“It is about not being threatened by the difference of the other, not being threatened that if you don’t do everything together, then it means that you’re not close, that you are not intimate. We need multiple connections, multiple attachments. If you start to feel that you have given up too many parts of yourself to be with your partner, then one day you will end up looking for another person in order to reconnect with those lost parts.”
Esther Perel author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence makes an interesting and compelling point; and the masses seem to agree with her. As a New York couples therapist, Perel noticed that the bonds built in therapy rarely translated to a better time in the bedroom.
“I kept seeing people coming out of couples therapy, and everything else in their relationship had improved, but nothing had changed in the bedroom,” she noted.
Most couples follow conventional thoughts on love and marriage: Satisfying sex is an outgrowth of intimacy and openness. Not so, says Perel, as many close marriages suffer from low libidos, and sexless resignation. She thus began to explore the phenomenon.
“It led me to begin an exploration of the nature of erotic desire in long-term relationships,” she says.
What Perel discovered, she wrote in her bestselling book, Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. What she concluded was a bit counterintuitive: Intimacy can actually be a roadblock to desire, smothering the sexual spark. Perel gained a public following, and became a favored international speaker on sexuality and marriage. More than four million people have watched her Tedtalk on the book and topic to date.
Perel makes it clear that she isn’t against intimacy. She herself is married. What she points out is that love and desire are not necessarily connected, but “parallel narratives.” She notes:
“Intimacy as we define it today is about transparency, sharing everything and being known, and transcending our existential aloneness by the shared connection with one other. We still want everything we wanted from traditional marriage – a family, companionship, social status, economic support – but we also want that person to give us mystery and transcendence.”
Read the entire article here: The Closer the Couple, the Better the Sex? Not So.
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