There’s obviously no substitute for talking with your spouse about sex, but Sexy Corte and I have found a simple and cute way to communicate without words: a reversible stuffed octopus. Usually the octopus sits on our dresser smiling, but during the down part of Sexy Corte’s cycle she turns the octopus inside-out to let me know that she isn’t feeling receptive to sexual advances. We still talk, of course, but the stuffy helps us baseline.
Sexy Corte wants me to get the octopus a little hat to wear when she’s feeling really horny.
I appreciate the simplicity and discretion of this idea. Also, I think it would be appropriate to link to your post about keeping one’s kids out of one’s room. Its relevance here is that trespassing kids are likely to flip the plushie on a whim, which could cause miscommunication often enough that the plushie would do more harm than good. Of course, parents could specifically tell their kids to not touch the plushie, but that would arouse suspicion and make it less discrete.