Nothing puts the kibosh on a one-night stand like announcing that sex is off-limits. It’s also a pretty serious roadblock to the establishment of a loving relationship, believes Laura Brashier, which is why she’s launched 2date4love, a dating website for men and women who want to fall in love but don’t want to, or can’t have actual intercourse.
There are quite a few of them out there in cyberspace: since the site went live Aug. 1, 10,000 people have visited and more than 2,000 have signed up. (Those who join by Sept. 20 receive a free month of membership, which costs about $30, depending on the length of the subscription.)
Brashier, 50, a hairdresser from southern California, is targeting cancer survivors like herself who may have experienced complications from chemotherapy or radiation that affect the ability to have intercourse, as well as people who cannot have sex for other reasons including paralysis, erectile dysfunction and birth defects.
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In 1999, Brashier wrapped up treatment for Stage 4 cervical cancer. She found sex unbearably painful and the prospect of breaking that news to a potential partner so overwhelming that she quit dating.
As Brashier explains on 2date4love:
With the help of my doctors, I won my battle against cancer. My body, however, has never been the same. I am still the same passionate woman who loves life and thrives on excitement. I still have all the same sexual desires I had before cancer. As the cancer treatment took a toll on my body, I’m no longer able to function sexually the way I used to. This has proven to be an enormous challenge when it comes to dating — when the topic of intimacy is raised, I fear that once my partner knows my limitations, he may lose interest.
As if dating isn’t hard enough already, Brashier would obsess about how and when to tell a man — right away as a means of being up-front, or after he’d gotten to know her better and might be less apt to turn away? “It’s the only thing on your mind,” says Brashier. “Who’s going to sign up for that?”
Finding a love interest through the new site removes that anxiety. If you find someone you like, you never have to ‘fess up; they already know. “It takes it completely out of the equation,” she says.