Question: Will my partner still find me attractive/sexually pleasing?
Answer: One of the biggest emotional hurdles that women need to overcome, particularly those undergoing mastectomy surgery without reconstruction, is fearing the reaction of their partner, their spouse, their significant sweetie. We, as women, worry about this far more than men worry about it. Keep in mind, your husband and your partner, did not choose you because of your breasts. They chose you because of you. And they're going to stick by you. They are going to want to be there to help you and support you.
You may want to have a ceremony the morning of your surgery to say goodbye to your breast and have your significant sweetie with you in also saying goodbye.
I also encourage you to explore sexually how your surgery has altered your sex life. Oftentimes, it alters it in a very positive way. One of the things my husband taught me was that he said, you know, I've read before when you lose one of your senses like your sense of sight or sense of smell, your other senses become more intensified. And he told me, he said, I wonder if the same thing happens to your erotic zones. He swept me away to the Poconos Mountains three weeks after my second mastectomy to prove that hypothesis, and he was absolutely right. You're going to find that if you take the time to explore together, that your other erotic zones that remain become more intensified for the better.
You also will find that your other breast, your remaining breast, is a bit more sensitive to the touch in a positive way. You should take advantage of that, as well as allow your spouse or significant sweetie to touch your incision. You're going to find that right along the incisional track the skin is numb. But above it and below it is not. Eighty percent of women who undergo mastectomy without reconstruction have phantom limb sensation. Just as if we'd lost an arm or a leg – and if you've ever known someone who has done that, had that experience -- they'll tell you, I feel like I can still wiggle my fingers though I know my arm is gone. Well, you won't be able to wiggle your breast, but you will very possibly, as I do, have the sensation that your breast is still there. And, if you touch very lightly two to three inches above the incision, and two to three inches below the incision, it will feel as if you were simulating touching your breast that is gone.
Most women, though, hesitate in having their husband or significant sweetie touch that side. And you may want to take your time before you're ready to do that. Don't be surprised though if he takes the initiative, because I'm going to be encouraging him to do so.
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