Dating intimacy and the teenage years
It’s like, there’s no way I’m ever sticking anything in there!
Then you start healing, and the body remembers, and you're like, ‘Oh, what’s that? ’”After punishing treatments, sex isn’t universally important to everyone.
T hick muscles and veins rippled under his tan, hairless skin, and there was a tense smirk on his face.David Stanley and Rebekah Robbins, both of Sheffield, England, kiss after being married at the Empire State Building in New York, on February 14, 2007.Robbins met Stanley on the internet after she started her fight with breast cancer, for which she continues treatment.A lot of that is due to plain old embarrassment—sex is one of the most universally uncomfortable topics of discussion.“A lot of folks think it will get better over time, and it doesn’t, or years go by, and they’ve lost intimacy in their life,” says Catherine Alfano, vice president of survivorship at the American Cancer Society and a rehabilitation psychologist.They also lose the ability to ejaculate (though they can still orgasm), and sometimes they express some urine during ejaculation. The most devastating part of all this is when patients and their partners aren’t fully prepared for these side effects.“This week in my practice, I had a 50-year-old guy with tears in his eyes. You can’t mope around.”That attitude is hard for many to adopt, especially younger men.“The point of being alive is to enjoy life and connect with the ones you love,” says Dr.Madeleine Castellanos, a psychiatrist who specializes in sex therapy and works with cancer patients.There are also the emotional ramifications patients, their partners and families endure.At least 60 percent of cancer survivors suffer from long-term sexual problems, and fewer than 20 percent get the help they need to lead fulfilling sex lives, says Leslie Schover, a clinical psychologist who’s one of the pioneers in helping cancer survivors navigate sexual health and fertility.