Having sex again
Spontaneous sex: coping with loss and keeping the passion
Spontaneous sex, and having natural erections right when you want them, are two things that can change after prostate cancer treatment. It’s an adjustment, but it doesn’t mean all hope is lost or that the passion is gone.
Adapting to using erection medications and devices
All erection medications and devices take time to get used to, including pills and penile injections. In the beginning, it can be hard to imagine how you’ll experience “normal” sex again. But it’s possible. Trust us, humans are very adaptive—especially for something as important as passion and sex.
For example, if you think back to the early 1980’s, HIV/AIDS became a part of the sexual landscape. At that time, a whole generation of people had to accept that condoms should be worn during sexual encounters. This meant that many people would have foreplay, then disrupt this foreplay—stop and open up a condom package, figure out the correct direction of the condom, put the condom on—and then attempt to re-engage in sex. Even with this interruption, it took very little time for condoms to be accepted and adapted to. Condoms became integrated into sex as men learned to make them part of their routine.
This same adaptation is possible with erection pills, devices, and general outlook on spontaneity.
Penile injections can be part of your toolbox
Some people don’t like the idea of using penile injections and say it doesn’t feel like a normal part of sex. Others find that they are handy, and really help with having more on-demand sex. Think of penile injections as a key part of your toolbox, for when you want an erection in a short amount of time. They can take some getting used to, and it helps to have a plan for using them.
For example, let’s say your regular routine is to have sex once per week. You might try having non-penetrative sex 3 times per month and using injections once per month.
One couple tried this plan and said:
This way we have the best of both worlds, we can enjoy natural and spontaneous non-intercourse sex and then when we miss the feeling of penetrative sex, we use the injection.
If you’re interested in penile injections and how to use them, talk to your doctor about your options.
Using a sex prescription
Ever heard of “prescribed” sex? This is when your doctor gives you a sexual routine to try with your spouse or partner, to get back into the swing of things.
For example, a common prescription is to have sex at least once a week while using an erection pill. It can be hard to feel natural and spontaneous because you have to take the pills on an empty stomach, with no alcohol, and wait one hour before they start working.
This prescription can also mean self-stimulation (masturbation) once a week. Through masturbating, this can still feel pretty natural and spontaneous if the mood strikes.
Some people find it hard to feel passion when sex is prescribed by a doctor, especially when this includes using erection pills or devices. But you can work towards making this more of a normal part of your routine.
How can you keep your sex life passionate?
You and your partner can work together to find ways of having sex be both prescribed and passionate. Here are two suggestions to take onboard:
Make your prescribed sex more natural and spontaneous
Fans of morning sex—we’re talking to you. And if you’re not used to having sex in the morning, it’s a good time to try. Having sex first thing in the morning is great because there’s usually no food or alcohol in your body. You only need to wake up an hour before sex to take the pill.
Separate prescribed sex from passionate sex
Treat prescribed sex like an exercise routine and plan to do it once a week. You would use an erection pill during this “exercise” sex. For the rest of the week, you might try more spontaneous, non-penetrative sexual activity. This way, you do not have to worry about all the things you need to do to make the erection pills work.
If you’re interested in any of these approaches, talk to your doctor to see what they recommend being best for you and your goals in sexual recovery.