Free Sex without Love Analysis Essay Sample
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The poem, “Sex without love,” by Sharon Olds reveals the author’s perception of love which is based on sexual association between individuals who are not truly bound by it. She brings to light this kind of association as one filled with negative results rather than a progressive one. The loveless sexual act is regarded as an upsetting act and one that does not bring mutual benefit to both parties. Sharon achieves to reveal this kind of association through the employment of the diverse poetic techniques. These techniques tend to bring to mind clear descriptions and enhance better understanding in the reader. She commences her poem with a question, “How do they do it, the ones who make love without love?” (LaFollette 45). This statement confirms her displeasure and disgust in the sexual act undertaken by two individuals yet there exists no love between them. The repetition of the word ‘love’ is meant to stress the essence of having a mutual feeling between two parties engaging in sexual act. The initial ‘love’ refers to the actual act of sex while the second one refers to the emotional attachment that should thrive between the two individuals doing the act.
The author then enlists the use of similes to bring out irony by flamboyantly animating the morally wrong, immodest sexual act. This technique clearly expresses her contempt with regard to the kind of ‘love’ existing between individuals. Her comparison of certain elements with the act of sex brings her point out clearly. She refers to them as, “Beautiful as dancers” yet she questions the circumstance under which they engage in sexual act without experiencing true love. This presentation initially creates a very romantic image of love. However, as Olds continues, the image brought out with regard to love takes a twist, it becomes an ugly act. This is expressed by the author’s use of imagery. For instance, she states that the dancers were, “…gliding over each other like ice skaters, over ice” (Roston and Buchwald 56). This shows the act was approved and joyous. It was out of the will of the two parties involved. Nonetheless, its deep comparison with ice skaters may reveal a totally different meaning. For ice skaters, their performance is superficial as it depends on an individual’s happiness, which in most cases may be faked. The act of skating doesn’t involve emotions as compared to love. Furthermore, the dance is done ‘over ice’. This implies that the performance of sex without love is not mutual, is not fulfilling and as such, it is cold. The utilization of the image, “fingers hooked inside each other’s bodies”, further suggests that the whole act of sex is not reciprocated.
The act of sex normally involves some religious undertones
As such, Olds enlists perfectionists as she refers to them as, “true religious”. The irony in this is that these purists also engage in the act of sex without love with the belief that the pleasure associated with this act is emanating from them and not their partners. In addition, the purists would not engage in the worship of “a false Messiah”. On the contrary, the perfectionists love the priest more compared to God. They also participate in the immoral sexual act without love yet they should be the ones responsible for guiding the society on this issue of love (Shetley 20).
Moreover, the author presents a metaphor of a runner
Runners are known to pursue success on individual basis. They are revered for their performance according to an individual’s hard work and discipline in fulfilling his or her goals on the track field. The runner, in most cases, does this for physical gain. The comparison of such a runner to the act of sex, gives the notion that this loveless act is more physical than emotional. It is only for the fulfillment of individual pleasure rather than the growth of true feelings. Just like the way runners train for their races, loveless sex involves mechanical behaviour (LaFollette 32). As much as the author expresses a harsh and straightforward message in this poem, her employment of beautiful phrases and words to refer to the loving act of loveless sex eases the tension. Other poetic techniques further enhance the revelation of the intended message.