Erectile dysfunction more often than not, devastates one's sense of self as a sexual person.

The prospect of not being able to achieve, or maintain an erection can cause such deep grief and loss that many abandon sexual intimacy entirely.

The consequences of this, together with dealing with a health crisis, can be a breakdown of existing and future relationships.

As difficult as it can be to feel fully sexual and intimate with a partner after prostate surgery or erectile dysfunction, many can – and do – go on to have deep and fulfilling sexual lives.

In many cases, a fuller sexuality is experienced.

So what exactly is sex anyway?

The way that we define sex greatly affects our expectations around the act. Is it strictly penetrative? Is sex something we can do alone? And what about phone sex?

Additionally, some people believe that sex progresses in a certain order – foreplay, penetration, orgasm - if they're lucky. Besides being super limiting, these perceptions can make it very difficult (and disatisfying) to achieve a rich sexual life. 

Once it is let go of however, the doors open to reveal a myriad of powerful and loving experiences. Recent research concludes that the people having the most satisfying sex are in the over 70's age group. Clearly a full erection is not an issue for many couples.

Limited function of the penis doesn't stop a person, or their partner, from enjoying each other's bodies. When the mind stops relying on the strength of the erection or ejaculation, and focuses more fully on the sensation of touch and sensuality - arousal and intimacy is the result. Once the brain understands and accepts this fact, an entirely new sexual pathway is opened.

How can we have sex without penetration?

Encourage each other to explore massage, all over tongue worship, edible oils, bondage (from very light blindfolds and cuffs to nipple clamps and spanking for example), fantasy, games, anal play and sex toys.

A soft penis can be inserted a little way into a mouth, a butt, or an open vagina for soft penetration and a vibrating erection ring can be used on a non or semi erect penis to stimulate other genitals simultaneously.

There are several pleasure toys that we recommend that can help achieve a fuller and stronger erection and that can be incorporated in to your partnered sessions or masturbation.

Products to use when erection is limited or non-existent.

1. The Penis Pump.

Place the penis inside the pump, through the silicone sleeve. Squeeze the pump until you have created a vacuum inside the tube and you have the desired size. The vacuum works to draw the blood to the penis and create an erection. If erection is achieved, use an erection ring to maintain it.

Using a pump as soon as you can post surgery, is a great way to restore blood flow through to the penis again. Regular use, without lovemaking in mind, can encourage your body and your brain to reconnect these pleasure pathways through healthy blood flow. Anecdotally, customers report a "7/10 erection" compared to before surgery. We encourage you to give it a crack as there are no negative side-effects and it is an inexpensive alternative to injections, viagra and further surgery. The psychological benefit of seeing yourself with an erection cannot be underestimated.

We have a Post Prostate Cancer Treatment Rehabilitation Kit that contains everything you need to give your penis a good workout post surgery, containing a pump, a constriction ring and lubricant to create a vacuum seal (plus comprehensive instructions). You can order it here.

2. Erection Rings.

The erection ring works best when placed around either the penis, the testicles or both. If you have achieved a semi or full erection, use the ring to trap the blood inside and keep it from flowing back out too quickly. Spread some lubricant around the penis and testicles and stretch the ring fully so you can place either just the penis or both the penis and testicles through. It should fit nice and firmly without being too loose or too tight. Erection rings also intensify orgasm as the blood stays in the penis for longer.

  1. Pulse

This toy was originally designed using pulsation technology engineered by the medical industry, to help penis-owners with spinal injuries to ejaculate for fertility purposes. The Pulse is a great toy that stimulates the head of the penis as well as the length, in particular the more sensitive frenulum through pulsing vibration. A flaccid penis can be placed on the toy, with the vibration working to stimulate blood flow around the head and shaft. This pleasure toy can also be used to achieve an erection or as a masturbating device to maintain sensation. Order it here.

4. Cobra Libre.

In many ways, The Cobra is similar to The Pulse, but the vibration is concentrated solely at the head of the penis.The penis is placed inside the toy and the vibration stimulates the entire head. Order it here.

5. Strap On Hollow Harness

When erection is impossible, a strap on harness can be used. The dildo is hollow so that a man can have his penis inside the dildo and still penetrate his partner. The Armour Knight in the picture below is a brilliant hollow strap on. Also available are the Spareparts Deuce and the Perfect Fit Zoro.

Both of the latter are not hollow but allow you to use a dildo and/or your penis alternately.

6. Vibrators for partners.

When the penis isn't in the picture as much as before, it's great to have a full arsenal of sex toys to experiment with. Using a dildo or vibrator together can be reeeeally sexy and open up a whole world of possibility and pleasure. See our 'How To Choose A Vibrator' section of the website if you need help or drop into the store for some personal advice.

When surgery, injections or drugs aren't an option for you, experiment with different lovemaking experiences, without orgasm and ejaculation being the goal.

As with all sexual changes, prostate cancer can provide an opportunity to find new ways of giving and receiving pleasure. Sometimes a loss of libido is experienced after prostate surgery. If this is affecting the quality of your relationships and you need further help in navigating your sexual experiences, talk to your GP or contact Victoria at for help in dealing with these issues.