To His Coy Mistress
by Andrew Marvell
Analysis: Sex Rating
Exactly how steamy is this poem?
Sex is a major theme in "To His Coy Mistress," and one can easily read sex into almost any line of the poem. All the sex in the poem happens in the mind of the speaker in a variety of hypothetical situations. The speaker seems to think that all his problems will be cured if only the mistress will have sex with him. But, because he’s so complicated, it’s hard to tell if he really feels that way, or if he turns himself into a parody of someone who feels that way. Since the topic of sex can be both serious and absurd, and can lead to both pleasure and pain, the speaker is probably both joking and serious, all wrapped up together.