Friday, September 28, 2018

Phallic Friday - sex and illness

I saw this post last Saturday on the ABC website - - about cancer, sex and intimacy.

It interested me initially because it was about some doctors not discussing impacts of illness/treatment on sexuality. This is a really important factor, not just with cancer, but with any illness.

If you're struggling with your health, you're struggling with your body. You may also be struggling with energy levels. And/or you may battling other symptoms or problems.

At times when you're in crisis, sex isn't something that may interest you. Sometimes you need to be relaxed, and in tune with yourself to be able to participate fully in sex.

What astounds me is that some people/doctors don't see it as a point that should be discussed before decisions are made. Maybe the woman in question was 'unlucky' and had a doctor who couldn't discuss sex with her...the article doesn't give us any statistics.

What the article does show is a gender bias - but is that real or just the portrayal in the article? Or is it not gender bias per se, but a functional thing? Or is it a long-standing gender bias where most medical research has previously been focussed on male bodies and not female bodies, particularly in genital areas? Does a doctor realise that function of a penis may be compromised when certain areas are affected, but does not think about a similar impact in women because of the 'hidden' nature of female genitalia?

The article poses a lot of interesting questions. I wonder if there's much research done on the topic.

Does anyone know?

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