Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel

Title: Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic + the Domestic
Author: Esther Perel
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Audible
Content Alert: This is one to read with earphones if you have teenagers who are squeamish about the idea of married people "doing it."

A friend mentioned Mating in Captivity to me one day, and a few days later I heard it referred to as a "seminal work" (get it?) in the genre of erotic intelligence, so I bought it to listen to on my phone. The book talks about all different kinds of sexual incompatibilities, drawing on Perel's several decades as a sex therapist. The main premise is that we want both eroticism and a comforting domestic life, but those two desires are often in conflict and present at different levels in different individuals, and sexual satisfaction comes through working to find a balance between each partner's needs.

The book itself is pretty interesting, and I found the case studies especially illuminating, although she never got to the one about the SAHM of six. Maybe that doesn't exist in Manhattan? Anyway, I would not recommend the audiobook, because Perel narrates herself, and her French accent is quite distracting. Also, it was strictly headphones-only, because my kids got wigged out that one time it came over the bluetooth in the car during carpool.

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