- Schedule a conversation: Find a time to communicate that works for both of you. "Do it when neither of you is tired, when you're both present and not distractedand not in the bedroom," advises Coons.
- Be open: Talk about your sex life openly and honestly and then spend some time together doing something you both enjoy.
- Start slow: Coons suggests that when you're ready to start touching each other, try sensate-focus exercises, such as massage with your clothes on. "When was the last time you did passionate kissing? When was the last time you just massaged each other?"
- Be creative: The first step to good sex is feeling emotionally connected, so think about what makes you and your partner feel more in touch with one another if there's been a disconnect while you were each coping with cancer. What worked for you before? What new, innovative approaches to intimacy and arousal could you try (including new sex positions that are more comfortable if pain during sex is a problem)?
- It's not all-or-nothing: Sex isn't just about intercourse. "There's an awful lot between nothing and penetrative sex," Coons says.
- Seek outside help: If you are having trouble with desire, arousal, or sexual pain, or are dissatisfied with your sexual health in any way, tell your health care provider about your concerns.
6 Steps for Easing Back Into Sex After Breast Cancer