This subject is quite difficult to generalize because everyone is different, and every relationship is different.
Some people can’t bear to show their bodies to anyone, because mentally they are not able to come to terms with having a stoma. Others are very confident and don’t mind showing their bodies. I think the issues can lie with the partners too. If you find a loving caring person who loves you for you and doesn’t care about your issues, then the relationship will do well. If you meet someone who is reluctant to accept your stoma then they are shallow and you don’t need them in your life. There are always people like that out there, if it isn’t a stoma that bothers them it would be something else.
There is no shame in having scars and a stoma at all and you can still feel good about yourself with or without a partner.
I am lucky that my husband has been amazing and really doesn’t care about my stoma, but I heard about others not so lucky, and we are talking about husbands and wives who have been with their partners a long time, and can’t get over the fact that you have a stoma.
Approaching the subject to a potential partner is also a scary prospect for some, I have not had to do this but I imagine it takes courage to pick your moment. I do believe though that if you are accepting of it yourself, that is half the battle. If you don’t see it as a barrier then you might pass on that confidence. I would probably tell them early on, and then go into more details if you see them again.
Sex isn’t much different after surgery to be honest. Once you are healed, go ahead because you can’t really damage anything. Empty your bag, if you fancy wearing nice underwear there are plenty of lovely stoma underwear sites out there. You can get some great lacy stoma intimacy wraps if it bothers you. I don’t use one and the only thing that bothers me a bit is it can sometimes sound like a packet of crisps between you, so the wrap would help with that. You won’t squash your stoma either, they are tougher than you think. Just take your time and when you feel ready go for it.
It just takes that right person for you, and they are definitely out there.
Thank you. Your words have really helped me.