How to Create Sexual Tension in Your Story

If the love scene is the icing on the cake, then sexual tension is the cream and fillings to ensure the cake plot stays safe. Sex and sexual tension are often confused because they usually go hand in hand. Still, in reality, they differ a lot.

For instance, sexual tension means the unfulfilled desire—the spark that keeps the flames burning and the reader on their feet. When written well, it can create a great dynamic between characters.

Here are some tips on how to create sexual tension in your story:

  • Include physical tension in dialogue. Specific action cues in the story, like staring, gazing, biting the lip, and looking away in a huff, can indicate interest or repressed sexual frustration. Whether the feeling is positive or negative, using body cues can help the reader picture the character vividly.
  • Create tension within themselves. This feature is quite popular in “enemies to lovers” or “rivals to lovers” pairings. Aside from the pressure they feel around their love interest, it is also helpful to include tension within themselves. This pressure adds a layer of nuance to the conflict and creates a “will-they-won’t-they” dynamic in the upcoming scenes.
  • Create a reason why they can’t get it on. Tension is about creating an unfulfilled desire and prolonging that until the final note. To move the plot forward, develop a valid reason why these two lovers can’t consummate their feelings yet. For instance, is it because they are in rival families? Is it because they’re playing on opposing teams? Is the other half dating their friend, and they don’t want to be in the midst of the drama? The possibilities are endless.

There are several opportunities to create sexual tension between characters. If you are looking for ideas, consider reading similar types of stories to get a gist of how these love interests interact. If you prefer a more visual representation, watch dramas and movies that tackle this theme to generate ideas. Good luck!

– written by a guest writer

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