Man shops for new penis after amputation
When it came to finding a replacement penis, Richard Stamp knew he needed to shop around.
Stamp, the 54-year-old star of Britain's new Channel 5 documentary Shopping For A New Penis, was diagnosed with penile cancer after discovering a lump in 2018.
Now, the Londoner with 20 years experience as an actor and circus clown is on a quest to find the perfect penile replacement. The journey, he said, has shown him "what the world has to offer," from inflatable prosthetics to stem-cell regeneration.
After discovering a lump and mounting pain while travelling in Cambodia, Stamp waited two months before seeing a physician in Adelaide, South Australia. He recalled how his doctor, coincidentally named Dr Cox, delivered the difficult diagnosis, telling him that his "c**k's going to come off".
"Everything was spinning around," he told the Mirror. "That (was) the worst moment of my lifetime."
He later sought a second opinion at St George's Hospital in London, home to Europe's leading penile oncologists. The pain, he had told doctors, had "built up over time," so that even penetration "really hurt".
As a result, the father-of-two from a previous marriage had begun avoiding sex with his now-ex-partner Angie. They had been together two years before finding out that Stamp's penis would have to be amputated.
"I'm really angry I let it get that far. I feel a complete fool. I could kick myself, because I could have saved it," he said.
As the surgery to remove his penis got closer, he felt an increasing sense of dread.
"I remember before the operation, thinking, 'I'm going to run away,'" he said. "Then the realisation is where am I going to run to? If I don't do this, I'm going to die. Maybe it sounds crazy if you're not a bloke, but living without a penis makes you question who you are."
After the surgery and his split from Angie, Stamp managed to cultivate a sex life with other women, albeit a challenging one.
"I was grateful I could still orgasm," he said, without sharing exact details, "but then I had to work out how to do that with a partner, how to share my new body with someone. But some women don't mind."
After travelling the world to meet with surgeons and discuss the possibilities, Stamp is now making plans for a full penile reconstruction, or phalloplasty, in February.
The surgeries will involve a graft from the arm and buttocks to create the skin over an implant, which is fitted with a pump that can provide on-demand erections. The process will take approximately three 13-hour operations.
Stamp, now a motivational speaker for UK-based men's cancer charity Orchid, hopes his story will empower the men who feel shamed or scared into silence, and educate those who aren't aware of the disease.
"It's such a taboo thing to talk about and to experience, and when I found I had penile cancer, I had no idea it even existed," he said.
"So the message to every man watching this documentary is if there's something up, get it checked. If you've got a girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever, hopefully you'll be able to talk to them. If you're on your own, then talk to a friend. The main thing is you must talk to someone. Don't stick your head in the sand like I did."
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Man shops for new penis after amputation