Table of contents:

In Search Of Lost Desire - Relationship, Sex
In Search Of Lost Desire - Relationship, Sex

Video: In Search Of Lost Desire - Relationship, Sex

Video: In Search Of Lost Desire - Relationship, Sex
Video: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship | Esther Perel 2023, March

Physical health alone is not enough for making love beautiful and fun. Desire is absolutely necessary, attraction is a fragile and ephemeral component. Why is attraction, like an exotic butterfly, becoming an “endangered species”?

Recently, many young (22–25 years old), wonderful and completely healthy people have come to us. It comes with the fact that theoretically they can do everything in the sexual sphere, but they don't want to. "Like laziness." Or "not interesting." That is, the idiom "men just need that" turns from reality into a product of girlish dreams. It seems that today quite healthy men and women need something more.


The first factor that can have a devastating effect on the sexual desire of even a young healthy person is our enormous fatigue. When you live in a huge metropolis, go to work for three hours, try to make a career or develop a business and at the same time you have an irregular working day, then of all the "basic instincts" there is only one left - "to rest, sleep", before other desires somehow business does not reach. Life energy is simply spent on other things.

You can treat Freud as you like, but the sublimation described by him (sexual energy goes into creative activity) has not been canceled. When a person is very immersed in something, even if it is routine, hard, tedious work (and even if it is exciting!), It takes a lot of strength and mental energy.


Second factor. Freud described “basic instincts” 130–140 years ago, and these were quite puritanical times. If you look at the pornographic postcards of that time, the woman on them - in extreme cases - with a bare ankle or shoulder. Disguise, mysteriousness, not so much accessibility of sex at that time played a huge role in the formation of desires. And today, sex is very accessible. And the attitude towards him has also changed.

At the end of the 19th century, the attitude towards sex was very different from that accepted in modern society. Probably, a rare gynecologist will not tell a woman who comes to the reception that all her problems are due to the fact that she has an unsuccessful sex life. You can imagine how free and independent women feel at this moment, living without a partner, who, perhaps, are carried away in life by something other than sex. Rather, there is public pressure: "Sex must be present in the life of a successful person!"

Or take teenage serials: there is a feeling that without exception all adolescents are "blown away" by desires and they all lead a hectic sex life. This may be so. But not necessarily. If a poor teenager goes in for sports or works 28 hours a day to go to college, and at the same time is still wildly afraid of some kind of exam and the army, the energy is directed in a completely different direction. In addition, fears and anxieties also do not contribute to the emergence of sexual desire.

And what should a teenager do if he accidentally caught sight of some teenage series? Consider yourself unfinished? Self-esteem at this age is extremely unstable, the young man does not yet understand what he really wants. Here doubts appear in myself, and the question "Am I trembling creature or have the right?" the answer is basically, of course, "Trembling creature."

And also, when a dominant discourse appears in society that sex is an absolutely necessary thing and without it you are nobody, there are always people who go against the system. Now, for example, there are associations of asexuals. They are normal guys, they are simply not interested in sex, they live a completely different life.

More about this:

Young L., Alexander B. Chemistry of Love. A scientific look at love, sex and attraction. M.: Sinbad, 2014.


When there is abundance around, you don't really want this abundance. It's the same with sex. When there is a minimal element of hunger (this is about any desire), then the desire arises. And the modern consumer society is arranged in such a way that if you have a need for at least something, you are immediately offered a huge range of goods and services.

Even advertising today tries to exploit our basic instinct. Girls in lingerie advertise yoghurts, tights or food processors. As a result, a naked or barely covered body ceases to excite.

The fatal combination - accessibility plus the dictates of society - turns sex into a "medical procedure", a nightmare that kills desire. After all, the joy of a medical procedure is obviously less than that of an exciting adventure.


Esther Perel is one of the most famous specialists in human relations, a practicing psychotherapist, the most popular speaker and consultant to companies from the Fortune 500 (her clients include Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Tony Robbins Productions and others). The New York Times named her the premier sexuality and relationship expert since Dr. Ruth. Her book How to Reconcile Erotica and Life has become a bestseller and has been translated into 25 languages (of which Esther speaks eight), and six million people watched her TED talk! She is one of the most influential modern researchers who singles out fantasy as an objective factor contributing to the improvement of a couple's sex life.


In such a situation, additional provocateurs of desires begin to play a role.

The first is hyperstimulation. It is no longer the girl in the underwear that matters, but the "girl practically turned inside out." Or a variety of delights. But when you walk for a long time along the path of hyperstimulation, at some point you reach the edge. A lot of films are built on this. For example, "Bitter Moon", when lovers experiment more, more and more, and then - the edge, nothing.

The second way is novelty. It is clear that with a new partner, a person always has a huge element of arousal - simply because he is new. This is Don Juan's way. You don't need to do anything special: a new body, new sensations, smells. But here there is a trap, scientists have figured it out: only the first three partners are remembered well, and then everything is erased.

The "novelty effect" disappears because you value not the whole person, but only the body. As in Brodsky: "Virgo flatters to a certain limit." When sex turns into only bodily fun - this is undoubtedly wonderful fun, you don't have to think that I'm doing moralizing now - you won't last long on this. Even a new body one day ceases to be new.

Finally, a riddle. Many partners, even regular ones, note that they are beginning to be attracted by the element of uncertainty, mystery.

I remember the story of one man, whose wife went the completely usual way: geisha courses, strip plastic, quick ways to seduce anyone … She tried very hard, but she could not do anything about his potency, but in fact - not with potency, but with desire … And then he expressed a wise thought: "I'm not a fetishist to throw myself on beautiful lingerie." Geisha courses were useless: he liked her in a very tight, but in a very closed dress. The dress left room for fantasy. Moreover, personal fantasies are much more valuable than those that society broadcasts to us. There - a girl in lingerie, a girl on a pole - the fantasies of choreographers, designers, advertisers, but not yours.

People have two needs: one is for attachment and stability, care and security, and the other is for novelty and development. Love grows out of the first, love grows out of the second. The vibrant, poignant sex that happens when people are in love is different from sex in people who have lived a long life together. It is much deeper, more conscious. He requires concentration and presence, and does not wait for spontaneous desire, which, like a gift from nature, descends from heaven.

You can chase brightness, or you can follow the path of strengthening an emotional connection. People who live together for a long time lose the element of novelty, and then you really have to maintain a sexual fire - this is a separate job. But the very fact of a long-term relationship, long-term togetherness does not mean that your sexual desire is dying out. If people have warm, long-term close relationships, they can realize any of their fantasies in a completely safe environment, they can play, precisely because they feel free, uninhibited.

Research by the renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel, which she has conducted in different countries, confirms that regardless of culture, there are several factors that help a stable existing couple maintain a relationship. And one of them is fantasy.


  • Increasing the distance often helps to maintain the fire of desire. "I am most attracted to her (him), when we are apart, I miss and imagine that we are together."
  • When you look at your partner and see him confident in himself, shining: for example, he does something new, he looks somehow different. Or he shines, and it doesn't matter whether he plays the violin or bakes a cake.
  • When you look at your partner as if through the eyes of another person. For example, at a party you catch admiring glances turned towards him (or her). Some spouses start to get jealous, but you and I understand that this is it, sexual desire, catch it.
  • When partners have fun together, when they can laugh at each other's jokes.

All this is mainly about the general erotic space and novelty. But not the novelty of poses and techniques, but the novelty of discoveries. Yourself, partner and relationship.



Desire is a tricky subject, because in sex it is not limited to the framework of only one's own ego. It is not just "I want" that matters, but "I want the one who wants me." Consequently, the struggle of priorities is much more intense: my desire may be enough, but I still have to overcome the unwillingness (to correspond to the desire) of the second half of the future intimate contact.

In such situations, it begins to seem that any new novel, perhaps, is not a very correct idea … Without forgetting that a person is a biosocial being and the strength of his attraction (desire) depends on the hormonal background, we note that in addition to this - also from strength of character. That is, men with a weak sexual constitution and anxiously suspicious character complain about the lack of desire, who were unlucky to meet the one who would support the “hero” both on the approaches to the bed and in it. And since now we are accustomed by society to seek help from specialists, then the queues for doctors, psychologists, wizards are growing …

Yuri Prokopenko,

sexologist, sexopathologist, candidate of medical sciences

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