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Visitors' Comments about:

Sex Without Love

Sharon Olds

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Envy
2004-06-03
Added by: Naomi
I have read this poem very differently than many others who have posted here. I have read many of olds other work, and perhaps that is parly responsible for my view.

I believe that Olds is commenting on the beauty of such a pure and instinctive act in persuit of one's own pleasure. She is envious of this ability to put aside all of the emotional baggage generally assumed to be part of sex. Unlike many of you, I think she is making a comment against the religious institutions that tell us all how wrong "sex without love", and more importantly marriage, is. Perhaps some of you should give it another read, and expand you thoughts from the obvious. After all, if it is that obvious, it isn't poetry at all; it is political banter.
-Naomi
Envy
2004-06-03
Added by: Naomi
I have read this poem very differently than many others who have posted here. I have read many of olds other work, and perhaps that is parly responsible for my view.

I believe that Olds is commenting on the beauty of such a pure and instinctive act in persuit of one's own pleasure. She is envious of this ability to put aside all of the emotional baggage generally assumed to be part of sex. Unlike many of you, I think she is making a comment against the religious institutions that tell us all how wrong "sex without love", and more importantly marriage, is. Perhaps some of you should give it another read, and expand you thoughts from the obvious. After all, if it is that obvious, it isn't poetry at all; it is political banter.
-Naomi
How can you know
2004-06-09
Added by: Dawn
For those who have never been used for sex, how can you know? Most people don't even know the meaning of the word love, let alone how to show it. Sex has become an act to please ourselves. It is no longer an intimate joining between two married people. Casual sex is seen as normal, when it is anything but. Casual sex is what generates STD's and abortion. Once we stop saying that it's okay, those stop as well. Poetry is to convey an emotion that everyone can understand, this poem conveys the hurt of a woman as she watches her society go down the tubes. The woman may or may not be the writer. However, in poetry the author of the poem and the narrator of the poem can be two completely different people.
Sex Without Love
2004-06-29
Added by: Diane
After having slugged my way through all the comments I fully understand my instructor's preference to teach "grown ups." I dare say that when another 20 or 30 years have been added to the lives of the many respondents their view of this poem may well have changed!
Sex Without Love
2004-06-30
Added by: Shana
Sharon Olds is a complicated artist. The comments on the database indicate that she's being read as a political statement from the right or left. This is a poem about the pure animal part of sex, as well as the part of sex that connects us to our bodies, the way running alone can be a relationship between the lone body and the road/journey. She does not claim it is fully satisfying, and makes no comment about whether anyone is married or not married. She speaks to that particular kind of sex that joins you with your body, if not with someone else's. And there is no religious or political agenda, and that is what makes the poem so gorgeous and brave.
2004-08-08
Added by: lin
i think the persona in the poem is thinking about how, say, prostitutes or porn stars, have sex without love. since, so to speak, sex for these people is profession or anything that can measure to that kind of mentality, how can they have sex and completely distance themselves from the act itself? and isnt that one the tensions in the poem? how for some people, sex is just sex, but these very same people don't lose track of what it really means.
Sex Without Love is Fabulous
2004-10-01
Added by: Kaci
The way in which Olds uses metaphor and structures this poem makes it brilliant.
The way I read it she was not condemning people who have sex without love- it seems to me that she admires their ability to separate themselves. She wants to be able to have that sense of freedom, independence and pleasure all at once too. The way that she ties religion and running(which can also be considered a religion in some cases) to sex is perfect. One of the ten comandments is "you shall worship no other gods besides me" and who better holds this up than those that make love without love- nuns and priests should be able to have sex then don't you think?!
2004-10-27
Added by: mark
Sex without love is about the wave of prostitution in Sarajevo during the 1984 winter olympic games. Note the comparison of the lovers to ice dancers. It's not as one dimensional as some people may suggest.
2004-12-16
Added by: Keisha
I think its a beautiful poem. I feel that it is something that mostly women can relate because what most of us seek is "Love."
a teenagers view on sex without love
2005-01-13
Added by: Brandie
I am 17 years old, I have had sex with a few people, but I have never felt how I feel with the guy I am with now. It is the best feeling in the world, but I don't regret the others because if it wasn't for them then I wouldnt know what I know now. It is so so so much better to have sex when its with someone that you care about so deeply and you KNOW that they feel the same. I may only be 17 but some 17 year olds do know more than what most people give them credit for. ( get movie Vanilla sky)

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