Posted On August 12, 2013 by Print This Post

Demystifying Sexual Intimacy with Kamy Chetty

Help me welcome Kamy Chetty – what a beautiful name! – to Romance University. Kamy tells us how to up the sexual tension in our novels. Kamy will be giving away a Kindle copy of her book Breathe Again to one commenter!

Open Scene:

Kamy Carla popped a peanut into her mouth and bit down as her gaze moved slowly around the room. She noticed the stranger chatting to the woman next to her instantly. Boy was he gorgeous. She shifted slightly brushing her arm against his back.

He turned around and smiled showing perfect white teeth. He leaned down until his lips were an inch from hers. “Well hello there,” he said before closing the distance and kissing her.

Close scene.

Not sure about anyone else but that left me feeling nothing. In fact, I would be wondering if Carla wouldn’t be kicking him in the shin after that. There was no sexual tension, no, would they, won’t they moment, and in the end I wasn’t sighing when they did kiss. I know that was a really bad example but I am trying to get my point across.

As romance writers sexual tension is as important as a good plot and great characterisation to the development of the story. The sexual tension is what keeps the reader’s attention until that moment the hero and heroine come together.

Family Ties2It is Linda Howard who is well known for her workshop on the 12 steps to sexual intimacy and although you might look at the workshop and think, what does the primate have to do with intimacy, Linda is an amazing author who is able to talk about the development of the relationship from the moment the two people meet till they make love.

If you break the 12 steps down and use it in your writing to slowly build the sexual tension then it keeps you wanting more, wondering if these two will make it to that all encompassing act.

Think of the opening scene. Let’s revise.

Carla popped a peanut into her mouth and bit down as she watched the stranger enter the bar. He was much taller than any of the men she’d already found lacking.

His gaze caught hers and she could swear there was a hint of a smile in his blue eyes as he made his way across the room to her.

The air in her lungs froze and she gasped as he stopped in front of her. Could he hear the thudding of her heart? His hand brushed hers as he reached across and took a peanut from the bowl next to her.

He waved at the bartender. “A bourbon and another for the lady.”

Carla’s blood singed at the smooth command. Boy was he sexy.

Breathe_AgainClose scene.

Okay, so that was a little better on two counts. One because I used the 12 steps of intimacy and second, because I used deep point of view.

I will add the 12 steps as outlined by Linda Howard and I would love to hear your thoughts.

The 12-steps of Intimacy:

1. Eye to Body Contact (the “once over”)

2. Eye to Eye Contact (followed by a smile if its instant attraction)

3. Voice to Voice (reacting to the other’s timbre)

4. Hand to Hand Contact (men can improvise by touching arm or elbow)

5. Arm to Shoulder (is not sexual but brings the bodies together; think movie theater arm stretch)

6. Arm to Waist Contact (sexual move to get closer to intimate parts)

7. Mouth to Mouth Contact (kissing reinforces the sexual bond)

8. Hand to Head Contact (usually occurs during a kiss; signals a major intimate move)

9. Hand to Body Contact (usually touching the breast)

10. Mouth to Breast (can lead to sensitivity or orgasm)

11. Hand to Genital (major bonding happening here)

12. Genital to Genital (full intercourse; solidifies the emotional and physical intimacy)

After a tour at war and countless shifts in the hospital emergency room, Nick knows that no matter how hard he tries to change things, people are the same. So when his estranged wife Skylar reveals that she stopped taking birth control and is pregnant, he shouldn’t be shocked. Betrayal burns and panic sets in as memories of his shattered home life remind him that he can’t play happy families.

Skylar knows one thing—she’s head over nurse’s shoes in love with the stubborn and unemotional Nick. She loves him enough to believe in the man he is, even though he can’t see it for himself and hides behind a mask. As he calls their child “hers” and tries to live apart from her, Skylar’s heart breaks, but she refuses to give up hope that he’ll do the right thing.

When disaster strikes, Skylar realizes Nick might never change, so she risks everything and sets him free, hoping he’ll come back, for her and their baby. Is heat, passion and a vow enough to seal this marriage and make them a family?


RU Writers – how do you like to increase the sexual tension between your characters?

Join us on Wednesday for Portraying Ethnic Characters with Dignity in Contemporary Romance with Vicki Essex


Bio: There hasn’t been a time in her life that Kamy hasn’t been writing, or dreaming up some magical love story in her head. As an avid reader, it wasn’t long before she realised her talent for turning a phrase, and add to that a profession of nursing, it’s only natural that her stories have a medical theme with that happily ever after ending.

Recently she’s discovered that all those years she’s been fascinated with TV shows like CSI and Bones, has just been foreplay for her dark side and she now enjoys writing suspense with a dash of medical and a dollop of romance.

Originally from South Africa, Kamy now lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her very own hero and two children who keep her busy. She has two dogs who keep her out of trouble and shelves overflowing with books that she loves reading when she isn’t chasing deadlines.


Kamy Chetty around the web:

Website    Facebook   Twitter    Author Page

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14 Responses to “Demystifying Sexual Intimacy with Kamy Chetty”

  1. Great post. The sexual tension between the main characters is what holds my attention when reading romance. If its not there I lose interest. Great tips thanks:-)

    Posted by Jane Hunt | August 12, 2013, 5:28 am
  2. Morning Kamy!

    I heard Linda Howard speak (on CD!) on the 12 steps of intimacy – great lecture! And so true…if a man skips past several of the steps, you just feel he’s pushing too fast.

    Thanks so much for posting with us today!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 12, 2013, 9:06 am
  3. Hi Kamy,

    To me it starts with a look. The eye lock that makes the rest of the world disappear.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | August 12, 2013, 9:18 am
    • I still remember this moment when my hubby had stepped out of the lifts and was walking toward me and I went weak kneed by that look, the world disappeared in that moment. It was magic so yes I know the feeling. Thanks for the visit;-)

      Posted by Kamy | August 12, 2013, 7:00 pm
  4. Good Morning, Kamy,
    Thanks for sharing this post. I’m new to writing but have been reading Linda Howard books and other romance novels for years. I appreciate sexual tension because it makes you wonder how the man will get the girl or vice versa. Suspense adds depth to the story and intimacy that happens faster other circumstances. I especially like stories that make us believe that women can recover from emotional/physical abuse and have a loving relationship with the right man. All stories that show a damaged man or woman can heal and find love are my favorites. Thanks again for your post and I’ll be sure to read you book. Peace – Melissa Blanchard.

    Posted by Melissa Blanchard | August 12, 2013, 11:21 am
  5. I love reading and writing those moments when the characters first notice each other and slowly build intimacy. Thanks for a recap of the 12 steps of intimacy.

    Posted by Reese Ryan | August 12, 2013, 12:18 pm
  6. Hello Reese thanks for dropping by:-)

    Posted by Kamy | August 12, 2013, 7:02 pm
  7. Hi Kamy – Thanks so much for listing the 12 steps. I love checklists!

    This is really helpful! It’s so frustrating when the chemistry and sexual intimacy in a story doesn’t quite work.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 12, 2013, 7:41 pm
  8. This is exactly what I look for in a romance. This electrifying beginning to the explosive ending. Great post. The 12 steps was so informative. Never realized it was broken down so far, but it really is.Intimacy is the name of the game.

    Posted by Shirley Buchanan | August 12, 2013, 10:56 pm
    • The important thing is to have fun with it and use description. Everything counts. Use action, colours, scene, make it vibrant:-) write that draft and then edit the hell out of it:-))

      Posted by Kamy | August 13, 2013, 5:30 am

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