RULES FOR romance are a trap.

Desires and the seduction techniques we use to manifest satisfaction vary depending on our mood.

And anyone who thinks friendship starts in a romance before the fireworks isn’t doing it right (and likely not having much fun or success finding lasting love, either).

Romantic encounters often bring caution with them, because mystery upon meeting is an important aphrodisiac.

The slow reveal of who you are and what matters to you is part of the romantic dance of sexual attraction, which friendship obliterates if you choose to get chummy too soon.

Nothing kills mystery or romance like friendship.

Alex and T.J., my heroine and hero in Below the Beltway, aren’t thinking about starting a new relationship when they first meet. Something just happens.

Desire ignites long before you become friends.

T.J. leaned forward and kissed her. It was a soft, warm first kiss. The moment of truth for two people attracted to each other when you wait to see how it feels, if the attraction will become a spark that ignites. Or not. Their first kiss confirmed the lust between them, so once was not enough for T.J. He kissed her again, both of them responding with their whole bodies this time. [from Below the Beltway, Chapter: “No Rules,” page 95]

After that it gets NSFW, because the sexiest parts of life aren’t rated “G.”

Below the Beltway takes place in the bountiful natural wonder around our nation's capital. photo: Taylor Marsh, LLC

Below the Beltway takes place in the bountiful natural wonder around our nation’s capital.
photo: Taylor Marsh, LLC

Waiting to know someone before you jump into bed is fine if you’re inexperienced and don’t know what you want.

By the time you’re in your thirties or forties, the pretense is childish because when you see it, you know it.

When someone captures our attention through attraction, the first thing we think is not about friendship. Later flirtations ignite physical responses that drive us towards seeking some kind of physical gratification or social media obsession, take your pick.

Even when you delay your deepest desires for a month or two, the friendship hasn’t flowered into what it could be until you break down, let go and sleep with the person.

It’s hard to know what you’re feeling or what’s real when your loins are on fire.

If the sex is bad, it’s over.

Waiting for friendship to blossom before you have sex is a 20th-century notion.

What binds people in a tight romantic relationship depends on the initial attraction and physical bond you forge when you’re naked together.

Until you’ve shared your kinky thinking you don’t know what you’re getting. And it’s this intimacy that will fuel your romantic relationship and build a sexual bond that can become your refuge.

After you find out if you’re sexually compatible, that’s when investing in your friendship offers the potential to take your romance to the highest level.