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`` Sex Without Love `` By Sharon Olds

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ex without love
The poem, “sex without love” by Sharon Olds portrays the issues in the society today. Casual sex is on the rise and Olds is puzzled how one can have sex without loving the other partner. She states, “How do they do it, the ones who make love without sex?” (Line 1). She, however, describes sex with beautiful imagery of dancers, making it appealing but the eventual feeling of loneliness is inevitable. Olds choice of words, imagery, and symbolism throughout her texts is contrasting; sex without love is possible but is exemplified as a selfish empty act if love is absent.
Sex described in this poem is between two people who are not in love, and it’s vividly elaborated throughout the poem. Olds brings foreplay, tenderness, and
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Olds metaphorically compares the other partner as cold, wind, road surface which have an impact on his performance but the runner chooses to ignore them and thinks he is alone. “they know they are all alone with the road surface.” (Line 18).
Sex without love is unity and solitude happening simultaneously. At the beginning of the poem, sex is compared to dancers and ice-skaters gliding over each other, but in the end, it’s like a lone runner. Emotions are not shared, and Olds states that “they do not mistake the lover for their own pleasures” (line 19) revealing how selfish the act is and commitment becomes a jargon to the lovers since they are only interested in themselves. “Sex without love is an empty experience, but as experiences go, it’s one of the best.” (Woody Allen).

Lack of emotional intimacy in sex leads to suppression of feelings, and this can affect one’s ability to create an attachment, worst still, feelings of awkwardness crop. This is evident as Olds puts it in (line 7), “wet as children at birth whose mothers are going to give them away.” Mother giving away her child is a metaphor depicting dangers of unwanted pregnancies as a result of casual sex. The image of undesired childbirth illuminates negligence and irresponsibility since the lover 's intention was not bearing children. This unplanned procreation highlights the fallacies of sex without love.
Olds suggest that
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