That flutter in your heart, that missed heartbeat or feeling like your stomach has knots all over sudden when you see him- that’s sexual tension. It happens once you are sexually attracted to someone as opposed to being attracted to them in a platonic way. You may not even be fully aware of it but your brain can’t be fooled. Your body will not be able to hide it. Research has shown that your brain will already know the kind of relationship it wants with a person the moment you meet them. The physical response as a result of that is what will drive you to pounce at the opportunity. The thing about sexual tension is that it can be fun but also frustrating. The hardest bit might be working out whether it is sexual tension or something else. A lot depends on your judgment. After all, you don’t want to make false assumptions and act on that only to be embarrassed in the worst way possible. To avoid that you need to get familiar with the signs of sexual tension:
17 signs of sexual tension to watch for
1. That teenage feeling
Childhood years are remembered with rose-tinted spectacles by many adults but once thing no one misses is the stuttering silence common when you are in the presence of your crush in the teenage years. If in your adulthood you are reverting to the teenage crush markers then there is a high possibility you are dealing with sexual tension.
2. Touching each other subtly
That brush of the hand or leg that lingers a little longer than it should is also a sign of sexual tension. Whatever might have led to that, it might point towards sexual tension boiling beneath the surface.
3. You are ultra-aware of physical contact
When there is super-charged sexual tension you will notice even the slightest brush of skin on skin. A light innocent touch on your back or hand will make you feel the sparks flying. That’s purely sexual chemistry. You are not the only one who will be affected by the touch though. Touching them will also cause tension and they may smile or look at you to determine whether it was intentional or not.
4. Lot’s of eye contact
It’s said to be the most basic sign of sexual tension. Usually, making eye contact is considered a polite gesture and that’s why people make that effort in the presence of strangers. However, when you are attracted to someone it won’t require any effort at all. On the same note, shy people struggle to make eye contact even when they are attracted to you. You also have to be good at reading signs because if they are avoiding eye contact it might mean they are not into you. Deep eye contact can also be an effort to determine exactly how you are feeling about them.
5. Contagious smiles
If there is sexual tension between the two of you, smiles will be really big and you’ll find yourself smiling right back. It’s contagious. It can be in the sense that you can’t stop smirking suggestively. If that is happening then it is one of the signs of sexual tension
6. People say that you make a cute couple
It’s hard to hide the signs of sexual tension from people you are always around or even strangers. If people keep assuming that you are a couple it means you can no longer hide the sexual tension. It could be that they sense the sexual tension between you or it has been causing you to act like you are actually a couple.
7. You laugh a lot
Laughing with someone or at something together is one of the ways couples or even friends bond. If you have been doing it a lot with someone you are attracted to it can be subtly conveying signs of sexual tension.
8. You tease each other a lot
Playground behavior is always with us no matter the age. It’s common for young boys to tease the girls they fancy. Teasing each other is a way of forging a personal bond and some degree of flirting happens in the process. For someone to tease you gently or playfully it means they have been paying attention to your actions and mannerisms. Thus, if that has been happening a lot it might be because of charged sexual tension.
9. Even in a crowd, you gravitate toward each other
It’s not a surprise to lose your friends during a night out and find each other when it’s time to go home. However, there are also night outs where you are hanging out with a single person for the better part of the night. If you are always gravitating towards a specific person every time you go out or even hang out in a group then maybe it isn’t really an accident but rather sexual tension driving you to each other’s arms.
10. When the two of you touch you get closer
Even if it is by accident, when there is sexual tension a touch will have the other person getting closer instead of pulling away. Responding to touch by getting closer means they are sexually attracted to you. This can even be subtle in that if your hand brushes their leg they don’t jerk it away but rather float their leg into your touch.
11. When talking to you they lean in
Someone who is sexually attracted to you will always give you attention. Leaning in when talking to someone means they want to give you their full attention. If that is the case then there is definitely sexual tension.
12. You are always aware of their presence in the room
You don’t have to be eyeing them directly but you’ll always watch out for their presence in the room. Every time they get near you get overly excited. Knowing that you are in the same room with them even if they are not near you might also make you excited.
13. They give you butterflies
Every time you see them you get a burst of adrenaline that makes you feel like you have butterflies in your stomach. You don’t need an expert to tell you that those are signs of sexual tension.
14. Awkward conversations
You’ll be overly critical of what you say to someone you are sexually attracted to and that’s why you may find yourself making silly jokes, forgetting words or even giving stunted answers. Don’t think that your jokes are rubbish because it might be the super-charged sexual tension between you.
It’s not strange to glance up at the same time as someone else. Nevertheless, if your eyes soften into a stare and they also do the same there is a high possibility of sexual tension.
16. Your daydream about them
Training your brain to focus on one thing for an extended duration of time isn’t easy. It becomes even harder if you add someone you are sexually attracted to in the picture. You’ll barely be able to concentrate on the task at hand because you will be preoccupied with creating scenarios involving the person you fancy that have a zero chance of happening.
17. They appear in your x-rated dreams
You may have strangers pop-up in your personal dreams but at times it will be a familiar face. The person you fancy may appear a lot in your x-rated dreams but it doesn’t really mean that they feel the same way as you do.
Sexual tension between friends
A romantic relationship that develops from a friendship produces a deep and long-lasting connection. It’s not a surprise given that you have taken the time to understand, know and care for each other. Thus, the romance that develops from that will definitely be healthy. Interacting with a friend feels more comfortable as opposed to spending time with a potential romantic partner at times. With friends, you are already sure that they know and accept the real you hence the ability to let go in their presence and just be you. However, at times you may have to reflect on whether it is just a deep friendship or you are sexually attracted to your friend.
If there is sexual tension you’ll have to decide on whether to act on it or not. However, bear in mind that it can complicate the relationship you already have which could have negative or positive outcomes. If you don’t want to lose the friendship you have it’s important to explore what you want for the future instead of just following your sexual urges. If the feelings are not mutual there are steps you can take to avoid “getting physical.” They include:
1. Avoid being alone with your friend
The sexual attraction will eventually wear down when not acted upon especially if you already know the other person doesn’t feel the same. However, this requires the “no contact rule” to come into action most of the time. Nevertheless, this will be almost impossible if it is sexual tension between friends. Given that you can’t avoid them totally without raising some concern you can at least make sure you are not alone during the hangouts. Invite a second person or go out in public places until you are sure you can be with them in private without your sexual urges getting in the way.
2. Talk to another friend about it
If you have another friend or a trusted person you can talk to about this then go ahead and do it. Telling someone else what has been bothering you can actually lessen the burden and make you feel better. However, pick wisely when it comes to disclosing to someone else about the sexual tension between friends because you don’t want the object of your desire hearing it from someone else. It can be deeply embarrassing not to mention that this friendship can even end.
3. Talk to your friend about it
It can also be a good idea to tell your friend that you are sexually attracted to him or her but you are not ready to act on that. If they know about the existing sexual tension they’ll understand when you want to take some time off and be on your own to adjust. Also, you won’t have fights about why you ghosted them or why you have been saying no to hanging out with them.
4. Don’t flirt with them
If the mutual attraction signs are apparent you don’t want to be flirting. It will only worsen things and probably end in tears. If the other person doesn’t feel the same way or the friendship will be in jeopardy should you act on the sexual urges you need to watch out for the actions that can cause things to spiral. Take note of these mutual attraction signs and avoid putting more fuel on the fire through flirting.
5. Remind yourself why it will be a bad idea to act on the urges
Even the most principled human being will find it hard to adhere to what is right at times especially when the “wrong” thing seems so tempting. Therefore, always take a second to remind yourself why you shouldn’t act on those sexual urges no matter how strong they are. It will take a few minutes or hours to give in and do the deed but the consequences will stay for a long time. It takes a split of a second to decide on what to do. However, you can’t undo the deed once done. In the same split of a second, you can decide to do what’s best for the friendship. Thus, get to know the signs of strong physical attraction and how not to be sucked into the rabbit hole because of that.
Solutions to sexual tension between coworkers
The sexual tension between friends is difficult to navigate but the sexual tension between coworkers is even harder. A coworker is a person you have to see and collaborate with to achieve the organization’s goals daily. Also, should things escalate you can even lose your job! That’s why you have to tread carefully on this matter. The good thing is that there are several things you can do to avoid that. First of all, get to know the signs of sexual tension between coworkers so that you are not caught off guard. From there it will be easy to take proper steps to ensure it doesn’t come to that. They include:
1. Focus on yourself
Set some time for self-care every day. It helps you be more in tune with your emotions and even with yourself. Anything that can keep your mind busy enough to avoid thinking about your co-worker and the sexual tension between the two of you is a bonus. Distancing yourself from them also helps cool off the feelings you have towards them.
2. Find a hobby
If much of your time is spent obsessing over a coworker you need to find a hobby to redirect that energy. Every day you will wake up excited about the end of the day when you get to indulge in something you love that consumes your mind completely. Going to work and being near someone you just want to throw against the wall and kiss will not be that hard to deal with when you know what awaits you at the end of the day. Thus, take the opportunity and find hobbies you enjoy. It doesn’t even have to be a single thing. You can pick several things to do on different days of the week. The more packed your week is the less time you’ll have to think about the coworker you are obsessing over.
3. Seek professional help
Signs of sexual tension are not a life sentence and adjusting is easy once you know that the other person doesn’t feel the same. However, it can be difficult at times for some people and that’s when you need to seek professional help, at least during the initial phases. Navigating signs of strong physical attraction on your own without the right tools can feel like being thrown into the deep end with no idea what to do. It’s even more critical in the work setting given how much is at stake. Thus, don’t be afraid to see a therapist to work it through. Having someone more experienced to confide in and talk to about how to handle the situation will be much helpful. Also, you will bounce back quickly.
4. Take yourself off cases you are working on with the coworker
It will be difficult to work closely with someone you fancy especially when the sexual tension is too much. Remember that some projects will have you taking field days together or staying late in the office just to get ahead. However, it will be the worst idea if there are evident signs of sexual tension because there is a high possibility that you’ll end up having sex. Therefore, it will be a good idea to take yourself off the projects until you are confident that you can be close to the other person without daydreaming about how their lips taste.
5. Go out on dates
Even with sexual tension, when you start focusing on someone else things will cool off. However, when all the sexual energy within is directed towards a single person and it’s unrequited it’s easy to act impulsively. Thus, go out on dates even if it is with people you are not particularly attracted to. The goal is to divert the sexual tension and also get some time off to think about how you want the relationship with your coworker to progress in the future.
6. Go on vacation
If you have not been taking your leave days it is time you did that and traveled. Being in a new environment resets your mind and those signs of sexual tension that were bothering you might even disappear. A new place means interacting with new people and you may have a new crush before the end of the day. By the time you get back to work, you may not even remember why the signs of sexual tension seemed such a big deal. Therefore, take a break and be away from the coworker even if it is for three days. You’ll be surprised how much a break and a new environment can do.
7. Be professional
Flirting or subtle touching will only worsen things. Therefore, maintain professionalism once you start noticing that the signs of sexual tension are getting in the way of your work. Things you previously let slide should be noted and acted upon. Being professional and distant helps in resetting the boundaries so that everyone is clear about the relationship to avoid acting on assumptions that would only lead you down a dangerous path. Given what is at stake and the fact that the company is depending on your professionalism to achieve its mission you don’t want to be risking that.
8. Talk to your coworker about it
If it is someone you have a good relationship with you can disclose your feelings. However, this is not advisable if you are sexually attracted to your boss or a coworker you don’t have a close relationship with. Letting him or her know how you feel will feel like a load has been lifted off your shoulders and it won’t seem like such a big deal. Actually, some people are nice to the extent that they will joke about it in a way that makes you feel less awkward. You won’t have to avoid them or miss work just because of the signs of sexual tension. However, use your best judgment to decide on this.
Human beings are sexual beings and there is no reason to feel embarrassed or bothered about the sexual tension between you and a stranger, a coworker or even a friend. What you decide to do about it is what matters. Thus, use your best judgment. Acting upon your urges can be the start of a new relationship or even end of the sexual tension and reset your bearing. It’s also okay not to act on them if the future relationship with the person will be compromised or the action will have a negative outcome in your life. Choose wisely!