It’s happened again! Yet another married friend, this time, David*, has had his sexuality ignored by his urologist following a diagnosis for prostate issues. In his early seventies, he has no sex life with his wife, but he has had a secret active bisexual life.

He told me that his specialist said words to the effect that after the medical intervention, David would not ejaculate externally, adding that at his age, it obviously wouldn’t be an issue. In effect, he was telling him that his sexual days were behind him.

Insensitive Assumptions 

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The specialist reportedly said this in an insensitive perfunctory manner with an assumption that taking the physical sex act out of a man’s life is something that can happen with no emotional consequences.

Seemingly, David’s urologist saw him as (1) a straight man simply because he has a wife and (2) non-sexual simply because he had passed sixty years. Assumptions kicked in, with no opportunity or encouragement to discuss the matter further, let alone his bisexuality. 

Gay men usually make sure that the conversation about their future sex life is well understood. But many bisexual men see little choice but to accept the prognosis and keep quiet or admit their sexual interest in men, thus beginning a potential chain of uncomfortable scenarios.

Naturally, my friend is annoyed and angry at such assumptions, the insensitivity of the presumptions, and the total lack of psychological support offered. As he said, this is a radical life change that he is left processing by himself.

Sensitive Discussion is Needed

As has been done with nursing home staff, there now needs to be a campaign to re-educate blinkered urologists about bisexual and gay sexual diversity. 

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Being diagnosed with cancer and losing your sexuality is a double whammy. It needs sensitive discussion and possibly counselling, all in a ‘safe space’ where that discussion can safely and privately occur between specialist and patient. Too many others have shared similar stories with me, thus indicating that these attitudes are all too common. A man’s sexuality can no longer be left to assumptions simply because he is heterosexually married and afraid to speak out.

Post-operatively David is back playing sexually, but now as a total bottom. He is still having difficulty adjusting to not seeing his ejaculate and is still acutely aware of the insensitive attitude that altered his sexuality without discussion. That wound is taking much longer to heal!

*Name changed

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