“There is a difference between just living and being alive. We are meant to feel aliveness, to be alive, to restore life on this earth, and to breathe life into others.”

Esther Perel, one of the most respected voices on erotic intelligence, is the author of the international bestseller Mating in Captivity, now available in twenty-five languages. She is a world-renowned authority on couples therapy, cross-cultural relations, culture, and sexuality. Fluent in nine languages, Perel is a frequent keynote speaker around the world and has been interviewed in leading publications such as the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and Vogue. She was named one of Elle magazine’s 2007 IntELLEligentia and is the recipient of the 2009 Consumer Book Award from the Society for Sex Therapy and Research. Perel serves on the faculty of the Family Studies Unit, Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center, and the International Trauma Studies Program, and is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy and the Society for Sex Therapy and Research. She resides in downtown New York with her husband and two sons. (

The Interview

I was referred to Esther by a mutual friend. I didn’t know her work, but I trusted my friend, who said she would be a fantastic interview. Also, I loved the title Mating in Captivity, and the fact that she was a highly respected sex therapist. Her epiphany was sure to be interesting—and it was. I found it and her fascinating, and, as usual, surprising. I interviewed her in her loft in New York City and she is sitting on the very couch where many of the epiphanies we talked about took place.

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