Naimnut, I believe we have similar prostate stats. I can’t recommend robotic surgery enough, as I have said in other posts. The precision that the doctor can use to get the cancer out and the magnified view of the area, as well as the precise stitching that the doctor can do to sew the urethra and bladder back together made it a no brainer for me above the other way of doing surgery. I chose surgery because I am young enough not to want to mess around with radiation as the first line treatment—doc’s stats of 91% cure rate with surgery, given my T1c stage, versus 75% cure rate with any kind of radiation, or the cryosurgery.
I, too, was concerned about the loss of that part (fluid) of the sexual function. I subsequently found that orgasms were better for me. I don't think that my experience is unique, but others contributing to the postings will expand this knowledge base. Pardon the graphic explanation below, but this is where we share information.
Men's sexual response has a number of facets: erection, rising muscle and psychological tension, sensations, ejaculation, and the other muscular contraction components of orgasm. When you get erections back after the surgery, the only thing missing from the whole mix is emission of semen, because the gland that makes the fluid is gone. The prostate also contributes to the pumping of the fluid, but I believe a majority of the pumping is done by the reflex contractions of the pelvic floor muscles and the muscles at the base of the penis. The nerves and muscles to these areas should not be affected by the surgery. The sensory nerves of the penis and deep in the pelvis which contribute to the increase of sexual tension should not be affected by prostate surgery (I can’t say what radiation will eventually do to the pelvic muscle and sensory nerves).
As is often said, the brain is the main sexual organ of the body, and this is where all of the sensations are put together. As long as sensations are intact, you can have orgasms with all the pelvic floor and penis muscle contractions, and the release of tension from the rest of the body, as before (minus the prostate’s contractions and the fluid), even without an erection. I know, because I have had them without an erection. The right nerve next to the prostate that controls erections was cut into during my surgery, and my doctor did a nerve graft to try to help get recovery to this function, but this is going to take some time to return.
The orgasms I have experienced are more intense, actually. Unlike Pete, I do have the contractions. I can totally agree with Pete about the surprise I got when I found out that they go on for a much longer time (I have since thought to myself, wow, if I’d have known this before, I’d have had my prostate out a long time ago!). Not just four or five contractions with emissions, but on and on! Once, as an experiment, with continued stimulation, the contractions went on for almost a minute, and, no lie, with multiple but smaller peaks. Don’t know why they go on longer when there is no prostate or fluid, but this seemed to be a nice compensation for loss of semen. Without this continued stimulation, I would agree with Pete that the sensation of the contractions trails off. Otherwise, the whole body experience is the same. If you weren't watching the penis, you wouldn't know it was different, except for the duration of the peak. Don’t worry, you will know when you are finished, but leave more time for it!
I believe the contractions, and thus the sensations and pleasure, can even be more intense, if one has built up the pelvic floor muscles with the Kegel exercises that are used for bladder control. I have been doing the exercises for years (as a health care provider, I taught the exercises to women for control of incontinence associated with movement or coughing, so I knew the benefit of them), way before the prostate cancer issue came up for me. I think that, maybe, this exercised state contributed to the stronger reflex muscle contractions during orgasm.
So, this is just my experience, and as all have said, everyone is different. But, best case scenario (in my opinion, with regard to orgasm), this is how I found it. I, too, would also be glad to answer any other questions you might have. Good luck on your planning.
All the best,