Let’s Talk About Sex

We all talk a lot about what cancer has done to our lives in one shape or another.  The pain, loss of employment, our body image, insurance, bankruptcy, self-esteem, and a hundred and one other negative impacts.  Some folks even think cancer was a blessing–but not many.  (And certainly not me.)

Yet when it comes to intimacy we suddenly become very quiet.  I won’t say that it is nonexistent, but most of us don’t talk much about what–if any–effect breast cancer has had on our sex lives.  And that’s just heterosexually.  I have found next to nothing that explores the experiences of gay men and lesbian women with breast cancer, let alone problems of intimacy after the fact.

So who is doing it?  Anyone?  As a matter of fact, someone is and I want to get the word out about this important work.

AnneMarie Ciccarella, who went through her own breast cancer experience and became a serious activist on behalf of women, is  setting her sights on breast cancer and intimacy.  Share Those Moments is the conduit through which AnneMarie is seeking your stories about your experiences with breast cancer and other gynecological cancers and intimacy.

Partnering with a respected gynecological oncologist, their shared intent is to compile as much information as possible in an effort to explore the topic in depth and find patterns and shared experiences.  Or, as AnneMarie notes, “find out what is really happening behind closed doors (and in our minds too).”  Both hope to compile this work in a book on the subject that will serve as a resource for those who have gone through these disease experiences and their partners.

If you would, please take a few moments to explore the project and add your voice to those already participating.  It will help the project.  It will help you.  It will help us.

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7 Responses to Let’s Talk About Sex

  1. Thanks for alerting me to the survey, Scorchy. I was happy to complete it and hopefully contribute to the many stories on this topic. You’ve done a service with this post.

  2. jbaird says:

    I definitely appreciate your spreading the word about this important topic. I did take Ann Marie’s survey and am glad to provide my input. Too many topics are taboo, and that’s just not right. Keep on keeping on. XOX

  3. dear Scorchy,
    thank you for this post, expressing your thoughts and feelings about the issues of sex and intimacy, and championing Annemarie and her writing partner’s efforts to gather stories and demographics for the book they will be writing. sex is part of who we are, and when sexual health is not even spoken of -by doctors, nurses, navigators, etc., nor much in the media, persons who are struggling with so many difficulties have nowhere to turn. I find it ironic that people lash out at photos of breasts post surgery or amputations, but offer nary a thought of compassion nor rarely think/express about what those images mean to the human beings who must live with the aftermath – how do they re-build their body images, who and how will their loved one know how to respond, how does the lose of intimacy and sexual activity affect their overall health, physically, emotionally and spiritually? and I am so glad you brought up the fact there is little or nothing we can find about how gays and lesbians are to cope with such losses.

    I did the survey and feel that AnneMarie’s commitment to honoring the privacy of those of us who tell our stories was the key to open the floodgates and lead to important changes. so, so proud and grateful to her and the others such as you, Scorchy, who have stepped up to the plate to speak out.

    much love and light,

    Karen xoxo

  4. Susan says:

    This is such an important topic and very hard to talk about. It’s true when it comes to breast cancer and intimacy I also find myself getting quiet. I love that she is approaching this by letting people talk about it, while making sure there’s no invasion of their privacy. What a great way to get this difficult conversation going and help people. It’s so great of you to tell everyone about the wonderful work that AnneMarie is doing. Thanks Scorchy!

  5. helensamia says:

    A topic that really does need to be shared as there are so many misunderstandings and misconceptions ….. If couples could talk more it would help…. I will write my story for this study …… to write it in my blog would feel uncomfortable!!! as Nancy says we need to respect our partners too… Thanks for sharing.. ❤

  6. High-five for this post, Scorchy. It’s a topic that is so worth sharing and talking about. Getting partners to participate as well. I asked my husband to fill it out – and when he shared his answers with me later, I was truly surprised. It’s important stuff! ~Catherine

  7. This is such an important topic and one I, too, hesitate to write about. My reasons for being quiet are mostly out of respect for my dear hubby and I think this is part of the “fine line walking” that goes on with bloggers and others as well. Of course, there are many other reasons I, and many others, hold back. I would like to write more about this topic and I do plan to, but…all in good time as they say. I think this project Ann Marie is taking on is just wonderful. And so are you for spreading the word! Thank you!

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