Cancer Survivor

Friday, August 01, 2008

Question

I am a woman in my early 50s and interested in sex. I currently have vulvar cancer and will require a dildo to use for dilation after chemotherapy and radiation is complete. Can you recommend the qualities I should be looking for in a dildo that would make it clinically safe, natural enough, able to withstand months of use and use of lubricant, etc. Model suggestions would be helpful. Thank you. I am determined to be a

Answer

Every shop sells different models of dildos, and the manufacturers are always coming up with new ideas. So I would rather tell you what to look for in more general terms. I would also strongly suggest that you try to visit a shop like Venus Envy in person. Advice from a qualified saleswoman and the opportunity to look at and handle sample merchandise can be invaluable.

I'd recommend that you avoid buying a dildo made of latex (because allergies to this substance are easy to acquire), or PVC (because it is a carcinogen). Silicone is a much safer alternative. But I am also concerned about the texture of your dilator. You don't want something that is too hard, because it may bump against scar tissue and cause pain. The dildos made out of cyberskin are firm enough to provide you with therapeutic benefit, I believe, while being easy on sensitive parts of your body that have already gone through enough fear and suffering.

The most common mistake new buyers make is to purchase a dildo that is too large. See if you can get your doctor to furnish you with exact dimensions for the ideal prosthetic. But err on the side of caution. Purchase a toy that looks like your average partner's equipment.

If you are the only person who is going to use this implement, washing it with soap and water each time should be enough to keep it clean. You may want to use a condom, especially with a more porous cyberskin model, to keep it extra hygienic. Silicone can be boiled to sterilize it, but this shouldn't be necessary unless you have a vaginal infection and want to avoid re-exposing yourself. Lubricants containing silicone should not be used with silicone dildos. A water-based lubricant that does not contain glycerin will probably be less irritating for you. Don't use baby oil, massage lotion, coconut oil, or other greasy products with a dildo; the vagina has trouble eliminating these substances, and they can promote infections or cause allergic reactions.

Be sure that the dildo you buy is not torn anywhere, since a tiny tear can quickly turn into a big one. Tears are most likely to appear at the base, where facsimile balls may be attached. A dildo made with a handle might be easier for you to use as a dilator, and these are manufactured, so shop around. I have owned some of my insertable toys for 25+ years, and they are still in good working order, so you shouldn't worry too much about durability.

My best wishes go out to you during this health crisis. I too believe you can be a survivor. Gather lots of love around yourself, and allow other people to take care of you. If you ever deserved to be helped and cherished, it's now.

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