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:~: Friday, February 23, 2007 :~:

Keeping The Sizzle

When is it most difficult to maintain a sizzling sexual tension? For me, it's after the hero and heroine have physically consumated their relationship. At that point, much of the mystery that drives the early sexual tension has been dissolved. So how do you keep the tension moving forward after that first love scene?

1) Conflict: Although the couple has moved closer physically, the act of making love should serve in some way to continue to push them apart emotionally. Maybe the heroine's fears of rejection are aroused. Maybe the hero feels too much too soon. Whatever the source of your conflict, it should heighten the sexual tension because of course that now they know what it's like to be together, having to resist is that much harder.

2) Memories: Sights, sounds, smells, textures . . . now both the hero and heroine have reminders of their lovemaking. Sprinkling these throughout other scenes maintains and even builds the level of tension

What other methods do you or your favorite authors use to keep the heat going after the lovin'?



Blogger Carol B. said...

I never thought about the s.t. being harder to keep up after the deed is done. Guess I'll have to go back and examine my writing to see if I'm falling down on the job. LOL!

I think sometimes there is a little desperation about the second coming together. Like you said, now they know what it's like with that person. They're addicted and usually fighting it like hell. So giving in can be explosive, especially if you're dealing with two confident, strong characters.

OTOH, if the first time is sweet and overpowering, they may shy away, scared at the level of emotion sex brought to the table. Still, the memories are pulling them back (along with their attraction), and those memories surfacing at odd moments can add delicious sizzle. These memories can be triggered by the senses. The way he/she smells, or a casual gesture brings to mind a more intimate touch, etc.

Yes, there's familiarity, but there's also misgivings and fear of being vulnerable (getting hurt), so to me, it seems like the push/pull is even more intense.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...


IMO-- the trick to keeping the sexual tension reved high after *the big Moment* is in the plotting, using something in the plot-- or the character's GMC to come back and bite them in the butt and through them back (for a short time) to square one.

In somecases, the sexual tension is even higher after they've done the big deed-- if something is preventing them from doing it again.

Now they know what they are missing!!

8:40 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

I agree with T. The best sexually tense books are the ones where the first sex scene creates more internal conflict than the character(s) had before.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Liz Kreger said...

That's a tough question. I tend to have my characters in tense situations, so beyond the sex, there is a lot to keep the story moving. At least I hope so. LOL.

1:29 PM  

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