Crafting Sexual Tension with Jeffe Kennedy

The key element for taking a scene from ho-hum to cold-shower-worthy is sexual tension. Learn how to draw out suspense, build expectation, and deliver that crucial climax.

Your Instructor: Jeffe Kennedy, author of the Twelve Kingdoms and Uncharted Realms books

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 16 students

Price: $175

Class Description

What makes a scene go from ho-hum to cold-shower-worthy?

The key is sexual tension. Without that basic conflict—as with all stories—the momentum of the scene will falter and lose steam. Which is exactly what you don't want with your sex scenes!

In Crafting Sexual Tension, award-winning author Jeffe Kennedy will teach you what creates sexual tension, and then how to build it in your own stories—regardless of genre or sexual explicitness—for maximum impact.

Jeffe has been dubbed by her editor as “The Queen of Sexual Tension." She's the Rita® Award Winning author of fantasy, fantasy romance and erotic romance—and she'll give away her secrets for drawing out the suspense, building expectations and finally delivering those crucial climactic moments.

Students will participate in exercises to practice skills and will be able to submit short scenes to Kennedy or the entire group for feedback. All skill levels are welcome—whether you write romance, erotica, or just don't want to find yourself in the running for the Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award

What This Class Covers

Week One – Seduction (or Laying the Groundwork)

What makes sex scenes powerful—and more than Wham, Bam—is the seduction of the reader through sexual tension. You'll spend the first week talking about the lead-up to sex.

Lesson One – Identifying Sexual Tension

Learn to identify what story elements build sexual tension and how to weave them in from the beginning to lay the groundwork for explosive results later.

Lesson Two – Sensual Language

Word choice and pacing can make all the difference. Discover how changing prose elements like cadence and assonance, among others, can enhance seduction and sex.

Lesson Three – The Moment Before the Kiss

This lesson covers everything up to first contact or the first kiss. How to build that anticipation.

Lesson Four – Building Longing

Attraction isn’t enough. For sex scenes that truly deliver, a lot of promise needs to be built up, which means justifying and intensifying longing.

Week Two – Sealing the Deal (or Delivering on the Promise)

After the seduction and getting that consent, the actual sex should be more than “Brace yourself, Bridget.” In the second week you'll delve into writing intimate physical contact—how to keep it fresh, within character, and contributing to the overall emotional growth and story arc.

Lesson Five – First Contact

This may be the first kiss—or something else. The moment of initial intimate contact sets the stage for the ultimate coming together.  

Lesson Six – Foreplay

More than groping in the back seat. Well done foreplay teases the reader and sets up expectations for later.

Lesson Seven – Going for the Full Monty

Writing the actual intercourse. It’s seriously not Tab A into Slot B. You'll look at the pacing and rhythm of sex scenes, and the emotional promise they should deliver on.

Lesson Eight – Blending Sex Scenes into the Story

To finish, you'll look back at the tools developed thus far and examine how the progression of sexual tension is integral to the overall story and character development.


Throughout the two weeks, you’ll get writing assignments to use scenes from your own works-in-progress to test out your new skills, to be critiqued by Jeffe and your classmates. 

Goals Of This Class

  • Learn what builds sexual tension and how to tweak story elements to take advantage of it.
  • Learn how to use sensual language to enhance sex scenes.
  • Learn how to build longing and use it to intensify conflict and round-out characterization.
  • Learn how to write sex scenes that deliver on sensual promise and that add to the overall story movement and character transformation.
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