Rancho Santa Margarita resident Laura Brashier recently launched a site called 2date4love.com. A cervical cancer survivor, Brashier felt frustrated by her experience in dating. No doubt there was much to explain to a new suitor; difficult to imagine how awkward that might be for any woman or man in the same situation.
Many people face all kinds of challenges when it comes to finding a partner who will accept them as they are. Women who have had breast cancer may be unhappy with the result of reconstructive surgery, if such surgery was in fact possible. Though there has been huge improvement in the number of men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) after prostate cancer, there exists a small percentage of men who don't regain full function.
It should be stated, however, that this population of male cancer survivors can still experience orgasm, but of course without ejaculation. For that matter, there are both men and women who have lost genital function who find other ways to reach orgasm. Just as someone who is blind may develop more acute hearing, other areas of the body may become highly sensitive to erotic stimulation.
Being unable to have intercourse is different than not wanting to have sex. There are certainly couples who have great sex lives without intercourse. I have worked with several couples where the woman is unable to have penetrative intercourse but they still enjoy manual and oral stimulation, as well as the use of toys. Our culture tends to place too much emphasis on the meaning of intercourse. There are a multitude of other ways to be close or to demonstrate that a partner is a big turn-on.
I love the idea of this site and applaud Brashier's courage in making her overall and sexual health status known. I think, though, that some couples who meet on this site might benefit from counseling. Giving up on intercourse doesn't mean giving up on sex. The other potential problem is that there may be more women than men who sign up for the site. For men, there are many more medical options to acquire an erection, all the way to a surgical implant that can make the penis rigid. Another issue is that severe sexual problems tend to happen to women when they are young and men when they are older. Couples will need to work out their expectations. But as I have learned in my practice, where there is real love, people manage to figure things out.