02/13/2007 01:53 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Forget Roses and Chocolates this Valentine's Day - I'll Take Sex Instead

If you prefer chocolates or roses on this special day devoted to love and all it's trimmings, read no further. But if an erotic interlude with your spouse holds some appeal as a way to ring in this holiday d'amore, do read on.

Esther Perel - a stunning, octo-lingual (yes, she speaks eight languages, all with a divine accent) psychologist and author has given us "smug marrieds" a valentine like no other - her book, Mating in Captivity - Reconciling the Erotic + the Domestic. I don't mind (and I don't think you will) being equated with a caged animal as a means to describe - and change the course of - the pathetic state of the sex lives of a very large percentage of married couples in the world. Sure, we all know the couple who has it all - careers, kids AND occasional steamy sex in a stairwell. But most of us living in "captivity" have fallen victim to a paradox - love seeks closeness; desire needs distance. So what's a caged couple to do? Can you want what you have?

Thank you Esther for asking this question -- and then answering it --with a resounding yes. With her thoughtful and well researched book she offers a new perspective on why sex falters in long-term relationships AND what one can do about it without resorting to the American preference of divorce nor the European pattern of infidelity. There's hope -- and some of Esther's suggestions are shockingly simple - my favorite being less talk more action - and her gentle reminder that fire needs air (read - give yourselves some space). Jesse Kornbluth tipped me off to this great read - check out his review at Headbutler and don't miss Susie Bright's interview with Esther at susiebright.blogs

Want to read more about Esther and sex? Click here.