Behind the Scenes - On Sexual Tension

What are some of the sexiest scenes you’ve seen in movies? And I don’t mean graphic… I mean sexy. Note the difference. At the extreme, you have modern-day porn. Porn, while graphic and sexual, is not really sexy. In fact, while a pornographic sex scene may be hot, the atmosphere is often borderline humorous (cheesy scene involving a delivery boy pop into your head?).

I’m not talking about those scenes.

I’m talking about the scenes where the clothes usually stay on, but the tension is so tight that it feels like the walls could cave in at any second. It is these scenes that are the sexiest… and the sneakiest… of them all. The scenes are sneaky in the sense that they tip-toe their way into PG and PG-13 movies, while their visually graphic counterparts remain in the land of R ratings and porn. But moreover, they are sneaky in the sense of the capacity of their appeal. For while adolescent males openly laud, for example, the greatness of Halle Barry’s bare chest in Swordfish, scores of pre-teen, teen, young adult, and adult females are struck by similar, if not more intense, feelings of sexuality from seemingly harmless movies like the Twilight series.

[Imagine what would happen if producers tried to drop in tits and heavy sex scenes in PG movies to appeal to a wider audience…]

It would be completely erroneous to assume that girls do not derive sexual pleasure from the movies they watch. In fact, I would argue that in many cases, girls have derived more sexual pleasure from their movie viewings (in both quantity and intensity). But it’s different. The sex appeal is less in the graphic and more in the subtext. In other words, the sexual appeal is in the tension

And this is where guys fuck it up.

I guarantee that 90% of the individuals who seek out Love Systems probably have a problem with building tension. On the contrary, my best natural friends seem to have this down better than anything else. And this was one of the first things I noticed as I started to develop a deeper understanding of “pick-up.” That is, my natural friends would often make errors regarding their outer game, but for many of them, their control of tension and subtext was unparalleled by most people I had met in the “community.”

The caveat is that sexual tension can be extremely difficult to teach. Reason being is that while some of its components are rooted in outer game (a.k.a. the words coming out of your mouth), a large part of tension is built and maintained through your subtext -- things you do physically, and the vibe you carry with you.

Check out this clip from Woody Allen’s film, Match Point, for a near-perfect example of sexual tension. Note the feelings and emotions the clip stirs up. The sexiness of the scene is less in the visual (though, Scarlett Johansson is pretty damn hot), and more in the sex appeal of the interactions’ subtext.