A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
by Ernest Hemingway
Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
Sex is almost a non-issue here. We get just the slightest suggestions of sexuality; when the soldier and date walk by, the waiters comment that even if he gets picked up by the guard for playing hooky, it won't matter "if he gets what he's after" (4) from the girl. Other than this brief encounter and commentary, women really don't play a role in this story. Sex is kind of beside the point here; it's only one possible solution to the profound loneliness the older characters see in humanity, and based on the story, we're not even sure if it's a satisfactory one.