December 15, 2017

YSC Summit is This Weekend in Oakland

Sexy After Cancer, Sexy Saturdays, Cancer and Sex, Pleasure and Intimacy

Dear Ones,

This weekend, March 10-12, is the annual Young Survival Coalition Summit. This year it’s here on the west coast at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Click here for info and to register:  https://summit.youngsurvival.org/Sessions.

This conference is consistently great and is filled with women diagnosed with breast cancer under age 40, their co-survivors, wonderful speakers and events and fabulous exhibits. Last year there were 600 attendees! It’s definitely an event to attend if you’re in the area.

I will be exhibiting this year. It’s a sexy photo booth and I’m fund raising for the annual Tour de Pink ride, which is the major fund raiser for YSC. If you’d like to know more about it or to make a donation to me and the Sexy After Cancer team, use this link: https://west.ysctourdepink.org/BarbaraMusser.

Everything YSC does is empowering and inspiring. I’m a big fan and have spoken at several conferences and attended many as well.

If you’re local to the Bay Area, stop by and come see me. There are some fun surprises at my booth and you may be inspired and empowered as well. 🙂

© 2017 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

 

 

Give Yourself A Holiday Gift!

Sexy After Cancer, Sexy Saturdays, Cancer and Sex, Pleasure and Intimacy

 

sexy after cancer, cancer and sexuality, cancer and intimacy, sex after cancer

As a longtime sex educator and breast cancer survivor, my path gives me the great gift of talking with many women about their sex lives before, during and after cancer diagnosis and treatment. I hear some stories of inspiration and hope, and many more of frustration and pain. A familiar story goes something like this: “My sex life was okay before cancer/I took my sex life for granted. Now I’d rather stick a needle in my eye than have sex with my partner because it’s so painful. My libido has gone missing and I don’t know how to get it back or if I even want to…”

It’s heart wrenching. At the same time, our sexual energy is our life force energy. It’s the energy of life and living, of pleasure and orgasm and oxytocin. Whether it’s a distant memory or the subject of your fantasies, sex is part of life. The question is what can be done to recover it.

Go figure why this has become my life’s passion, to help women find their way back to sexual health and pleasure. It’s time for this conversation to come into the light of day. I aim to turn on the lights and bring more pleasure to your life.

The chasm from where you may be now, to having sex, may seem as enormous as the Grand Canyon. Depending on your treatment and ongoing hormonal therapy, you may have a Sahara Desert inside your genitals. The treatments are designed to suppress any hormone production, and that also dries out and tenderizes genital tissues.

Hormones are part of the story, but not the whole story. There are plenty of things to do that can help. It begins with some of the sex education that you probably never got. For example, you have nerve endings and plenty of erectile tissue that doesn’t depend on hormones and isn’t in your vagina. Did you know that?

Over the decades since my own cancer diagnosis at age 37, I’ve been researching and gathering all sorts of information and tools. And of course, I’ve had to test them all – lucky me!

I’m teaming up with the creator of one of my favorite products to share this wisdom. We’ve created a 6-week online course, Opening Pandora’s Box ~ The Sex Education You Never Got. Our vision is for women to experience:

  • Improved sexual pleasure
  • Better sex with your partner (if you have one)
  • Deeper understanding of what feels good to you
  • Once again (or for the first time) get to know your body
  • Enjoy self-pleasuring
  • Experience relief from vaginal and sexual pain
  • Have more fun again (both in and out of the bedroom)

This class is a pilot and we are limiting it to 30 women. We are offering the class at this one time only price of $97 so we can work closely with all participants and get feedback.

Use the link below to learn more about the class and to register. We begin on January 18 and go for 6 weeks. Be one of our 30!

www.opendingpandorasbx.com

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

 

Cancer, Movement and Sex

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

A wonderful new discovery about cancer, movement and sex! I’ve begun to train for the YSC Tour de Pink ride in October, which is a fund raiser for the Young Survival Coalition. Lots of time in the saddle is rough on my vulva and “bits” and I get numb and tingly, not in a good way. So I’ve been doing some vulva massage with oil or lotion to soothe my achiness. As I do it and my tissue relaxes and wakes up, it feels great! The massage isn’t intended to turn me on or get me aroused, but that is a by-product. Who knew? I’ve discovered yet another sensual pleasure. I made a video about it, so take a look and tell me what you think.

The link to support me in the Tour de Pink ride is also below. Please consider making a donation to support my ride as I support this fabulous organization!

https://west.ysctourdepink.org/BarbaraMusser

cancer, sex and movement Click on this link to see the video!

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

We Simply Don’t Know ~ Random Thoughts on Sex and Cancer

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, Sexy Saturdays Blog, Cancer and Sex

It’s been a week since my amazing friend Michele died. It was sudden and much too soon. She was a truly bright light in the world. A Reichian therapist, Michele is the one who ruthlessly and tirelessly supported me in expressing my emotions, my sexuality and the power of my orgasms. We laughed, cried, danced and shook through life like a sudden thunderstorm rolling in. We saw each other completely and we often talked about cancer and sex, about being a woman and sex, about living an orgasmic life. When we got together, tears came first because we loved each other so deeply.

Now she’s gone. The night she died I lay awake most of the night, feeling her around me, laughing and crying. At 3:30 AM I was jolted awake in the middle of a big orgasm. “That’s Michele,” I knew it. When I got up, I got the news that she took her last breath at about 3:15. I believe that she went out orgasmically.

Now more than ever, I am inspired and committed to Sexy After Cancer. This conversation is getting stronger and it’s past time for those with cancer to know that great sex is possible. You are not broken! Things are different and it’s now important to get to know your body in this state. That’s the opportunity and it’s time to get curious and open to discover pleasure in new ways.

Some of the latest research on sex and arousal shows that we have dual controls: an accelerator and brakes. We all have both and they work to either support or suppress each other. For example, one of the biggest brakes is thinking that there’s something wrong with us sexually. Cancer and treatments can result in feeling that something is very wrong sexually. That’s because the changes are sudden and traumatic, especially if we weren’t told things would change. So, many of us slammed on the brakes and don’t know what to do.

The key is to learn about accelerators and brakes, about about how to activate our accelerators and deactivate our brakes. This is good news because we can do this. When we begin to experiment with this, we explore pleasure and embodiment from a different place and perspective. We begin with discovering what your brakes are and how to deactivate them. We also explore your accelerators and how to activate them.

What I’m passionate about is finding the ways to help you recover your life force energy because that’s what sexual energy is ~ life force energy. It’s your mojo, your pleasure, your life! Let’s explore this together so that you feel sexy after cancer. The bottom line is that we simply don’t know how much longer we’ll be here. Thanks to my friend Michele, I know this and I also know that it’s always the right time to live fully and experience all the pleasure we can in as many ways as we can think of.

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Getting Your Sexy Back with Breast Cancer

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Dear Friends,

I’ve just completed an hour-long show with Breast Friends, all about body image and self-esteem, loss of sensation as a result of lumpectomy and radiation or mastectomy, how chemo and hormonal therapies impact libido, how to get your sexy back and much more. We covered many bases in an honest and real conversation. I’m including the link here so that you can listen to the conversation because it was that good! Please feel free to download and listen at your convenience, and feel free to share it. It’s full of solutions to many of the challenges to sexual function that happen as a result of cancer treatments.

Do yourself a favor and educate yourself about your own body and pleasure. Most of us didn’t have good sex education early on and weren’t taught about pleasure. There is so much pleasure to be experienced and cancer is a great opportunity to learn about that.

Sexy After Cancer?

If you have questions or comments, ask them here and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.

 

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Cancer, Sex and The Wisdom of the Womb

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Last weekend I was at the YSC Summit for women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 40. We were 600+ strong and the morning on Saturday was devoted to cancer and sex. Three of us (me, Kristen Carpenter from Ohio State University and Sabitha Pillai-Freedman from Widener University) gave Ted-type talks on different aspects of cancer and sex ~ body changes, what science says and communication. Then we had an open Q&A session, which was very lively. Later I hosted a discussion group for single women to talk about cancer, sex, dating and going forward with life.

These women were completely inspiring in so many ways. In the breakout group many women said they feel disconnected from their bodies and that libido and sexual feelings have gone missing. We did a brief practice to get in touch with the wisdom contained in our womb. Here’s how:

♥ Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Put your hands on your hips. Slowly rotate your hips in one direction for several rotations, then the other direction. While you do this, focus your attention on your pelvic bowl, the area that is contained within the pelvic ones and pelvic floor muscles. Imagine that you can see and feel your pelvic bowl as you move your hips.

♥ Continue standing and place one hand on your low belly and the other on your heart. Feel the connection between your heart and your pelvic bowl. Imagine bringing the energy of love from your heart down into the pelvic bowl, and imagine it’s like a beautiful golden light that illuminates the bowl.

♥ Using that love light, look around the inside of your pelvic bowl. Notice any places that are rough, torn, bruised, frozen or missing. Shine your love light on those areas and feel the light of your love healing your pelvic bowl and making it whole again.

♥ Keeping your attention and love on your pelvic bowl, ask what it needs from you to feel whole and alive. Listen to what comes to you as you tune in to your inner wisdom and the wisdom of your womb.

♥  When you feel complete, make a few notes in your journal. If you have received actions to take, commit to taking those actions. This time I heard that daily dancing and moving my hips will keep my womb alive and happy.

I’ve been dancing every day since returning home from the summit. I can feel my sexual energy, my life force energy, flowing more strongly. This makes me feel very happy and sexy.

I invite you to give yourself the gift of discovering your womb wisdom. You may find that cancer provides a portal to connecting in new ways to your experiences of intimacy and sex, whether you have a partner or not. It’s a beautiful thing to love yourself and radiate that energy.

Here’s to you and your beautiful spirit and to feeling sexy!

 

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Cancer and Sex ~ Good Grief!

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Earlier this week I was a guest on the Good Grief radio show hosted by Cheryl Jones. We talked for an hour about what can occur related to cancer and sex and intimacy. It was a powerful conversation and I invite you to listen to it.

Some of the highlights of our conversation:

♥ How the unexpected nature of the impact of sexual difficulties can feel like the straw that broke the camel’s back

♥ Why health care providers don’t talk about cancer and sex

♥ Some ways to get in touch with your grief and other feelings

♥ Evolving on the cancer journey and what that means

As always I welcome your comments and questions, so please feel free to be in conversation with me about this.

 

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

 

Cancer and Sex ~ A New Kind of Valentine

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

 

Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, Cancer and Sex, Breast Cancer, Emotional and Spiirtual Healing After Breast Cancer, Cancer and Hope, Nature cancer and sensuality, love and sex and cancer

Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark card extravaganza. It seems like the standard keeps getting higher and higher, and more and more expensive. And for those of us who are single, it’s easy to feel a little down. And with cancer in the picture, it may not feel like a time for hearts and flowers, much less intimacy and sex. Cancer and Sex in the same sentence can feel like an oxymoron.

What to do???

Take a new lover. Let nature be your lover. What do I mean by that? Take a walk in a beautiful place. As you walk, imagine that nature is loving you in each moment ~

  • With every step, feel the earth caressing and kissing your feet
  • Feel the air or breeze on your skin and know that the element of air is kissing you
  • Open your ears to hear the birds or other animals and know that they are singing their song for you
  • Sniff the scents of the earth, trees and flowers, knowing that nature wants to delight you with her aromas
  • Open your mouth and breathe in the air and notice what it tastes like, and know that this is to bring pleasure to your mouth
  • Look with new eyes, as if you are gazing upon your lover, and see the gorgeous sights that delight your visual sense
  • Imagine that it’s all designed for your pleasure and love, and know that nature is always expressing its love for you

I have made this practice part of my life, most days and in each season. When I swim I feel enveloped by the water’s love and generosity and feel its silkiness on my skin, especially if I swim naked. When I ski, I know that the snow is on the ground to reach up embrace my skis and me. When I feel the warmth of the sun on my body, it feels like a lover enveloping me. And the flowers! Flowers are the sex organs of plants, and they shamelessly and abundantly reach out to me as I stand among them. The scents of the flowers seduce and intoxicate me.

Love and sex are all around us and this is the very energy of life. When we have cancer we can become more aware of what’s important and what’s not, and what matters. Life has a sweetness and immediacy to it that we might not have experienced before. When we can attune ourselves to the rhythms and flows of nature, the very life force energy that is constantly expressing, it can be a very sensual, intimate and sexual experience. Many people on the cancer journey feel like their sex life is over. Cancer and sex can take many forms. Open your mind and heart to receive new inspirations.

I invite you to create a new context for Valentine’s Day this year. It doesn’t cost a dime and doesn’t require a lover, although you can share this with your lover if you have one. Make this Valentine’s Day a celebration of you, sensuality, intimacy and sexuality with your lover nature. It can create an entirely new experience of cancer and sex.

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

 

My Favorite Lubes for Cancer, Sexuality, Menopause and Vaginal Dryness

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

 

Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, Sexy Saturdays Blog, Cancer and Sexuality, Intimacy After Cancer

Let’s Talk About Cancer, Sex and Lubes

Last weekend I was at a cancer conference and a colleague presented about lubricants for use by cancer patients and survivors. There was some good information given and some wrong information given. I shared that there’s an article about lubricants on my website www.sexyaftercancer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Guidlines-for-Selecting-Lubricants.pdf.

Check out the article. It talks about ingredients to avoid in lubricants, how to choose a lubricant and has a chart about several different lubes including pH, intended use, and safety with latex, and rubber.

Please do NOT use Replens. Many health care providers recommend it, and it contains Purified Water, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Polycarbophil, Carbomer 934P, Hydrogenated Palm Oil Glyceride, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide. Glycerin may injure kidneys at high concentrations per OSHA; Carbomer 934P is manufactured using benzene. Methylparaben has suspected estrogenic effects; sodium hydroxide is another term for lye. This product is questionable for vaginal use and widely prescribed. You have many much better options. Read on!

People asked me about my recommendations and I have several, listed here in no particular order:

  • I love Sex Butter! This product is formulated using plant-based oils and there’s something about it that really works for me. When I use this with a partner and we take the time to thoroughly apply and massage it into my tissues and “warm me up”, I really enjoy penetrative sex play with NO pain. This is a big deal and I am a shameless poster girl for this product. Using Sex Butter regularly has helped to heal my vaginal dryness and tenderness.

I invite you to try it out. Here’s my affiliate link, if you use this I will gratefully receive a small commission.

Http://tinyurl.com/sexbutter

The only caveat with this product is that it’s not for use with latex, rubber or plastic toys because of the oils. If you try this product, let me know how you like it, and you will be supporting a good friend’s business.

  • Sliquid Organics Botanically Infused is another favorite choice. This lube is a moisturizing lube, which means that it aids in returning moisture to vulvar and vaginal tissue. Many women experience vaginal dryness and atrophy as a result of cancer treatments (chemo and hormonal therapies especially). This product is latex, rubber and plastic friendly. I use it daily externally and internally to keep my tissues moist and soft. I use it right along with Sex Butter.
  • Aloe Cadabra has organic aloe vera as the main ingredient. The high concentration of aloe makes it soothing. This one is also latex, rubber and plastic friendly.
  • Almost Naked Personal Lubricant by Good Clean Love contains 95% organic and natural ingredients. It’s also latex, rubber and plastic friendly. The only thing I don’t like about this product is that it gets a little too sticky after about 15 minutes. For me, this can cause some friction that doesn’t feel good. I can remedy this with a little spray bottle of water, but that can get a bit messy. If you like water sports, that may not be an issue for you.
  • Sliquid Silk Intimate Hybrid Lubricant contains vegan ingredients and also some silicone. Silicone makes tissues slippery, which can be a big benefit with penetrative sex play. This product is formulated to provide moisture and then to seal in the moisture with the silicone.

If you find this helpful, please share it with others. And let me know your experience and also what products you like. I’m always researching for great new information to share and your experience is a big help with this.

© 2015 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Astrologically we are in a period of lots of action ~ eclipses, full moon, the equinox and Mercury retrograde, to name a few. During the season of eclipses, things can change in big ways, rapidly. If you knew you could wave a magic wand and change something big about your heart and your capacity to love, what would you change? How can you love you more? How can  you bring more love to the world?

Our experience of love blossoms from our love relationship with ourselves. How do you love you? Are you madly in love with you? Do you have a crush on you? Do you know how gorgeous and lovable you are? If  you aren’t having these experiences, what would it take for you to have them? Maybe, just maybe, it starts with deciding that you do. And then acting as if it’s true. Don’t believe me? I invite you to try it on and see what happens. Let your heart shift completely in the eclipse! And here’s a poem to inspire you.
“And You Shall Love”

do you love yourself?

yes, but
do you love yourself?
not like a poor relation, with an
effort to be kind.  being good about it.

do you love yourself
like the most hopeless crush you ever had?
the day you wrote his initials
all over your notebook:
mr. and mrs.  glowingly divine?

do you love yourself like
Rumi loved his God?
do you love yourself stumbling
and giddy, burbling visions of wine-drunk
spiritual ecstasies?

do you love yourself
so hard it hurts to breathe,
so true the very thought of losing you
makes you ache and cry?

do you love yourself
with dirty fingernails
and all you’ve got,
hanging on, for dear life?

do you love yourself as you rise up,
as you lie down, and as you go about your way?

would you die,
if you didn’t have you?

have you woken, yet,
from that awful dream,
the recursive bargain of self-hate
you made to stay alive?
is this the deal-breaker?

the angel abides
until one day
your will abides no more:
from out of nowhere you could name
the unleashed heart of fire ascends
and you are joined.

as full of scars
as grace.

“beloved”
a voice is heard;
the voice is yours.

(this time it is the angel’s turn
to laugh; even God’s hidden name
prances and smiles)

Dvorah Simon

 

© 2015 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.