This is an excerpt from "The Ultimate Guide to Sex Through Pregnancy and Motherhood" written by Madison Young. It has been published with permission from Cleis Press.

Spicing up the bedroom as parents involves some degree of preparation and negotiation. REAL SHAG is an acronym I use to remember what to review and discuss within BDSM scene negotiations, and this same acronym can be a helpful tool and reminder for parents about what they might want to manifest erotically between the sheets.

Read: 7 Safe, Sizzling Sex Positions for Pregnant Women

R: Roles

This is in reference to any role-play elements that you and your partner might want to take on as part of your sexual play, or any headspace that you might be wanting to explore, such as librarian and book lover, or soy milkman and vegan, sex-starved, soy milk-loving slut.

E: Expectations

If your partner says that he or she likes really rough sex or has always fantasized about being a sensation slut, well, those are very broad terms that can mean a lot of different things to different people. It’s important for you to discuss how your partner actually envisions your sexual adventure and what his or her expectations are. Your partner should talk about specific sex acts or implements that he or she expects or envisions being used in your adventure, as well as the emotional tone of your experience. Is this an experience that you both want to keep light and playful? Slow and sensual? Or rough and aggressive - sex that really pushes one another’s physical limits? Stating expectations and making sure that all partners are on the same page can assist in creating a sexual adventure in your bedroom - or beyond - that everyone enjoys.

A: Address

Whether or not you are exploring roles of dominance and submission, checking in about how each of you would like to be addressed during your adventure is key. You can be anyone you want to be. Remember, you can explore different roles and parts of your psyche as you step out of your parental roles and into your sexy self. You can take on another name. Another gender.

L: Length, Likes, and Limits

Knowing how long you expect your sexual adventure to last really helps in pacing yourself. Maybe the sitter is just at the park with your little one and they will be back in thirty minutes. And discussing your sexual likes and limits with your partner can help you both to draw a framework of boundaries and sculpt an adventure based on sexual acts and dynamics that really turn you both on. Even if you have been in a relationship with a partner for a decade or more, this can be helpful, as our desires, fantasies, and sexual likes/loves/ limits are always changing and shifting.

S: Safe Words, Sexual Contact, and Safer Sex

Whether or not you and your partner are engaging in a kink scene or a vanilla adventure, safe words can be helpful to have. It’s important to be aware of the vulnerability that both you and your partner engage in as you venture into new sexual adventures. Together you are exploring a new and intimate world. Let your partner know that if he or she needs to stop, he or she can say “Red” or “Yellow,” and the two of you can stop and check in. We teach our children to use their words to state what they need, and we need to do the same. So use your words.

What type of sexual contact are you and your partner expecting? Maybe you are still sore and feeling anxious about vaginal penetration. Maybe your nipples are sore from breastfeeding. Maybe you have hemorrhoids from pregnancy, and the thought of anal pleasure sends shivers up your spine. These expectations, limits, and desires surrounding sexual contact should all be addressed between you and your partner prior to your sexual adventure.

Are you on birth control? Are you planning on using condoms? Knowing what type of safer sex methods you are using is important to spicing up your bedroom. Condoms can be super-hot! Try putting a condom on with your mouth as part of your foreplay. (Get more tips in Helpful Suggestions for Setting Your Sexual Limits.)

H: Health

Are there any health concerns that have come up during pregnancy or postpartum that you need to share with your partner? Check in with your body and make sure to communicate how it is feeling. Your sexual adventures don’t have to include acrobatic porn-star sex positions or fucking upside-down from the chandelier. This is about sculpting a sexual adventure that fits your life and your body and enables you and your partner to connect in an intimate and pleasurable way.

A: Aftercare

Aftercare is terminology we use within the BDSM world to refer to the care of someone after a scene, and this pertains to all sexual adventures, really - especially when we are venturing into uncharted waters. Making sure you have a good support system set up for after a big sexual adventure can be really helpful. Communicating that might just mean something like this: “Honey, I’m having a lot of feelings about having sex for the first time since the baby, and I’m feeling kind of fragile. I think I’m going to need a warm bath and tea afterward, so if the baby wakes I’m going to need you to go in and rock her while I’m soaking for a bit.”

It’s really about figuring out the care you might need when you go to a place that will involve a big endorphin rush, or a place that is really emotionally tender. I know for me there was a lot of emotional tenderness postpartum, and I found myself using an “emotional safe word” much more frequently and needing to be slow and gentle with myself.

G: Gear

What kind of gear will you need to bring for your sexual adventure? Any sex toys? Personal lubricant? Props? A water bottle? What elements does your sexual fantasy or sex basket require? You don’t want to be fishing around the house for your flogger under a bunch of dirty laundry or rummaging through every drawer in the house to find a condom or lube when you finally have a moment alone with your sweetheart.

Want to read more? Buy the book here.