Ep. 8: Sexlessness

Narrated by: Esther Perel
Length: 34 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (1,716 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

[Contains mature themes] A couple are first-generation children of immigrants, raised to believe sex should only take place in a marriage. Now that sex isn’t forbidden, it’s deeply uninteresting…to one of them.

Step into the office of renowned relationship therapist and TED Talk sensation Esther Perel, and listen in as she counsels couples in crisis due to infidelity, sexlessness, loss, and disconnection. The result? Astonishing insights on how they can make love work – and takeaways for you on ways to repair and restore your own relationships.

About Esther:

Esther Perel is recognized as one of today’s most insightful and provocative voices on personal and professional relationships. A celebrated psychotherapist who has helmed a private practice in New York City since 1983, she has over three decades of experience navigating the intricacies of love and desire.

©2017 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2017 Audible Originals, LLC

What listeners say about Ep. 8: Sexlessness

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The opposite of reality television

Any additional comments?

These couples sessions are the opposite of reality television. Where reality TV makes you feel smug and superior, these make me feel vulnerable and self-reflective. They open me up to see where my spouse and I need to improve to help each other. They are beautiful and humbling.

5 people found this helpful

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Love these episodes but...

This one Esther doesn't explain how she arrived at her hypothesis about the woman's rejection of sex - that it is a rejection of patriarchy. I wish she explained that more.

3 people found this helpful

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Left me wanting more...

Good as always, but needed more specific explanation on how to reclaim pleasure from the hindrances caused by domestic expectations

3 people found this helpful

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  • AG
  • 08-12-19

Sex, sexual patriarchy and sex in Indian couples

This episode perfectly Sund up my sexless marriage of 20 years! Now I know I am not alone.

1 person found this helpful

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Writing the same review of the whole set of these

So I'm not going to review each of these individually. They're all a great listen and I can't recommend one over the others. If you're in a place in your relationship where you're not happy and looking for steps you could take these are a great place to start. Esther does one-off sessions with these people and helps these see what is going on, and what they can do to change things. You don't have to be going through the exact same scenario to see some common threads, and find bits and pieces that will be helpful to you. I'm going to leave the same review for each of these as you should really listen to all of them, rather than trying to pick and choose which you might find relevant.

1 person found this helpful

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Sad truth but facts

Truth women seek commitment, then when they get it, it becomes negative. Sad but true.

1 person found this helpful

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good luck to women

It is sad to witness how society affects women even when "they do everything according to the rules"

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Relatable episode regardless of reason(s)

I chose only a select few of these episodes to listen to - ones I thought I'd relate to most. In Episode 8: Sexlessness, the couple are first-generation children of immigrants with conservative beliefs that sex should only take place in a marriage. It was an exciting prospect before they got married, but now that sex isn’t forbidden anymore, it has become deeply uninteresting to the wife. I was able to relate to this couple regardless of differences in my upbringing, culture, belief system, etc. I feel much the way this wife does in that sex feels like a duty to me. Something I should do to keep my partner happy. Something he needs and wants more than I do, which means sex has become an obligation to me. I lack desire. I'll stay up after my partner goes to bed to avoid sex. There are times when I can't reach orgasm or take so long that I lose interest. I don't feel desired. My partner stopped pursuing me long ago. I don't believe my lack of desire has to do w/ feeling oppressed by the patriarchy as Esther Perel discusses w/ this couple. Instead, I think it has to do w/ the high level of domesticity in our relationship. We've become comfortable and complacent. We don't work to impress each other anymore. I also listened to the audiobook for Perel's Mating in Captivity, which I believe sums up my issue w/ lack of desire. However, this episode of Where Should We Begin? was still relatable and made me think about myself. I related to the resentment that comes from thinking I'm broken and there's something wrong w/ me. I would have liked to hear more from the couple. The wife begins to discuss her fantasies, but I found them pretty tame. For her, it's about the forbidden. Once she got married, the forbidden became what she's supposed to do, and she feels oppressed by a sense of duty. Her fantasies are about meeting a stranger and having an affair w/ someone she may never see again. She also suffers from vaginismus, which is obviously part of the issue because she doesn't equate sex w/ her pleasure. The husband seems caring and understanding, and they were already working on the vaginismus before this conversation w/ Perel. He has suggested they meet somewhere and pretend they don't know each other to try to bring back the excitement of the forbidden, but Perel points out that the suggestions shouldn't come from him. Going along w/ his suggestions only make her feel more oppressed because she's following his lead. Enjoyed overall but wanted more content and a deeper dive.

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Educated

As a man, I learnt something huge today. I can be super passive and still be intimate. Wow!!! I have my new super power 💪🏼

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Genius

Esther is an absolute master of her craft. Her approach to relationships and sexuality is so progressive and necessary for our time.

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  • Leah Moulden
  • 07-08-17

Enjoyed

I enjoyed every one of these episodes. So personal, touching and enlightening. Love them a lot!

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  • Shane
  • 07-06-17

Another good listen.

Thanks Esther and the team for producing this. This recording delves into the hidden places of men & women that need to be discussed more if we are ever to live together en'masse together without issues.