OK, so you've got a new crush, and now all you can think about is whether or not things will work out between you — both romantically and sexually. The key to predicting your connection? It's about looking out for early signs of sexual chemistry.
"[Sexual chemistry] is the first thing that ignites a relationship," Britanny Burr, editor-at-large at Psych N Sex, tells Elite Daily. "Even just in terms of attraction from afar, you're seeing the way that someone engages with their surroundings and moves about a room, and you feel drawn to them. Or, you see the way that they're engaging with you and your body and the space surrounding you, and you feel drawn to them or connected with them."
Essentially, sexual chemistry is what draws you in to someone — but it's also important beyond just your initial interactions with them. It's something that definitely needs to be kept up in a relationship, as Burr says it can sometimes peter out when both of your emotions get stronger and things get more complicated.
"It's important to keep it up because [it's] literally what triggers the chemical reaction of our excitement towards that individual, our draw to them, our sexual attraction to them, and our interest in them, [and it] spurs our emotional connections as well," Burr explains.
So, how can you tell if you have good sexual chemistry with someone from the get-go? Body language has a lot to do with it and so does the way you interact with one another — and mostly, you can trust your gut instincts. Here's what you need to know.
1. You're not hyper-aware of every single thing.
One sign you don't have good sexual chemistry is if things feel forced and you're hyper-aware of every little thing, so if that's happening, it's probably not a good sign.
"Something that I find when you absolutely do not [have good sexual chemistry], is that the engagements tend to feel really clunky and you feel hyper-aware of your thoughts," Burr says. "So, if you're sitting next to someone and you're hyper aware of the placement of their hands or how close or not close your bodies are, you likely don't have the best sexual chemistry because these things should come naturally."
Of course, when nerves come into play (first dates aren't exactly the easiest, most comfortable things ever!), it can be hard to tell the difference, so that's something to be aware of.
"I think that first dates are kind of a no-man's land where you need to really watch yourself from passing any first judgment," Burr explains. "Nerves really stunt everyone's movements both physically and socially, and often bring out a very weird side of anyone. I think that if you're clearly having an intellectual and emotional vibe, I would not count them out."
However, Burr does note that if the awkward feelings continue, it's something to make a note of.
"If it becomes a trend on second and third [dates], then I would be very concerned, especially because, if you're a person who is quite comfortable with others, dating someone who takes a lot of time to get accustomed is something that you're going to find tension with over and over again in different social settings and in new benchmarks as you pass them," she says.
Essentially, if it doesn't feel like you have the best sexual chemistry right off the bat, but you're still interested in someone, don't give up right away. Feel it out, and see if things improve.
2. They angle themselves towards you.
Body language is the key here — the way your crush stands or sits next to you and how and if they face you can all indicate sexual chemistry one way or another.
"If they're fine facing you point blank and not always kind of angling their body away from you, that's a very good sign," Burr says. "If someone's always standing next to you rather than facing you...[or] not really looking at you, not making facial contact, not angling their face and body towards you — that's definitely a bad sign."
Burr points out that, again, this isn't something you should judge harshly from a first date because nerves can throw off your body language, but it's definitely a big thing to think about.
3. Eye contact doesn't feel weird.
Body language and eye contact go hand-in-hand, so the way you look at each other can be an important sign of sexual chemistry.
"If they're comfortable making and holding eye contact, that is a sign of good chemistry," Burr explains.
Again, maintaining eye contact can be a challenge when you're feeling nervous, so keep that in mind — but if you and your date still can't really make or keep eye contact that doesn't feel weird and awkward, that's a sign that good chemistry isn't really there.
4. Your movements together feel fluid.
One of the biggest tells of sexual chemistry is how you and your crush interact with one another — the way you move next to each other, and the way you touch. It should all feel really natural and fluid.
"If you feel inclined to reach out and make physical contact with this person, if you feel inclined to be closer to them, if you feel a fluidity in the way your bodies move together, you definitely have a really good sexual chemistry," Burr says.
You want to have a different kind of awareness of each other, unlike the kind that feels forced and awkward — it's like you're so aware of each other's bodies and movements in a way that just comes to you naturally.
"I heard an analogy once of a couple that had incredible chemistry setting a table together," Burr says. "They were setting a table, and neither of them were reaching for the same thing at once. They were moving about, they were reaching behind each other and through each other's arms, and it was just like such a fluid, almost dance-like motion because they were just so hyper-aware of each other's bodies, in the good kind of way where it's like a given awareness."
5. Your conversation flows nicely.
Like your movements, your conversations should be very fluid, too.
"Communication is just so huge when it comes to sexuality," Burr says. "So, if you find you're speaking over one another, or your conversation is stopping and starting and a little stuttery, and it's not comfortable and not fluid...[that's not a sign of good chemistry.]"
It's one thing to deal with a few awkward moments of silence, especially during initial interactions, but if just having a conversation feels clunky all the time, that's something to pay attention to. Basically, you want it to feel easier.
"You can tell sexual chemistry and chemistry in general with the degree of ease you feel around that individual, so if things don't feel easy, and weird things that should be simple feel forced...it should just so not be a thing, it should be really easy and really second-nature," Burr says.
6. You follow your instincts, and it works.
A good way to test your sexual chemistry early on, Burr says, is to trust your gut and follow your instincts.
"If you're sitting next to someone and you feel compelled to take their hand or put a hand on their lap or move closer, do it," Burr says. "And if it doesn't go well, then no [you don't have good sexual chemistry], because if you're following your instincts, that's something that you can't really change. You're always going to follow your instincts, and if your instinctual reactions don't fit well with theirs, then that is problematic."
However, Burr notes that "consent is king in all of these settings," so make sure you're factoring that in, too.
"If you're making advances and they're not landing, instead of being like, 'Whatever, this sucks,' just figure out why," Burr says. "Because there might be a really obvious issue or just a hold-back that you're not even acknowledging, and it can be a lot easier than we think."
This is when it's important to talk about things, and to remember that even though chemistry should come naturally, there's a learning curve to be aware of with new partners.
"They have their own sexuality, you have yours, and then there's a third one, which is between the two of you, which takes building and learning and a lot of open communication," Burr says. "So rather than going home and being like, 'Oh well, we don't have sexual chemistry. Too bad, I liked them,' I think it'd be good to start a discussion — an open discussion — being like, 'Hey, I'm a touchy person, so I'm probably going to reach out and make physical contact a lot, is that okay with you?'"
At the end of the day, as Burr says, "sexual chemistry is something that is very much there or not there — and that's not to say that it can't be improved, but from the get-go, if it's there, you'll know specifically because of your inclinations."
This post was originally published on May 14, 2018. It was updated on Aug. 7, 2019 by Elite Daily Staff.