Sexual Rehabilitation After Prostate Cancer Through Assistive Aids: A Comparison of Gay/Bisexual and Heterosexual Men. Academic Article uri icon


  • The use of assistive aids in sexual rehabilitation after prostate cancer (PCa) was examined in 124 gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) and 225 heterosexual men. GBM were significantly more likely to use assistive aids (79% versus 56%), to try multiple assistive aids (M = 1.65 versus M = 0.83) including medication, penile injection, penile implant, vacuum pump, and nonmedical sex aids, and to seek information about sexual rehabilitation on the Internet, through counseling, or in a support group. There were no differences between the groups in satisfaction with the use of assistive aids. However, use of aids was a significant negative predictor of sexual functioning for GBM and a significant positive predictor for heterosexual men. Interview accounts described satisfaction with assistive aids in terms of maintaining erectile functioning and relationships. The majority of men in the study also described hindrances, both physical and social, resulting in discontinuation of assistive aids, including perceived artificiality, loss of sexual spontaneity, side effects, failure to achieve erectile response, cost, and lack of access to information and support. It is concluded that the specific needs and concerns of GBM and heterosexual men regarding sexual rehabilitation after PCa need to be addressed by clinicians.

publication date

  • 2019