The Shrink’s Links: Mating in Captivity

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Lions mating

Mating in Captivity

A few weeks ago, I brought you her Ted Talk, which I had first discovered. I was so taken by the hypothesis she presented that I went out and bought her book, Mating in Captivity. I was not disappointed.

Why does sexual desire diminish in many long term relationships? It diminishes precisely because the relationship is working. She writes:

Sexual desire does not obey the laws that maintain peace and contentment between partners. Reason, understanding, compassion, and camaraderie are the handmaidens of a close, harmonious relationship. But… Aggression, objectification, and power all exist in the shadow of desire, components of passion that do not necessarily nurture intimacy.

So, how do you put the X back into sex without being one of those couples that fight all the time and fall into bed when they make up?

She argues that, instead of always aspiring to be close, couples should cultivate their private sense of selfhood, a personal intimacy to counterbalance intimacy with the partner. Cultivate your own garden, in other words.

Here’s how it works: The balancing act between being close to your partner and being true to yourself is as simple as breathing. You want until you have, and then you let go. Then you want again.

Published by Keith R Wilson

I'm a licensed mental health counselor and certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor in private practice with more than 30 years experience. My newest book is The Road to Reconciliation: A Comprehensive Guide to Peace When Relationships Go Bad. I recently published a workbook connected to it titled, How to Make an Apology You’ll Never Have to Make Again. I also have another self help book, Constructive Conflict: Building Something Good Out of All Those Arguments. I’ve also published two novels, a satire of the mental health field: Fate’s Janitors: Mopping Up Madness at a Mental Health Clinic, and Intersections , which takes readers on a road trip with a suicidal therapist. If you prefer your reading in easily digestible bits, with or without with pictures, I have created a Twitter account @theshrinkslinks. MyFacebook page is called Keith R Wilson – Author.

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