Boosting Intimacy with an Ileostomy: Share Your Secrets!

Jan 17, 2010 8:52 pm

I would like to share tips, secrets, anything that helps intimacy be more alluring to others. Don't be shy, I need answers.

Jan 17, 2010 9:49 pm
Take it from this "dirty old woman" are plenty alluring as is!
Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

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.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

Jan 17, 2010 10:44 pm

I too am in the same position, about to embark on a promising relationship but terrified of being rejected because of my stoma. I have a slim, attractive figure and some very sexy (sorry, but it is available and looks great). I am sure sex could be as fantastic as before surgery but have had no relationships since then before now. I am scared of rejection (aren't we all?)
Any confidence building advice from my new friends out there?
p.s. You really are gorgeous! Pity you're so young!!!!)

Jan 17, 2010 11:02 pm

I agree with my friend MaryA. I also am an old lady, but I ain't dead yet. A lot of young ladies should be glad to jump your bones! I would just advise you to tell them what you have. If necessary, show and tell. If she is turned off, hell, you don't need her. If she is interested, go for it. Not to be too rude or crude, you still have all the right equipment. You can go online for products that kinda hide the old bag (I'm not talking about me, the ostomy bag). Hee Hee.
Remember, if the sex is good, the wrapping paper doesn't matter.

Jan 17, 2010 11:10 pm

Just a couple of things I would like to share...............Some people will be able to overcome the issue and proceed as normal and some will not be able..........Just be ready for that.....

Second, I have found that the more you treat it as nothing, your partner will treat it the same...........Remember if you are about to be intimate and the juices are flowing in the right areas, there is nothing that should detract from that once the show goes on...........

I have had both good and interesting experiences, but nothing that can deter me from continuing in my quest....People in general are more understanding than you think (but there will always be those that run the other way).........

Go slow and with confidence........Michael

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jan 17, 2010 11:47 pm
Eddie, you and I know a good thing when we see it.    LOLOL
Jan 17, 2010 11:50 pm

Thank you beyond par!! You have really raised my spirits.
Great guy you are.

Past Member
Jan 17, 2010 11:53 pm

Sorry to be "Debbie-Downer," but you can forget it. I've been an ileostomate for six years now. I was 28 when it happened, now going on 35. Nobody wants to be anywhere near it. You finally have to forget all about it, otherwise you'll want to blow your brains out. It's the "punishment" of surviving whatever we had to survive that left us with this. Again, sorry to be so negative. I'm just speaking from my experience.

Jan 18, 2010 12:20 am

If I may add some thoughts here... For starters, maybe you just haven't met the right one yet. You have to stay in the game and maybe, just maybe, change the way you view it.
Interesting how you think it's the punishment (having the bag) for the suffering we went through, and I look at my ostomy as the greatest gift of my life and proceed with those feelings. I FIRMLY believe and live it this way. How I view it and embrace it is how my partner will view it and embrace it. When we are being intimate (the social animals we are), we inherently feed off of each other's feelings and emotions and then proceed with those feelings and emotions while being intimate or socially close. I call it the human dynamic, and it is what it is and can't be changed. What needs to change is us and how we act accordingly. We just have to learn to work within those parameters.

I wish you luck. I feel your pain through your words. Can I ask if you have sought out any help for the emotional stress I sense in your words? A counselor, if you will. Stay well and keep sharing. That's how we heal each other. Your friend, Michael.

Past Member
Jan 18, 2010 12:51 am

Hi. I've been in therapy for six years and have been on every antidepressant known to man. I know what reality is and this is it. What we have is one of the last taboos of human culture. It is a punishment, in my mind. Those are my feelings, I certainly hope that others do not feel the same and that they have great lives. I have not. My life has been a living hell over the last six years with no change in sight. It's a curse in my eyes. For others, I hope it is a positive thing. I'm glad you have made it positive for yourself. For me, it will never be.

Jan 18, 2010 12:58 am
Hi there
I think intimacy is still possible with a stoma.
My husband got his when he was 32, 2 years after we were married. I think we pretty much continued as always in that department. I loved him so much that I could not really imagine life without him and the colostomy was a small price to pay in exchange for his life. He is a very positive person, so he does not dwell on it very much. Obviously, there is all the usual ugly crap that goes with having one and it's not easy to get used to, but he never convinced himself that he was no longer sexually attractive. That made things a lot easier for me. The truth is I never even see it or think of it when I look at him, the colostomy has nothing to do with the person he is and has no bearing on the way I see him.
-That being said, I do have to add that it is best to shower right before sex. Like, the other person can really smell it if their nose is right up against it. He forgets sometimes and still acts like that issue isn't there, but I have to tell him it stinks and he needs to shower. At first, it would really upset him, but we are at a point where he just takes the tip and does what he needs to do.
-Also, oral if there is something in the bag is a little bit gross. Honestly, I am not crazy about that whole thing and I guess he knows that because he does not press me to do it. However, after a shower and a fresh bag, it's perfectly fine.

I know it's different when you just meet a person for the first time and have to tell them about the colostomy, but I still think it can turn out well with the right person.
If it's just casual sex, then I am sure you can conceal it to some extent.
If it's a relationship, I would wait a while before telling the person, like wait until they are completely into you and then explain. Honestly, it's really not disgusting or disturbing at all once a person gets used to it. We barely even think about it anymore. To us, it's just a matter of fact part of life and we share it like any other mundane thing.
The bag even burst all over me one day when we were having sex. Once again, not grossed out, just showered and moved on. I think the right person would understand.

I hope this helps even a little.
Past Member
Jan 18, 2010 1:23 am

Yikes. That post totally made me want to throw up. You just proved my point that intimacy/sex with an ileostomy or colostomy is just disgusting and no one wants to do it with someone that has one. It's clear you don't!!

Jan 18, 2010 1:33 am

I'm going to put some things in perspective quickly before this gets out of control... I'm watching the TV and seeing the destruction and rubble and the mass burying in mass graves of many Haitians where the families will not even have a private burial for their loved ones... Now that's something to be very sad about...

Chris, you have your health and your mind and enough food... So in my book, you are good to go...
Chris, I'm gonna be blunt here... Put it in perspective. There is intimacy on many fronts... Mental, emotional, and yes, physical... Start with the mental intimacy and then emotional intimacy, and I can assure you will get all the physical intimacy you could want... But to just focus on the physical (penis and vagina stuff) is not gonna cut it on this site for me to read and continue to respond to... You are not a teenager. You are a grown man and need some assistance in getting things in the right order, that's all... Please, try and not be so negative... That's all... Michael

Jan 18, 2010 2:26 am

That is absolutely not true!
Maybe my post came out wrong. I was just trying to be honest as well as helpful.
I absolutely want to have sex with my husband and I think if I met him now with the colostomy and he was the same person he is now, I would still be as attracted to him as usual. We have an amazing relationship and an amazing sex life. The fact is it's an honest relationship between two people that are human.
The reality of the situation is it's not pleasant. As you know, no one would choose to have a colostomy. No one would honestly say it's no big deal no matter how positive a person you are. We have both been through bouts of depression about the whole thing from time to time. But my point was that the intimacy part is as good as always. I look at my husband and I see the same sexy person I married. He has no problem walking around naked in front of me. He still dresses up for me and wants to look good for me, he still flirts with me, he still initiates sex as much as he used to. The colostomy part is nothing to me and my point is that there have got to be tons of people out there that feel the same way.
The only thing is, precautions have to be taken before engaging in sexual acts to make sure everything is fine. It is the very same precaution I take when I plan to be intimate, I want to make sure everything is fine on my end. Maybe when you have the colostomy, you have to face the fact that it may take more effort to take the precautions. It used to tie me up in knots deciding if I should tell my husband the truth and I finally decided to do it. I don't say it hurtfully, we joke around about the whole thing.
Honestly, I did not mean to make you sick. I feel very badly.
Like I said, I was just trying to show that it can be done and work out in the end.
I guess I am just not that good a writer.

Jan 18, 2010 2:28 am

I totally agree with you beyondpar, it's so hard reading Christopher's negative comments about intimacy being an ostomate..
I am 33, sexually active with a temporary colostomy.. My husband has been fabulous throughout the entire experience and it has not altered our sex life at all.

Christopher, I hope that you accept your ileostomy as a gift of life one day, and that you do find happiness.


Jan 18, 2010 2:30 am

Hi there
Some advice from a person who has been there, then had hers removed, then now there again.. I have not let my colostomy bag get in the way with intimacy. It has only made me more excited about the challenge it has left me. Um, how can I somewhat hide this appliance and still look sexy to my mate??? Well, we all know how men love or most garter belt and stockings, so I've (not a fantastic sewer but all the same) made one that was just a little bit wider than normal and added some beautiful lace, and let me tell you, it worked...
And just when his hand journeyed its way to that location, I would guide it to a more appealing area. Just be more inventive, and like so many have mentioned, if it's the right lady, it will not matter. I think using some quick fix dressing such as wound care bandage just enough to cover your appliance should do the trick. Most women fall for the wounded lol.... it's that nurturing instinct that gets us every time... I hope this will help you... Good luck and keep us posted... your friend Denise

Past Member
Jan 18, 2010 2:56 am

I'm just speaking about my experience of six years as an ostomate. I'm glad for anyone who has an ostomy that still has the luxury of an intimate life. I do not and have not been able to find one in the six years since my surgeries. I hate my ostomy. That's honest. I hate it and what it's done to my life. Sure, other people have it worse, I'm not saying that I have it worse than most. Other people are other people, they aren't living in my mind or body. I am living my life, my reality is my reality. I hate my reality. I believe, notice I said I believe, it's one of the cruelest things that could be done to a person. Some things are worse than death. Just my experience. I applaud others who have found happiness and life after their surgeries. I have not.

Jan 18, 2010 3:00 am

Christopher, I feel for you that you have had such a horrible experience with your ostomy, I really do. But that doesn't give you the right to comment like you did on Vicktoria's post and try to make her feel horrible about what she shared.
I'm going to take a guess here and make an observation....maybe it isn't your ostomy that people don't want to be around, perhaps it's your attitude. I don't intend for that to be hateful or mean at all, it's a fact.
Food for thought.

Past Member
Jan 18, 2010 3:21 am

You're hot

Jan 18, 2010 3:47 am

I am what seems a little younger than most of the posters. I got my ileostomy when I was just 19, and today I am 26. I didn't date right after I had the ostomy and that wasn't due to anything other than that I was still sick and focusing on getting better. Within the past four years, I have been in the "dating" world. I told some and didn't tell others. I think that how you approach the subject is part of how the person reacts to this info. Obviously, I don't tell about it right away. I have actually found that my ostomy is a good "jerk" detector. If the guy is only after that one thing, then he can keep on walking because, well, let's face it, there is not really any intimacy until he knows and we're in a relationship. I have had a relationship with the ostomy, and he didn't care. It didn't last, and I am back out there being single. The first couple of times were weird and very self-conscious on my part, but after a while, it didn't get in the way. I agree with the post that said take a shower and then change it before, but I learned to give several hours between the shower and changing before getting physical. I have a two-pouch system, and I don't change both except for once a week. I would try not to do anything the day before it needed to be changed. I would sometimes wear camis and let the straps fall and just keep the cami around my waist; this hid the pouch and kinda felt like it gave me some protection at the same time. I haven't found Mr. Right, and I have high hopes that he is out there. I have had both reactions to it, and I just keep reminding myself that the ones that didn't react well are the ones I don't want. I just try to keep a positive outlook on things, and I have faith that things will work out well.

Jan 18, 2010 3:50 am

I have to say, Christopher has scared the crap out of me! I am still recovering from an unplanned, emergency ileostomy (Sept 09) and my hubby and I have not yet been intimate (due to my pain mainly). He hasn't mentioned sex to me once - no pressure at all - and I feel as guilty as heck.
I am very self-conscious about the whole thing and every time I look at myself, I cry. I know he still finds me attractive and tries to play down the whole issue, but I have to learn to accept myself as I am (for now) and just deal with it. I'm not there yet, but I will get there. It's not easy, but with the right person, it's not a death sentence either.
Christopher, I am sorry you are having such a difficult time and I am glad you are here as you are obviously looking for some support. Everyone here is here to provide support and encouragement to each other as well as get some questions answered. We all have bad days, some more than others, but try to focus on the good ones. I hope you find and accept the friendship and support from all in these forums, as I have.

Jan 18, 2010 3:54 am

Hellooooo---- I'm 26 and have a temporary ileostomy... It was hard to get accustomed to at the beginning, but I'd rather be healthy than struggle with UC for another minute in my life. As far as sex... Honestly, I never had any issues with sex before or after surgery... Actually, sex when I had UC... I rarely enjoyed it because I never knew if... whoops, I might have an accident during a hot peak. NOW... it's F'n Amazing!!!!!... My partner has been there for me all the way through and doesn't look at me or make me feel any different than before. Yes, I did feel a bit insecure the first time, but he didn't make me feel uncomfortable at all! Shortly after, we talked about it and he loves me, not my stoma! If someone is into you and they understand and want to be with you all the way, not halfway. As someone said before, act normal or more like it's not a big deal... Remember, you are better this way than sick!

Chris - I'm sure you feel this way because you haven't had any luck with the women you choose to associate with... Like I say, "if you think negative, negativity will be!" Just try to be positive and you will see change in many ways. Hate and death are two strong words! Lighting up your health and your life can change if you want to change. So make the best out of it! I'm sure there's someone that does want to be with you for who you are.

Good luck, guys!

Jan 18, 2010 4:08 am

Canaussie-- I too had my unplanned surgery in September 2009- going for the second part in February...
Hun, don't feel bad. You will be fine. It takes time to adjust, but I'm sure you're busy with lots in your life with your husband. He loves you and I'm sure he wants to be with you. Just slowly grow into having intimacy with him.

Jan 18, 2010 4:43 pm

Hi there
From someone who has been there and back. Maybe this can help... When I look down at my ileostomy, I'm like, "Okay, not so attractive or sexy, but ummm, let's see what I can do??"
My adventurous, challenging side came out. With a little creativity (not a great sewing, but all the same), I know how men adore garter belts and stockings, so I made one just a little bit wider than the ones you'd buy in the store and added a little sexy lace to it. And trust me, when you're in the moment, it's all good... my mate said he doesn't even see it.
Also, when his hand journeys up to that area, I just guide it back to a more alluring area...
I am one of those people who will not let my appliance fill up. I empty it as often as possible.
Also, for odor (have not had much of a problem with that), but I follow the food suggestion to help this matter. But for those of you who have it, they say adding mouthwash to your bag will help.

Now, men, what could help is using wound care bandages to cover your bag. Just fold your bag and cover it with dressing... trust me, no one will even know it's there (appliance), and most women's natural nurturing instincts come out when there are scars or dressings... lol
That's for those who are with someone new or maybe even those in a long relationship.

Hope this helps and don't give up... take it as a challenge and be creative.
Sincerely, Denise

Jan 18, 2010 6:32 pm

I use a ten-inch wide strap I got at a medical supply store. It is made from elastic material and completely covers the stoma area. If you find a "good woman," a stoma is not an issue. Just don't leave anything as a surprise. Don't forget communication is the cornerstone of a good relationship. I hope that may help... Mark

Jan 18, 2010 7:23 pm

Well, I have to say something on your posting, and I will try to be nice but your husband did not ask for what happened to him. And to me, you talk like you're talking down to him like you're all that. He has been through a lot dealing with his issues. Your statements really come across as you being really shallow of a person. I'm sure you don't smell like roses every day, and if I remember, the wedding vows say "for better or worse". This is my opinion on Victoria's post.

Jan 18, 2010 8:08 pm

I am ready to take any tomatoes you may want to throw at me. I realize that religion is not PC but as a Christian, I do not want to be marginalized for my faith.
Christopher, you use the word "punishment" over and over. Punishment implies a crime or crimes that you have committed. What are they? What have you done that is so evil? What have we all done that is so evil that we deserve punishment? Actually, we all have sinned in our lives, that is part of our nature and we can't avoid that. But we can accept the love God extends to us as sinners through Christ. Any idea that we are unforgivable and thus need to be punished is evil and is a lie through Satan. You need to tell the old creep to back off and go away, you are loved by God. Then you need to know that God created you (you did not emerge from the primordial ooze) in order to get to know you and love you. If you have a relationship in which you take your pain to Him and listen to Him, I think you will learn that you are punishing yourself far more than anyone else is. Try to help others in some way, in whatever manner you choose. Maybe at work, or school or whatever life you lead. Forget about the bag and concentrate on love that you can give and you will receive it.
Hopping down off the soapbox now. Get ready to fire those tomatoes, but please! Not stinky rotten ones.

Jan 18, 2010 10:31 pm

Hi. I'm new to this site as of today and glad I found this discussion. I've had my ostomy since age 27 and now I'm 56. I married the man I was dating at the time of my surgery and we were married for 15 or 16 years. I've had 2 other very long-term relationships with one being 3 years (he's still my BFF) and one for 8 years. The 8-year relationship was really the best but it ended about a year ago because he was having commitment problems (whatever). The ostomy was never an issue in my relationships with the right man. I'm not into sleeping around. I truly believe there are great and sincere men out there for me as well as great women out there for the men who are seeking a relationship. The only thing I worry about is being stranded on a deserted island without my supplies for the rest of my life. LOL. Eventually, I'll find another relationship with the right person but not panicking too much at this point. I recently had a short-term (one month) fling that didn't work out, and I think it was because of my ileostomy, but that's OK. It happens. I'm not done trying to find another wonderful man in my life. Christine

Jan 18, 2010 10:37 pm
Hi Chris, I think these are some really strong words and truly hope they are just a momentary state of mind. I looked around the forum and I found something very positive you said in the past, in another topic:

I hope you get back on your feet and overcome the negative emotions built up inside you.
Jan 18, 2010 11:34 pm

Way to go Mark...........I too found that passage and Chris I am sure you are reading this...You have helped others by those words and now it's our turn to be supportive of you and your journey.....Life is a roller coaster and you have had your ups and downs......This too shall pass and I agree with Mark that we hope your current malaise is just a passing moment in your journey to understanding............Hang in there........There is so much love and understanding on this site that together we all will overcome.........Sending lots of love your way..........We are all still here..........Michael