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Mating in Captivity | [Esther Perel]

Mating in Captivity

Esther Perel takes on tough questions, grappling with the obstacles and anxieties that arise when our quest for secure love conflicts with our pursuit of passion. She invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home.
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Publisher's Summary

Esther Perel takes on tough questions, grappling with the obstacles and anxieties that arise when our quest for secure love conflicts with our pursuit of passion. She invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home.

In her 20 years of clinical experience, Perel has treated hundreds of couples whose home lives are empty of passion. They describe relationships that are open and loving, yet sexually dull. What is going on?

In this explosively original book, Perel explains that our cultural penchant for equality, togetherness, and absolute candor is antithetical to erotic desire for both men and women. Sexual excitement doesn't always play by the rules of good citizenship. It is politically incorrect. It thrives on power plays, unfair advantages, and the space between self and other. More exciting, playful, even poetic sex is possible, but first we must kick egalitarian ideals and emotional housekeeping out of our bedrooms.

While Mating in Captivity shows why the domestic realm can feel like a cage, Perel's take on bedroom dynamics promises to liberate, enchant, and provoke. Flinging the doors open on erotic life and domesticity, she invites us to put the "X" back in sex.

©2006 Esther Perel; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"As revelatory as it is straightforward....Perel sanctions fantasy and play and offers the estranged modern couple a unique richness of experience." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (383 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Luc Vaughan, ON, Canada 03-17-15
    Luc Vaughan, ON, Canada 03-17-15 Member Since 2014

    I am an entrepreneur and I love Audiobooks

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    "Great book for anyone in a long term relationship"

    She doesn't exactly give you how to tips but she unpacks the concepts in a way that makes you better understand. I now understand what I am feeling and see the situation more clearly

    Book starts a little slow but get better as you go

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 03-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very logical and insightfull analysis."

    A great analysis to help comprehend the why on marriage sex problems. A guide to reflexion on the subject. Great reading for both individuals in a long term couple relationship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 02-21-15
    Justin 02-21-15
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    "Thought Provoking"

    I really enjoyed this book, one read isn't enough. Touches on so many points of a couples sexual relationship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mouli Burlingame, CA 01-06-15
    Mouli Burlingame, CA 01-06-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved this!"

    I saw myself in many of the examples and recognized misconceptions in thinking and the perspective of my partner. While listening I was able to envision a new erotic life with my partner that I couldn't conceive of before. He's reading it too so we can both learn the benefits. I may give this book to friends just getting married or having a baby. I will certainly recommend it to close friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MBL-EP 11-01-14
    MBL-EP 11-01-14
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    "Brilliant"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I think this book gave me great insights into some of the mysteries surrounding sex (or often the lack thereof) in long term relationships...


    What does Esther Perel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love that she is the reader. By reading it herself to her audience she was able to convey the book exactly in the way she intended to.


    Any additional comments?

    It is an intelligently written book on a very important subject. You will be glad you listened to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 09-14-14
    Michael 09-14-14
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    "Sexy, Exhilerating, Terrifying and True"
    Any additional comments?

    There were a jumble of issues compounding in my relationship that I knew were nearly universal, and yet I couldn't find much comfort in knowing that a majority of people in relationships shared my anxieties. Really, it caused me to wonder if there were just no answers to be had. Esther, through her work and private life, has obviously been observing these common anxieties for years. She has pioneered her way through the terra incognita of human sexual behavior, to bring back "Mating in Captivity". She delivers her observations in progressive "ah ha" moments, each one building more on the last, so that you feel as if you are embarking on adventure to revisit your sex drive and the wisdom that it imparts as you navigate through relationships and life. As the pace of the journey increases, so does your faith and appreciation for her as a practical tour guide in the volatile jungle of human sexual nature. She speaks about sex frankly and humorously, with the authority and exuberance of an explorer. While she certainly has the paper credentials, you can almost hear her relaxing into her chair as she gets into the more frank discussions of sexual details and fetishes, where other "sex experts" (i.e. school marms and dogmatic preachers) would merely tense up and change the subject.

    Each chapter moved me miles ahead in solving not just my own puzzles, but also did wonders at illuminating the struggles of virtually every man or woman on earth that is attempting or has attempted to have an intimate relationship with another person, much less feel loved and appreciated on a consistent basis by that person. Furthermore, It isn't simple to integrate our private sexual selves and our public romantic selves. Especially when the topic of sex in general is so off limits in so many marriage bedrooms. And where a majority of "traditional" philosophies fall short or side step the elephant in the room, Esther delivers many unnerving, but also invigorating potential solutions.

    Esther is an intriguing champion of individual cars and liberties, but she is also a wisely conscientious one. She doesn't really hold back on any subject, but she avoids both cruelty and cliche.

    It's simple. The end of the book drove me to tears, as her choice of last words not only astonished, but also liberated me from a long-held lie that was bringing our 12 year relationship to it's knees. However, when I read that last sentence, I knew that the very thing that was broke would now have the opportunity to be fully restored. I now had all the keys for our respective cages, and I was more than willing to break us out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed 08-30-14
    Ed 08-30-14 Member Since 2012
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    "An Objective View on a Biased Topic"
    What did you love best about Mating in Captivity?

    In a promiscuous society where there is a lack of long-term erotic passion, Perel tells us why and how to fix it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mating in Captivity?

    A light went on when I realized the tension between love and passion is a paradox to live with and not a problem to be solved.


    What does Esther Perel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Listening to her accent gives her more international "credibility." She has the experience of having lived in many cultures which don't have democracy in the bedroom as an unwritten rule.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, there was too much thought provoking material to digest in one sitting. That being said, I listened to it 3 times in 6 weeks.


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to listening to her next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlene Philadelphia, MS, United States 07-07-14
    Charlene Philadelphia, MS, United States 07-07-14
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    "Great Book to Get A Conversation Started"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mating in Captivity to be better than the print version?

    Maybe, I loved listening, but her pronunciation of many words had me pausing to realize what she said. That interrupts the thought process a little, but over all, it was really good.


    Any additional comments?

    This book would be a really good tool in discussions with married people who may or may not be having difficulties. It could help solve a problem or just enrich an already good relationship.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David H Palo Alto, CA United States 02-21-14
    David H Palo Alto, CA United States 02-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Challenging but well worth listening!"

    This is a great reminder of the simple fact that marriage is not an end but a journey. Regardless of our relationship status, we don't own the other. We must always earn our place. There are so many great examples of assumptions brought in to relationship which don't serve the marriage nor the people in it. She also does a great job of exposing our current myths and assumptions about relationship. It's not an easy book in some ways. Well worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zoe 12-27-13
    Zoe 12-27-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Captivating voice and Interesting ideas"
    What made the experience of listening to Mating in Captivity the most enjoyable?

    Esther Perel's voice is beautiful and captivating. I always enjoy having the author read their own book, but it works especially well in this case. Mating in Captivity combines Perel's true patient stories with her own views on monogamy, marriage, partnership, and eroticism. Eros, which plays a huge role in the book, is described in a way that makes it seem practical, necessary, too-often forgotten, and desired.


    What other book might you compare Mating in Captivity to and why?

    Although I have not listened to the audio version, I think Mating in Captivity could be compared to 'In my Daughter's Bedroom'.


    What about Esther Perel’s performance did you like?

    Perel's voice and accent allow for a full range of emotional expression. Raw, soothing, dripping with sensuality, and sensitive.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    People who are interested in the topic of eroticism and sexuality studies will be the major audience for this book. I think it's also appropriate for anyone who is in a relationship which prioritizes mutual communication, and/or those who want to expand their knowledge and understanding of desire and eros.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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