Skip to content

Home > Relationship Advice > Healthy Relationships > How to Build Sexual Tension: Tips from Top Sexologists

How to Build Sexual Tension: Tips from Top Sexologists

A couple who learned how to build sexual tension doing yoga together and flirting and touching each other.

In order to maintain a hot and steamy sex life, you’ve got to learn how to build sexual tension.

“It’s not just a precursor to pleasure—it’s pleasure in and of itself,” says Dr. Jess O’Reilly, Astroglide’s resident sexologist. “Research shows that dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with pleasure) is actually released in anticipation of receiving a reward (e.g. hot sex) as opposed to when the reward is received.”

She adds that when the anticipation is peppered with unpredictability, dopamine levels are twice as high. So one of the keys to building sexual tension is to build anticipation.

Try these 12 expert-approved ways to build sexual tension:

1. Start in the morning.
We’re all in a rush in the morning, so while you’re still laying in bed together after the alarm goes off, Dr. Jess says to kiss, touch, fondle, and get all riled up. But save the orgasm for the evening when you get home. This will keep that sexual tension alive all day.

2. Use that unlimited text plan.
Send some sexy and suggestive texts such as, “Can’t wait till Friday night,” or, “I’ve got the strawberries,” suggests Xanet Pailet, a sex and intimacy coach, and author of “Living an Orgasmic Life.”

“Be creative—alluring pictures can also start to build up the tension,” explains Pailet. “The key here is to create anticipation and desire.”

3. Talk dirty at creative times.
“Whisper something naughty in their ear while you’re out for dinner or at the theatre,” says Dr. Jess.

4. Tease them with your lips.
Dr. Jess suggests using breath kisses to build anticipation through the day/week. “Bring your lips as close to the surface of their skin as possible and breath gentle kisses over their collarbone, neck, inner thighs, etc.”

5. Touch and make out often.
And not just when other sexual activity is on the table. “If you touch and kiss more often and it doesn’t always lead to orgasm, you’ll make sex less predictable and reap the benefits of physical affection,” adds Dr. Jess.

6. Video sext.
Exchange short seductive sext videos with or without sound, suggests New York Times best-selling author Mary “HoneyB” Morrison, who is also a relationship and sex expert.

“Don’t overthink putting a smile on your partner’s face. Suction your mouth to a juicy peach, lick it, slowly circle your tongue around your lips, (moan if you want) then mouth, ‘You’re next.”

7. Send love notes.
Handwrite or text sexy riddles. “A naughty thought-provoking moment can make your lover hold his or her breath, anticipating what will happen if they get it right. No matter what the riddle, all answers lead to increasing your lover’s libido,” says Pailet.

8. Restrain yourself.
The longer you go without sex, the more you’ll want it. “Ban certain types of sex for set periods of time (e.g. no intercourse for a week),” says Dr. Jess. If you and your partner can hold out, when you finally get to get down, it’ll feel hotter than ever.

9. Get touchy.
Physically teasing a partner is extremely effective in creating tension. “A pinch on the butt, a bite on the neck, or deep intimate kissing, which does not lead to sex, starts to kindle the sexual fires of desire,” says Pailet. This might be coupled with a whisper of, “More later.”

10. Mix it up.
Have different types of sex at various times and in a range of places. Changing timing and location is a great way to be less predictable and build sexual tension.

“Try it in your laundry room or in the backseat of your car and then tease one another about all the hot experiences you’ve had to keep the tension high for months and years to come,” says Dr. Jess.

11. Don’t ever stop flirting!
“Flirting signals interest and desire, a key ingredient for a healthy sexual relationship. Leave a sexy voice message on your partner’s phone, whisper something provocative into their ear, put on your best sexy look using bedroom eyes or a mischievous smile,” suggests Pailet.

You’ll be building tension, and excitement, that will drive your partner wild.

More from The Date Mix
Dating Expert Shares Top 5 Online Dating Tips
Online Dating Tips Dating Expert Shares Top 5 Online Dating Tips
Top 5 Simple Tips for Healthy Relationships
Relationship Advice Top 5 Simple Tips for Healthy Relationships
7 Signs of Sexual Tension That Mean Things Are Heating Up
Flirting 7 Signs of Sexual Tension That Mean Things Are Heating Up
Top 10 Fall Date Ideas
Dating Advice Top 10 Fall Date Ideas