What Does Sexual Tension Feel Like for a Woman? by oombler - Issuu

How Sexual Chemistry Develops and What It Feels Like
What it really means to feel *that* spark

Sexual chemistry is when you have an immediate physical attraction to someone. Signs of sexual chemistry include sweaty palms, shortness of breath, and feeling a quick, intense draw to the other person. Sexual chemistry is usually obvious at the beginning of a relationship and is an important component of many relationships.1

The danger is you might interpret the sexual chemistry alone as reflecting a deeper connection. Without more knowledge about this very attractive person, you just don’t know enough about who they are.

Sometimes the chemistry does reflect a deeper connection. But how can you distinguish between what is sexual chemistry and what hints at more of a possible deep, intimate bond?

This article will delve into the benefits and drawbacks of sexual chemistry, the chemicals our brain produces during our feelings of lust and love, information on attachment styles, what happens when chemistry diminishes, as well as more about intimacy and loving bonds.

How Sexual Chemistry Develops
What makes people have sexual chemistry? The answer lies in chemicals released during lust and attraction.

Lust is a desire for sexual gratification. The brain’s hypothalamus influences the production of the hormones testosterone and estrogen. This drives our feelings of sexual desire.

When we are attracted to someone, our brains release high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine and norepinephrine “make us giddy, energetic, and euphoric,”2 sometimes resulting in loss of appetite and the inability to sleep.

We all know of those friends or family members who after meeting someone special say they can’t eat, sleep or concentrate. They’re head over heels. They’re so excited about the new relationship they claim they’re already in love. Often, this is the physical chemistry talking.

The magnetism of intense sexual chemistry can result in good, short-term relationships. As long as both parties recognize their time together for what it truly is, relationships that are based on physical enjoyment can work out well.

Benefits of Sexual Chemistry
When sexual chemistry leads to sex, there are many benefits. On the physical side, besides sex being a form of exercise which improves your health, your immune function increases, you gain positive cardiac effects and even the perception of headache pain in migraine decreases.

The psychological benefits of having sex after sexual chemistry are also multifold. A few of the proven benefits include relief from stress,3 higher rate of happiness and improved sleep quality.

Therefore, when sexual attraction leads to a sexual relationship, there are many positives that come from it.

What Is Sexual Tension?
Dangers of Sexual Chemistry
Unfortunately, when some couples are so drawn to each other in a passionate, physical way, one might want a longer lasting relationship and the other is satisfied with keeping it only physical.

At other times, one partner discovers the other person is not living a healthy lifestyle or exhibits a lot of damaging behaviors. Couples may discover they bring out the worst in each other.

When two people overlook the rest of their relationship dynamics for the sake of a strong physical and sexually-focused tie, it does not bode well. Infidelity, alcoholism, drug usage, and other serious problems should never be overlooked because of great sex.

When two people are obsessed with the other and have off-the-chart sexual chemistry, they might struggle to leave each other but know they can’t stay together either. This type of relationship can quickly become toxic.

Causes of Sexual Chemistry
Dr. Amy E. Keller, PsyD, a marriage and family therapist suggests that falling for someone and having great sexual chemistry can sometimes be connected to past attachments. Causes of sexual chemistry can include “unconscious and unresolved family dynamics,” she suggests.

It is possible to be strongly drawn to people who remind you of your past, including unconscious and unresolved family dynamics. For example, you might be drawn to a partner who resembles a primary parental figure who did not meet the needs you hoped would be met. As a result, you may find yourself unconsciously trying to heal through your relationship with your partner.

It is important to navigate this with increased awareness, courageous communication, great care, and intention. It is possible to heal from the trauma that happened in a past relationship through your current relationship, but it is also possible to repeat past trauma as well.

Sexual chemistry can’t protect you from someone’s problems that stem from childhood. Ideally, as we mature, the ways we interact and behave in relationships reflect what’s called a secure attachment style. That means we are socially comfortable, trust others, have good self-esteem, and share our feelings with friends and family.

But Dr. Amy (as she is called) cautions us that “if a couple falls down a rabbit hole together to the point of ignoring friends and family while in their love bubble, it usually doesn’t end well.” She adds, “That is, most people don’t come to the table with secure attachments nor are they uber ready right away for a healthy, mature relationship.”

For people who show evidence of a fearful-avoidant attachment style, for example, though they crave love and affection, they don’t trust others and are reluctant to have close relationships. Often this relates to childhood trauma, these individuals struggle with trying to maintain healthy relationships.

According to what Dr. Amy sees in her practice, “Many people have a combination of avoidance or anxious attachment styles. If they still want to explore a relationship with that person, all they need to do is slow it down and pace it out.”

In addition to slowing things down and going at a more organic, less intense pace, the good news is that those having insecure attachment styles can develop a more secure attachment style under the care of and with proper guidance from a mental health professional.

A secure attachment style is possible to develop, but this takes time, care, intention, effort, and the healing of relationship trauma in relationships with yourself and others.

Attachment styles can evolve over time and people with all attachment styles can be in relationships with people who have different attachment styles. This can be healing with awareness, communication, intention, and the openness, willingness, and commitment to heal, change, do things differently, and grow.
When Sexual Chemistry Diminishes
Sexual chemistry can fuel a relationship and eventually lead to intimacy. The physical attraction can help people foster a deep emotional connection later on.

What happens when sexual chemistry diminishes? When the glow of infatuation and attraction dims, and couples see the other’s quirks and faults in the bright light of awareness, that’s when they are tested.

At that point, they can decide if the relationship’s foundation was purely physical and will take them no further. Or do they want to continue down the path of getting to know the other better and perhaps eventually remain together?

Surely, the stressors of everyday life and lack of time may put a dent in the sex life of those who have dated or been together awhile. Work challenges, financial pressures, and the birth of children might negatively impact the carefree sex life that couples had in the past.

Yet, once couples weather the roadblocks that come up as a result of getting to know one another and living a life together, they will hopefully have already developed intimacy, respect, and feelings of love for the other. They can continue to establish a fulfilling relationship while not giving up their sexual selves.

Sexual chemistry remains an important component that keeps a relationship vital and thriving.

The Role of Intimacy in Sexual Chemistry
Intimacy can be defined as a physical, mental, and emotional closeness. Results from a study showed that feelings of intimacy boosted sexual desire between romantic partners. These partners had more sex as a result.4

So, it’s clear that feelings of intimacy will enhance any relationship. People can create more feelings of emotional intimacy to improve their relationships and marriages by increasing time together as a couple, turning off electronics, being fully present with one another, and communicating with openness, vulnerability, and honesty.

Fear of Intimacy: Signs, Causes, and Coping Strategies
Sexual Chemistry Can Lead to Loving Relationships
As discussed, sexual chemistry might lead to a mature, loving relationship. If it does, you can be sure that mature, intimate, and loving relationships reflect two people who have bonded.

Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and is the neurotransmitter that helps us feel empathy and attachment, and truly bond3 with one another. Oxytocin has been nicknamed the cuddle hormone and is sometimes referred to as the love hormone. During parent-infant bonding, while long-time friends speak and when partners embrace lovingly, oxytocin plays a major and undeniable role in creating and maintaining intimate, loving relationships.

Our fast and free love quiz can help you determine if what you’ve got is the real deal or simply a temporary fling or infatuation.
This love quiz was reviewed by Ivy Kwong, LMFT.
Keep in Mind
While sexual chemistry can be a passionate and almost euphoric feeling, it can sometimes cloud your judgment when in search of a partner or create a false sense of closeness. If you find that you’re having a hard time figuring out whether your desire for another person is rooted in lust or love, a therapist can help you understand and sort out your feelings.

There are 21 key signs of sexual tension and how to deal with them, according to experts.

1) Eye contact
This is the most well-known indicator of a connection with another person and a good way of being able to tell if someone likes you. If you constantly find yourselves locking eyes and holding each other’s gaze, this is a sign that you are interested in someone and of bonding and closeness. Our rule of thumb is that the longer it lingers, the greater the tension.

2) Staring
You might find yourself staring at the other person or find they’re staring at you. Sometimes you might happen to glance up at the same time and your eyes might soften into a mutual stare. If this happens, it’s likely there’s something taking place between you.

3) You’re aware of their presence
Even if you aren’t directly eyeing someone up you are likely keeping an eye on where they are in the room. You’re aware of where they are located and how close they are to you. Your excitement might grow as you feel them moving closer to you. If your intense awareness of this person is bothering you or distracting you, try listening to music or a podcast to distract yourself, occupying your attention with a repetitive task or practising mindfulness around a topic that interests you.

4) Awkwardness
Are you forgetting all your words? Tripping up or being clumsier than usual? Behaving awkwardly may be a sign of sexual tension because your behaviour is due to both being excited physically and being hyper aware of yourself and your actions. To deal with any awkward behaviour, try taking five deep breaths to regulate your nervous system before engaging with the other person, and try moving slowly. Don’t rush, and take time to pause and gather your thoughts before you speak.

5) That embarrassed feeling
Hyperawareness of how we look and act can also lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame. We’re viewing ourselves through a hypercritical lens while also dealing with a rush of cortisol, the stress hormone, which is likely making us feel dizzy and disorientated. It’s hard to not feel embarrassed when you’re in a self-conscious state, so try repeating kind and positive words to yourself.

6) Blushing
What does embarrassment lead to? Blushing, of course. As blood rushes to our heads to temper the effects of rising adrenaline, our faces and necks flush pink. This can be a clear giveaway that you’re experiencing some level of sexual tension or attraction to someone. Deep breathing to regulate your pulse and your body temperature can help.

7) Facial expressions
You might worry more about what you look like if you and another person are checking each other out. You might smile more or try to face the other person with your ‘good side’. Try to relax, take a beat and breathe out.

 

8) Sweating
As certain hormones flood your body and your pulse quickens, your body temperature might start to rise. This means you might find yourself sweating a little, which can be a source of embarrassment and anxiety. You can’t stop yourself sweating, but you can load up on antiperspirant and breathe deeply to try and stabilise your temperature.

9) There’s a bit of an odd atmosphere
Does the air feel heavy? Do your senses feel heightened? Sexual tension creates a physical response that makes it feel like the frequency in the room changes when you’re close to the person you’re attracted to.

10) Smiling
If you find yourself smiling when you think of the person, grinning when you see them and beaming when you engage with them, that can be a sure sign of sexual tension, especially if the smiles are mutual.

11) Laughing
Laughing releases feel-good hormones, and feel-good hormones put us at ease, so your propensity to laugh, giggle and joke around with another person both builds a chemical connection and shows that you like one another.

12) Touching each other
Maybe it’s a brush of their leg or a hand that lingers a little too long on a forearm after a funny joke. Whatever it is, subtle touching is definitely a sign of something bubbling beneath the surface.

13) You respond to touch by getting closer
If you happen to touch the other person, do they pull away or get closer? Do they lean in while you’re talking? If they move towards you, they’re probably attracted to you, or at least very comfortable with you being in their personal space.

14) You can’t help flirting
Joking around, making flirty comments and challenging each other are all signs that tension may be rising between you. If someone is flirting with you and you’re not enjoying it, it’s always good to respond with clarity by saying, ‘Don’t say that to me please, I don’t like it.’

 

15) ‘You two look great together!’
People telling you that you look, sound and act like you’d be good together suggests that others may be picking up on the sexual tension between you. Of course, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but if people saying these sorts of things makes you feel uncomfortable, be clear with your boundaries and make it known that these sorts of comments aren’t appropriate.

16) You tease each other
Making fun of one another is a way of forging a personal bond and flirting in the process. It’s also a sign that someone is paying attention to your mannerisms and actions. However, don’t confuse degradation for playful teasing. If something feels jarring, tell the other person you’re not enjoying the teasing and that being mocked hurts your feelings.

17) Daydreaming
Do you find yourself daydreaming about a particular person? If your thoughts keep drifting, you play out fantasy scenarios or often wonder how certain conversations might go, this distraction could be a sign of sexual tension.

18) X-rated dreams
Sexual dreams are totally normal but sometimes they can be disarming, especially if someone you weren’t expecting to see makes an appearance. Sexual dreams don’t always mean that we want sex with the person in them; dreams are complex expressions of our subconscious, after all. However, if you find yourself having steamy dreams about a particular person regularly, there might be some desire there.

19) You gravitate towards each other
If you and the person you’re experiencing sexual tension with always tend to gravitate towards each other at social events, or at work, or if you often bump into each other in the same places, there might be something in that.

20) Changes in mood
The problem with sexual tension is that it can be a source of confusion and frustration. No one is acting on their feelings and you are both likely somewhat anxious and embarrassed about them. If someone brings up attraction, dating, body language or anything that feels too close to home in conversation, you might feel the mood change as you both respond to the shift in energy and acknowledge what you’re feeling. Try not to panic. No one is calling you out. Just calmly change the subject.

21) You get butterflies
A burst of adrenaline and a rising heart rate can result in tummy flutters when the other person is around. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach is associated with nervousness so it doesn’t always mean that you’re experiencing sexual tension. However, when combined with the other signs, it is pretty likely that sexual tension is present.

Psychologist Smriti Joshi advises: ‘Sexual tension could be something that only one person feels, or it could be mutual. It’s important to remember that while this could be a precursor to a relationship, these feelings are mostly led by sexual desire, so you must consider if there is mutuality and consent if you want to pursue these feelings further.’

Julia concurs: ‘If you aren’t clear if the other person feels the same, try some light flirting and see how they respond. You may notice they mirror some of your body language, make eye contact, look at your mouth, or find excuses to talk to or be around you.

‘If you are feeling bold, and it’s safe and appropriate to do so, you can ask directly. This way you are sure to know if the tension is just in your head. Just make sure you are able to comfortably and considerately deal with the answer, even if it’s a rejection.’

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