Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic + the Domestic by Esther Perel review and quotes

Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic + the DomesticMating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic + the Domestic by Esther Perel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very interesting and thought-provoking approach to human sexuality in and outside of relationship.
Well written and demonstrated with case examples, Perel’s book might be of great help to many couples and individuals out there.
Instead of taking a politically correct approach or succumbing to enforced standards, she demonstrates that human sexuality and relationships do not subscribe to a single recipe or norm.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is in a relationship or wondering why they are not in one.

View all my reviews


The caring, protective elements that foster love often block the unselfconsciousness that fuels erotic pleasure.Read more at location 88

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”Read more at location 343

Eroticism resides in the ambiguous space between anxiety and fascination.Read more at location 448

Love is an exercise in selective perception,Read more at location 464

It generates a feeling of intense personal importance. I matter. You confirm my significance.Read more at location 474

With too much distance, there can be no connection. But too much merging eradicates the separateness of two distinct individuals.Read more at location 549

Thus separateness is a precondition for connection: this is the essential paradox of intimacy and sex.Read more at location 551

Some people can’t allow themselves this selfishness, because they’re too absorbed with the well-being of the beloved.Read more at location 60

I am not convinced that unrestrained disclosure—the ability to speak the truth and not hide anything—necessarily fosters a harmonious and robust intimacy.Read more at location 836

We glorify efficiency and fail to recognize that the erotic space is a radiant interlude in which we luxuriate, indifferent to demands of productivity; pleasure is the only goal.Read more at location 1292

When our innermost desires are revealed, and are met by our loved one with acceptance and validation, the shame dissolves.Read more at location 1760

The rawness of our desire can feel mean, bestial, even unloving. Eros can feel predatory, a voracious grab.Read more at location 2014

To my thinking, cultivating a sense of ruthlessness in our intimate relationships is an intriguing solution to the problems of desire.Read more at location 2026

Erotic intimacy invites us into a state of unboundedness where we experience a sweet freedom.Read more at location 2031

Erotic intimacy holds the double promise of finding oneself and losing oneself.Read more at location 2035

To be inside another and inside ourselves at the same time is a double stance that borders on the mystical.Read more at location 2036

In order to be one, you must first be two.Read more at location 2038

We no longer get work out of our children; today we get meaning.Read more at location 2174

Perhaps this is another way of looking at maturity: not as passionless love, but as love that knows of other passions not chosen.Read more at location 3093

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