SEX AFTER PROSTATE CANCER
The thing about Prostate cancer, the really annoying thing about this potential killer is that of all the cancers you can get, (If you are going to get one of course), this is the best one. It is slow burning, which is good because you have plenty of time to do something about it if you are diagnosed in time. And it is curable, again, if you discover it early enough. But both of those positives go hand in hand in creating the annoying issue of which I mentioned earlier. You see, because of the curability factor, you go from someone who has cancer, to someone who has had cancer very quickly.
Let me explain.
You will find that during your time as a victim of this cruel disease you are the focus of attention, and quite rightly so. But when the offending article is removed, i.e. the Prostate gland, you suddenly become the survivor. The lucky bastard who dodged that particular bullet. So, now it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, count your blessing and get on with the rest of your life.
Well – No.
The thing that you do not see, the thing that no-one sees is the fact that, at some point during this journey you got scared. Scared of dying – of losing everything.
Coming face to face with your own mortality tends to strip away everything you once were leaving you trying to act out the person who died along with your confidence and manhood. For the removal of the cancer also took away your ability to father a child, and in many cases, the ability to maintain or even produce an erection.
Oops. Yes, there I said it.
Deal with it.
Whatever you were capable of has now been taken from you.
But that’s okay, isn’t it?
You’re a man and can deal with emotional loss. In fact, men are too basic to have the deeper emotions needed to feel any sort of depression at not being able to perform.
Besides which, you’ve had all the kids you were going to have. Sewn all the wild oats you were going to sew and, to be honest, the once a month ritual of muted lovemaking won’t be missed all that much. I mean, you are both getting on a bit now – Well into our sixties and past all that stuff.
So, all is good – Right?
Well – No.
I have spoken to a number of women who have said that the change in their husbands is beyond dramatic. It’s though one person went into the operating theatre and another came out. Someone who is unsure of himself, a man whose confidence in veneer thin at best. They seem to have lost interest in things – Especially, their wives.
Well. Let me assure you of one thing.
This is so very far from the truth.
This man, that in all truth has just danced with Death himself has lost so much.
Things that you cannot see. His self-esteem, his manhood, and his ability, (in his mind) to satisfy the one woman he has had by his side for so long. An ever-increasing paranoia has crept over him, without him noticing, and now sits like a devil on his shoulder, constantly whispering in his ear.
“If you are not able to satisfy her.” It will say. “Will she find someone who can? Let’s face it, we both think she is still hot, so it stands to reason that someone else does, and she won’t wait around forever for you to produce the goods. Take last Tuesday for example.” The devil continues. “Where did she go for so long? I mean, she said that she was visiting a friend, but how do you know that she didn’t spend a couple of hours playing ‘hide the sausage’ with some younger, more capable man?”
“Rubbish!” I hear you say. “He knows me better than that.”
And you’re right, he does. But he is still scared of losing everything, especially when he is being told constantly how lucky he is to be alive, and how grateful he should be. Well, one thing is for sure. He feels neither lucky or grateful. He feels cheated.
“Then why doesn’t he talk to me and tell me how he feels?”
Really? A man TELL you his feelings?
Listen. As far as he is concerned, if he says nothing and doesn’t draw your attention to the fact that he is no longer ‘man enough’ to bring out the occasional shiver and orgasmic, (pretense or otherwise), moan of pleasure, then no one will be any the wiser. And as has been mentioned, maybe you are both too old for a bit of nibble – So to speak.
I feel I ought to mention that the next section will contain some bad language, but it is via a direct dictation from what was told to me.
A friend of mine was having these issues. Before the operation, both she and her husband had enjoyed regular, if predictable sex.
“Our love-making only varied between whose turn it was to go on top.”
John, let’s call him that, although that was not, or indeed is not his name, had had a close call. Being a typical man, and yes, such a beast does exist, he ignored certain signs that would indicate that he had a problem. It wasn’t until he visited his doctor on a totally unrelated issue that it was discovered that he was very close to ‘buying the farm’. His PSA levels were through the roof and within a month of diagnosis, John was in the hospital having his Prostate removed. Unfortunately, quite a lot of surrounding tissue had to be removed too, along with a nerve that controlled his erections.
“Sex isn’t everything.” Said Jane. Again, not her name. Later she confided in me that, although it wasn’t everything, it was folly to assume it was nothing. Cracks began to show, and the feeling of resentment John held towards his predicament heightened after their first attempt at sex, post operation.
“Nothing happened.” Said Jane. “John’s penis didn’t seem to react to any stimulus, although he could still achieve an orgasm, it was only via rubbing a certain area of his penis – Which still remained flaccid.”
So came the mantra of ‘Sex isn’t everything’. Three words that slowly turned sour within John’s mind.
“I could see that it bothered him.” Said Jane. “I could see that he was in pain, mentally. Oh, he said the right words and carried on as normal, but as the weeks went by he became more distant and less tactile. And so, one day I decided to take the initiative because the alternative was to sit back and watch our marriage dissolve.”
It was at this point where Jane and I first started talking about this problem, and after walking her through the phycology of what was happening within John’s mind, and indeed their marriage, Jane formed a plan.
“I did what all women are good at.” She said. “I went shopping.”
So, let me just add something here.
Men and women are very different when it comes to the needs and wants of physical intimacy – Sex. We all want satisfaction of course, but it’s though what medium that this satisfaction is achieved that is important. For example. Women are more physical than men. More emotional. More sensual. Which can be demonstrated by the question,
‘What can you do to me?”
Whereas men are more visual. Again, represented by the question of,
‘What can you do for me?’
It was this in mind that prompted Jane’s shopping trip.
“I bought a vibrator.” She said. “I had never used one before and the closest I had ever come to that kind of stimulus was leaning against the washing machine when it went into the spin cycle.”
She chose this point to point out that she hoped I knew what she was talking about and that this was the norm, not some strange perversion that she had adopted over the years. I assured her that this was perfectly normal, if not often talked about.
“It was only a small one.” She continued. “As I didn’t want John to think I was trying to replace him. I could only imagine the increased feelings of inadequacy he would feel by the introduction of a twelve-inch dong that looked like a thermos flask.”
I feel, once again that I should interject at this point.
Jane is not the type of woman who is predisposed to visiting adult shops. She was then, and indeed is now a quiet and reserved kind of lady and it took a lot of courage, after walking passed said establishment several times, to enter a place that would contain items of self-pleasure and gratification hitherto unknown to her. She could also be described as being of average height, around 5’6. Something that adds itself nicely to her slightly larger frame. Or fat, as she would later describe herself.
I prefer the term ‘Ample’ This description may help later in this narrative.
“During our younger days, when we both started courting, John had once expressed a desire to see me dressed as a French maid. I hadn’t obliged as the idea of dressing up made me feel sub-conscious and stupid – Little more than a whore if I’m honest, and so we entered our marriage by way of controlled, respectful and measured love making – Which is something I now regret.”
And there it was. That statement that, although both Jane and John had, and enjoyed a healthy sex-life, it had become somewhat of a ritual. Something that was expected – A duty almost. And when John could no longer fulfill his role in this partnership, he felt emasculated and unnecessary. His feelings of dread were far from imaginary for even though something had taken away his ability to ‘service’ his wife, no-one had taken the desire to do so.
“I bring this up.” Jane continued. “Because hanging up above the counter was that very article of clothing. The label attached said ‘One size fits all’. I asked the assistant if it came in my size, without any real hope that it would due to the fact that ‘One size fits all’ seemed to mean something different in my world.”
“Did it fit?” I asked.
“Amazingly, yes.” Answered Jane. “My boobs practically fell out of the thing, but I am guessing that was the whole point of the outfit. So, with tits desperately trying to escape the confines of the tight-fitting corset that was designed to show them off and thereby creating a cleavage you could comfortably park a bike in, fishnet stockings held in place by a suspender belt that made my legs feel like they were spring-loaded and a pair of stiletto heels that added four-inches and a feeling of vertigo, I waited to greet my husband as he came home from work that evening.
Did I feel sexy? – I did not. I felt like mutton dressed as lamb. I felt nervous and sick as I heard his key turn in the lock. For a moment I contemplated slipping off the heels and running up the stairs before he could see this old fool dressed like – Well, God knows what.”
Another interruption to Janes story. Sorry.
I hope you can appreciate how brave she was / is. The courage needed to step out of your comfort zone and accept a very real possibility of rejection by the man that you love is huge. What this woman was willing to do to heal the wounds inflicted by such a traumatic time in both their lives goes beyond duty. Beyond love.
“What did he say?” I asked.
“Well after a shocked pause, he said, What’s all this for?”
And what did you say? I asked.
Jane smiled and blushed a little.
“I took your advice.” She giggled. “I told him that I didn’t care whether or not he could get it up. I told him that I wanted him to fuck me.”
“What did he say?” I asked.
“Nothing at first. I think he was a little taken aback at what I was wearing.”
The point here is that communication is the key.
Jane has recognized that Johns sense of manhood has been brought into question by his lack of ability to perform penetrative sex and has opened up the possibility of an exploration beyond that. Something that would require them to use their imaginations and communicative skills. Without going into details, Jane and John enjoy a varied and new release of intimacy.
“There isn’t much we haven’t tried.” Laughs Jane. “Both indoors and outside. For a while we couldn’t leave each other alone – We were like teenagers again. It was fantastic. When that first flush settled down a little we took to the internet to look up different ways we could please each other. Some of them were a bit beyond what we were willing to try, but we gave a lot of new things a go. Some were more successful than others, but the ones that failed just ended up with both of us in fits of giggles of how ridiculous we both looked.”
At that’s another good point. In able for you to drop your inhibitions and learn to have fun again, you must be able, and willing to laugh at yourself. Sex should be fun.
“The first thing we did.” Continued Jane. “Was to ban the use of the words ‘Making Love’, and replaced them with the word ‘Fuck’.
“Did that work?” I asked.
Jane smiled and replied.
“Oh yeah. We never make love – But we fuck all the time.”
The other side of this communicative barrier comes from the man. You have to be able to tell your partner what you want. Tell them your desires and what you would like to do to/with them. You may be surprised at the answer.
Sex is more than what you can do with your penis – You have so many options to choose from. But the one thing I would like every reader of this article to take with them is that, although this worked for Jane and John, you will both still have to work things out for yourselves, for contrary to the label attached to Jane’s French maid’s outfit.
One size does not fit all.
The article was written by Dimpra Kaleem © 2018
Permission to share given to those who ask.
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Copyright © Dimpra Kaleem 2018