Sexuality for the Man With Cancer

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Rekindling sexual interest

Every now and then we all have sexual thoughts or feelings, but sometimes we ignore or forget about them. Your sexual thoughts can be used to improve your sex life. Try keeping a “Desire Diary.” Here’s how:

  • Every day for a week prepare a sheet of paper that will become your Desire Diary. Take it with you wherever you go. When you have a sexual thought or feeling, write it down. Note the time of day and whether you were alone or with someone. Also note what you did about the thought.
  • Look at your Desire Diary to see if there are any patterns, such as certain settings, people, or times of the day that help you feel more sexual.
  • Once you have noted some patterns, you can begin putting yourself in the situations that spark a sexual mood, such as exercising, planning a relaxed evening out with your partner, making a special effort to look and feel sexy, reading a steamy story with sex, watching a movie with a romantic or sexual plot, or fantasizing about a sexual encounter.
  • Get your partner’s help at some point. Discuss any fears either of you has about your sexual relationship. If you have questions about medical risks, you and your partner should discuss them with your doctor.

An example of one man’s Desire Diary is shown below. Although the man did not have any sexual activity, he felt desire a few times during the day. Sometimes just keeping track of your desire will increase the number of sexual thoughts and feelings that you notice.

    Monday

 

    Time

    Who was with me?

    Sexual thought or feeling

    Action taken

    7:30 a.m.

    Wife

    Wanted to caress my wife’s breasts while she was making breakfast.

    None, because I knew she’d be annoyed

    1:30 p.m.

    Alone

    Noticed a good-looking woman by the coffee machine at work. Wondered what she’d look like without her clothes.

    None

    3:15 p.m.

    Alone

    Thought about making love tonight

    None

    10:00 p.m.

    Wife

    Felt turned on when I got in bed

    Asked her if she wanted to have sex. She said she was too tired, but maybe in the morning.

If these efforts fail to spark your sexual interest, think about getting some sexual counseling. The “Professional help” section offers some ideas.


Last Medical Review: 08/19/2013
Last Revised: 08/19/2013