Let’s talk about sex! Now this can be a subject some people shy away from yet think about a lot! I personally don’t see why having an ostomy should prevent you from having a fulfilling sex life, like any other normal human being.
Firstly how long after your surgery to have sex is purely down to personal preference and secondly at the beginning it is completely normal to experience some pain. However I found that changing to different positions can ease the pain or be pain free, it’s about being open and honest about how you are feeling with your body, to yourself and your partner. Never keep going just to please someone else, sex is about two people coming together for fun and/or love.
I have to say I am pretty lucky that with my surgery I had been married 4.5 years to 00Steve and he knew this surgery was going to give him his wife back. I was very anxious about how he would feel with regards to my body and if he still would think I am sexy or not. In fact I remember having a bag on before my surgery to get a feel for it and try my clothes on etc I stood starkers in front of him and just straight up and asked “do you still think I’m sexy?” He literally looked me up and down and said “the bag not so much but you still are”, which to others can sound a bit like he wasn’t being nice but in his 00Douche roundabout way he was giving me a compliment.
The things that have been an issue however small for us in the bedroom have more been along the lines of:
- the bag can be scratchy by the opening,
- my stoma gurgling,
- impromptu encounters where my bag isn’t empty.
However these have since been easily remedied by:
- wearing lingerie or stoma covers
- emptying regularly or finding a different position
I think both men and women worry more about what their partner is going to think than what their partner actually does! But if someone truly loved you it shouldn’t be an issue just an adjustment.
I personally love Jasmine Stacey Collection for lingerie and actually own 4 sets out of the 7 she has released! 00Steve also loves them too which helps making presents for him easier as I get underwear and he gets me! She does have some of her range that are perfect for intimate moments such as the Ravine bodysuit which has poppers (guys like to feel they are tearing clothes off or at least that’s what films lead you to believe!) Ivory Classics has a crotch you can part and the Black Classics Ouvert brief has no bum!
Feeling sexy is a big part of having sex especially with an ostomy, but so is intimacy and that doesn’t always mean full on sex. Foreplay, kissing, massage, cuddling, nice music and candles can all help intimacy and your confidence and sex appeal rise. Talk about your worries get them out in the open and hopefully your partner can reassure you it’s nonsense really and they want to jump your bones regardless!
For the times it is planned like for instance you have little kids or it’s you wanting a little spice there are a few things you can do in preparation with regards to your stoma for instance:
- emptying your bag
- popping in some gelling agent like morform
- using an odour eliminator such as ostomist
- wearing something that makes you feel sexy
- setting the mood ie candles, music even food
- remembering you are sexy, stoma and all
So for those urostomates out there if any hanky panky is going to take place please remember you may have your night bag attached and I have been told that is a bit uncomfortable when it tugs you the other way!
So I don’t have the best self confidence and it’s even lower since having a baby, because of societies unrealistic pressures and ideas. However 00Steve took these photos round the side of our house to help me realise that in reality after having four abdominal surgeries two of which were to bring my beautiful babies into the world; that I don’t look like a sausage bursting out of the casing!
The same is after surgery it does take time to adjust to looking in a mirror and seeing the bag, some people have even said they have grieved for their bodies previous appearance and even though that isn’t how I dealt with it, it is a perfectly healthy and normal reaction. So if you need time to feel attractive again, take that time because there is always a chance that before you know it you have forgotten you ever felt unsexy! Just keep positive.