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Health Information and Tools > Cancer and Sexuality > Male Sexuality and Cancer > Overview of Erection Problems >  Male Sexuality and Cancer: External Penile Prosthesis
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Male Sexuality and Cancer: Erection Problems

External Penile Prosthesis

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Research shows that many people find using external prostheses for intercourse very satisfying. This option might not be right for everyone. To do this, a dildo and pelvic harness are used, which you can buy at adult sex stores or online. The dildo (an object shaped like an erect penis) sits in the harness just like an erect penis. The pelvic harness holds the dildo on, right above the soft penis. The couple can then have penetrative sex.

Get into a position just like you would for regular penetrative sex. Thrust just like you would for insertive sex. Your partner can get pleasure directly from this type of intercourse, but you’ll need to be stimulated with your partner’s hand to feel pleasure in the penis. If the soft penis is caressed with the partner’s lubricated hand, the man can have an orgasm. Having the penis stimulated while doing the same pelvic movements as with penetrative sex can make it pleasurable for the man wearing the prosthesis. Many men say this feels just like regular sex.

How does this type of sex work?

With the right stimulation and the muscle memory of pelvic movements during sex, a person can actually make the brain think that it’s having penetrative intercourse. If you have questions about this, talk to your healthcare provider.

There are no risks with this type of intercourse, but some people may feel this option goes against their religious beliefs or values. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.

Where do I buy sex toys?

You can buy sex toys at adult sex stores or online.

Tips for Having Sex with a Penile Prosthesis

  • Talk about these ideas with your partner ahead of time. Make sure to talk about your comfort level and worries you might have.
  • Make sure you and your partner are both willing to explore a new way of being sexual.
  • Go to the sex toy store together or go online together to buy these products.
  • Use a water-based lubricant for stimulating a soft penis.
  • Try different positions for sex to find what’s most comfortable for you and your partner.
  • Be open to trying new things. Even if you decide you don’t want to try them again, you’ve bonded with each other over trying something new.​

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