Sex as a gay man with a stoma

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Doing it, making love, nookie, bonking, whatever you call it, let’s talk about S.E.X.

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Happy Pride Month everyone! This year isn’t flying, isn’t it? Or is that just me getting old!

Love. It’s already a complicated thing, right? Well chuck in ulcerative colitis, a stoma and being gay into the mix and you can really have yourself a party!

One thing that I don’t think is spoken about enough and it certainly wasn’t back in my day (omg, I really am old), is the different issues you face as a gay man having a barbie butt.

Barbie butt is the term used to describe a proctectomy, the procedure of removing the rectum, leaving the area resembling a barbie doll’s butt!

I’ll never regret having my proctectomy surgery, after all, it saved my life, but I think it’s important to highlight the issues that are faced by the LGBTQIA+ community after having surgeries that effect your romantic life.

Unachievable beauty standards

In a world of unachievable beauty standards, body image is always on our minds, leaving many of us battling with self-esteem issues.

It’s a known thing within the LGBTQIA+ community that gay men are often put on some sort of pedestal of being ‘perfect’. But perfection is something that doesn’t exist. Someone’s beauty isn’t determined by their shape or size.

Not just in the gay community but as humans, many are quick to judge those who have medical differences and ignore the fact that their fellow human has feelings. Having to use medical devices such as a stoma pouch can often lead to feelings of embarrassment, shame and fear of intimacy, feelings that don’t need to be exacerbated by some sh*tty person who wants to make someone feel worse about themselves.

On the days where I don’t feel “good enough”, I remind myself that my pouch saved my life and that’s not something anyone can change.

Gay relationships with no butt hole

Doing it, making love, nookie, bonking, whatever you call it, let’s talk about S.E.X.

Firstly, let’s start by saying that sex isn’t everything in a relationship, you can enjoy intimacy in so many different ways, cuddling, holding hands, kissing, whatever feels comfortable for you and your partner.

When referring to sexual relationships between gay men, you may have heard the terms ‘top’ and ‘bottom’, which are often used to describe preferred sexual positions.

The ‘bottom’ is typically the individual who receives penetrative intercourse, while the ‘top’ is the person who takes on a more active or penetrating role. I must point out that these roles are not fixed, nor do they apply to everyone!

However, when you don’t have a butthole, the possibility of being a ‘bottom’ can be a little more challenging! Finding something that is enjoyable for you and your partner can just take a little bit of experimenting. Patience and open communication are key.

The subject of sex isn’t really something that’s spoken about openly when it comes to the medical field.

I think a lack of understanding within healthcare systems can make it difficult for member of the LGBTQIA+ community to access support around the subject of sex. That’s why I really praise forums like Facebook and Reddit- there's so much information out there that people can access from the comfort of their own home.

Many medical conditions including having a stoma are unspoken about in the LGBTQIA+ community.

It’s not just a case of understanding our own sexuality and who we are, but also having to come to terms with having a bag attached to us and our butts sewn up.

It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable talking about my stoma and it’s not been the easiest journey.

Living with a stoma

While living with an ileostomy and being gay can be difficult, it’s crucial to focus on the strengths and resilience that emerge from these experiences. Sharing our stories and using our voices is the most powerful way to break the stigma, which is why I do what I do.

I never want anyone to feel as 17-year-old me who was just starting this crazy journey.

So, let’s sum up where I am right now as a gay man, who has an ileostomy and a barbie butt... I’m doing great!

I’ve had serious relationships, been single and dated and throughout my experiences, I’ve learned 3 very important lessons.

  1. The right person will never look at you with anything other than admiration
  2. If someone can’t cope with who I am, stoma, barbie butt and all. They certainly aren’t worth my time!
  3. HAVE FUN. Meet new people, have a laugh and don’t put pressure on yourself to find someone. Whoever is right for you will walk into your life when the time is right.

Remember, you are not defined by your medical condition or sexual orientation. You are defined by the strength, resilience and love you show yourself and others.

Embrace who you are, scars, stoma bags, stretch marks, wobbly bits, acne, everything. Love it all, because they are the parts that make you beautifully and authentically YOU.

Be kind.


Nathan x

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by Nathan Wheeler

Nathan Wheeler

About the author

Hello - I'm Nathan Wheeler! I'm a YouTuber and I've had an ileostomy since 2007 when I was just 17, so I have a pretty good idea about how to deal with the struggles of a stoma! I want to share my experiences with you and bring a light-hearted approach to all the questions that no one wants to ask! You can follow me an Instagram and YouTube.