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Creative Time & The Atlantic Day of Ideas: Lust: Esther Perel, Laura Kipnis, and Paul Holdengräber, instigator

November 18, 2006

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The Erotic & the Domestic: The Pitfalls of Modern Intimacy

"In Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic," Esther Perel explains that our cultural penchant for equality, fairness, and absolute candor is antithetical to erotic desire for both men and women. Sexual excitement doesn't always play by the rules of good citizenship.

"Laura Kipnis and I examine the pitfalls of modern intimacy, the emphasis on transparency and talking, the feminization of intimacy and how it often confuses closeness with surveillance. Where she is engaged in the polemics of adultery, I work with couples to negotiate the paradoxes of love and desire."

Esther Perel.

"Relations between men and women don?t seem to be going particularly well at the moment in the love and romance department: ambivalence and mutual dissatisfaction reign. The social adhesion marriage once provided has long since dissolved; the utopian promise of the sexual revolution has devolved into the emptiness of hook-up culture; increasing economic independence for women has heightened demands on men, who have retreated into the consolations of porn. What?s a heterosexual to do these days?

Laura Kipnis

This event is co-presented by The Atlantic.










About Esther Perel

Esther Perel is a couples and family therapist in private practice in New York. She is on the faculty of the International Trauma Studies program at Columbia University and is a member of the American Family Therapy Academy. Perel?s original article "Erotic Intelligence" was featured on the front cover of the Utne Reader and was included in the anthology: Best Erotic Writings 2004. The much touted article was since developed into a book, Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic, which is now being translated in 13 languages. She?s been named finalist for the Books for a Better Life Award.



About Laura Kipnis

Laura Kipnis is a cultural critic and a bit of a contrarian. Her latest book, The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability, is just out and ruffling a few feathers. Her previous book, Against Love: A Polemic, was translated into eight languages and named a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Publisher's Weekly, Newsday, and NPR's Fresh Air, among others. She's written on sexual and cultural politics for Slate, Harper's, The Nation, The New York Times Magazine and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Yaddo. She teaches media studies at Northwestern University.



About Paul Holdengräber

Paul Holdengräber is the Director of Public Programs - now known as "LIVE from the NYPL" - for The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library.