by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged Sex Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Section.Page). We used the 50th Anniversary Edition published by Signet Books in 2007.
"The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires...because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of achievement, not the possession of a brainless slut....He does not seek to gain his value, he seeks to express it. There is no conflict between the standards of his mind and the desires of his body." (22.214.171.124)
Francisco's Sex Talk is the most important thematic statement about sex in the novel. Francisco explains that sex, in an Objectivist value system, is about the individual and reflects a person's values and self-esteem. An individual living for his own happiness will treat sex as a good thing and will only have sex with someone he loves.
He did not know it, he did not think of it, he was past the need of words, but in the moment when he felt the response of her body to his, he felt also the unadmitted knowledge that that which he had called her depravity was her highest virtue – this capacity of hers to feel the joy of being, as he felt it. (126.96.36.199)
Hank highlights the theme of switching word meanings around again when he realizes that what society calls "depravity" is really a "virtue." It's also interesting that Hank is described as "beyond words" here; this happens to various characters in the novel and emphasizes the depth of feeling our heroes, whom the looters often call "unemotional," have.
"No matter what happens in the future, we'll always be what we were to each other, you and I, because you'll always love me."..."Will I want to sleep with you? Desperately. Will I envy the man who does? Sure. But what does that matter? It's so much – just to have you here, to love you and to be alive." (188.8.131.52-3)
It's interesting that Francisco unites his past, present, and future with Dagny here, noting that their bond won't ever break, even though the nature of it will change. Sex here is just one way to express one's love.