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Sexual Relationships and Cancer

Sexual Positions

You may need to try different sexual positions to help with changes in your body such as pain, or fatigue (less energy):

Side-by-Side Positions

 

Face-to-Face:

What to do: Both partners face each other and lie on their sides. One partner puts their leg between their partner’s legs. This will give you a lot of skin-to-skin contact. It can also allow face-to-face contact, but if you line up your genitals, you and your partner might not be directly face-to-face. Hold on to each other and create a gentle rocking back and forth.

Tip: You can also use pillows behind or around you for more support or cushioning if you have aches or pains.

This position is good if you have back problems.

Spooning

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What to do: Lie side by side, with one partner facing away from the other partner. This position is best if the partner with more energy does the penetration. From behind, they can grab on to their partner’s hips or waist and control the movement.

Tip: You can put a pillow between the legs of the person in front.

This position is good if you have joint pain, but do not use it if you have a total hip replacement.

Right Angle Sex Position

What to do: The person with less energy lies on their back with one leg in the air, and puts one or both legs on their partner’s shoulder, mid-section or hips. The partner with more energy does the moving or thrusting. They can also move their partner’s body by holding onto and moving the lifted leg(s).

Tip: The bed supports most of the body weight, but if the partner supports the lifted leg, you get a little more movement without using as much energy

Exertion on Top

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What to do: In this position, the partner with less energy lies on their back. The partner with more energy gets on top of them. You can either face forward so you can see each other, or backward. In this position, the person on top does most of the work.

Tip: You can also use pillows (under your bum and under your knees) for more support or cushioning if you have aches or pains. The pillows can also give more grip as the partner on the bottom can use their hips to thrust more.

This position is good if the person on their back has back or knee pain, or has a hip replacement.

Use the Edge of the Bed

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What to do: The partner who has less energy lies down on the bed, with their bum at the edge. This way the bed supports the body. They can lie on their stomach or back. The partner with more energy either stands or kneels at the edge of the bed. They can then use their arms to support their body and to support movement.

Tip: The partner on the bed can completely relax, but if they have the energy, they can hold on to their partner or add movement of their own.

Lying on your stomach can place more pressure on the knees, so lying on your back is good if you have knee pain.

Sex in a Seated Position

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What to do: If the person with less energy is doing the penetration - they can sit in the chair and the partner with more energy can support themselves using the arms of the chair and move themselves up and down on their partner’s lap.

If the person who has more energy is the one doing the penetration - they should sit in the chair, and the partner with less energy should sit on top. The person sitting on top can face away or toward their partner. The partner on the chair can support their partner on top and move back and forth or up and down.

Tip: There is less freedom to move around in this position, but it does allow you to be close to each other.

Standing

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What to do: Stand with the penetrating partner behind. You can lean over a counter, or dresser.

Tip: You can place a few pillows on top of the counter if you need more height.

This position is not the best for people with less energy, but it is good if you have knee pain or have a hip replacement.​

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