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A Phoenix5 First-Person Story


Turn the Arrows Outward
Sex, Love & Affection

by "Nancy"

  [Webmaster note: As my own hormone therapy began to bite in January, 2000, I posted to PHML my difficulties in dealing with the absence of sex in my life. This was a reply in private email. Her name is changed.]

Hi Robert

My name is "Nancy" and I am a wife of a man with prostate cancer. Fortunately we have not had to go the hormone route so I can not talk about is that portion of it. But I wanted to try and help you understand some of the head stuff. So here are a few of my thoughts.

couple walking under an umbrella 1. For a women to have sex she needs to feel loved. For a man to feel loved he needs to have sex. Herein lies the rub for you, because you are not having sex you may not feel loved.

When we do not feel loved it is very difficult to show or give love (affection). You will probably have to work out a way to feel loved that works for you.

Pay attention to the little things she does for you. A certain smile, snuggling when you go to bed, a nice meal. There are so many things that we all do for someone just because we love them that we all do not even think of or realize.

Begin to observe those little things she does for you and realize it is because she loves you that she is doing them. Then once you are feeling loved again (but this time with out having to have sex) you will find it easier to show affection and it may not even be a hug (but those are necessary) but it may be those extra little things you do for her that will help her feel loved.

2. When a woman loses her virginity she looks at it as something she has lost. When a man loses his virginity he looks at it as something he has gained. It has been this was since we all began.

This is the first time in your life that you have probably ever had to deal with sex as a loss. You are probably dealing with anger at losing it, anger at having cancer, anger at having pain and you sometimes probably look at her and feel anger because she is not experiencing those things also. I call these times our pity-party times because, believe it or not, she is suffering as much as you are but in a different way.

What I suggest is what I call turning the arrows outward. When we have our arrows pointing inward it is real easy to feel depressed, angry etc. But if we can turn our arrows outward to our loved ones or maybe not even them the world takes on a whole new complexion. That may be volunteer work, or making a point of saying something nice to everyone you meet that day. There is always someone that is worse off than we are.

But probably maybe one of the best ways of turning the arrows outward are to sit down and talk with your mate and develop a plan for creating a new relationship that is closer and more meaningful in other ways. Maybe take a Tai Chi class together, a walk together a special trip.

Begin to look at this as an opportunity to gain something new and exciting rather than mourning your loss.

Good luck and best wishes

written January 2000

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This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <>.