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
"As revelatory as it is straightforward....Perel sanctions fantasy and play and offers the estranged modern couple a unique richness of experience." (Publishers Weekly)
Love Sci Fi and Fantasy books since I was 8, starting reading A Princess of Mars series in Junior High School thanks to my Uncle Lester.
I found it really difficult to understand her and to listen to the author read this book. This is one of the few books I have never finished.
Esther is an excellent author that is relevant to many couples who are bored in the bedroom. She brings much wisdom and experience in what causes the boredom, or the lack of Eros. Where she falls short is demonstrating concrete steps that couples can take to address their specific issues. While every relationship is different, and figuring out why Eros has vanished is helpful, there should be some more obvious guidance on how to breath life back into a sexually dead relationship. If you read between the lines, if you connect the dots throughout the book, then you can certainly draw accurate co conclusions.... Heavy accent isn't bad in short spurts but can make listening in long stretches a challenge.
Examples, detailed, eloquent
I loved the scene about one of Dr. Perel's couples case studies with a Japanese woman who didn't speak English and her American boyfriend. He had to show her a beautiful art display by getting her to put on her coat and walk across New York with him. The kind of playfulness they have because of the language barrier (but really, the freedom from shared cultural taboos) was her point.
I'll always remember the scene where Dr. Perel uses a scene from "Fiddler on the Roof" with the characters Golde and Tevye, where he asks her whether she loves him. It was a very poetic way for Dr. Perel to nail the point of her discussion in this book, about the eroticism beyond simple routine or cooperation she's trying to define so that it can be cultivated by couples.
No, this book requires intervals of time periodically to absorb some of the deep learning. This is great if you're also discussing the material with your partner!
This book helps you open up and understand that your sexuality is not something to be hidden away but openly discussed with your partner. It reassures you that desire and sexual fantasy are something natural that everyone experiences and could ponder to improve their erotic enjoyment.
First, take a listen to Esther Perel's TED talks to see if you like her voice. I found listening to Esther Perel not only instructive but hypnotic. Her many many examples of clients she has helped through her counseling provides all sorts of useful scenarios (and hangups) as well as resolutions that couples have achieved no matter what they were struggling with.
The bottomline is that eroticism is key to happy relationships. It's not all about sex. You will learn how to have the excitement and tension and lust in your committed relationship that you might be tempted to find outside of your partnership. She'll teach you how to spark what keeps us alive in the long run within your long-term relationships.
Have an open mind as you listen. You might be tempted to think "that's not our problem." But it probably is. And looking inward as you listen will really help.
It's nice that she tells stories about couples who are both straight and gay. She also touches on polyamory / open relationships.
This is a great title for anyone looking to gain insight into their relationship and the sexual dynamics that tend to cause strife. Dr. Perels worldly views on a topic that affects is all, is both refreshing and eye-opening. Her at times unconventional approach to dealing with eroticism in a monogamous framework is compelling. Very direct and unabashed, the content in this book leaves no topic of discussion off the table. I'm a changed husband/lover/man; two thumbs up!
Esther Perel's research on this topic is phenomenal. Opened my eyes to many poor assumptions that pervade our culture on commitment and monogamy.
I'm excited to see how my future relationships will change based on all this new knowledge.
One of the greatest minds, bad none, modern psychology has yet to produce. Perel is brilliant, witty, insightful, and inspirational in her quest to demystify eroticism. This is both a critically important addition to the field, and a fascinating exploration in its own right.
Every couple - married or otherwise - should read it. With luck, it'll provide the antidote to a world gone mad with commercial sexuality, instant gratification, and terrible sex advice.
I do not believe that sex is just sex and it should not be had with family members! I'm extremely disgusted at the thought.
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