He feels like you think he's dumb
Ever try to give your husband directions from the passenger seat? This may seem like nothing--after all, you're just trying to be helpful!--but it can have a damaging effect on your sex life. "Men hate being told what to do, especially in the car," says Fran Walfish, Psy.D., a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, CA. It can also bring your guy down if you RSVP to a party without asking his thoughts or mock his abilities, even if you're joking. "When your partner is angry, he's likely to either snap at you or become silent," adds Walfish. "And when communication goes south, sex is a natural follower."
Your pretty underthings are MIA
Be honest: When's the last time you slipped on that lacy lingerie your husband loves? Chances are it's at the bottom of your drawer, underneath more comfy options like cotton sweats and tank tops. That makes sense--you're exhausted when you finally get to your bedroom, and you may not feel as sexy as you once did in a negligee. But more so than women, men are turned on by sight-regardless of whether you weigh five pounds more than you did five years ago, says John Wilder, a marriage, relationship, and sexual coach in Jacksonville, FL. If you aren't at home in some overly skimpy--and often pricey--lingerie, simply wearing your favorite T-shirt and nothing but nice underwear on the bottom will show off your legs and get your guy excited.
He feels pressure to perform
Nothing shuts down a man's libido like nagging, which makes him feel as if he's not meeting your expectations. We promise, he knows how long it's been since you last had sex without you uttering the date. Similarly, he's unlikely to respond to your inquiry about why he didn't come on to you after a cocktail party for which you got all dolled up, but is ready to get it on when you think you look your worst. "Everyone has varying drives that can't be explained," says Arash Afshar, 31. "I don't want to feel like I have to meet some expectation."
He feels a little too loved
While some men are happy with oodles of love and attention, others retreat when tightly clung onto. That's a lasting result of the level of closeness that his mother provided for him when he was a child, says Walfish. Consider these two examples: If a mother held her son very close when he was young, he may be comfortable with cuddling as a grown-up. But if she wasn't that type, he may now be turned off by the touchy-feely. Over the years, you've probably deciphered where on the spectrum your guy falls, but if he isn't the type to hold hands in a movie, try to remember that it has nothing to do with how much he cares. And respecting his space can actually bring the sexy back.
You had a fight--days ago
You might think it has blown over, but your husband could be silently stewing about your words. And if he's ashamed, doesn't want to upset you further, or is simply hesitant to drag on the battle, he may not share how he's feeling. That's most likely to happen if you said things like, "You always…" or "You never…" Those phrases only lead to toxic statements that belittle, criticize, blame, accuse, or mock, says dating and relationship expert Jason Weberman. Other statements to avoid include, "Why do you have to be so immature?", "What were you thinking?", "This is your fault", and "You're being super-annoying right now." Fight fairer and your sex life won't suffer.
You're sending stay-away signals
"Once a woman puts her hair in a ponytail at night, it says to me, 'Lights out. I'm going to sleep. Leave me alone,'" says Ian, 42. "My ex-wife is a gorgeous redhead, and when she wore her hair down and it hit her face in a certain way, it signaled to me that she was ready to have fun." You might be doing something--whether you intend to or not--that your guy interprets as a sexual stop sign. Maybe it's reading in bed (he doesn't want to interrupt you), putting on your glasses (you look like you're in serious work-mode), or lounging in your sweaty workout gear (you're a little stinky). Take careful notice of when he makes his moves, and how those moments differ from the times you're craving attention but not getting it.
The two of you have been on autopilot
If you only have fuzzy memories of the last time you strayed from your usual "what works" position, your husband may just be starting to get a little bored with the regular routine--and think you're not open to change. Now, you may not be comfortable trying every sexual position in the Kama Sutra, but there are likely ways to mix things up that you'll love too. For example, if you always get intimate in bed, maybe it's time to experiment. The next time the kids are at a sleepover, drift to the living room couch or the shower. If you'd rather stick to the bedroom, try one new sexual position and see how it goes. Another idea? Ask your guy about his latest sexual dream and then act it out with him.
The baby's listening
Naturally, your sex life has been affected, and on the occasions you're up for it he may be worried about your new family member. Remind him that the baby monitor only works one way--and your bundle of joy has no idea what's going on anyway.