All of the instances sex and sexual relationships in The Waste Land are dysfunctional, dispassionate, unnatural, and often times violent. From the horrific story of Philomela, to the two women in the pub, to the typist and young man, carbuncular, it is clear that The Waste Land trying to express that something is wrong or broken concerning the sexual act an physical passion. I believe that this was, at least partially, inspired by the sexual issues in the Eliots’ marriage. Both Eliot and Vivien had health problems that put strain on their sexual relationship. Vivian had “menstrual problems” and Eliot had “thin blood.” (66) However this issues were compounded by psychological problems. Ackroyd states that the Eliots both were “Ill at ease or unenergetic in sexual relations.” (66)
I would hesitate to make too direct of comparison between the Eliots and the sexual characters of The Waste Land. I believe the more important and appropriate parallel is upon the idea of unnaturalness that resonates in each story. Both the physical and mental issues that the Eliots faced involving sex would likely have caused anxiety about being abnormal or unnatural. The section between the typist and the young man express this anxiety the most directly. The interaction is passionless and meaningless as if the two were mechanized and unnatural. This is what Eliot feared his marriage would become.