UK’s first sex shop designed for people living with cancer launches online

By Joanna Whitehead
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The UK’s first sex shop designed for people living with and beyond cancer is now open for business.

Former cancer patients, Joon-Lynn Goh and Brian Lobel, launched the new online enterprise Sex With Cancer in conjunction with London-based store Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium.

The products and sexual aids on offer have been created in collaboration with specialist doctors and nurses, psychosexual therapists, patient advocates and sex toy experts, and are specially designed to cater to the specific needs of people with cancer.

Products on offer include a Cordless Wand Massager suitable for those experiencing chronic pain or fatigue, Suction Sensation, a clitoral suction toy that offers an alternative to penetrative toys that may aggravate conditions caused by cancer treatments, such as vaginismus, vaginal atrophy and vaginal dryness, and a Rocks Off Rainbow Bullet Vibrator that provides pleasure where there may be loss of sensation.

The items were developed after the team collected over 200 questions about sex that people living with and beyond cancer most wanted to ask, such as building back confidence with a changed body, and communicating with a partner.

Sex with Cancer co-founders Joon-Lynn Goh and Brian Lobel (Christa Holka)

The top 25 questions then guided the choice of products and advice developed for users.

The team acknowledge that a cancer diagnosis, and treatments for cancer, can often have a serious effect on a person’s sex life in direct and indirect ways.

“Surgeries can result in body parts being removed, or scars that can take time to get used to,” a statement reads.

“Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause exhaustion, weight loss, weight gain, loss of interest in sex, erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, 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.”

The team also note the “dominant national cancer dialogue” which promotes “getting back to normal, instead of loving a body’s new normal”.

Standard sex toys are not medically tested, so cannot be formally recommended by doctors, they add.

As well as offering sex toys, the online shop provides information and artworks curated specifically to help people living with and beyond cancer take agency over their own health and wellbeing.

According to Cancer Research, one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in UK females, accounting for almost a third (30 per cent) of all cases in women, followed by lung cancer (13 per cent) and bowel cancer (10 per cent).

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