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Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic Hardcover – September 5, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Developed originally from an article she wrote on "erotic intelligence," psychotherapist Perel's first book sets forth a thesis for today's couples that is as revelatory as it is straightforward. Languishing desire in a relationship actually results from all the factors people look for in love and marriage: grounding, meaning, continuity. Partnerships are supposed to provide "a bulwark against the vicissitudes of modern life," Perel notes, and in one person we turn for all the emotional connections that the greater society (church, community, family) can no longer provide. Habit and certainty kill desire, yet how to live comfortably with the elements of unpredictability and risk that are necessary for healthy eroticism? Perel supports her nicely accessible work with case studies of couples both heterosexual and gay, spanning all ages, with kids and without, in an attempt to cure what ails their sex life. Some of the proposals Perel recommends for rekindling eroticism involve cultivating separateness (e.g., autonomy) in a relationship rather than closeness (entrapment); exploring dynamics of power and control (i.e., submission, spanking); and learning to surrender to a "sexual ruthlessness" that liberates us from shame and guilt. In short, Perel sanctions fantasy and play and offers the estranged modern couple a unique richness of experience. (Sept.)
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“Her advice is refreshingly counterintuitive.” (Salon.com)
“Mating in Captivity...articulates a poignant and unacknowledged modern crisis for the first time.” (The Evening Standard (London))
“An elegant sociological study, complete with erudite literary and anthropological references.” (Daily Telegraph (London))
“A charming blend of wit and wisdom...this book will give you a fresh perspective on long-term love.” (Gold Coast Bulletin (Australia))
“Well argued points written with considerable eloquence.” (Jerusalem Post)
“This is a brave book...refreshing.” (The Times Higher Education Supplement)
“So honest it hurts.” (Irish Times)
“An excellent book, full of provocative prose and entertaining case illustrations.” (Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy)
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Add to this that my whole arousal system of mind, body, soul and sex is older, as I'm in my mid 60s. Love what she said when asked how many times she'd been married: "Four. To the same man." This woman and mom and wife and therapist and speaker of 6 languages not only reinvented herself to stay hot for her man but to stay interesting for her two teen children living with mom/dad as a foursome. Yes, sex as a family value. From Belgium and Israel, her husband and two kids live or lived together when she wrote this from their flat in NYC. It's one thing to write how to stay hot for each other while married; it's another to pull it off and then even be able to communicate the complex system that makes it possible.
I gave one to a peer guy friend and one to my son. It's that good and helpful. They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Don't read this book too soon. Or too late either. But buy three copies and get ready. I say.