Today’s Solutions: May 23, 2022

Being diagnosed with, receiving treatment for, and surviving cancer are all incredibly impactful experiences that affect all areas of a person’s life—including sex. Many people aren’t comfortable bringing up these two sensitive subjects in casual conversation, much less at the same time, but two cancer survivors are hoping to change attitudes by opening the UK’s first online sex shop that caters specifically to people living with and beyond cancer.

Brian Lobel, a writer and performer, is a survivor of testicular cancer, while Joon-Lynn Goh, who works in the fields of culture, community economies, and refugee settlement, underwent treatment for breast cancer in 2018. Together, they launched

“Cancer, and the treatments for cancer, often have serious effects on a person’s sex life in direct and indirect ways,” Lobel explains. “Surgeries can result in body parts being removed, or scars that can take time to get used to. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause exhaustion, weight loss, weight gain, loss of interest in sex, 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.”

To ensure that their initiative helps cancer patients and survivors through this tricky navigation in the best way possible, the duo partnered with the Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium to create a shop that can address the specific sexual challenges of cancer. To further inform the project, they also worked with a steering group of patient advocates, specialist medics, psychosexual therapies, pleasure activists, and sex-toy experts.

The result is an online shop with a range of appropriate sex-related products, as well as an advice section, artworks, performances, videos, and essays.

“The dominant national cancer dialogue promotes ‘getting back to normal,’ instead of ‘loving a body’s new normal,’ and there are also barriers to the promotion of sex toys, which are not medically tested, so cannot be formally recommended by doctors,” says Goh. “All this leads to overly medicalized information, scared patients, nervous doctors, and lots of missed opportunities for good sex and meaningful intimacy.”

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

New program seeks to break the cycle between jail and homelessness

Several factors can lead to homelessness: a lack of affordable housing, high costs of living, and even, sadly, mental illness. Another factor that contributes to homelessness, which is often overlooked, is incarceration.  Many individuals serve ... Read More

How a century-old cargo schooner is bringing back emissions-free shipping

The shipping industry is responsible for 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions — putting about 940 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Before 1960, however, when containerization started to take off, ... Read More

Dam! Europe removes record number of river barriers in 2021

In 2021, Spain began a movement to remove dams from the country’s rivers to restore fish migration routes and boost biodiversity across the nation. They successfully took down 108 barriers and inspired other European countries ... Read More

This contact lens releases glaucoma medication

While it is treatable, glaucoma remains a serious eye disease that can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness if left untreated. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease, and research ... Read More

US soccer and national teams reach agreement to close gender pay gap

In a historic win for women’s rights, US Soccer and both the women’s and men’s national teams have proclaimed a collective bargaining agreement to close the gender pay gap and ensure that each player, regardless ... Read More

New immunotherapy drug combo slows liver cancer growth in mice

There is something of an art to the science of medicine. We’ve all heard that everyone’s different, and so is their biology. Sometimes, developing the right treatment for a patient’s condition takes dedicated and creative ... Read More