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Esther Perel

The arrangement inspires new levels of honesty throughout the session. And because he can let go in his pleasure, it frees her up to be in her pleasure. As the wife fails to grasp how he could do this, Perel explains how a duality of character can exist. So change the language. She explains that sex is about so much more than genitals — skin, touch, sight, feel, eye contact — and that their focus on his penis is stalling them. In the same episode, Perel begins to see that the husband has never learned to ask for what he wanted, nor even consider it, and his inability to pursue his own pleasure was keeping him from being truly intimate.

Knowing what to ask, and then trusting that you will receive, and then enjoying receiving. If you can believe it, the above only scratches the surface. It premiered on January 26, , performed by the pupils of the Maison royale de Saint-Louis , an educational institute for young girls of noble birth. The subject is taken from the biblical Book of Esther. Esther remains one of Racine's lesser known works as it has only three instead of the classical five acts.

It dates from the last period of his career when he entered government work and was requested by Madame de Maintenon to return to liturgical drama.


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It is often negatively compared to Racine's biblical play written for Maintenon, Athalie. Cyr, at the persuasion of Madame Maintenon , who gave her entire attention to the education of noble young ladies; who were educated free of expense until their 20th year.

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And that is spirituality, as well. And you had a couple in order to have a family, to have children, to have economic support, companionship, and social status, of course. Today, the happiness of the couple is the key to the survival of the family. That is a complete first. Perel: Sometimes I say things well. And I want all of that with one person, and if I have to go somewhere else, I experience it as a flaw in the relationship. And this notion of eroticism as distinct from mere sexuality — aliveness …. Perel: Lots of rituals that celebrated, that marked life cycle transition, et cetera.

They were often celebrated in a community along a large table with an extended family. The marriage lived in the center; it was one central relationship, but it lived in the midst of an aggregation of other intimate, powerful connections with their own sense of duty, obligation, et cetera. The priorities were quite clear.

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None of this had to be negotiated and discussed on a daily basis, as it is now. We have unprecedented freedom, but we are far more unmoored, and everything has to be talked about, because there is no preceding agreement. Perel: So we have more freedom; we have more uncertainty.

And we want the best of both. Tippett: [ laughs ] We want the best of both. Another thread that I see in your life is that you actually got involved in street theater and puppetry when you were in Jerusalem. And I feel like now something you do is, you are involved in the theater of relationships and the theater of sex, love, and marriage. It reaches the deepest places in us and involves disclosing aspects of ourselves that are invariably bound up with shame and guilt. Perel: I think you said it very beautifully. That was a legacy from home.

And I have always said, the best theater in town was couples therapy. Today with psychotherapist Esther Perel. And I think this notion of erotic intelligence is another thing that you would add, that actually is much bigger than sexual intelligence. Perel: So I will be really honest with you.

When I first came up with the term, my husband came up with the term, and it was a spoof. At first, I just thought — I understood it intuitively, but really, nothing substantive and scientific behind it. I did understand that animals have sex. It is the instinct; it is the base. But we have an erotic mind. And that erotic mind, it is infinite. And eroticism thrives on the ritual and the celebration and the infiniteness of our imagination and on the forbidden, for that matter, too.

What is this dual sets of needs that we grapple with? And in order to own something, there needs to be a sovereign self that is free to choose and, of course, feels worthy of wanting and feels worthy of receiving. How come? That was my beginning question. And how do you want the person that you love, also? And how do you want the person with whom you want a set of other things that have to do with what love brings, that is about familiarity and about closing the gap and not having such tension and creating family?

And that becomes really interesting. Tippett: And again, as you say, so on the one hand you can talk about ways, but this is really work of the imagination. It was so clear, because if I turn myself off, what do people say? It has nothing to do, specifically, with sex. It has to do with shutting down. And that comes with self-worth, as well. Perel: Faced with the unknown of our partners, we can either be anxious — and this is true with the unknown of life.

We can be anxious; we can want to close the gap; we can want to seek the familiar in that space.

Esther (French Edition)

Or we can leave that space open and respond to it with curiosity. And I can tell you, every couple in my office, I know exactly where they are on that continuum.

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And it also has to do with their histories and their childhoods. Perel: Yeah. Tippett: Right. Perel: To me, these dual sets of fundamental human needs is the basis for which I look at a lot of things.

I look at it in life; I look at it in terms of life stages; I look at it, certainly, inside relationships, and how we reconcile these two fundamental needs that often spring from different sources and pull us in different directions. And I also think that love and desire belong, a little bit, to both these sets of human needs, as well. So they relate, and they also conflict. And herein lies the mystery of eroticism. Tippett: After a short break, more with Esther Perel.

She is such a fascinating and wide-ranging thinker, and our conversation went in many directions. So you might want to follow this one up with a listen to our nearly minute unedited conversation. We release these for every interview I do, every week. You can find it in our podcast feed alongside this produced episode, wherever you get your podcasts. But she started her career looking at how relationships change with large culture shifts. She herself is a child of two Holocaust survivors.

Esther (French Edition) - AbeBooks - Racine: X

And how can we be more conscious of it and work more creatively and imaginatively with it? You dysregulate, and you become chaotic, and you may dissolve, disintegrate. The society is dysregulated, the whole environment, all of that. So this image, for me, I can take it from nature into technology. When I go to places where people are celebrating in an evangelical way the disappearance of everything that was, and the replacement, I am thinking, oh, la la la la la. And then when I go to places that just sentimentalize the 19 th century, I also say, oh, la la la la, because it is that interdependent, dynamic balance between these two that is where we really live.

We want certain things with technology, but we also want to stay connected to a certain kind of experience of our humanity. Tippett: Connect, with quality — [ laughs ] we talk about our connection economy. Perel: Connected with quality, yes, in all kinds of ways, in all kinds of unusual situations. Tippett: I did want to muse on this with you — there are a lot of big statements right now about how loneliness is the crisis of our society; loneliness is the crisis of modernity.