Colostomy: Putting ‘Sex’ Back In ‘Sexy’
October 31, 2008, 2:46 PM
Filed under: Injuries and Maladies, Sex

I was having dinner with two friends, Kirsten and Kristen, who are both nursing students.  They are both wonderful people, but often, since I’m not pursuing a career in nursing as well, I feel somewhat distanced from them, like a foreign exchange student trying to understand his host family during the first family dinner.  Their conversations are peppered with their exclusive language: “IV” or “mammogram” or “dyslexia.”  I find that I can often get by when I just nod my head and stare, hoping that neither of them will correctly identify the glazed over look in my eye as incomprehension.

That night we had gone to a place I had never been before on their side of town called the Emperor’s Kitchen or the Emperor’s Palace or something cheeky and generic like that.  The food was unathentic and clearly loaded with tablespoon after tablespoon of MSG, which is the only was I can eat my chinese food.  The MSG and polyunsaturated fat does a bang-up job of covering up the somewhat spicy taste and rubbery texture of rat.

Since Kirsten had immediately made a significant fool out of herself by locking her keys in her car while it was running, I had very high hopes for the night.  I lit a cigarette and watched her. She was completely helpless calling her mom to come by and open the door for her.  I love this girl, she’s a dear friend of mine, but the aura of absolute embarassment that was surrounding her was too strong not to feed off of and enjoy.  We went inside since it was rather cold and rainy to wait for her mom to come and save the day.

The discussion had inevitably turned towards nursing or nursing-related things, and I began to pick apart my egg roll.  Suddenly Kirsten jumped and looked at me as if she’d just seen a ghost, but not just any ghost.  Like the ghost of a celebrity such as Harriet Tubman or Elvis.  “I have to tell you this…and you are never going to believe it!”  I didn’t want to state the obvious and say that I believe pretty much everything I’m told, so I smiled heartily and said, “Tell me!”

It began as a simple medical-related story, so I didn’t hear every detail because I was busy not paying attention.  What snapped me back to the conversation that I was supposedly a part of was this sentence: “She was having a threesome with two other patients…”-at this point my ears did a, and I believe this is the correct medical term, a “Scooby Doo”-“one was in her vagina…and the other was in her stoma!!”

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen.  A stoma.

My initial reaction was something like denial followed by a very loud outburst, causing most people to look up from their moo shoo pork and stare in wonder.  “No, that didn’t happen,” I said firmly, and continued eating.  It actually registered with me a few seconds later.  A man.  In a stoma.  He was…in it.  Not to inspect it or to, er, clean it or anything.  He was doing it for pleasure.  When the hell did a hole in your stomach suddenly become the modern day aphrodisiac?  I never got that memo.

The problem is that my reaction was slightly unwarranted, because as far as strange body openings go, I’m just as in the dark as most of blissfully ignorant Americans.  I knew what it was, generally speaking, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t picture it.  I kept thinking to myself, ‘How would that even work?’  My belief was that you had to be a seasoned pro at stoma sex in order to have a threesome with another person.  The logistics of it all were confusing, and when it comes to sex, isn’t logistics half the battle?

In order to be able to have a clear mental picture of this ordeal in my head, I decided I had two options.  One was simple and relatively painless: Wikipedia it, get as much information as you can, and I should have a pretty good idea of what stoma sex would look like.  My other idea was much worse, but obviously more fun: search the web for stoma porn.  I figured if diseased patients are being stoma buddies then there must be a huge selection of stoma related porn.  It’s like the porn rule of thumb: if it’s disgusting, nasty, smelly, and all around unappealing, someone somewhere is having a lot of sex with it on camera.

I was off to Wikipedia first, since my curiosity came during work hours and if I was going to be fired for looking at porn, I wanted it to be normal porn like boot-licking or fisting.  The link is if you’re really curious, but I can give you a pretty simple overview.  Stoma is Greek for opening or mouth, meaning that I’ve actually had sex in my stoma more times than I’d originally believed.  But I know for a fact that Kirsten and Kristen were not referring to fellatio.  It wasn’t like, “One in the vagina and one in the mouth…can you imagine?”  The simple answer to that would be that I could, and that I have, and that I would probably, for the right price, do it repeatedly.  They would have felt defeated, for their story had no affect on me, and we would have went right back to the previous conversation.

The specific type of stoma Kirsten was referring to was an artificial one, created surgically, called a colostomy.  The description is far from sexy and after reading it all I wanted to do was use the bathroom.  It’s a hole created in the large intestine that allows you to, essentially, shit in a bag.  Being a curious, knowledge-thirsty young man, I clicked on the link to colostomy, so that I could further disgust myself. 

After a few more minutes of reading, I learned that the colostomy is placed on the abdomen, which didn’t do much for my mental picture (‘Wait, so he like…did her belly-button?’).  I also learned that there you can “irrigate” colostomies.  The only thing I think about when I think irrigation is grown corn on the side of mountains, so naturally I was a little confused as to what they meant by irrigation.  Apparently, to irrigate a colostomy, you flush it out with water, which allows the feces to leave your body and go into the bag.  Barf.

One of the paragraphs on Wikipedia said that “colostomies are viewed negatively.”  That made me laugh out loud.  ‘Of course they’re viewed negatively,’ my thoughts exclaimed, ‘who on earth wants to shit from their stomach?’  But I’m told that colostomy bags are well-designed (Prada winter collection?) and odor-proof (that’s a godsend), and that most patients can continue daily activities with a colostomy.  At this point, the not-so-subtle subtext was making its way into my brain.  ‘Daily activities, eh?,’ I thought, ‘So…you too, Wikipedia, have fucked a stoma.’  I didn’t want any bias in my quest for stoma knowledge, so ignored Wikipedia’s justification and decided to just go back to work.

When I got home, I almost forgot about my other option of doing a Google porn search.  I logged on to the computer, completely conflicted but still a little excited.  It wasn’t like I didn’t know what was going to happen…it wasn’t like skydiving or trying a turkey burger at a diner in Kansas.  I knew what I was getting myself into.  But before I could type the words “Gay Colostomy Porn” in the search bar (I figured I had to add some appeal to it), I went back in time for a second when Kirsten had first told me the story.

How disgusting.  How lewd.  How inappropriate.  I remember thinking all of these things when I heard the story, but in retrospect, what isn’t disgusting and inappropriate about sex?  I mean, just because you throw a colostomy into the mix doesn’t mean it’s suddenly gross.  Sex was gross long before people were using artificial holes to enjoy it.  In fact, in a way, it might have been refreshing for the woman.  In all of her years, she was used to men in only her vagina and ass.  And now she has this new “toy” to play with.  Maybe she feels sexy again.  Maybe she flaunts her stoma, and maybe, just maybe, guys find this really attractive, although I can’t imagine where these people live.  And who can blame someone for wanting to switch it up a little?  It’s like going to the ice cream shop and ordering the same thing every time when you have tons of flavors to choose from…strawberry, mint chip, sherbert.  What’s wrong with trying them all?

And then I thought, ‘What if I had a colostomy?’  I mentally scoffed at this, but it didn’t occur to me that, while it wasn’t going to happen in the near future, I couldn’t rule it out for life either.  And what if my partner wanted to try that? “C’mon, just once!” he’d plead, “I’ll bet it’s really tight.”  Tightness wouldn’t be a legitimate argument for me, and I would go back to chopping celery for my famous vichyssoise.  He’d give me a somber look and mumble, “You know, I’d do it for you.  I’d let you fuck my stoma.”  I’d laugh and tell him that, while it was a sweet gesture, I had no desire for a stoma, and couldn’t understand why he did.  “Just drop it all right?  Hand me the leeks.”

I argue now that I wouldn’t dare let anyone in my stoma, if I was ever to have one, but I also used to hate mushrooms when I was young, and now I eat them in bushels, if mushrooms do indeed come in bushels.  Whose to say that my opinion of colostomy sex won’t change?  Whose to say that society’s opinion of colostomy sex won’t change?  I mean, in a few years, we could have people getting a colostomy just so they can have three different holes to work with.  Mothers would suggest it to their daughters as a method of birth control.  The possibilities seem endless.

I never did bring myself to look at the stoma porn.  Before it was a joke, a ridiculous unbelievable act that you have to watch, even if you don’t like what you’re seeing (think of that man who pulled semi-trucks with his penis).  Now it’s just like another random fetish that I wouldn’t necessarily partake in, but at least I could say, “I’m not into that, but whatever does it for you.”  In all honesty, there are much worse things to fuck, like a detergent bottle, a sidewalk crack, or Joy Behar.  I mean, in ten years, colostomy sex could be the new anal sex, and now straight men will have yet another awkward argument with their girlfriends:

“C’mon, Annie, just the tip!”

“No Roy, it doesn’t go there!”

Ah, but it does Annie.  It does.


The Shoes Make The Man
October 24, 2008, 9:23 PM
Filed under: Fashion, Potpourri

Shoes aren’t something I’d consider to be a commodity.  When people say, “Man, do I need a new pair of shoes!” I think to myself, ‘Well what about when people didn’t have shoes?’  There was a day when we didn’t have shoes, even if you can’t recall it.  It was centuries ago, probably when having something on your feet was a good idea, since it was hard to harpoon a wooly mammoth with an icicle if your feet were black and lifeless.  Although, if you were hungry enough, I suppose you could skip the mammoth altogether and feast on your feet instead.  But that’s a morbid and rather off-topic discussion I guess.

These days, we don’t have to worry about treading around the snow barefoot looking for shelter.  We get into our Prius, drive to the nearest Motel Six, knock back a few, and call it a day.  So why does the world have this unjustified fetish with covering our feet?  “It’s indecent to be barefoot in public!”  Who says?  Not to mention the only places that make note of this are fast food joints and jiffy lube stops, the last places I would consider touching my bare skin to the floor.

I get the fashion perspective.  I get that you want to look cute.  I want to look cute, and I want to wear shoes while I’m doing it.  I love shoes for that sole (no pun intended) reason: they can bring together an outfit, they can make you feel sexy…hell, with the right pair, you just might be able to walk on water, or at the very least assume that you can and then fall pathetically beneath the surface.  But I’m not talking about looks this time, I’m talking comfort.  Sometimes I just want to be barefoot because it’s comfortable.  I’m not making a statement, I’m not making my first steps towards joining a nudist colony.  All I’m doing is airing out my feet after an exhausting day at work, I’m just trying to do some grocery shopping, I just wanted to visit the art museum.  Whatever activity it is, I want to have the option to do it sans-footwear.

When I was younger, I was, by default, mentally incapable of understanding anything logical.  Logic told me that wearing shoes on a playground would protect me from the possibility of broken glass and slippery used condoms.  But because I was such a free and stupid spirit, I’d run around the entire neighborhood without shoes on for hours at a time.  It was my feet that those prickly weeds dreamed of piercing and that the little bugs told each other scary campfire stories about.  My feet were an intergral part of nature, just how it was supposed to be.

Unfortunately, all of this nature was starting to stick to my feet, and my mother wouldn’t have it.  “Jesus Christ, Christopher!” she’d say, “Look at the marks you’re making on the kitchen floor!  If you won’t wear shoes to save yourself from cuts at least wear them to save my linoleum!”  I didn’t know what she was talking about, so I looked back behind me.  Sure enough, there were large, grayish footprints tracking all the way from the back door to where I was currently standing.  As a kid, this was interesting to me, and I was curious as to what I was walking in that could have caused such a darkened impression.

I went to the bathroom to observe my feet.  Actually, looking back on it, I’m not so sure if you could even call them feet.  They resembled tempered pieces of black leather, the kind Donatella Versache would rave about and PETA would picket.  Squashed on the surface was an assortment of bugs, small candies, and plant shrapnel.  To me it was like a beautiful collage, homage to a blissful summer evening.  To my mother it was thirty minutes on her knees with a bucket of Mr. Clean and a scowl on her face.  I decided that I would bite the metaphorical bullet and wear at least socks when I left the house.  Apparently, I couldn’t please my mother with this either. “Look at how black the bottom of your socks are!  Do you know how many times I washed these and they still look like this?”  I could have guessed, but I didn’t have the energy.

As I was growing up, I began to develop a love for odd clothes.  Shirts, jeans, pants, khakis, cords…I’d wear pretty much anything, testament to that being the purple Reddi-Whip polo that I would don frequently during my sophomore year in high school.  The comments from my friends were all so negative and narrow-minded: “What the FUCK are you wearing?  What?  No, you can’t sit here.  Find another lunch table.”  What it was about sundae toppings that invoked so much rage in them, I’ll never know, but nobody who saw me in that shirt thought it was a good wardrobe choice.  And looking back on it, I know it wasn’t, but I’m not embarassed.  Why should I be?  If anything I should be proud for making such a bold decision, even if I looked like a part time ice-cream truck driver in the process.

My love for strange clothes was certainly running wild, but the shoes were never a part of the process.  I usually just had one pair of shoes, either found, stolen, or bought on clearance at Payless.  I did develop a fondness for sandals, however, which was as close as being barefoot as you can get without offending anyone.  I found that it just wasn’t the same, but I also found that I could be relatively content in this partial life.  I wore sandals well in to December, constantly lying to my peers by explaining that my feet never got cold.  “I don’t know, something to do with my chromosomes or something.  It’s in a textbook, look it up.”  They never did, which was perfectly okay with me.

It wasn’t until recently that I began to fully appreciate a good shoe.  I had just been cast in a show at a local community theater, and as the rehearsals progressed, I realized that my lack of footwear compared to the rest of the cast was painfully obvious.  Sure, they might not have been the most attractive articles, but what these people lacked in taste they made up for in quantity.  The same shoe was rarely worn twice, and I started to feel obsolete and exiled.  “Ugh…black dress boots again?”  Of course, theater people never say these things, and some of them probably don’t even think it, but the point is that I thought these things, and that’s just as bad as if they would have said it in the first place.

My lack of shoe variety was first brought to my attention by one of the other gay male cast members, who always wore a cute and trendy pair to rehearsals.  “C.J., you need to expand your shoe collection,” he said very somberly, making it sound like I had been collecting shoes for years and suddenly stopped due to some horrible freak accident involving penny loafers.  “I mean, once you take a look, you can find some really cute shoes out there.  You’d be surprised.”  I shrugged and half-heartedly agreed with him, now firmly believing that if I was ever going to do anything from now on, it would have to be in a pair of beautifully designed shoes.

I was at work one day, and while absent-mindedly surfing the web, the conversation with the cast member replayed in my head.  I paused for a second and typed in the URL, thinking that it would never hurt to look, and even if I did buy something and my other shoes felt betrayed, I figured they’d get over it.  As I searched for the options in Men’s size 12, I was astonished at not only the selection, but the quality.  Purple shoes, brown shoes, red shoes, crocodile skin, sherpa, clogs, cowboy boots, slippers…It was both the most exciting and overwhelming feeling I had at work, except that time when the vending machine gave me two bags of Sun Chips on accident.

I went wild, clicking and adding to bag, clicking and adding to bag, clicking and adding to bag.  I went to the checkout.  ‘How much!?’ I thought, looking at the astronomical price.  I removed about seven pairs and went with my favorite three, and instead of adding to bag, I went to clicking and adding to wish list, which is a nice feature, since it gives you the satisfaction that you may eventually buy it, but you might not.  The shoes sit there in a state of limbo, in online shopping torture, just waiting to be placed in the bag and sold to the next interested user.  When my shoes finally came, I caved and put them on.  It was an oddly powerful feeling to be in such a nice pair of shoes.  It felt like how I imagine it would feel when Power Rangers morph, as if this was my special key for turning from just a black ranger into a bull mastodon.  I was hooked.

I must say, I’m happy that I overcame my somewhat prehistoric views, but I can’t help but feel a nostalgic twinge when I see a lopsided freckle-faced kid running around his neighborhood without his shoes.  I still think to myself, ‘That’s how it should be.’  But that’s the wonderful thing about society, right?  When you are forced to conform to a standard, it isn’t because the standard is right or even correct, but it’s just because it’s what people want.  They want structure and rules.  They want someone to tell them they can’t wear shoes in a jiffy lube or a Burger King.  And they want magazines telling them that shoes are hot accessories, that the “shoes make the man,” et cetera, et cetera.

Most of them do.  I don’t.  But I’d much rather wear a nice looking pair of shoes rather than walk into my workplace barefoot, and when asked why I would think this was acceptable, begin my lengthy explanation: “Well, it all started when…”