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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

3.9 (243 )
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3.9 (106 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 03-10-13
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2008

    caffeinated

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intimacy is in the eye of the beholder."

    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd White Sydney, Nova Scotia Canada 04-17-12
    Todd White Sydney, Nova Scotia Canada 04-17-12
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    "A Thinker's Book..."
    Would you listen to Mating in Captivity again? Why?

    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.


    What about Esther Perel’s performance did you like?

    Clear articulation, good tone.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A number of "A-Ha!" moments throughout the book.


    Any additional comments?

    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.



    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Edmonton, AB, Canada 05-22-11
    Alison Edmonton, AB, Canada 05-22-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Highly Recommended!"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Louisville, KY, United States 02-01-12
    Brooke Louisville, KY, United States 02-01-12

    Choose Joy!

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    "Save your money."

    "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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marie keaau, HI, United States 10-02-10
    marie keaau, HI, United States 10-02-10
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    "Nice title and bio, but not as fun to listen to"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Bellbrook, OH, United States 01-26-10
    Craig Bellbrook, OH, United States 01-26-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Nice Ideas"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Markham, Ontario, Canada 05-26-09
    Chris Markham, Ontario, Canada 05-26-09 Member Since 2004
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    "Illuminating..."

    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...

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Salem, OR, United States 01-01-12
    Beth Salem, OR, United States 01-01-12 Member Since 2010

    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.

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    "Hard to listen to her"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mayo Enid, OK, USA 05-16-09
    Mayo Enid, OK, USA 05-16-09
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    "Professional gossip"

    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.

    10 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlene Philadelphia, MS, United States 07-07-14
    Charlene Philadelphia, MS, United States 07-07-14 Member Since 2011
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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
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