Sex Without Love

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Sharon Old's Sex without Love
By: Dana McCord

"Sex Without Love," by Sharon Olds passionately describes the author's disgust for casual sex. She vividly animates the immortality of lustful sex through her language variety. Olds' clever use of imagery makes this poem come to life. Olds frequently uses similes to make the audience imagine actual events. For example, Olds describes making love as "Beautiful as dancers." (Line #2) In this line, she questions how one can do such a beautiful act with a person whom one is not in love with. Olds also describes sex as "gliding over each other like ice skaters over the ice."(Line #3,4) She is referring to sex as a performance. Imagine an ice skating performance. Each ice skater is performing for judges and an audience to win an award. Olds uses this simile to relate people performing for one another. When two people truly are in love, there is no need for any special show or performance. Another simile the author uses is "As wet as the children at birth whose mothers are going to give them away," (line #6,7,8) to simulate a sweaty lovemaking scene. The simile "light rising slowly as steam off their joined skin" (line #11,12,13) can also be used to perceive the same image of a hot, sweaty, and passionate love making scene. The author repeatedly questions how two people who are not in love can perform such a spiritual act. The simile "As wet as the children at birth whose mothers are going to give them away," can also be used to represent the outcome of lustful copulation. When two people engage in sexual activities, a large percent of the mothers choose to ignore the outcome and either abort or give their children up for adoption. Olds compares the lovers with "great runners." (Line #18) In this simile, she implies that lovers are alone with their own pleasures. Olds' questions this selfishness throughout the poem. How can two people be alone in pleasure, when sex is supposed to be both...
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