INTIMACY TALKS

These notes are taken from our amazingly informative talks with Isabel White, a psychosexual therapist and cancer care nurse. If you haven't seen the talks head over to LoveRose Talks to watch! And feel free to contact us with any questions you have- we will do our best to get them answered or put you in touch with the right source of information! 

 

STRATEGIES TO TACKLE LOW SEXUAL DESIRE 
  • Date Nights: Regular couple time each week; minimise interruptions; focus on self & partner NOT wider family, friends, work issues
  • Shared responsibility for ensuring date nights happen (can help address desire differences between you & your partner)
  • Low demand & graduated sensual, erotic, sexual behaviours
  • Couple communication strategies: negotiation of acceptable or off limit behaviours & preferred sexual frequency
  • Sensate Focus: a strategy used commonly in sex therapy; Individualised and negotiated for you & your partner
  • Understand Mistakes, Arguments to enhance understanding between you & your partner

 STRATEGIES TO TACKLE BODY CONFIDENCE
  • You may be grieving the loss of the “pre-cancer” body: this takes time & support
  • Consider what you value about yourself & each other?
  • Re-establish a relationship with your current (perhaps changed) body in the “spirit of kindness / forgiveness”
  • What helped you feel body confident before? Clothes? Make-up? Touch? Partner / Friends feedback? Other?
  • How could you re-connect with that? Exercise? Dance? Mutual Touch? Playfulness? Sensual Activities (Solo & Together)? 
  • Self-care strategies: nutrition, complementary therapies, massage, relaxation, build emotional resilience, develop body presentation skills & strategies

 

 PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS FOR SEXUAL PAIN
  • Vaginal health strategies reduce / remove pain triggers: moisturisers, lubes, dilators, vibrators
  • Sexual Positions Advice: Woman on top position, greater control over penetration & movement; side-lying / spooning-male partner behind), use “Ohnut” device
  • Self graduated exposure to vaginal sensation, touch, insertion (fingers, partner fingers, tampon applicators, dilators, vibrators)
  • Kegel Exercises (Pelvic Floor) / Pelvic floor Physiotherapy if evidence of increased pelvic floor tone / vaginal entrance tension/ pain (increased awareness of tension / tone in “PC” muscle)
  • Sensate Focus: initial intercourse ban; helps feelings of arousal without fear of I/Course; gradually progress from non-penetrative behaviours to penetrative sex (if possible / desirable)

 

PRACTICAL VAGINAL HEALTH STRATEGIES FOR SEXUAL PAIN
  • Non-hormonal vaginal moisturisers-used x 2-3 / week irrespective of sexual activity

  • Intimate lubricants- on-demand before sexual activity: water, oil, silicone-based

 

In discussion with oncologist re safety:

  • Local (vaginal) oestrogen. 
  • Vaginal (vibrating) dilators
  • Vibrators: clitoral / vaginal [increase blood flow/ arousal]

Graduated Vibrators

Clitoral or Silicone Vibrators
  • Pelvic Floor (Kegel) Exercises
  • Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy (Women’s Health Physiotherapists)
  • Fractional microablative CO2 laser-MonaLisa Touch

 

SOURCES OF SUPPORT/COUNSELLING