Sunday, November 11, 2007


by Esther Perel

The thoughts behind my book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence were inspired by my work as a couples therapist in New York City. For more than 20 years, I've met with couples holding passports from all over the world, practiced in six different languages, and witnessed countless "presenting issues". While the diversity in the couples I work with is infinite, one complaint rings true across all cultures: couples claim to love each other as much as ever, but their sex lives have become dull and devoid of eroticism.

Why is it that great sex so often fades for couples who claim to love each other as much as ever? Why are we so willing to accept (and hang on to) the idea that passion fades, and that it's only there in the beginning? Why do we continue to view sex as a metaphor for the relationship instead of exploring it as a parallel narrative?

In writing this book, I set out to probe the nature of erotic desire in long-term and committed relationships. I wanted to look at the obstacles and anxieties we experience when our quest for secure love clashes with our pursuit of passion.

Over the next few days, I will share what I've learned. But not all at once--patience, grasshopper. A little mystery and intrigue will be good for you.


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