How do we sustain sexual desire in our long-term relationship?

In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence.

 Esther Perel's thesis is that intimacy is the nemesis of desire in long term relationships, and that the qualities of distance, play, safe exploration of aggression, to name but a few, are more conducive to a sizzling sex life than familiarity and emotional closeness. 

Perel challenges couples to think about 'how do I turn myself off' and conversely 'how do I turn myself on' - and cites research where answers have included an absence or connection to one's own aliveness, attitude towards oneself and capacity to connect to 'wants' rather than 'needs'.

To learn more about Perel's exciting and revolutionary ideas, check her out on Ted Talks or read her interview with Psychology Today at

She is the author of the best-seller 'Mating in Captivity' - see

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