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It’s Called Sexual TENSION for a Reason

Have you ever seen two people who seemed to be pulled together by some unseen force? The chemistry–the sexual tension–between them was so strong, it was all they could do not to end up all over each other?

How often does that happen to you?

Attraction is not magic, nor is it some completely random phenomenon that happens between some people and not others. Flirting is a behavior, and its purpose is to create sexual tension.

If you often go out to meet people only to find that you “don’t have chemistry,” or they aren’t “quite right,” or you didn’t “meet anyone interesting,” chances are you are wasting a lot of time meeting people. Meeting a lot people is not enough to meet the right person; you need to flirt with a lot of people! Otherwise, you have no idea if they are right for you or not.

In other words, unless you know how to create sexual tension, you don’t know if there is potential for chemistry.

Flirting is a dance between similarity (like attracts like) and polarity (opposites attract). The similarity is everything that you have in common. The polarity is, to put it simply, the differences between you two. This goes beyond having different opinions and life experiences; this also includes the differences of yang and yin (masculine and feminine).

It’s the polarity–the differences–that create the tension. This is a necessary part to flirting.

Many people mistake the tension created by successful flirting for nervousness, awkwardness, or anxiety.

I often hear clients say things like, “Well, it was easy for me to do the similarity part, and find things we have in common. But when I tried the polarity part, it suddenly got really awkward and I had to stop.”

If you aren’t used to it, the tension can feel… tense. But that’s good! It means that your interaction isn’t all nice and friendly. It means there is something building.

Now, the tension doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual. Not ALL polarity is sexual. Three other things need to take place in order for your polarity to be sexual:

1. Biology
There is a physical, hormonal aspect to sexual attraction. You (and everyone else) has biological programming to find people to make healthy babies with.

This is why I like to make a distinction between “chemistry” and “attraction.” Chemistry is when your biology gives you the green light. As in, yes, go procreate with that other human–your babies will be healthy and strong!

Attraction is mental and emotional (mostly that second one) and it’s created through flirting. It includes the physical chemistry, and it goes way beyond it.

Also, you do need physical chemistry as a foundation to turn your interaction into flirting. You can dance between similarity and polarity all day long with one of your siblings. They’ll have a lot of fun, but it probably won’t make them want to take your pants off.

2. Context
Flirting is contextual. You have a much better chance of flirting at a party, at a bar, or meeting someone “out and about,” where it’s contextually expected, than you do at a business meeting (where it’s contextually unexpected and inappropriate).

3. Being Comfortable With Your Sexuality
This is the biggest of the three. If you are not comfortable with your own sexuality, then you will probably struggle with flirting.

Most people have “stuff” around their sexuality, so don’t worry, because you’re not the only one. Here are some of the most common blocks that keep people from creating sexual tension with others.

  • Believing that you’re not sexually attractive.
  • Believing that sex is wrong or shameful, or that you’re not “supposed to” be a sexual person.
  • Believing that showing sexual interest makes you look weak or less “valuable.”
  • Believing that showing sexual interest makes you look creepy or too easy.
  • Believing that showing sexual interest in someone requires you to have sex with them at some point.

Flirting requires that you are open to the possibility that the interaction MAY turn into a sexual relationship (this also means that you are aware that it doesn’t have to). If you have blocks in the area of sex, then this might be what’s keeping you from creating and enjoying sexual tension.

Expert flirts enjoy the feeling of sexual tension. This means they’re both comfortable with their own sexuality and are able to let the tension escalate.

So what do you do when you feel the tension? Don’t ease up on it!

If you try to make things more comfortable, you risk killing the attraction. You might turn the interaction into a friendly get-to-know-you than the all-out flirtation is has the potential to be.

Instead, start to learn to enjoy that tension, the way you might enjoy a suspenseful movie, roller coaster ride, or waiting to open a gift. The more that you relish it, the less you will shy away from creating it more, and with more people, in the future.

  1. Hey Liz,

    Great job explaining sexual tension. Back when I didn’t understand sexual tension, I would often mistake awkwardness, nervousness, and anxiety as me blowing it with the woman. One time I even met a girl through a friend and throughout my interactions with her there was this tension between us. She acted on it and a few days later we got together. It was pretty awesome. I was completely shocked that she made a move on me.
    Let me stop rambling lol

    Great job again and keep the fantastic content coming,

  2. […] In other words, most people know how to make friends, but when it comes to flirting, they are lost–this is a sure sign that there is a need to learn more about polarity and how to use it. […]

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  7. Great article! Thanks!

  8. Thanks for explaining all this, because the thing with me is, I am 25 years old and have never felt any form of sexual attraction to anyone, maybe some emotional attraction but i have no idea what the sexual attraction feels like. In general i am hardly sexual at all, and im starting to think i might be asexual because sex hardly interests me at all. However, even on an emotional level, i have only felt attracted to a few people but it was never anything intense to make me want to do something about it and i got over that feeling really fast. Some people have been attracted to me but until they had to say it to my face or a friend had to tell me, i had no idea, i do not pick up on hits or anything at all so i need to read articles and stuff to learn and memorize behaviours and such so ill know when someone is even flirting with me because i can’t tell naturally.

  9. I wonder if the author speaks from experience. Tension between someone is HELL. Who even wants to get anxious and feel like they need to run away because the tension in the air is suffocating them all because of one particular person? I have never had trouble speaking to people for the most part, except when I was shy. But I’m much more comfortable in myself and I STILL can not even say anything to this person. That I oh so conveniently seem to run into almost all the time! It is very frustrating and the tension gets worse each time.

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