The Tourist Analogy

This is an analogy of sexual life after prostate cancer surgery from prostate cancer specialist psychologists Andrea Beck and John Robinson.

This is to demonstrate the idea that it’s not the situation, but the attitude and response we have to it, that determines our ultimate experience.

Imagine you're a tourist arriving in a new country.

You could approach this experience in two ways that would produce two different experiences. You could choose to spend your time noticing the differences and comparing them to what you know already :

'This is not like home at all! The food doesn’t taste the same, I don’t speak this language or no where things are. I am not leaving my hotel room.’

Or, you could go that place with curiosity, acknowledging the newness and unfamiliar feelings, but wondering what you could find there that might be interesting to you.

'This is not like home at all! The food is different and some of it I don’t like, but some of it I do… I don’t speak the language yet, but the people are friendly and I’m picking up phrases as I go, I’m getting lost a lot, but in dong that I’ve sometimes ended up in wonderful places’

I’m sure you get the point, and maybe it’s a bit on the eye-rolling side at the end, but I’m a fan of the humble analogy to remind us what we often know well in one area of life - but can be harder to apply to another, such as sex.

This analogy for me also demonstrates that things don’t have to be ‘bad or good’, just different, and all a chance to learn what you do and don’t like/want.

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Victoria Cullen