I just finished Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence in the audiobook format and the next thing I did, is starting it all over again. It is that good of an audiobook. Let’s be honest here, assuming a longterm relationship, maintain Eroticism isn’t an easy task and listening to Esther, so many couples struggle with that. Most of us even had short-term relationships with sex was a problem!
Sex, Eroticism, Fantasies, Affairs, Threesomes, Domination and Submission or Lust are still taboo in many ways. And we cannot suppress them; they are real, they are desires we feel, and they are things that are happening every day. Esther has an honest, curious and accepting look at all there is around Eroticism. She uses Eroticism to go beyond the physical act of “just” having sex.
Eroticism lives when Love and Desire meet. While it seems simple, it’s hugely complicated and most of us got it wrong! Hence the slow death of Desire in relationships.
The issue is that desire comes from independence, distance, uncertainties or mystery. Desire dies when in contact with routines. It dies when the partners are too close; when we are intertwined emotionally. It dies when we take each other for granted. It dies when we take Desire for granted. It dies when we do not let it breathe.
“Fire needs air. Desire need space.”
Let’s look at love now. When we are in love, we are dependent on our partners. We are working to close the distance as we want to know and understand our partner. We create certainty with routines, habits and commitments like kids or marriage. All our efforts to get closer to our Loved One are the reasons why we have less desire for one another.
In the book, with the examples she is showing and revealing to us, that will become crystal clear to you. You will see when in your relationship(s) you killed desire by your need for closeness.
The solution to that would be a long blog post in itself, but as you can guess, Desire will come back if the partners are creating more independence, distance, uncertainties or mystery. I’ll leave you with a quote to put context on these:
“Travelling is not only visiting new places, it is looking with new eyes”
Other Resources From Esther Perel
Below are a few extra resources, that I highly suggest if you have any interest in long-term relationships.
The Season 1 & 2 available on Audible, have tremendous value in my opinion. These are recorded therapy sessions with couples and Esther, and there is so much to learn from them. She gives tools, she helps them work through hard life situations, and it helps to realise that relationships are hugely different but the come down to the same bottom line. Couples have the same problems over and over. That is relieved to hear in the first place; it gives hope that any roadblock can be overcome and it provides awareness and tool to work with!
- Her TedTalk: The Secret of Desire in a Long-Term Relationship
- Her New Book: The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity
- Audible: Season 1 & 2 Where Should We Begin? (free content)