How to Tell If You Have Sexual Tension With Someone

Sexuality is a part of wellness that often gets overlooked due to the taboos. Cultural taboos around talking about sexuality prevent a lot of people from admitting their feelings and dealing with them. Suppressed feelings can result in a lot of shame, self-doubt, anxiety and depression, which results in a negative feedback loop. Instead of suppressing feelings, therapists recommend that people find a safe way to express them. In some cases, the type of relationship may interfere with that expression. This leads to sexual tension. In a study published at the end of June, Mind Body Green explored the ways that people can detect sexual tension and bring the topic into the light. By shedding light on this topic, people can explore their feelings and avoid the shame, embarrassment and guilt that can lead to worse mental health. Here are some ways to find out if you have sexual tension with someone.

What Sexual Tension Is

Sexual tension is a type of electric feeling that two people experience when they're in proximity to each other. They want to be intimate, but there's no way to act on it in the moment. This could be due to a relationship or environmental context. One or both of the parties might be unsure of how to navigate the feeling. It's also possible that the opportunity to act on the feelings hasn't presented itself.

Some people describe it as a vibe in the ether. It feels alive, and the person is reciprocating the feelings. It's palpable to observers who aren't involved in the feelings. Sexual tension is different from a one-sided attraction. The tension is a force between two or more people who have sexual interest in each other. If the other party or parties don't share the feeling, it's not tension. It's a crush.

Signs of Sexual Tension

The signs of sexual attention are recognized by both parties when the feeling is mutual. The most common signs include:

•Intense or suggestive eye contact
•Increased eye contact
•Increased physical contact, even if the touch is non-sexual
•Accidental touches that serve as a test to check on whether or not the feeling is mutual
•Erotic dreams or sexual fantasies
•Daydreaming about the other person
•More flirting
•Changing of voice or speech cadence
•Telling jokes or sharing secrets
•Feeling awkward
•Blushing or skin flushes
•Open body language
•Getting into each other's personal space
•Feeling warm when around the other person
•Removing physical barriers, such as empty chairs
•Feeling of giddiness
•Sense of taboo

These signs must be reciprocated in order for there to be tension and not just a one-sided crush.

Is It Good or Bad?

When it comes to wellness, no feeling is good or bad. Feelings just are. In some cases, acting on the feelings can be inappropriate or even wrong. For example, sexual tension between a professor and their student is typically banned by a university's code of conduct, and it's the professor's duty, not the student's, to maintain that boundary. On the other hand, sexual tension can feel good when it adds to the suspense of waiting to establish a relationship with the other person.

What Can Go Wrong With Sexual Tension

Many people find sexual tension to be distracting. They might resent the feeling if they're already in a relationship. If sexual tension is acted upon, the person who's already in a relationship may feel intense shame, guilt or anger with themselves. If the person with whom someone shares sexual tension is the friend or sibling of a partner, an employee or other inappropriate person for a sexual relationship, the feeling could have a negative impact on the person's life. Sexual tension could also lead to job loss. If the person is a licensed professional, such as a teacher, they could be banned from their profession or face criminal or civil charges for their actions.

Dealing With the Tension

Talking about the tension is key. The two people should find a private space and plenty of time to have the discussion in a respectful way. On the other hand, if it would be inappropriate to act on the tension, the conversation would go differently. It's still important to bring it into the open. You might have to state your feelings then set boundaries, remove yourself from the situation or reaffirm yourself in another way in order to decrease the sexual energy.

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