the lineup. While you’re at it, why not skip the classics for a change and try something really groovy? How about a toy with a soft vibrating tip that lights up, like the KiWi or the OhMiBod freestyle that’s wireless and can still vibrate to the tunes on your iPod? You’ll be having so much fun you’ll forget you were ever nervous about trying something new.

4. Masturbate every day for a month. Why not commit to some regular self-pleasure? You’ll learn a ton about what you like and what you don’t. And your sex drive will go through the roof.

5. Don’t touch at all for one week. This one is tricky. But there is nothing more enticing than the forbidden. Do everything you can to avoid touching one another for one week. Not while you’re washing dishes. Not when you’re putting the kids to bed. Not when you’re making a point and would generally reach for your partner’s arm. No touching at all. By the end of the week, you’ll be going mad and want to touch every inch of your partner’s body.

6. Stick to foreplay and nothing more for one month. Sometimes sealing the deal is not the best thing for your sex life. For one month, don’t have intercourse. Stick to all of the other fun things you can do naked and spend the time perfecting your digital and oral skills. The main event gets too much credit. Foreplay can be just as good or even better. Use the month to remind each other how good it can be. And, you guessed it, at the end of the month you’ll be craving your lover more than ever.

7. Have sex as slowly as possible. Sex too often becomes a race to orgasm. Well, forget about all that and see how long you can keep the fun going instead of worrying so much about getting to the finish line. Bring each other to the precipice again and again and see how long you can extend your session and still remain on fire.

8. Turn the switch on (or off). Sex doesn’t require darkness. So, if you’ve gotten in the habit of turning the lights off, turn them back on. The visual can be so sexy, why deprive one another of those ocular delights? And if you always do it with the lights on, why not challenge yourselves to find your way around in the darkness? It could be really fun not discovering where you are until you get there…

9. Survey the land. If you haven’t taken a good long look at your partner’s parts, now’s the time. Have her lay back and relax. Spread her legs gently and let your fingers and your eyes do the walking. If you’ve never seen those wonders up close and personal, you’ll be amazed by the subtleties in color, by the folds and forms, and by all the changes that occur as a woman becomes aroused.

Then have him strike the pose. The male anatomy sometimes gets a bad rap. It’s really an amazing organ. Take the time to really look at what your guy has to offer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what a turn-on your visual tour will be. Not to mention how hot it’ll get your partner being the center of all your attention.

Set a challenge and complete it. Nothing is sexier than the confidence you’ll both gain by working toward it and by achieving it. If nothing else, it’ll be loads of fun. And I don’t know anyone’s whose sex life wouldn’t benefit from even more joy. So, ladies and gentleman, places please and on your mark, get set, go!

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 Web site at www.jennyonthepage.com.