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)
The best thing about this book by Ester Perel is that you get real insight into how different people in relationships see their partners and their roles. You get to hear how they approach sex and intimacy and love and how the three things are almost never the same to any two people. This book is a little short on solutions. (I guess that, as a therapist, Perel believes the solution, ultimately, is therapy. Although she does not say as much.) But, overall, this piece is an engrossing and worthwhile glimpse into the minds and lives of people who find that love and lust aren't always in synch. As a narrator, Perel's strong but infinitely listenable Belgian accent and tone are, simply, pitch perfect.
Absolutely. Though clearly articulated, the book contains sufficient nuance that listening to it again is needed to pick up on all the gems of the book.
Clear articulation, good tone.
A number of "A-Ha!" moments throughout the book.
Anyone seeking a "silver bullet" for erotic revitalization of their relationships will be disappointed with this book - rather this book is designed for people who are willing to carefully analyse their relationships, and consider the nuances of the case studies presented in the book to unlock the hidden gems.
The concepts in this book are counter-intuitive to most people's views of how to address erotic issues in their relationships which makes the listener question and ponder their own misconceptions of what makes us tick erotically.
I listened to this book on a long road trip with my partner and it lent itself to being paused and discussed on a chapter by chapter basis - making for an entertaining and insightful roadtrip with discussions of our own relationship and the relationships of those around us.
This is worth the listen - so much so, that we purchased several paper copies to give to our friends.
I enjoyed the author's reading. She does have an accent but it doesn't get in the way of the message. Instead, I found her voice sexy and appropriate to the book's subject matter. Her re-enactments of sessions with clients were very expressive and entertaining.
The book itself was excellent. While not a how-to guide, through examples and explanations the author relates how she believes eroticism and sexual tension can be maintained in a committed relationship. She approaches the subject from many different angles and some repetition (which I saw as a learning aid as opposed to a lack of material).
This book really opened my eyes and raised my erotic-intelligence quotient! I have a much better understanding of what sex means to my partner and what I can do to keep eroticism alive between us.
"Familiarity breeds contempt" as in marriage, so with this audiobook.
I am so disappointed. I am halfway through this audiobook and I have yet to see any actionable steps. I fell asleep between hours 4-5, and I doubt I will go back and listen to the material I missed unless I have nothing else on my virtual book shelf to occupy my attention.
The book is a painful recount of the stories of the psychologist's patients, and nearly every problem that could exist in the bedroom. The only thing it did do well was to give me the impression that I was certainly not alone in my boredom and dissatisfaction. I already knew that. I wanted to know what to do about it! That's why I bought the book.
I kept thinking it would get better if I kept going, but not yet, and not likely from what I can tell.
If you want to know how to make your marriage better and the sex more interesting, buy a different book, like a technique manual, or use the gentler steps in the Art of Seduction. Better yet try for French Women Don't Sleep Alone. Same content, but more entertaining, and better suggestions on how to fix the problem. Definitely don't waste your time or money on this one.
I haven't finished it yet, and it's been several months since I've had it. The books I'm into get completed in less than 2 weeks.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It brought to light a lot of things I hadn't really thought about maybe ever, or didn't know about, or didn't really understand, and some things I had only partial knowledge of. Its enlightening to listen to someone who has so much vast knowledge about sexuality, coupling, intimacy and pleasure. I've listened to maybe 50 books on relationships in the last few years, and I want to give this one 7 stars.
Nice Ideas but not so much in the great information. It may have helped a bit but both have to want a change not just one.
Fascinating review of contemporary sexuality and its evolution in our society. How do couples navigate the winding road of eroticism in the flesh and in the mind?
Sad to hear so many couples are living without great sex in their relationships. Sadder still to hear that many couples believe such an outcome is a natural part of coupling and marriage.
Dr. Perel challenges some of the established thoughts about pleasure, excitement and eroticism shared between couples in committed relationships.
An illuminating read...
Just don't even bother unless you like long winded professional gossip. I suppose the biggest drawback with me is that Ms. Perel narrated this as well. She doesn't leave you with anything more than a clinican's view of her client's problems who seem to have bigger problems than their sexual disfunctions.
I gave this four and one half hours. I won't do it again.
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.
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