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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 listeners say about Mating in Captivity

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Reconciling the Erotic & the Domestic

Psychotherapist Esther Perel tackles the paradox of modern love. She explores why it's hard to want what you already have, even in the most committed and loving relationship. Good read.

3 people found this helpful

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Refreshing look at the erotic marriage

Wonderful insights into the many reasons our sex lives can struggle in long term relationships. Intimacy isn't the only issue that could hamper a healthy sex life. I recommend this to any couple (gay, straight, or non-monogamous) that is generally happy with their relationship but is struggling in the bedroom with no sex, boring sex, or shitty sex. Esther explores how our early experiences in life and the culture we grow up in, influence our expectations and needs in the erotic realm. One size does not fit all. Sex does not follow the rules of egalitarianism that pervades the rest of our relationships. What is comforting and cultivated outside the bedroom may hamper or abilities to objectify and find pleasure from our partner. It's not often I find a therapy book that I think men would enjoy as well as women and I think this one hits the mark.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing insight

I absolutely loved this audiobook. The insight into working Eros into the domestic is one I have never heard before. I have put some of these suggestions into how I communicate with my spouse and have found them to be very valid and validating.

2 people found this helpful

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Out dates view points

I would say it’s a pretty good book over all. Just think the author at the time of writing this has some view points that are a bit outdated for 2020. Would be interested to see if they have changed their mind.

1 person found this helpful

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Transformed my understanding of sexuality!

This book is the first one I've read (heard) that REALLY helped me to understand how my background and experiences have influenced my views of sex and eroticism in my marriage.
Please read it or listen to it! Now that I understand this better I am asking myself all kinds of questions about what I want and how to better connect with my spouse when this has seemed like work in the past. I'm excited to build on what I have learned instead of intimidated and I'll equipped to move forward.

The author narrates and I loved that because it felt like I was actually getting advice and insight from her more than just reading.

Highly recommend!!!!

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Amazing

To the people involved in putting together this research. Thank you for helping us look at real facts and feelings.

1 person found this helpful

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Truthful, Triggering & Transformational

If you're considering this book, it probably comes from a place of pain, as well as deep love. You've come to the right place. Prepare to be triggered! This book goes DEEP. Incredibly enlightening, I cannot ever look at relationships in the same way. A masterful compendium of wisdom gathered through a career defined by courage, curiosity, and care. 5 stars across the board. I wish I had read this book many years ago. Required reading for all those who care about passion in relationships.

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Great information.

Great information and stories that help you understand the place that you are in your relationship.

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Voice is a bit hard to take, but content is great.

Like most books of this kind, you investigate looking for answers, but none are directly given.
Still the content provides clarity on different perceptions of individuals in relationships, and relatability is helpful.

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  • FT
  • 2020-11-02

Excellent in every way

Engaging, well produced, and thought-provoking. I found this a great listen on my commute, and it had me eager to return to the car.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2020-03-17

This book will ruin your marriage. GUARANTEED.

The author wants to ruin the entire foundation of marriage in the United States by propagating her ideas. We already have 53% divorce rate. In this book you will learn to see your love for your spouse and your sexual desire at the opposite sides of the spectrum with no way to reconcile them together! And her subtle solution is to seek desires outside or keep one's spouse as an outsider! She will teach you that you can't have it within your marriage. This book is a prescription for disaster. Ruin the marriage, and you ruin the society. I recommend John Gottman instead. He had a number of great books backed up by research.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Eric
  • 2018-12-03

Slices of life

This book is a litany of filler story after filler story of couples not having sex, with no solution offered whatsoever. Her reading is really bad, and her accent is distracting from the content.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2018-10-28

Horrible Narrator

there is probably some wonderful information here but I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes. You have to put all your energy and attention toward just understanding the words and you dont really get to listen to the advice.

3 people found this helpful

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  • forsale18
  • 2017-09-20

Useless

This literally just talks about cases with patients the author has handled. No practical detailed advice or suggestions.

3 people found this helpful

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  • John Elliott
  • 2018-09-01

Advice for a French surrender monkey

Short story is this, if you are having an affair, lying about it, and want to feel good about the lying and feel better about breaking your contract between your children, parents, friends, loved ones, and lover, then get this. Then maybe you'll feel better about being an ass who surrenders your most important commitments to your genitals.

If you want to add spark to a real marriage, look elsewhere.

But, if you prefer a fake marriage built around lies, read this book. I say strive to be more, and continue evolving. It is like our society has decided that merging with a more primitive monkey-like behavior is some sort of advancement. If you were to say these monkey type passions were right to act on, then it would be equally right to kill the invading mate.

6 people found this helpful

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  • JAZ
  • 2018-11-23

Gets stuck and closes at end of chapter 7

At end if chapter 7 it keeps getting stuck jammed and closes the whole app. cant listen to the remining content of this audiobook.

Continent is good.
Performance of narrator could be improved.mproved.

Overall it is a good book. but wouldnt recommend it until the technical problem is fixed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Monica Olszewski
  • 2016-08-02

Boring

I just can't get into this book. Dr. Jamie Turndorf has a podcast with better, more positive and proactive advice. This book makes me feel trapped and depressed and I don't like it! I'm too happy for this, just looking for some fun tips and info, not some dragging rambling, not even sure what this author is talking about.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 2009-05-26

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...

11 people found this helpful

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  • Ethan Getz
  • 2018-04-19

too focused on poetry

Struggled to finish. not a fan of foreign accents. Painfully slow at getting to the point. She tried to make a beautiful book using poetry and was too focused on showing everyone how articulate she can be. This book could have been half the length and then I would have given it 3 or 4 stars.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Traci
  • 2015-10-12

I did not like this book not what I was expecting

I do not believe that sex is just sex and it should not be had with family members! I'm extremely disgusted at the thought.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alexandre QUACH
  • 2018-11-22

Aller plus loin que ses Conférences

Ce livre est une mine de sagesse et d'ouverture d'esprit. Esther Perel, qui fait déjà d'excellente conférence, va plus loin et plus précis dans cet audiobook lu elle même. Un must !

1 person found this helpful