It doesn’t matter what age a woman is when she hears the words “You’ve got breast cancer.”
It doesn’t matter how she heard the news, or to some degree how “bad” her specific diagnosis is; the night before a woman’s surgery will arrive. And before the surgical scrub that you do to clean yourself off with in preparation of the surgery, making love to your partner is on many couples minds. For the partners of these women, what’s important to us?
Whether you have weeks or days prior to this event, many women believe that, on some level, this time will be a last time in their minds. The last time when everything was “normal.” Even if she didn’t think that she had curvy, sensuous, perky, perfect breasts, in some ways they were always the most obvious part of her body’s femininity. What other sexual “organs” did you dress up? This part of your body was as visible as you wanted it to be, or “the girls” could be cozily hidden under a flannel nightie if it was the middle of winter and everyone just wanted to be comfy. Her sexy bra was purchased and selected to be worn to hold little pieces of lace together to show rather than tell what she hoped your admirer was fantasizing about. It usually could be unhooked and taken off with incredible speed if needed. Many women also have “get lucky” underclothing. The perfect bra and panties stories that gets happily nested in the super pleasurable centers of our brains (where I think old ladies go to when you see them and they have an especially happy look on their faces). Or our breasts can be covered up with an equally sexy sports bra that communicates I’m healthy, active and ready for adventure.
Making love for most couples has always involved our breasts. Didn’t foreplay come from making it to “second base” when we were teenagers? Didn’t undressing, often from the top down, signal that the best was about to come? Didn’t having our blouses opened, our jeans or PJ’s shimmied off, get both of us more and more in the mood?
As a love partner, you must be thinking, do I touch them now…the same…more…or act like they are no big deal? Does she want to hear how you have always loved her breasts? Does she want to hear how you remember a specific time in the past that it was all about her boobs? Should this time be about ignoring that tomorrow is coming and not acting differently from whatever “pattern” of love making that makes both of you smile and feel loved? Or should it be as intense and sexy as you can make it? Or should it be tender, as in a planned goodbye?
If there was ever a time to hone in on both peoples unspoken cues—what you both have learned to treasure more intimately over the time you have been together—this would be the time to be extra sensitive and open to what feels right to the other person. This event will be traversed more from a feelings perspective than from over thinking. Both people have angst, both people have the desire to make this time uniquely perfect. Maybe not perfect as in “this night was the best sex ever” but perfect so that this transition time in your relationship, has the potential to be like the first time you made love. Poignant, filled with the paradox of the unknown and yet the very familiar, resides in some eventual forever place in our brains.
No advice on how to make it perfect. The only advice is to not ignore that this is a last of something in her life and in yours. But from lasts, come new firsts. Just don’t ignore that this is a big day and the easiest way to make it not painfully unforgettable, is to acknowledge that in some verbal…or non verbal way, this time is different.
What it’s like after, I’ll let you know.