An image of the Sex With Cancer logo. Gradient colourful text on a cream background.

A Conversation on Sex With Cancer


This roundtable event launched Sex with Cancer, a new art project and community-led enterprise looking at innovative solutions to the often-ignored problem of illness, intimacy, sexual function and pleasure.

Gathering experts from a number of critical perspectives, this frank, fun and insightful dialogue explored the barriers to honest conversation, and for imagining what a shame-free world might look like. What are the strategies that people living with and beyond cancer use to navigate intimacy? How can medical practitioners be supported to ask better questions? What resources and initiatives are being imagined and tested? And… how can art lubricate the conversation?


What if cancer patients got together to design their own sex shop?

Created by Brian Lobel & Joon Lynn Goh, Sex with Cancer aims to hold a public conversation about illness and intimacy.

Part research project, part performance, Sex with Cancer is for people living with and beyond cancer, and for their admirers – those who love them, who care for them, who are hot for them.

Submit your questions about sex and cancer, take part in interactive and online performances in 2020-21, and help us launch the world’s first sex shop, owned and run by cancer patients.

Co-commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Contact & Wunderbar. Made in partnership with Sh! Supported by Arts Council England.


Part of our Make/Love Season #MakeLove2020


A young black woman with long purple hair and a bright orange halterneck dress.

Maria Onasanya

Maria is a patient representative with over 9 years experience in patient research involvement. She uses her voice as a Osteosarcoma survivor to help structure the framework and methodologies of research into improving the lives of young people living with cancer. Maria owns her own business providing tailored wigs for young girls and women going through a cancer diagnosis. Maria also teaches make-up tips and tricks for helping your skin whilst on chemo and afterwards to help women grow and restore their confidence.

A white woman with long dark hair wearing a white shirt

Ky Hoyle

A childhood ambition to become a missionary didn’t turn out quite the way her young self imagined, but Sh! founder, Ky Hoyle did grow up to be a woman on a mission. She opened the UK’s first women’s ‘erotic emporium’ in the early 1990s, after a nightmarish failed attempt to buy a vibrator in Soho. Established on £700, Sh! grew into a multi award-winning brand dedicated to women’s sexual wellbeing, revolutionizing the UK’s sex toy industry and leading a sea change in attitudes towards female sexuality.

A middle aged white man in a shirt, tie and glasses is smiling. Behind him is a blue background.

Elvin Box 

Elvin is a Chartered Builder and Freelance Organisation Development consultant. An acclaimed international speaker and writer, his story-telling style has led to invitations to work with Oxford University and the International Criminal Court in The Hague. When he was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer in 2016, Elvin became an ambassador for Movember. Elvin regularly appears on TV, radio, national press and social media to advocate for frank discussions about sexual and mental health.

Beth McCann, RN

(bio forthcoming, but she is AMAZING, trust us)

A white man with curly brown hair and a pink t-shirt smiles into the camera.

Brian Lobel (Co-Founder, Sex with Cancer)

Brian Lobel is a performer and educator who is interested in creating work about bodies and how they are watched, policed, poked, prodded and loved by others. Brian has dedicated his life to the exploration of cancer and its effects on those living with and beyond cancer, with a particular focus on unheard voices. Last year, his book Theatre & Cancer was published. Brian is a Professor of Theatre & Performance at Rose Bruford College and the co-founder of The Sick of the Fringe. His work has been shown internationally from Harvard Medical School, to Sydney Opera House, to the National Theatre.

An Asian woman in profile wearing a blue t-shirt and her hair in a top knot. Her chin rests on her left fist.

Joon Lynn Goh (Co-Founder, Sex with Cancer)

Joon Lynn is a cultural organiser, producer and instigator working across art and culture, migrant movements, popular education and solidarity economies.  She is inspired by communities of colour and diaspora as protagonists of social change, and experimental art practices which facilitate collective research and rehearsal. Joon Lynn is co-recipient of Champion of the Year, Women on the Move Award 2016, received a Diverse Actions Leadership Bursary from Live Art UK in 2017, and declined an MBE for Services to Equality in Bristol in 2019.

Keep an eye on the #SexWithCancer discussion by heading to Facebook or Instagram for announcements on dates and how to get involved. This project is for ages 16+.