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Sex Without Love By Sharon Olds

864 words - 4 pages

Emotional Confusion in “Sex Without Love”
In the poem “Sex Without Love” by Sharon Olds, two contradicting ideals are discussed. This poem is a comparison between the traditional belief of sex only within the parameters of love and marriage versus the belief that love is purely an act of pleasure and can be taken up independently, without emotional strings attached, except Sharon Olds, she cannot understand how others do not become attached with the acts of pleasure. Olds portrays via her imagery, analogies, and philosophical explorations. You find out which is the side she truly understands.
The opening line begins with the question at hand, “How do they do it, the ones who make love ...view middle of the document...

(2-3) Pornography is a very choreographed practice of sex. Their movements are perfect, seemingly knowing exactly what the other one wants, crying out in perfect time of pleasure. They are performers, like ice-skaters, showing the world what sex should be like. Often these examples are followed by the general population, young people who have sex without love (or perhaps not what many may consider ‘true’ love) and experience heart break, or misinterpreting pleasure by performing a choreographed, fake performance because it’s what they think they are meant to do. Olds’ stance in this first half of the poem is a shocked attitude towards anyone who can share their body, their temple with another in such a nonchalant way. One-night stands are another aspect of this statement. Furthermore our society has set up ‘rules’ for dating, like no sex before 3-months of dating, or no kissing until the 5th date, whatever these rules may be, Olds’ uses imagery to portray this with, “faces/ red as steak, wine…”(5-6) Steak and wine are seen as luxury items, a nice meal of steak and wine is something to save up for, to look forward to, not something most people indulge in all the time. This meal is sex, something that should be waited for, to look forward to, and to indulge in only when one has earned it.

Ugalde 3
The female orgasm is a mysterious occurrence. It is the only thing that is purely for...

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