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How to write riveting sex scenes that leave your reader wanting more: creating chemistry, part 2

How To Create Chemistry Between Your Characters

In most cases, your characters aren’t going to meet and then just fall into bed together. If they do, then you’re probably writing hard-core erotica or porn and that’s not what I’m discussing today.

Even if your characters don’t have sex, maybe there’s some heavy petting or flirtation that occurs and you’ll want to build up to that as well.

So how do you build chemistry and anticipation between your characters?

A sex scene is the culmination of everything your two characters have done, said, and been through together from the moment they meet.

Chemistry is that feeling of connection between two people. I like to call it the charged energy between two people. It’s a draw to someone else that makes you want more of them.

Chemistry applies to friendships, too, but usually we think of it in terms of sexual chemistry.

How do you show that your characters have a connection? Below are a few ideas. I’ll be sharing more ideas in my webinar, “How to Write Riveting Sex Scenes That Leave Your Reader Wanting More” this Thursday evening.

  • They touch casually. Maybe they feel sparks. Or it feels comforting or surprising or makes them nervous. Does the other’s skin feel smooth or rough or hard or soft?
  • They notice how each other smell. Thanks to pheromones, smell is extremely important in human sexual response.

pheromone (from Ancient Greek φέρω (phérō) ‘to bear’, and hormone) is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species.  Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting like hormones outside the body of the secreting individual, to affect the behavior of the receiving individuals.[1] (Wiki)

  • They think of each other in a non-sexual way. Perhaps they do it without knowing why. Maybe they wish for the company of the other, even if they don’t trust them completely. Why would they want that? It’s called chemistry for a reason. 😊
  • They flirt. This can be super fun. Let them flirt away. Let them joke and laugh together. Let them make subtle comments to each other. It doesn’t have to be obvious. It can be hilarious or sweet or even annoying sometimes.
  • They are unaccountably nervous or unaccountably calm around each other.
  • They remind one another of someone from their past. Maybe it’s a long-lost love or someone who they had a troublesome relationship with. What’s similar? What’s different? Does projection get in the way?

These are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Exercise: Think of three scenes in the first half of your novel where your two characters interact, including the first time they meet. What do they notice about each other? What draws them in? What repels them? Remember, if something is repelling about the other that can create resistance or tension which is always a good thing in your scenes.

I’d love to hear some of your ideas. Please share.

To learn more about how to write sex scenes in fiction, please join my webinar on Thursday, January 19, 2023, at 4:15 p.m. Pacific. You’ll receive the recording right after the webinar if you can’t attend live or want to re-watch it in the future. Cost is $39 (10% goes to World Central Kitchen for food and disaster relief).

Go to this page to register: and scroll down to my webinar on January 19.

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