Sex After Prostate Cancer

Want to keep enjoying intimate moments even with prostate cancer? These tips will help you and your partner reignite that spark.

Maria Lissandrello
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Navigating the sea of romance after undergoing treatment for prostate cancer can be tricky—for both partners. Here’s help to stay connected and bring intimacy back into your relationship.

For him
Show her how much you care. Sex may not be top of mind right now. But there are other ways to be loving. Everything from surprising her with breakfast in bed to filling her car with gas can demonstrate your feelings.

Relax into loving. Cuddle on the couch, hold hands, give each other backrubs. Physical affection—even when it’s not sexual—can stimulate the release of hormones that help you feel close.

Explore new avenues. When you’re feeling sexual again, remember that intercourse is not the only way to achieve satisfaction. Try new techniques and vary positions—for example, kneeling and standing can help boost blood flow to the penis.

For her
Be his advocate. If your partner is too shy to address sexual issues with his doctor, make it easier by writing down the questions for him. For example: I’m having trouble achieving an erection suitable for intercourse. What are my options?

Broach delicate topics this way. Try talking about your love life during a car ride or while taking a walk—not while you’re lying in bed. Your partner is less likely to feel defensive during a side-by-side conversation. As for what to say, try: “I miss cuddling and holding hands.” Talking about your feelings opens the door to a frank discussion.

Offer reassurance. Saying something like, “Our bond is stronger and deeper than anything that happens in the bedroom, and I’m with you every step of the way,” reminds your partner of your unconditional acceptance and lifts his confidence.

January 2013