• Mating in Captivity

  • Unlocking Erotic Intelligence
  • By: Esther Perel
  • Narrated by: Esther Perel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (368 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

When you love someone, how does it feel? And when you desire someone, how is it different? In Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel looks at the story of sex in committed couples.

Modern romance promises it all - a lifetime of togetherness, intimacy and erotic desire. In reality, it's hard to want what you already have. Our quest for secure love conflicts with our pursuit of passion. And often, the very thing that got us to into our relationships - lust - is the one thing that goes missing from them.

Determined to reconcile the erotic and the domestic, Perel explains why democracy is a passion killer in the bedroom; argues for playfulness, distance and uncertainty; and shows what it takes to bring lust home.

Smart, sexy and explosively original, Mating in Captivity is the monogamist's essential bedtime listen.

©2006 Esther Perel (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

" Mating in Captivity...articulates a poignant and unacknowledged modern crisis for the first time." ( The Evening Standard)

What listeners say about Mating in Captivity

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Esther Perel is a trailblazer

Mating in captivity helped me reimagine many ideas about my relationship. It is both liberating and comforting to know that there are more ways to feel, think and express our love and desire. It’s eloquently written and perfectly presented.
Life changing!

4 people found this helpful

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A treasure for understanding relationships!

This book is a wonderful treasure to understand and live relationships in the modern world

4 people found this helpful

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A mind changer!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to, or brave enough to start looking at relationships in a different way.This book will serve the interest of anyone feeling oddly empty in certain parts of their relationship and wanting to fill those gaps with answers which will surprise even the most liberal thinkers among us.

It is a refreshing take on age old arguments and honestly left me with opinions about love, relationships and sex, which were very different to when I started reading this book.I will forever be thankful for the enlightenment and look forward to carrying these lessons with me into the future.

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Loved it!

Educational, mindopening, comprehensive and smart with real life experiences and a very pleasant and warm voice. Search for Esther Perel's podcasts as well.

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Every human needs to hear this book!

Probably the most insightful and fascinating book on the struggles of maintaining a happy, healthy, and passionate relationship in today's world. I'm telling everyone to listen because it really helps to put current/past/future relationships into perspective no matter where you are in your life. Listening to Esther's articulate explainations were highlighted by her beautiful accent, too. I cannot wait to learn more from her and I wish to meet her in person. Remarkable woman. Kol hakavod! Bravo!

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Just brilliant

What a refreshing and open way to look at relationships and eroticism. It inspires you to bring fun back into relationships, not just hard work.

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A freeing new way to view relationships and sex

This completely revolutionized the way I view relationships. Esther Perel is a genius. Her insights are so profound and liberating.

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Engaging, essential listening

Just a great resource for anyone. Whoever you are you will likely have a few long term relationships and this book is so full of insight, interesting and engaging questions and a imaginative view of love, sex and everything in between. Highly recommended.

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loved it. Found this book Inspiring.

loved listening to the author reading her book. Greate angles on sex for everyone who wants more.

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About the book

my assumptions couldn't have been more challenged. recommended to anyone wishing to have a new perspective on there relationships.

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  • tamara
  • 09-13-19

Erotic or intellectual?

Ester Perel is suberb, but often the case studies become intellectula data to calculate. In a busy and demanding world where we crave intimacy, I would love to have seen some more prompts or exercises or challenges to work through as homework for the reader in their current relationship dynamic. Her podcast 'Where should we begin' is a more vivid experience of her work.

9 people found this helpful

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  • JedHoll
  • 11-10-18

Loved it

Every now and then you strike gold and read a book that totally challenges the way you look at something with original thoughts. This is undeniably such a book and to listen to it is to become a fan of the author for life.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Phoebus Weebus
  • 05-30-18

Warning: this book might change your life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it was thought provoking and full of knowledge gained Esther's years of experience, listening to and helping couples. I found this book very challenging and advise listening with your partner rather than trying to relay the information - you might have a lot you might want to talk about! A great book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-21-19

A must have for psychology students!!!!

I love Esther. So great I feel like I am getting to shadow a therapy session which is so hard to get a chamce to do. Thank you Esther you should be the Sigmund Freud of relationship psychology. Keep going we need you.

3 people found this helpful

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  • digi-mech
  • 10-16-18

insightful, poignant

A superb collection of thoughts, anecdotes and perceptions, challenging the norms of societies the world over but specifically our modern take on relationships, Esther Perel achieves a succinct, often times disturbing, frequently compassionate, in depth discussion of relationships in a changing world. dont assume its a self help book, but instead realise its insights could be seriously beneficial for all.

The only reason I didn't give the performance a 5 was because I sometimes got stuck on her accent, but really its a small point and more about me than the reader I guess

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jussie
  • 12-04-17

some great food for thought (and practice)

how refreshing to hear a narration by a human rather than the go-to male "broadcasting" voices of many authors. It took a bit to get used to it, but once you pass that hurdle the book becomes a lot more personal and you appreciate the author's mission more. She relates many situations she's had to overcome with her therapy clients and I think it's safe to say that there should be something in this book that every couple can relate to and learn from
higly recommended.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-05-20

Essential for understanding relationships

Even though I do not belong to the target group of this book, I found it immensely enlightening. It brings a thorough understanding of the workings of human relationships in general, erotic development and drive, roles and emotional development, to name just a few.
I would recommend this book to anyone, whether in a relationship or not, as there is so much to learn about emotions, human connection and sexuality - and there are nuggets of wisdom everywhere.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rahel
  • 03-01-19

Excellent read

An older book but still very relevant. I learned a lot about the push and pull of relationships, especially around how to keep the romance alive.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Santa Baneviciute
  • 02-08-19

Expanded view of the sexuality

Revolutionary book that will change how you see your partner. Holistic view of the sexuality.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-30-20

good listen

very informative and interesting book. food for thought would recommend to a friend and to my husband!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Duncan
  • 03-19-18

a mature perspective on love

simple: read (listen) to this book. the earlier in life, the better. you won't regret it

7 people found this helpful

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  • Stacey Bout
  • 03-04-18

Essential for all couples

Esther is a gem in the relationship field! This book should be read by anyone who wants to understand themselves, relationships, infidelity and more in order to have a more fulfilling relationship.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-22-18

fabulous

Loved it other than the recommendation to flirt with other than your husband. Dangerous territory.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Karina
  • 03-13-18

smart and on point

so 2018 and on point. i love hearing the relative interviews. grounbreaking. very well written

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-19

Cheater apologist.

Cheating will not save your marriage, it will implode it in spectacular fashion and likely cause a lot of collateral damage in the process. The reality is that cheating is a nasty, hurtful, abusive act. And dressing it up in flowery language does not change that.  She argues that denying your mate sex is much worse than going out endangering their lives and gaslighting them, denying them a true understanding of their reality.


Esther Perel has no qualifications outside an art therapy degree. She calls herself a psychotherapist which anyone can label themselves with. it's not a real title.

There does seem to be some good advice in the book and some interesting ideas but her stance on affairs gives a free pass to anyone who has or wants to engage in one.

If you're not happy in a relationship fix it or leave.

Brad

17 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-16-21

Great listening for the work commute

Esther drove me to and from work for the past two weeks. Her connection between family dynamics and perception of love from a young age to how they play into eroticism and relationship dynamics in adulthood is fascinating. She breaks it all down in a very accessible way. I found myself recognising a lot of patterns in the couples used in Esther’s case studies and the learnings stick with you. Highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-20

Very engaging. Resonates deeply.

Love ester’s writing style and voice. Easy to listen to, highly engaging. I have adhd and sometimes find myself switching off for large blocks of time whilst trying to listen to an audiobook or podcast but I was more or less actively listening to the entire book, a feat in itself. This book doesn’t provide any clear cut answers, but I don’t think it’s supposed to. It more so holds up a mirror for you to notice patterns in your own behaviour and in your relationship. This book is more about challenging the status quo of committed relationships rather than a how-to guide on bringing sex back into the marital bed.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Noodle
  • 05-16-20

Jarring experience

I saw Esther on you tube where she was vibrant and insightful. I was disappointed to hear this book which is mechanical sounding, and didn't deliver what I'd hoped in terms of insights into how to deal with married life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-19-18

Life changing

Life changing thank you. Making so much easier to understand how we work and how powerful separation is in a marriage.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt Struthers
  • 08-14-18

Engaging, Intelligent and on target

Esther provides a very honest and open look at relationship erotic perspectives and opened my eyes to new ways of seeing my own marriage, and myself with that marriage.

I recommend this book for any couple, no matter their sexual orientation, and no matter what point of their relationship they are at.

Thank you Esther.

1 person found this helpful