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How do you tell someone your dating that you have an ostomy?

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:27 pm
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You were right.  I did miss  that your remarks were directed to PB's post.  I guess I really put my foot in my mouth.  I will be more careful and observant from now on.

I really appreciate your admonishment and advice.  I will only look in the mirror from now on when someone tells me I should.......however I don't quite know what you meant by "read more intensly"?
These are the top 5 issues ostomates face:

1. Dating and relationships
2. Concealing the pouch
3. Foods to eat and avoid
4. Losing or gaining weight
5. Pouch ballooning

Check out this video from MeetAnOstoMate.
Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:54 pm

Nice to see that someone admits when they mis-understood something. I appreciate it. TY.

Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:50 pm
I have just started dating again after being married for most of my life.  My first date went like this - He told me about his grandkids, how drunk he got the night before and had a hang over and at this point I just wanted to get out of there and the opportunity arose.  He said "I have a pacemaker",  I told him I got one up on you - I have a colostomy.  Never saw him again.  Will be meeting another gentleman for coffee this week - hope this works out better than the last one.  Just a note - my husband couldn't deal with the colostomy but that was his problem not mine.  I was the same person but with added baggage.  Sorry for the pun but I really find humor in having an ostomy.
Past Member
Mon May 07, 2012 9:33 am
Hi Callie, had the same problem,i got on with the person i was dating and on the second one told him i had an ileostomy  and i never heard again.
Past Member
Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:00 pm
i have managed to have a sexual relation without him finding out. even though was worrying and maybe feel quilty not told him.(!)
didnt eat all that day, nerves, so that may helped keep bag from filling!
answer was to place bag on sideways
cover area with band of black nylon, sim to some ladies boxers in black nylon, (by which i mean kind of wore around my abdomen, and my back) and also wore a soft sexy basque. had to keep watch on where hands wondered too! But all in all a success!

Past Member
Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:10 am
How do you think he will react once he has found out that you have one? I have had a relation ship with one guy but it ended as we werent compatible, being honest is the best way. You went to great lengths to conceal it, how long can you keep that up for and if you fall in love etc what then.
Past Member
Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:32 am
Lucky man getting to see you in a sexy basque!
If you only want a quickie I can't see any problems, but if you want a relationship it needs trust and love.
Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:06 pm
If you have to hide yourself, you're definitely not ready for a sexual relationship.
Just my opinion.  Value and honor yourself.  The rest will follow.
Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:47 pm
bag_n_drag wrote:


This made me think of a song by the late George Younce......a wonderful parody sung to the tune of "Side by Side!"  

This was meant solely as something to make us smile....not to insult or make light of a sensitive and powerful subject/thread.  Sometimes we need a laugh to get us through the day!

This sidetrack conversation reminds me of a joke I heard on Johnny Carson that went something like:

A man married the most beautiful woman in the world and on their wedding night, when she removed her make up, he realized she was ugly.  Then she removed her wig and he realized she was bald.  She removed her bra and he realized she was flat-chested.  She kept removing things... and removing things... until he realized...
He was all alone in the room.  

It went something like that.  Smile
Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:55 am

"Oh what a tattered web we weave when we practice to deceive."

Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:01 pm
I hear ya'!  I really worried about that when I started dating again.  I am 42 and divorced by the way.  I have found that when the relationship starts getting more physical it's best to have "the talk".  I sit them down in person and in private and say that I need to tell them something about myself so that it's not a surprise. I then take their hand and place it on the bag and say "can you feel that?" then I tell them that I have Crohn's disease and that a few years ago it was necessary to remove my colon so I now have this bag instead.  I ask them if they have questions and I usually ask them how they feel about that.  I will tell you that I have never had anyone reject me.  It has actually been a non-issue.  I wouldn't bother telling someone sooner than that.  Let the relationship progress a little first.  As far as during intimacy, I generally tape my bag to my body and I usually wear a camisole top or tank top. I do like to cover it but I have also found that this is MY issue NOT theirs.  I have had the comment more than once that they would rather I showed my body.  It doesn't bother them.  I think if you are confident about yourself the rest takes care of itself.
Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:09 pm
You're absolutely right.  It's a matter of confidence.  I wear an opaque appliance (thank you, Dansac).  About 12  years ago, I re-met my high school boyfriend.  I was kind of horrified as he remembered a very nubile 17-year old. (I'm now 67). But he did the most wonderful thing.  He put his hand on my abdomen, after I told him all that had transpired, and he said "I love this part of you, because it has allowed us to meet again."  Unfortunately, we did not get along in other areas, but he hit the nail on the head with that statement.  If someone really cares about you, they will appreciate your life-saving surgery.
Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:24 pm
I am only just over 3 months out of the hospital. I spent 6 months "on tour" at various hospitals with not 1 but 2 emergency surgeries. First one gave me an ileostomy that didn't work. New one does. (Whew!)
I am just starting to be able to walk straight after having to favour the scar so long. The bag is one thing but the deep scar with an illusion of rolls alongside is what makes me feel unattractive. And yet!! libido is back...hahaha. I surprise myself! Smile
I have nervously tried a traditional website for dating but found that even without having to reveal my "condition" it has been hard to find someone that resonates with my spiritual walk. I figure that someone with a desire to live consciously will also be more inclined to be accepting of my "outdoor plumbing" Smile  (Love that line!)
Alllll that said, I think it will probably be in the presentation of the info that sets the tone....just like a couple of members have mentioned. If I present it kindly and with optimism  it would be the same as how I present myself even without this situation. And if it isn't received well after that, then better to know now. It helps me to see alllll people as wonderful magnificent beings. Just that some are not going to resonate with me.

Past Member
Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:29 am
I always make sure to empty the bag before intimacy. Then I either keep a shirt on or wear a tube top around the bag. Gives complete coverage.
Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:57 pm
Hey there,

Well I have read through all your wonderful ideas and advice, I like the fact that I can now call the bag a bandage, it's really cool. I have been daring this guy and his such a gentleman, retired from the military. I some what feel he would probably  understand as just been in the military. Well after reading through and especially Jeffrey message, I realize its not fair not to mention my bandage.

Last night we had a wonderful time at his place, he cooked and we watched a movie. He never rushed into kissing just the stroking and holding my hand. Each time he tried to hold my stomach I would find a way to push him off. At one point I realized he was starring at my stomach. He walked me to my car and he surprising kissed me, I didn't expect it. So it ended up like one of those rush kiss that ends up on half cheek and half

He waited for me to leave. He already sent me a text saying he likes answer..that's nice to know. Okay the thing about our dating is....we met at the post office, on our telephone conversation he told me he is looking for a very serious relationship a wife. I was honest with him from day one. When he gave me his number I told him this is something I don't do. Anyway one our first sat I told him I would only like to be friend, but somehow I feel his into me and I know I should tell him, it's not that I don't want to. I just don't know how to start its sooooooooooo hard. I have no problem of being rejected, that's what life is and moving on. This may sound silly but anyone has suggestions. I don't want to show him a video. I tried it once with an ex boyfriend. He quickly said is that it. We went into s serious relationship, but  noticed he was becoming distant after four years. I pushed him away because I was scared. I am very attractive but sometime put myself down. Well the ex boyfriend and i took a little break. I reached a point where I was really ready to commit with him. I called him to tell him how much I loved and wanted us to be serious. He told me he got married last week. I have never dated ever since for 7 years. Don't feel sorry for me Its made me stronger, this is why I find it safe to tell them I am looking for a friend. It's easy to tell a friend than someone who wants more. I feel it gives me a more controlling part and I will never be hurt again. If he walks...oh well we started as friends and we will still be friends.
Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:55 am
Hi all...

I have had a total colectomy due to colon cancer.  Everything is internal in my case, but still something that I must talk to those I date/like about.  My diet is limited to mostly white foods, roughage and whole grains don't get tolerated very well.

I take a combo of Immodium 3x a day with a fiber drink like Citracell 2x a day to help solidify the poop more like a normal bowel movement vs constant diarhea.  

But telling someone that I had colon cancer and had an operation to completely remove it and survive would be the first thing I told them in this discussion.  That usually leads to a bit of sympathy and a question on what I can eat and what I can do.  When to tell? When you meet someone and you think it clicks on many levels and before you get intimate.  It's hard, I know. but i also have Herpes, and that has support groups and meetup sites and singles dating sites and it is even harder to have that conversation cause it is something that is transmissible.

So having a bag, which I have heard good and bad about, is one thing, but it's just part of  you.  If they can't accept it, they may not be the right fit for the long run.  Definitely a website that has the right info as a referral for them is good too.  

I am hoping to meet someone on this site for dating who can accept my dietary challenges, smelly poop, beating cancer, as well as safe sex and herpes.  Please send me a note if you are interested and best to all.

Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:55 pm
Hello Jazzygirl52,
Why do you feel the need to tell a person you may date for only a few times(if you don't like him or vica versa) that you have a colectomy? which as you say is internal.
Okay, the diet problem may be something someone would ask you questions about. So if you go on a date, decide to go where an activity that doesn't mean having a meal. See a movie or a play or go to a museum.
I would say for sure not to tell a date every thing until you have been out with him for at least a dozen or so times. If his feelings are real and you think the relationship could develop then you start with the Herpes, as I would think this kind of information would be more of a thing that would effect them in a more personal way. Guess you could say that someone will go or stay with that kind of information. For me, I think to tell the most serious facts about yourself first means if they can take that on board, then the rest which is more of a problem for you should be less of ball breaker.
I think too if you do tell any date about your health issues, I would put it in not a dramatic way, more light hearted.
Hope I have given you some kind of help.
I do wish you lots of luck with any future date. Just take it a day at a time.
Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:57 pm
Thanks G--

Appreciate your thoughts and suggestions!

I do think the sharing process of personal info in dating has to happen sooner than 12 weeks--
Most singles that I know usually get more intimate after 3-4 dates/weeks... So before that happens I would have a few conversations about health and life experiences . I prefer to date men who have HSV already-- there is a dating site or 3 or 4 for that as at least 1/4 peeps have it.
Avoiding food conversations can work I guess if the dates are diet friendly:)

Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:20 am

hey all, when I met my partner, I told her pretty much straight away, we knew each other for a while before we started "dating" I was open and upfront about it, and hey 14 years down the road were still together,if the person wants to be with you, they will accept you have a stoma and maybe sometime you will "fart" at the wrong moment, or in my case piss on them!!.


be lucky people.



Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:10 am

Hi, I've had an ileostomy for quite a long time now and coping with it as well as anyone.

When I got divorced 10+ years ago, I worried that my sex life was over as no-one would want to sleep with someone like me with a bag stuck on their stomach.   I was feeling a bit down and felt sorry for myself.

My approach was somewhat different to what seems to be the regular advice given here.

Initially I ventured into the strange unknown world of massage parlours, and discovered that Manchester, not too far away, had an abundance of them.  Lacking in confidence, I was initially apprehensive about entering one of these establishments, but finally took the plunge. The ladies I met were very welcoming, most saw the elasticated belt I was wearing and immediately guessed what it was covering, telling me they'd had many clients with a bag before and not to worry.     It may be looked down on by some, but it certainly picked me up at a time when I was feeling pretty low and needed picking up.

Re-assured that such things were still possible for someone like me, my next step was speed-dating.  Initially nervous and embarrassed to be there, there was absolutely no need to be, as everyone was in the same boat.  Over the next couple of years, I went numerous times, only actually paying the first time.  After that, the organiser would ring me up, usually on the afternoon before one of his nights, saying he had more ladies booked than men, would I like to come for free?  This tactic then enabled him to accept more paying ladies.  It seems there are more mature ladies wanting his services than mature men.  Who was I to complain?

I did also try computer dating, but I much preferred speed-dating, where you at least had 5 minutes face to face with someone before arranging a date, so had at least an idea of what to expect.

Every post about 'when to tell' says to discuss it before hand.  Quite honestly, I have never done that.  Quite the opposite in fact.  Each new relationship I have had, the first time we had sex was exactly the same as if I did not have a bag, and I did not mention it.  I would always make sure the bag was empty, and held firmly in place by an elasticated belt, (usually a hernia support belt supplied free by the NHS).  I now have several in various colours to match what I am wearing.

First time embarrasment maybe, but none of the ladies ever said a thing that first time.  Then, on the second or third time I would be asked why I was wearing the belt.  I would brush it off by a casual 'Oh, I had an operation there a few years ago, nothing to worry about'  and ended the discussion.  Usually the next time, I would be pressed for more information, when I would answer the question, but without going into too much detail.  Eventually I would go on to explain fully, but by then we would probably have slept together up to half a dozen times, so there was no need for me to say anything about it not affecting me in any way as they already knew.

Also, in a way in which I didn't so much when I was younger, I always went out of my way to ensure that she enjoyed herself fully, and wanted to do it again.  Looking back, I was a more selfish lover in my younger days.    Had I tried to explain before we had actually done it, I think we both would have found it embarrassing.  Waiting until after, she knew fully what it was like, and exactly what to expect from a relationship with me.

Admittedly this is from a man's perspective, so I cannot say it will work the same way for a woman, but when it comes to first time sex with a new partner, confidence is the key.  A confident woman, with her empty bag covered by a suitable sexy suspender belt should be able to steer her partners hands away from her bag without going into intimate detail about past surgery.  The new partner will probably be too unsure to ask too much on that first occasion.   After that, he knows enough of what is possible for him to then be told a little more if you choose.

As I said at the start, not the usual advice, just what has worked for me.

Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:06 pm

I take a different aproach, since I am a colon / colorectal cancer survivor, I have the right to feel good about still being here and have no problem acknowledging that I have an ileostomy. Surprisingly everyone around me seems to have no problem with it, and I assume this is because I make no big deal of it.
You may want to read my interview with a student journalist which was published in "The Rogue Magazine", you can read the article in my blog or at:

Also I posted the pictures of the article in "my Photo's"


Past Member
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:26 pm
Hello from Maine. I am here to let you know you are never alone. I send my salutations to my fellow Ostomate.
Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:34 pm

You be absolutely truthfully and to the point.  If they leave and do not give you a chance then they weren't worth it in the first place. Offer them a chance to ask any and all questions so they can understand.

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