The Theme Of Sex In Mohsin Hamid's 'Exit West'

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Young people love to have sex. There are many types of sex, with the main type being direct sexual intercourse, where there is penetration using the genitals. The act of having sex is an emotional and private experience to most people. Despite this however, many begin exploring this idea around a young age. Award winning author Mohsin Hamid talks in depth on this topic in his novel “Exit West.” The novel follows two characters, Saeed and Nadia, as they escape together around the world, teasing each other and learning more about the ideas surrounding sex and its associated pleasure along the way. Through his word choice and character descriptions, Hamid portrays women in his novel as being more sexually inclined than men, taking control of the pleasure they want. It becomes apparent very early on in the novel that Saeed is a very chaste man who wants to refrain from having sexual intercourse with Nadia until marriage. This is witnessed through Saeed’s “a bit excessive a delay” (55, Hamid) in initiating sexual intercourse while in bed with Nadia, and his response of “‘I don’t think we should have sex until we’re married’” (55, Hamid) to Nadia’s comment on whether he brought a condom. However, both characters still explore ways to find pleasure, establishing the idea that direct sexual intercourse is not the only source in which to obtain pleasure. It first begins when “a combination of horror and desire subsequently impelled [Saeed] back each evening… and they would touch
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