Although sexual tension can be hard to define from one situation to the next, you know it when you feel it. It’s that delicious crackle of energy that passes between you and someone you’re attracted to when a flirtation is going according to plan. It makes you feel anxious, alive, and just the tiniest bit overwhelmed all at once but in the most wonderful way.

And the really great thing about sexual tension is you don’t have to wait for it to occur organically. You can (and should) learn to create it purposefully, especially if you’ve got your eye on someone specific. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Take your eye contact game up a notch.

Even in its simplest, most innocent form, eye contact is such a powerful way to hold someone’s attention and get a little bit of energy flowing between the two of you. And it’s so easy to kick things up a notch or two and use your eyes to generate some serious sexual tension.

Don’t simply look the person in the eyes. Instead, gaze into them deeply in a way that shows you’re intrigued by the person you’re focused on and invested in what they have to say. But be careful not to stare. The key to getting it right is to sustain eye contact for just a little longer than you usually would and then look away.

Master the art of push and pull.

Teasing your target with a playful game of push and pull is a surefire way to get some serious sexual tension going, especially if you know they’re already interested. First, you throw them a bone to pique their interest but then you back off again to keep them wanting more. You can do this verbally, physically, or both.

An example of verbal push-and-pull might involve dropping a compliment before verbally pulling away again, all in one sentence. “I can’t stop thinking about how funny you are, but I’m not sure whether you’re trustworthy.” Or you can go the physical route by getting up close and personal one moment before slyly slinking away again.

Set their curiosity on fire.

Generating irresistible sexual tension is all about creating a sense of intrigue around yourself. It’s about doling out enough interesting little tidbits to stir the person’s curiosity and keep them guessing, but never enough to make them feel like they’ve finally got you figured out. The idea is to always leave the person wanting a little more than they’re getting.

Tell interesting stories by feeding them to the person in bits and pieces, making sure to get them curious about what’s coming next before continuing. Answer questions in ways that set them up to ask you for more information right before asking them something about themselves. Use silence to your advantage when appropriate, letting your body language do the talking instead. You get the picture.

Exude confidence at all times.

When you’re really into someone and feel personally invested in the results of a flirtation despite yourself, it can be tough to feel confident. But it’s essential that you get over that, because confidence is genuinely one of the most irresistible qualities a person can have. Don’t worry if you’re not really feeling it at first. It’s totally okay to fake it until you make it.

Think of someone who exudes the kind of confidence you wish you had – a celebrity siren or a badass friend you admire. Pretend you’re them and channel a little bit of their spirit. Keep it up until it starts coming to you naturally. Convince yourself that the target of your flirtation is into you and totally wants you, even if you’re secretly afraid it’s not true. The boost you’ll get in the confidence department will be powerful.

Tease them over text.

If you and this person text or interact over social media at all, you can use that to your advantage. For one thing, the bit of distance it creates between the two of you can make it easier to be bolder. Also, it’s so easy to leverage the power of the push-and-pull dynamic mentioned above. The key is to tease them a bit and get them trying to impress you in spite of themselves.

Pay them a compliment on a post or a profile picture before backing off again. Spice up completely straightforward statements with ambiguous emojis to keep them guessing. Do your best to convey the message that you’re intrigued, but not all that impressed with them… yet. Give them a reason to want to give you more to prove their worthiness to you.

Sexual tension is best cultivated when someone sees you as captivating and possibly unattainable, yet there are also these little moments that make them wonder “what if.” So get them wondering and keep them guessing to distraction. It won’t be long before the air between you positively sizzles with sexual energy.