"It is true from early habit, one must make love mechanically as one swims; I was once very fond of both, but now as I never swim unless I tumble into the water, I don't make love till almost obliged."
"She knew that Marcel needed her and that she needed this need, that it kept her alive night and day; especially at night when he did not want to be alone, or to age or to die, with that stubborn look he had, and that she sometimes recognized on other men's faces, the only look common to all the madmen hidden behind airs of reason, until the delirium rises and throws them, desperate, to a woman's body to bury, without desire, the frightening things that solitude and night have shown them."
"We do not go to bed in single pairs; even if we choose not to refer to them, we still drag there with us the cultural impedimenta of our social class, our parents' lives, our bank balances, our sexual and emotional expectations, our whole biographies--all the bits and pieces of our unique existences."
"While we were doing it, everything seemed possible, I must say. But that is the illusion of the act. Now I remember how everything seemed possible when I was doing it, but as soon as I stopped, not, as if fucking itself were the origin of illusion."
"I can't change the teachings of Christ. I can't change the teachings of Christ!... I've looked on a lot of women with lust ... and God forgives me for it.... Christ says, Don't consider yourself better than someone else."
"Every man has been brought up with the idea that decent women don't pop in and out of bed; he has always been told by his mother that "nice girls don't." He finds, of course, when he gets older that this may be untrue--but only in a certain section of society."