Grampians Rural Health Collaborative




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Sexuality and intimacy

What is Sexuality?

Sexuality encompasses much more than just the act of sexual intercourse. Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction (WHO 2002).


What is Intimacy?

Intimacy means being physically and emotionally close to someone else. It is about loving and being loved and it is expressed in many different ways: by talking and listening on a personal level, by sharing a special place or a meaningful experience, or through physical affection.

The impact of a cancer diagnosis on sexuality and intimacy


A number of physical and emotional changes associated with the cancer can affect our expression of sexuality and intimacy. The impact of these changes depends on many factors, such as treatment and side effects, how people communicate, and a person’s existing level of self-confidence.

For further information go to sexuality and intimacy


The Cancer Council can provide further assistance by connecting patients to an experienced medical practitioner who specialises in this area for counselling on body image, intimacy, sexual confidence or relationships after cancer. The service is free and confidential go to intimacy counselling after cancer