Good sex has to do with one’s mindset more than anything else. So, if you want to ramp up your partner’s interest, you need to keep their mind on the prize. That doesn’t mean you have to pop porn into every DVD player or wear a loincloth or French maid’s get-up all of the time. It just means being more aware of what’s right in front of you and just how sexy those things can be.

It’s all about the power of suggestion.

This is not about being serious. In fact, it’s about the exact opposite. It’s about being silly and keeping it light and taking the weight off of sex once in a while. It is supposed to be fun after all.

Having a secret or a secret language of sorts can be part of the sexiness too. If you’re sly about it, no one else has to be the wiser about what you and your partner are up to.

So here are 11 things to help you get in the mood – and you’ll find them right in your own house:

1. Pepper mill – Remember that “Sex and the City” episode when the waiter comes to the table holding a large pepper mill just as the girls are discussing the size of one of their lover’s packages? Why not offer your partner a grind or two of the hot stuff with a wink and a smile? Believe me, they’ll get the message loud and clear.

2. Olive oil – Drizzle it on. Dip soft, warm bread in it. Lick it off your fingers. And make some serious eye contact. Your partner may giggle or shake his or her head at you. But they’ll still know what you’re up to.

3. Dishwashing liquid – Warm, sudsy water can be very sexy, especially when hands meet beneath it before any dirty dishes have hit the basin. Ask your partner to check the temp for you and then meet his or her hand below. A brief hand massage served up with a devious glance and you’ll have your partner in lather in no time.

4. Column – You don’t have to shimmy up and down it or anything. But leaning your back up against it and grabbing it on either side behind you and then slowly bringing your hands back down to your side will call up all sorts of images of you showing that pole who is boss.

5. Hammock – This one’s easy. Lay in it and rock. The sight of you will surely make your partner want to join you and the motion will likely inspire a little rocking in the bedroom later.

6. Wooden Spoon or ruler – Slap it against your palm a few times and give your partner a stern but playful glance. Perhaps even whisper a promise of punishment later for not helping with the chores. He or she will be assuming the position before you know it.

7. Music – Play songs that you have had sex to in the past or ones with lyrics that contain double entendres. Even if the kids are around, they’ll have no idea what you’re up to. But your partner certainly will know what the rhythm of that night is going to be.

8. Tie – Leave it hanging on the bedroom doorknob as your private code of what’s to come later. Then use it to tie your partner to the bed. Do it once and every time she sees you reach for that tie – or any other tie for that matter – she’s sure to have some seriously fun flashbacks.

9. Twister and (any other games) – Perfectly innocent when the kids play them. But they don’t have to be when you and your lover play them together. Play Scrabble with new rules – only dirty words allowed.

10. Slip ‘n Slide – Set it up in the backyard and slide down together when the kids are off at a friend’s house. Don’t have kids? No one’s going to ask when you buy one. Just keep it where your mother-in-law can’t see it when she comes to visit.

11. Pen and paper – These just might be the sexiest items of all in your home. Leave her notes in her briefcase. Drop a note in the driver’s seat of his car. Commit your wicked wishes to paper and keep them in a little box that your partner can go to for inspiration. It can be hard to verbalize things sometimes. But pen and paper make it easy to let your needs be known!

It all has to do with what you have hiding in plain sight in your house and how comfortable you are at subtly suggesting what those things might mean in a different context. Many of the items can create a reoccurring code of sorts that only your partner will pick up on. Leave the wooden spoon out on the counter. Make hot fudge sundaes for dessert. Suggest that you do the dishes together tonight. Chores will have a whole new meaning at your place.

Obvious is so passé. And sex toys certainly have their place. But it doesn’t take anything more than imagination to heat things up all around your household.

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.

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