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!
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.
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.
It 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.
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:
- Weekly Lecture Schedule – August 12-16
- Building Sexual Tension with Vonda Sinclair
- Weekly Lecture Schedule – May 12th to May 16th
- Shop Talk – Romance Writers Workshops Debriefed
- The Gentle Hero with Dee Tenorio