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“Can I have sex during hospital stays? And if I can, how?”

Cancer nurse Beth says...

In an ideal world, YES you can have sex during hospital stays. However we all know that we don’t live in an ideal world and there may be some barriers to this. If you are in a side room then it makes it a little easier however if you are in a bay with other people this makes it far more difficult.

Essentially having sex, pleasure and intimacy are part of your holistic needs and although the medical team recognise that we should strive to help you meet your holistic needs they may not have sex in that category. Obviously you wouldn’t want someone to walk in, so having a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door will help with this. Although not exactly romantic, it is essential to put the date and a time period on the sign, so that hospital staff that need to see you at least know they can come back in an hour, that you’re not owed meds, etc. Even if it’s not romantic, maybe it’s adventurous! It is much harder in a bay as you are in such close proximity to others but it still goes on!

Co-founder Brian says...


This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the question reminds us how the hospital can be such a strange and foreign place, and the rules that police it can be so strange and foreign too. The question might not be of dire necessity for people that are in the hospital a night or two with discrete or one-off health needs, but for those with chronic or terminal illnesses, or lengthy treatment courses, the question is very much a necessary one.

Beth gives great advice in her answer, but the trick is to do a bit of planning around it, perhaps find a sympathetic or enabling medical professional who can help you with timings and local policies. Though it might feel odd or unromantic to plan things out logistically, try making them part of the fun – the preparation and making the DO NOT DISTURB sign are all foreplay. You always have the time when you are intimate to improvise and be spontaneous, but it’s a good idea to plan the conditions that enables this in the safest way for you.