Life after surgery
Although I stayed continent after my catheter was removed, I did lose my sexual function. A year after surgery I was referred to an erectile dysfunction clinic. I tried the drug Cialis® (tadalafil) but it didn’t really work for me. I then tried injections – they’re not perfect either but they’re OK and do the job.
But it does mean that I’ve lost that sense of spontaneity and some of my confidence when it comes to starting new relationships. I now think about sex in a completely different way than I did before the operation – I try to approach relationships from a friendship point of view first. I’m more sensual and in many ways I find that more relaxing.
Attending a prostate cancer support group, specifically for gay and bisexual men, has helped me get some of my confidence back. I would feel uncomfortable attending a general prostate cancer support group in my local area. I would never discuss my sexual likings in front of a group of heterosexual people, mainly because it’s an age thing and I think there’d be a bit of a reaction. The group I attend is relaxed, friendly and we can talk about anything. But we don’t just talk about sex, it’s more about being with people who have a shared understanding. It’s nice to know I’m not on my own in this journey.
I also found Prostate Cancer UK information and the Specialist Nurses really helpful. I downloaded some of the fact sheets so I could look at them easily and quickly if I wasn’t sure about something. There’s also a booklet just for gay and bisexual men which is great. I now do what I can to raise awareness and fundraise for Prostate Cancer UK. I often wear a pin badge or wristband to help start conversations.
I now think about sex in a completely different way than I did before the operation – I try to approach relationships from a friendship point of view first.