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What is it?

Sex with Cancer is a creative inquiry asking cancer patients to design a sex shop.

We believe peer-led and honest conversations about our bodies can transform the lives of millions. We want to create the world’s first sex shop led, run and owned by cancer patients and  their admirers.

Sex with Cancer is part research project, part artwork, and part business start-up. Our plan is to engage with as many people as possible to design a resource and shop that launches in Spring 2021.

Who is it for?

Sex with Cancer is for people living with and beyond cancer, seeking creative solutions to problems caused by cancer.

It’s for anyone feeling shy or embarrassed in front of doctors, put off by medical jargon and warnings, or ill fitted to a story of ‘survival’, where pleasure is of secondary importance.

It’s also for partners, lovers and admirers wanting to up their game!

Why is it needed?

Cancer, and the treatments for cancer, often have serious effects on a person’s sex life in direct and indirect ways.

Surgeries can result in body parts being removed, or scars that can take time to get use to. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause exhaustion, weight loss, weight gain, loss of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, and heightened infection risks. People with cancer are navigating lots of emotions, traumas and priorities, all of which might make sex less desirable or feasible.

Moreover, there can often be a disconnect between patients and medical professionals. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about sex with their medical teams. At the same time, many medical professionals lack the confidence and training to talk about sexual function and pleasure.

Then, there’s a dominant national cancer dialogue promoting ‘getting back to normal’ instead of ‘loving a body’s new normal’, and barriers to promoting the use of sex toys (which are not medically tested so cannot be formally recommend by doctors). All this leads to overly-medicalised information, scared patients, nervous doctors, and lots of missed opportunities for good sex and meaningful intimacy – with others and yourself.

Sex with Cancer aims to, shall we say, lubricate these difficult conversations by centring patients and their admirers, and drawing on sex-positive professional expertise. We believe information promotes confidence and confidence is sexy.