Heat it Up With Sexual Tension
By Nicole North
Devil in a Kilt (in Secrets Volume 27 Untamed Pleasures): A trip to the Highland Games turns into a trip to the past when modern day psychology professor Shauna MacRae touches Gavin MacTavish's four-hundred-year-old claymore. What she finds is a Devil in a Kilt she's had erotic fantasies about for months. Can Shauna break the curse imprisoning this shape shifting laird and his clan before an evil witch sends Shauna back to her time?
Since Devil in a Kilt is erotic romance, I needed to include several hot sex scenes in the story. But today I want to talk about what comes before sex—sexual tension.
Sexual tension is the “want it but can’t have it” factor. The intense attraction and heightened awareness of another person. The excitement, the anticipation, the passion. Chemistry. When two people feel a mutual, unfulfilled desire. In most cases, the longer they wait to fulfill that desire, the more the sexual tension increases… until it is almost unbearable.
If your hero and heroine have sex on page one, fall in love and have no more problems with each other, then you don’t have a romance story to tell. This is where sexual tension ties into the deep-rooted conflict of your story and plot. Why can’t they have it? “It” can be sex, love, or commitment, etc. What is keeping them apart sexually or emotionally?
Sexual tension is a combination of psychological, emotional and visceral reaction. Your character will get sexually aroused when they’re around that special person, but the emotional excitement and the heart-pounding anticipation are the most important. That’s where the real power punch is. That’s why the reader keeps reading. “Will they or won’t they?” Will they or won’t they have sex? Will they or won’t they admit their love for each other? Will they or won’t they be able to resolve all their conflicts, get married, and stay together forever?
When your heroine experiences sexual tension, she yearns for the hero. She craves his attention, his gaze on her. She wants to breathe in his scent. She wants him to touch her, talk to her, kiss her, make love to her. But he isn’t; not yet. This yearning is strongly emotional and that’s what makes it so powerful.
Sexual tension is like psychological foreplay because it mentally prepares the characters for sex. It also prepares the reader.
Often in erotic romance, the sex happens earlier or more frequently so the tension usually comes from something else, like keeping the characters apart emotionally. They won’t admit their feelings for each other or they won’t make a commitment. But the sexual tension still has to be there and it has to be rebuilt often.
I’ll be teaching the online workshops Writing Hot Delicious Love Scenes in September and Turn Up the Heat! (about how to increase sexual tension) in October. Please check my website for details. www.nicolenorth.com
Do you enjoy reading or writing sexual tension? What about love scenes? In the books you’ve read, do you notice a difference in the amount of sexual tension in erotic romance vs. regular romance? I’ll be giving away a pair of handmade sterling silver and semi-precious stone earrings (made by moi) to one commenter.
Nicole North writes sensual and erotic romance novels and novellas. She is the author of paranormal erotic romance novellas Devil in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Volume 27 Untamed Pleasures, July 2009; Beast in a Kilt, Red Sage Secrets Volume 29; and (contemporary) Kilted Lover. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, but wishes she lived in the Scottish Highlands at least half the year. Though she holds a degree in psychology, writing romance is her first love. Visit her at http://www.nicolenorth.com/
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1oOOvTomv4
Book is available at:
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