Finding Love after Surgery

I'm single, but would be open to a relationship. Sex is, of course, part of most good relationships. To date, I've been more of a top than a bottom. I'm (likely) having surgery in 6 weeks. While I'm hopeful that I will have a positive sex life in the future, I'm a realist and understand the next 6-36 months will be a period of change and discovery.

Not because of looks or personality (I like myself well enough), but because of my upcoming surgery am I destine to be forever single? If I am, is that a bad thing?

Clearly I understand I'm very lucky that the surgery will likely cure me of cancer and that is my top priority.

12 Replies

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  • I'll admit that your life will change dramatically! I have a husband of 30 years and honestly he did his best to help me through recovery but I feel I did most of it on my own. We were very active sexually (even inviting guests to our bed!) and now almost 6 years after surgery my erections are somewhat better but not like they were! I've finally accepted the fact that this always will be but I'm not stopping my "therapy"! I still wish I had postponed the surgery but I wanted that shit out of my body! Not sure what to say about the single thing, I hope there are guys out that are honest and helpful and you can connect with someone! Be strong but don't be afraid to break down every now and then....you are allowed.

  • What a great reply... I cried for the first time this week (was diagnosed in late December). Thanks!

  • Hi there,

    I had my radical prostatectomy in 2011 and my life has never been the same. I too, am single and struggle with fears of never meeting that special someone who excepts me for the many great qualities I possess, in spite of a few physical/sexual challenges. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful and continue living my life to its fullest. I also learned a lot about myself. I've learned that companionship is more important than sex as we get older. (By the way, a healthy sex life is possible with the right partner post surgery) Not sure where you're located. I'm in NY and would be happy to keep in touch as you journey into this new exploratory phase in you life. You'll be just fine as I am!

  • Thanks for your great reply. I'm 2 hours from NYC and 2 hours from Philly.

  • Hi there …Philly is not far. Tall_Allen has a very good reply. I agree 100% that you should take your time and carefully consider all of your options. I wish I had not rushed into having surgery. Surgeons will always recommend surgery because that's what they do. You might even consider a naturopathic doctor as a 2nd, 3rd or even a fourth opinion. Most important is healing and making a decision you can live with.

  • There are several therapies that can cure you of your cancer, possibly with even higher probability, depending on your Dx. Surgery has the worst rate of potency retention. If that's a priority for you, as it was for me, choose a different option.

  • I know what you will or could be going through, as I went through the same thing as a single gay man. I lost my partner due to a heart attack, in 2007. I was diagnosed in 2010. Had the prostate removed. From that point on, my life changed forever. I think what shocked me the most is how cruel the gay world can be to those of us that can not achieve natural erections, or have wet organisms. It took almost 7 years to get back to where I can have wonderful sex with other single gay men. It was a hard road emotionally, and at times a hard one physically. Going through it alone made it even more difficult. If you don't live near a big city, the resources to find and get help are very limited. But in time it does get so much better. Just takes a lot longer when you are single and have limited help. I wish you the best of luck.

  • You are right in that your first priority should be getting rid of the cancer. From my own experience I have been alone since I had mine and miss the intimacy that comes with a true relationship and not a one night stand. And let's be honest most gay guys want sex and some that is all they want. It will not be easy to find that special person who is understanding, I haven't, but I wish you all the luck in the world with your surgery and hope that you will find someone special.

  • As gay men of a certain age, we are more defined by our sexuality than other segments of society. It is quite often how we first define ourselves. I have always been very active sexually. The immediate loss of that function after surgery still has me re-evaluating so many aspects of my being. If I had a "do-over" I would not have jumped into surgery as quickly as I did. I was foolish enough to buy into my surgeon's statement that he would spare those nerves. He even added that there was rehab to correct those issues should it happen. I am very incontinent and can not achieve an erection any longer, not to mention the shortening of my penis. Wearing an incontinence pad is not sexy. This orgasm they promised after rehab, pills and injections is not satisfying nor, apparently, enticing to many partners. I wish I could be more positive but it is my reality. I would seriously consider other options than surgery given the opportunity.

  • I read your post and certainly understand your reluctance. I can share with you that my experience has been quite positive. I had the surgery 5 months ago. In the beginning I was really wondering why I did this even though I knew it was to get rid of the cancer which was a good decision because my cancer had penetrated the prostate. Now 5 months later I am very fortunate because I do not have incontinence problems other than once every few weeks at night when I have had cocktails and eaten too late. So, now when that happens I wear something to bed. As for the ED situation I have to admit it was very frustrating in the beginning but as of a couple of weeks ago I was able to get a full erection. Not like it was when I was 18 but certainly enough to make it "work". In addition, I find the sensation of orgasm to be very satisfying. A bit strange for it to be dry because you almost aren't sure it is over. :). My doctor was Dr. Vincent Laudone at Memorial Sloan Kettering who is the head of surgery. He did a great job and put me on a daily dose of 1/4 pill of Viagra with a full pill every Saturday. I am convinced it was his skill at doing the surgery and probably the Viagra therapy is just helping it along. I am sharing this with you because I know there are lots of examples of people that have horrible results and continue to suffer from both incontinence and ED issues. I certainly don't know the percentages but I can tell you that I am one of the lucky guys that is doing very well. So, there is hope that you might also be one of the lucking ones. I know that I have talked to many people that are doing just as good if not better than me. Of course, none of us wanted to deal with this but we did and life is good. I feel very bad for those that aren't so lucky and realize their perspective is very different from mine which I respect. I am still nervous about the cancer returning but for now just trying to be grateful and thankful for the fact that I am doing so well. Hope this helps you a little to see another side and realize it is possible for things to be somewhat "okay" again. Good luck and feel free to reach out if you have any other questions. My best, John

  • Hi, I'm Bill. I had a prostatectomy in July 2015 after several consults and varying opinions. I was told based on the ultrasound of my prostate and biopsy that I had two options. I could opt for a prostatectomy or have the radiation seed implants. I had decided on the implants when I went for my final opinion at Hopkins. Dr. Walsh (developed nerve sparring procedure) advised that I should have surgery and that it should be open versus robotic. He explained that with a Gleason 7 in two quadrants, it was important to have the surgeon go in, to look and feel what was going on, for the best possible outcome. I went with his recommendation and as it turns out, it's a good thing. My cancer had escaped the prostate and invaded at least one of six lymph nodes that were excised. I'm sharing because I think it's extremely important to get multiple opinions and weigh your options. Even though my cancer seemed to be confined and treatable with the implant seeds, that option would definitely have been a mistake. It took me 4 months to become continent, and ED is definitely an issue. Although I had nerve sparring on one side, more tissue had to be taken on the other side due to the cancer's growth, which included removal of at least a portion of the nerve. I'm single and have not dated since the operation... wouldn't even know where to begin, BUT we are all different. You may have the surgery, find that the cancer is totally contained, have all nerves sparred, and move onto a cancer-free and healthy life. Follow your gut... that's what I did. I hope it all works out for you. It's not a good situation to be in, but we all have a tremendous ability to adapt. Be strong, one day at a a time. ;)

  • Hey. I hear you and feel for you. I had the surgery, but my cancer was metastatic and is now chem castration resistant. My partner is no longer attracted to me because of my difficulty getting hard. I can still orgasm...but...of course...no cum. I am otherwise healthy. I do cardio...and am at the gym 5 days a week (except when undergoing chemo). The adjustment was difficult...but it seems as though we have a lot of friends here that understand. Would like to stay in touch with you also. I am in NY as well.