What is sexual wellbeing?
Sexual wellbeing after prostate cancer treatment
After prostate cancer treatment, exploring new ways to have sexual pleasure and intimacy is essential. It can be challenging, but trying new things can also be really enjoyable.
But before we get to the fun stuff, we'll take a moment to cover some key points about sexual health and wellbeing.
What's sexual wellbeing about?
Sexual wellbeing is a sense of wellness in the physical, emotional and relationship aspects of your sexuality.
Ability to feel desire, arousal, have an orgasm. How your body functions sexually.
How you feel about sex. Confidence as a lover, ability to feel pleasure, how you feel about your body.
How sex works in a relationship with a partner. Ability to feel comfort, trust, and intimacy.
Think about it. Want to stay physically fit? You might go to the gym, take a walk or get moving somehow. You might even work out with an exercise expert or partner. All with the goal of feeling better, taking care of yourself and enjoying more of life.
With your sexual health, the same thinking applies. There are exercises, medications and strategies that may help you get back your ability to participate in sexual activity. And you might work with someone like a sexual health expert to get back on track.
The key in regaining your sexual wellbeing after prostate cancer treatment is to acknowledge what’s changed so that you can do something about it, with the right support.
Is sexual wellbeing just about sex?
No, it’s much more.
Sexual wellbeing is about how you express yourself either as an individual or in a relationship. It’s not just focusing on your physical body, it’s about your thoughts, feelings and relationships as well. When all of these are intact, your sexual wellbeing thrives.
Got a partner?
Now’s the time to talk and listen to each other. Your sex life is undergoing some changes, but together you can be stronger. Acknowledging the changes might be difficult, but you're teammates and if you realize that you’re in this together, you can support each other, share a sense of humor, cry together, move forward together.
Keep some patience handy
Improving your sex life is a journey, not a quick fix. Keep realistic expectations about your recovery. If you’re overly optimistic or too much in a hurry, disappointment could settle in.
While setbacks can happen, successes are possible too.
Here’s what other men and couples have found helped with their sexual recovery after treatment:
Acknowledge sexual changes
Express your grief about losing the ability to have sex as you know it, alone and to each other or to others who support you.
Experiment and explore new ways of being sexual together; the same will be true for the man with a new partner.
Communicate about new sexual needs and roles; for single men, this means thinking through how to approach the topic with a new partner.
Remember good feelings about your ability as a lover, your sexual relationship, and use them as a way to have confidence about the future