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Sex Without Love

Sharon Olds

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"Sex Without Love"
2004-03-26
Added by: Amanda
Olds use of hot and cold figures get the feelings throughtout the poem that the person is unsure about her feelings about sex with no love.
my analysis
2004-04-20
Added by: randy
Read the poem how you want, but this is my analysis. I think that the speaker actually believes that it's not possible to have sex without some kind of love. In the end she says "just factors, like the partner in the bed, and not the truth." I think she is actually saying that most people act like their partner is just a factor, and that they don't feel anything for them, but that they are in denial. She believes that in some way, even though they won't admit it, they do in fact love the other person, and that love should come more easily than it's "supposed to(waiting for marriage)." She believes that you don't have to be married to someone to love them.
2004-04-28
Added by: Sarah
This is an existential poem about the irony of joining two bodies together when their souls will always be separate. Olds suggests that maybe the person who can have sex without love is better off because he understands his essential aloneness.
Look in the deeper aspect
2004-04-30
Added by: Fay
Literally it's sex without love; however, Old wants to express THE FEELING of having sex without love. It is a dissatisfaction of having sex without a feeling of being loved, and I do not mean casual sex. Old uses various distinct word to descibe pleasure over love... more on function not emotion. The best part is at the end of the poem where she uses the words, "against its own best time." It is a complete lost of emotional detachment for the sake of pleasure... as what my prof says "death: it has its length of it's existance" at the end you'll end up alone.
She is an extraordinary poet... very practical in reality. This poem is one of a kind!
Sex without love
2004-05-01
Added by: Niall Carson
For an example of someone who is frustrated at the lack of casual sex, try some Patrick Kavanagh, who 'lost all the long hours of pleasure, all the women that love young men.'
No judgement here...
2004-05-08
Added by: Lisa
I think this poem is very relevant to our society today and our feelings about "casual sex". Those of you saying that she is "right winged" and making a judgemet, I'd have to disagree. She appears to be fascinated,not disgusted, by how they perform the mechanics of sex without the love. She is not passing judgement on people but merely making its clear how prevalent this is in our society. Also i find it interesting how she uses sound poetry when she says "Come to the...come to the... God.. come to the still waters" which when read aloud properly emulates an orgasm. Great poem.
2004-05-17
Added by: Rachel
Poetry is strictly interpretation. However mislead your interpretation may be, it is yours. Olds' poem is genius in the pure aspects of poetry. The gutteral word choice and inventive syntax demands that this be considered a classic. Her opinions regarding premarital sex are futile. She speaks as someone who has expreinced empty sex, and relates it to her audience. What you do with her expereince is entirely up to you.
2004-05-22
Added by: Will
Sorry folks. The poem stands as a testament to what makes some of modern poetry truly awful -- the poet has no consideration for the break of the line and seems to have taken a bit of jaunty, purple, bruised prose and chopped it up into a salad of cliche and aromatic herbs. Disgusting.
2004-05-28
Added by: phoenixgirl
'Tis clear and a shame that some entry-level college course is requiring its students to post comments. As an educator, I can see that, if a student knows his work will be seen by the whole world, then maybe, just maybe he will try to come up with something more intelligent than a suggestion that the poet kill her ugly self. Still, the proof is in the pudding -- look at the results. I doubt I'll read any more comments here, lest I encounter more of the sludge posted by Literature 101.

Anyway, I did enjoy the poem. It captured a bit of a truth -- that many people have sex without love, perhaps thinking that sex creates or means love. That's all we can ask of a poem.
Sex Without Love
2004-06-02
Added by: Christopher
I read the posted comments, and I read the poem. Our sexual repression is a problem, but isn't our lack of love more of a problem? The author comes to us, on the page. We are treated to foreplay by means of diction and imagery. Her tone does not scold the actions of a nation gone wild with lust. Olds brings tenderness back to love and sex. Acts that are lost in our attempts to find and feel. She pushes all of it away! In her words she brings us back to good sex; not bad akward sex or drunken sex but a passionate, chaterless mind, don't have to ask if it was good, sex. Bodies wrapped together in heat and sweat, loving each other, "coming to the (oh) God". Forgive my add-in. I her say sex is love. We are people alone but together in this world, and there are many essential things people have just skipped over in attmepts to find what is plainly there and obvious. If you want to "find love", then start loving.

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