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    5 Couples Reveal: "The Extreme Ways We Saved Our Marriages"

    "I installed a stripper pole."

    Gloria NeSmith, 38, and Stephen NeSmith, 40; married 19 years;
    Lithonia, GA

    Gloria: After 18 years of marriage, I was bored and in a deep mommy slump; we have three kids, ages 16, 11, and 9. And, due to my low libido, sex had become an item on my to-do list. I'd been to see my doctor three times about it, but he couldn't find anything physically wrong. He said I needed to make a change in my life, that "fabric softener is not an aphrodisiac."

    A friend of mine had started taking exotic-dance classes for fun and enjoyed them so much that she became a teacher. She's a married mom like me, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to try what seemed to be working so well for her. My first class was really hard! I was trying to keep up, wiping away sweat, and all the while thinking, How could this be sexy?! But I got into the idea of it and kept at it. Each week there was a theme — burlesque, '80s, bad girl, rocker — and I loved shopping for my costumes. I became more confident and excited about what I was doing, and it did wonders for my sex drive.

    My husband now anticipates the nights I take class because he knows he's going to get lucky. We even bought a pole for our bedroom so I can practice my moves for Stephen. By throwing on a wig or a fun costume and doing a sexy walk across the bedroom, I can go from housewife to hot in under 15 minutes.

    Stephen: I love my wife, but after years of marriage, our relationship had become pretty stagnant. We're good communicators, but with three kids it's sometimes hard to actually make changes. There's no time! A few weeks after seeing her doctor about her low desire levels, my wife said she had a friend who taught pole dancing and that she wanted to try it. I told her to go for it, thinking that anything that might boost her self-esteem would be a good thing. When she came home from the very first class, there was something different — she had an extra bounce in her step.

    Over the next few weeks, she became a totally different woman — energetic, confident. The classes brought a spark to our relationship, not just sexually but mentally and emotionally too. A lot of women get stressed out with kids, work, taking care of the house; pole dancing gave my wife something to look forward to, something that's just for her. I truly believe it's one of the main reasons our relationship is so good today.

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