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The Sex Issue

I'm Dying Over Here

I can't think with my breasts, love with my breasts, or have an intelligent conversation with them.
Κείμενο Toni Riss

My body is my temple, though others now might refer to me as "damaged goods" due to my fight with cancer and the treatments and surgeries I've endured. I am undesirable to some because my body looks like a road map of the US. Others want to fuck me because they think I'm a freak. I no longer have real breasts, and the ones the surgeons sculpted for me are dismal replacements. There are also those who want to have sympathy sex with me. They feel sorry for me and feel that somehow they're doing what God wants by having sex with a woman they view as deformed.


I can't think with my breasts, love with my breasts, or have an intelligent conversation with them. I'm almost 52 years old; I'm hardly a candidate for Hooters. But I am, like other women, judged by how big they are, how perky they are, and how much cleavage I can put in someone's face. It hurts me to know that society views women as only being women when their breasts are bigger than their brains. As painful as my reconstruction has been, being accepted for who I am instead of how busty I am has been a greater challenge for me.

I just want someone to hold me, to tell me I still matter, and let me know that they understand that I am self-conscious. The truth is, most people don't understand how their reaction to me hurts.

In the comments, someone asked about my once being chesty and wondered "but were you ever attractive?" This is the kind of insensitive comment I get every now and then from someone who is blatantly ignorant. As I've gotten older, what's sexy to me has changed. Looks don't last forever, but the heart of a person rarely changes. I hope you will remember this: As you get older, sex isn't as important as being able to talk to someone. I was a rabbit in my 20s and could have cared less if I communicated with people. That's all changed now. I don't feel I can be intimate with someone just for the sake of "doing it."

And yes, at 52, I still feel sexual. I'm just picky about who it's with. In my sexual heyday, AIDS did not exist. We didn't fear much in those days except the clap. No one even thought that the pill could end up being suspect in some breast cancers. We had it easy compared to today's young adults, and many of us had multiple partners under the mantra of "free love." I didn't. I believe in commitment, but I sometimes wore those commitments out.

I think that as a whole the world is a little too obsessed with anatomy. We've gone from wanting to be better endowed, to having breasts the size of the Titanic. And I can't tell you what a joy it is to read my email each day and see that someone has a cure for my small penis. Damn good thing, too, because I'm a woman with balls. And it doesn't stop with just anatomy—we are obsessed with everything being bigger. While I'm delighted that there are now mega-aspirins out there, I am scared shitless at what may be coming out that will cure whatever bothers you with your bum. Can you imagine? Soon there will be torpedo suppositories to go along with those Grand Canyon condoms you might need.

But trust me, kids, bigger is not necessarily better. My chihuahua is quite the little stud muffin and he never gets emails telling him he's inadequate.