Video: The Secret To Desire In A Long-Term Relationship

March 27, 2015 by Justin Lehmiller

“At the heart of sustaining desire in a committed relationship, I think, is the reconciliation of two fundamental human needs. On the one hand, our need for security, for predictability, for safety, for dependability, for reliability, for permanence…But we also have an equally strong need–men and women–for adventure, for novelty, for mystery, for risk, for danger, for the unknown, for the unexpected, for surprise.”

In this TED talk, therapist Ester Perel (author of Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence) argues that, in the modern world, married people have come to expect a lot of their spouses. We want our partner to simultaneously be both our best friend and our enduring object of sexual desire. In other words, we want our spouse to fulfill all of our needs, many of which would seem to be in conflict with one another (e.g., the need for stability vs. the need for surprise). Not only that, but we want our partners to do this in an age where humans are living far longer than ever before! So how do we balance these competing needs in a long-term relationship? Check out the video below to learn more.

Watch more videos on the science of sex and relationships here.

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on Facebook (, Twitter (@JustinLehmiller), or Reddit ( to receive updates.

Image Source:

You Might Also Like:

Post Featured Image
Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

Read full bio >