Esther Perel's erotic desire talk explores how sexuality has evolved within the context of marriage and relationships.
Perel notes that adultery is not a modern transgression; it has been around as long the institution of marriage. Though there is nothing new about adultery, the way we perceive and respond to it has changed. This, is in part, due to the fundamental shift that marriage, and all committed relationships, have experienced. Though the reasons for straying differ (loneliness, discontent, entitlement), there is a common motivation behind it: a desire to be happy.
For most of its short history, marriage has been rooted in social and economic pursuits. Affairs, Perel argues, were born out of a desire for sexual chemistry and romantic love. Nowadays, marriage has evolved to include love, which mandates a sexual connection. The new marriage, according to Perel, is a safe haven where one can cultivate intimacy. It is a collaborative, communicative experience that offers the space for one to "transcend existential aloneness."