Tips for Supporting a Partner with an Ostomy?

Dec 07, 2016 12:06 pm

I've recently taken up a casual sexual relationship with a friend whom I hadn't seen for 15 years. He hasn't said so, but from piecing together a few clues, I think he has had a colostomy or ileostomy. He has Crohn's, and when we went to bed, he kept his shirt on, trying to cover something around his waist. I thought it was like an athletic support for his stomach or back at the time, but there was a third clue in something obscure he said.

It doesn't bother me, but I'd appreciate any tips to avoid making him feel uncomfortable - emotionally or physically. Like, should I avoid touching his stomach?

I'm sure you will want to respond with "Talk to him about it," but since he is trying to hide it and I could even be wrong in my assumption, I don't want to be - or think I should be - the one to bring it up.

Dec 07, 2016 7:11 pm

I posted under the topic "Sex". In case you have not seen it, here it is again. Some useful information from the Canadian Cancer Society. I hope the link works for you. The site would not let me paste the PDF file here. I would like to know if the link works and if you found the booklet useful.

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First off, this is a pretty cool site with 34,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

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Dec 07, 2016 10:38 pm

Thanks, Alberta, though barely any of it was relevant to my situation or question.

Dec 08, 2016 2:29 am


I believe honesty is the best policy. If you have a question about why he seems to be holding something back from you, ask it. If he is not ready to talk about it, then give him some time. I would treat him like you would any other person.

Dec 08, 2016 3:08 am

Hey Kyra, I'm not sure there's a problem here. Obviously he's hiding something. Obviously, you're curious. I think there's a difference between pure honesty and turning ourselves inside-out. No pun intended. I think, if your physical relationship is satisfying, enjoy it. If it matures emotionally so might the level of his comfort in sharing with you. I hope you two can make the best of what you have and, who knows where it can go from there?

Good luck,


Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Past Member
Dec 19, 2016 4:39 pm

Nothing wrong with saying something like "Hey, I noticed you're wearing a support band. Did you injure your back?".

If he's open to talking about the ostomy, then he will at that point. If he brushes it off, then he's not ready.

Dec 20, 2016 1:50 pm

Don't even think about it, just grab him by the dong and he won't be uncomfortable long!

Dec 21, 2016 3:02 pm

You are absolutely correct. Just grab anything that is showing and just treat it like he is whole and no different than a man without the extra baggage. I have had mine for 44 years and the more my partner lets me know how comfortable they are with it, it puts me more at ease.

Sep 09, 2017 11:19 pm

I agree with Mike above.

Just proceed as if he is not hiding anything or you had not noticed. At the big reveal, you should continue in the same vein. He's deeply embarrassed and insecure about his ostomy. Don't back him into a corner with "we need to talk," it's likely to scare him away. If you care for this fella and think the relationship has legs, just continue on as you would normally. Just act as if you do not notice anything and proceed. You helping to rebuild his confidence and feelings is acceptance. Bravo to you.

Sep 10, 2017 10:30 am


Yes, that is good advice. Up to the moment and you both will want to enjoy the moment but...after??

Just by asking the question, you've shown you care for this man. I applaud you for that, but even a casual sexual relationship is an intimate act and I think a certain amount of honestly sharing thoughts is pretty much required. But I don't mean by dropping a bomb and getting all serious and losing the good feelings.

I hope I would be able to say "I obviously like you very much, but is there something between us right now?" Like jokingly. Even that could be offsetting, as I wouldn't want to be assuming the wrong thing and find out I'm way off track.

Hopefully talking about it makes you even more comfortable being together.


Apr 16, 2023 5:09 pm
Reply to Kyra

I would just act like nothing until he decides to disclose it to you. There's not much to know for the person not having one, but if he does disclose it to you just let him be the lead as to any other information he wants you to know about it. Everyone is different. Me, I tell everyone lol! I don't like the idea of having to hide behind it and if I have an accident I feel less embarrassed but everyone is different and their feelings for privacy and embarrassment are different.