Sex and sexuality

In relation to cancer many participants didn’t feel prepared for the effect(s) that cancer and cancer treatments would have in relation to sex and sexuality. In some cases this was treated with humour and intrigue, in others passing frustration, but often it caused unnecessary distress because of the silence around sexuality, in particular lesbian and gay sexualities.

The video’s below offer varying stories about the range of effects that cancer has on sexuality, as well as discussing how being lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer makes the impact on sex and sexuality different.

 

Martin:

Martin has undergone treatment for prostate cancer. He offers a frank discussion of how whilst some effects of treatment were explained, some of them were not, and he was left to work this out himself. He also talks about the difficulties in navigating sex after prostate cancer surgery.

 

Jim:

Like Martin above, Jim has also undergone prostate cancer treatment. He felt he wasn’t given the correct information in relation to his sex life after surgery. He also reflects on conversations with healthcare professionals , and the overall effect treatment has had on his sex life.

Jim discusses why he thinks it’s important for sexuality to be raised with patients in healthcare environments, particularly those with cancer.

 

Greg:

Greg talks about what he wasn’t told in relation to his prostate cancer investigations. Again, similar to Martin and Jim above, he wasn’t told anything about how he would ejaculate blood when having sex. He also highlights the reticence healthcare staff have in talking about sexual fluids and function, and their importance to gay male relationships.

 

Steven:

Steven talks about how surgery effected his sexual function and the feelings this has left him with as a gay man.

 

Dollar and Carolyn:

Dollar (on the right) and Carolyn (on the left) have both experienced breast cancer. In this video they discuss the loss of sensation in their breasts and backs. In particular they reflect on how a lot of post-surgical breast cancer information is geared towards how breasts look, rather than how they feel.

 

Laeticia:

Laeticia considers how having had breast cancer has altered her life plans for the future.