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Home » The Secret to Desire In A Long-Term Relationship by Esther Perel (Transcript)

The Secret to Desire In A Long-Term Relationship by Esther Perel (Transcript)

Esther Perel at TED Talks

Full text of Esther Perel’s talk on The Secret to Desire In A Long-Term Relationship at TED Talk conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Esther Perel_ The secret to desire in a long-term relationship

TRANSCRIPT: 

So, why does good sex so often fade, even for couples who continue to love each other as much as ever?

And why does good intimacy not guarantee good sex, contrary to popular belief?

Or, the next question would be, can we want what we already have? That’s the million-dollar question, right?

And why is the forbidden so erotic? What is it about transgression that makes desire so potent?

And why does sex make babies, and babies spell erotic disaster in couples? It’s kind of the fatal erotic blow, isn’t it?

And when you love, how does it feel? And when you desire, how is it different?

These are some of the questions that are at the center of my exploration on the nature of erotic desire and its concomitant dilemmas in modern love.

So I travel the globe, and what I’m noticing is that everywhere where romanticism has entered, there seems to be a crisis of desire. A crisis of desire, as in owning the wanting… desire as an expression of our individuality, of our free choice, of our preferences, of our identity… desire that has become a central concept as part of modern love and individualistic societies.

You know, this is the first time in the history of humankind where we are trying to experience sexuality in the long term, not because we want 14 children, for which we need to have even more because many of them won’t make it, and not because it is exclusively a woman’s marital duty. This is the first time that we want sex over time about pleasure and connection that is rooted in desire.

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