Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

About the author:

Esther Perel is a celebrated couples therapist and author of two books: Mating in Captivity and her newest work, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. She is also the host of an Audible Original series, Where Should We Begin? that includes single sessions of therapy with a diverse set of couples and she also has a Ted Talk.  You can learn more about her here.


Esther Perel argues that couples often struggle because passion and stability fight against each other.  In the beginning of a relationship, lust flourishes because everything is new and exciting. As the relationship matures, the couple knows each other more and is able to rely on each other.  This can make for a healthy relationship but might spell doom for eroticism.  Esther explores this dynamic and offers help for couples to reclaim intimacy.

What we love:

Mating in Captivity is an honest book that explores a hard, complicated subject.  Esther Perel uses examples from her work as a therapist to demonstrate the challenges that couples face in maintaining intimacy.

What we didn’t:

Couples wanting a how-to manual will be sorely disappointed. This book does not lay out clear steps for rekindling intimacy but spends more time exploring the problem itself.


Clinical use:

Mating in Captivity is a great book for therapists who work with couples.  It will help practitioners better understand challenges that are common to couples who present for counseling.


Buy Mating in Captivity Here

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence


Final Grade



  • clinical examples
  • explains common intimacy challenges
  • explores modern relationship issues


  • lacks action steps

Le Shepard

Le Shepard, LPC earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX. She sees clients face to face at Wise County Christian Counseling and works with individuals or couples through her online-only private practice. 1000 Hills Counseling & Consulting. Le loves to read, adventure, and play with her corgi or kids.

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