We’re closing out Women’s Health Week with a round-up of our favorite tips for a healthy sex life during and after cancer treatment. Sex drive and sexual desire is often tied to our general health. But, let’s face it: whether you’re single or in a relationship, sex after cancer isn’t always easy.
We’ve asked some of the best in the business to share their advice on the topic. Our biggest takeaway? Good sex starts within. Self-love, positive body image, freedom from negative self-talk, a readiness to accept pleasure—these are the building blocks of a fulfilling sex life. But these things take time, healing and sometimes professional therapy (and almost always lots of lube), so remember to go easy on yourself.
We think these tips (mental and practical) are worth a reminder:
- Each time you see your face in a mirror, look into your eyes and say, “I love you” out loud. Say it like you mean it.
- Take yourself on a date. Dress up so you feel beautiful, and go out for coffee, a movie, dinner or for a walk in a beautiful place.
- Enjoy the journey. The big O is not the whole point. A round of sex is over when you feel like it’s over. The journey matters as much as the destination.
- Use lubrication (especially if you’re experiencing vaginal dryness). Or at least have it nearby at all times. Wet and slippery feels good—dry not so much.
- Own your own orgasm. Develop the skills and knowledge on your own to make yourself come. Then bring that knowledge to the bedroom and share it with another person. Just remember, you have a lifetime to work it out, so keep the self-love flowing.
- Laugh. Sex at home isn’t like the movies. Be ready for things to go wrong, and have a laugh about it.
- Ask for what you want. Check in with your partner using eye contact, sounds and words. We don’t believe anyone has magical intuitive powers to be a good lover. It takes some effort.
Let’s keep Women’s Health Week going! To learn more about breast health, download our Breast Health and You booklet. It’s full of information on breast cancer risk factors, common breast cancer myths and what you can do to take charge of your health today.
Thanks to our friends Claire Cavanah, Co-Founder of Babeland, and Barbara Musser, CEO of Sexy After Cancer, for their words of wisdom. You can check out their original posts on sex and intimacy after cancer here and here.