Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Thursday 25 February 2021

Brighton's Attenborough Centre For The Creative Arts To Host Performance-Cum-Training Course For Those Discussing Sex & Cancer

An art project and community enterprise that looks at innovative solutions to the often-ignored problem of illness, intimacy, sexual function and pleasure, has been launched. 
Credit Christa-Holka

Sex with Cancer, conceived by friends, artists and former cancer patients Brian Lobel and Joon Lynn Goh, aims to be the world's first sex shop led, run and owned by people living with and beyond cancer. 

Drawing on personal experience, and working with a steering group of advocates and experts in the worlds of sex, sexual health and cancer care, Sex with Cancer aims to develop into a permanent resource where people living with and beyond cancercan access information, practical solutions and products about sex without shame, and with an eye to pleasure, fun and connection. 

Since launching in autumn 2020, the project has been inviting people to submit their most frequently asked questions about sex and cancer through its website sexwithcancer.com

The next stage of the project invites the public to take part in a playful online performance-cum-training course that aims to help people be better at talking about sex and cancer. 

This online performance takes participants through the steps of becoming best equipped at having difficult discussions in a positive and affirming way. 

The experience which takes around thirty minutes to complete incorporates interactive 'games' such as matching body part to possible side effects, before moving onto a gentler conversation about sex, intimacy and the stories cancer patients may be afraid to tell. On completion, participants will be awarded with a 'Certificate in Sex and Cancer Conversation Competency'. 

The online performance will be launched with a series of events from 2 - 6 March 2021 hosted by Brian Lobel. 

Participants will be taken through the steps needed to gain their Certificate, before rejoining Brian for a facilitated discussion. 

These hosted events are presented in partnership with, among others, the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts in Brighton.

Each event will feature a different panel of local experts in sex, sexual health and cancer care.

Brian Lobel, co-founder of Sex with Cancer, says: 

"I met Joon Lynn when she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer at St Barts
Hospital in London in 2018. 

"We would often meet up, and developed a friendship, rooted in care and our shared experiences of cancer. Conversations we had often grew into exploring the provocation and we'd ask ourselves "What would a resource and sex shop run by cancer patients and their admirers look like?" 

"We knew first-hand that people with cancer diagnosis are often shy or embarrassed to talk about sex with their medical teams, but also that many doctors and nurses lack confidence talking about sex and sexuality with their patients. 

"Another thing we really noticed was that the information that was out there was largely medical jargon and warnings, none of which is sexy. 

"So we knew we had to do something, this is where Sex with Cancer was born."

by: Mike Cobley




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