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"Sex without Love" is a true example of "ugly love."  The author, Sharon Olds, gives a clear and detailed view of what sex without love means through the use of irony.  Instead of the poem consisting of complex symbols and images, to paint the picture for the reader, she uses irony to pass along her true meaning.  This enables the reader to see one solid point to come across.  The parts of the poem that are compared to the idea of sex without love are seen as beautiful circumstances, but due to word choice, can be seen as disturbing to some.Edit

As the poem begins, the author uses objects that seem normal to the eye of the reader.  The authors use of symbols like the gliding ice skaters or the newborn babies, begins to construct a metaphor for what she really means.  "Beautiful as dancers, gliding over eachother like ice skaters over ice," is really a metaphor.  What this line is saying is that ice skaters are performers, putting on a show for all to enjoy, but the enjoyment is faked to signify beauty and happiness.  And being on ice, the act of sex without love is indeed cold and impersonnal.

Another part of the poem that seemed to bother me was the line "wet as children at birth whose mothers are going to give them away."  Having a child should be one of the happiest times of a persons life.  The child should bring nothing but happiness and joy, but the idea of abandoning that newborn baby is cold, if not colder than her previous metaphor.  What I believe she is trying to say is that love brings sex, which in turn also brings along a baby.  When that baby arrives, if it truely is sex without love, that baby is now abandoned and the baby should not be seen as beautiful.

It seems that sex is always brought up in the face of religions.  I think the author is using the purists as the loveless sex partners that believe the happiness from sex is not from their partner, but from themselves.  These same people will believe in a fake messiah and they get involved in opposite behaviors.  Meaning that they are the ones that enjoy the sex and nothing more.  Loveless relationships that bring them the most happiness.

Althought the messag of the poem is blunt and to the point, the author uses very lovely words to describe the act of sex without love in the most affectionate way she can.  The irony used in the poem helps drive home the point that all sex without love is meaningless and sad for the parties involved.