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Extended Audio Sample Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic & the Domestic, by Esther Perel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (602 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Esther Perel Narrator: Esther Pere Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Why does great sex so often fade for couples who claim to love each other as much as ever?
Can we want what we already have?
Why does the transition to parenthood so often spell erotic disaster?
Does good intimacy always make for good sex?

Ether Perel takes on these 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 twenty 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Her advice is refreshingly counterintuitive.” 


  • “An elegant sociological study, complete with erudite literary and anthropological references.”  

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “Articulates a poignant and unacknowledged modern crisis for the first time.”  

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “So honest it hurts.”  

    Irish Times 

  • ANPR Best Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rozzinner | 2/15/2014

    " Great book for anyone planning on staying married a long time. Recommend to all my marital therapy clients. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amanda | 2/8/2014

    " The author does a remarkable job at articulating what you may have observed about lasting relationships. She offers practical suggestions for couples of all walks of life about how to prolong the romance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Judith | 2/2/2014

    " When you've been married for a long time, it's difficult to get passionate about your mate because lust and trust don't mix well. Tell me something new. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Willa Grant | 2/2/2014

    " This book confirmed my beliefs about intimacy & separateness & how these pertain to a good sex life. I am glad she is not a "Just have more sex" therapist. If your sex life is lousy having more lousy sex is not the answer. Great book- I recommend it for any committed couple. "

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About the Author

Esther Perel is a couples and family therapist with a private practice in New York City. She is on the faculty of the International Trauma Studies program at Columbia University, is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and has appeared on many television programs, including Oprah, Good Day New York, CBS This Morning, and HBO’s Women Aloud. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.