Pump, injections & sex


Today is my first day on a pump (Animas 20/20). Live in UK so pump users thin on the ground for positive feedback. Have been told sugars may not improve great deal but interested in freedom aspect. I have read on forum peoples greater freedom on pumps but my first feeling is opposite as am now attached full time. Do you forget you are attached in time, am interested in longer term users feedback.
Also looking for reassurance that as a young (ish) guy still able to enjoy the company of women that it has little or no affect as a passion killer…wasnt brave enough to ask nurse today! Thanks, Chris

Congratulations on the pump. I have been pumping for about 13 years now, and am waiting for my new Animas Ping to be shipped (back ordered) any time now. I would say you definitely will forget you are “connected,” but give it sometime. You will find how you best like to wear it, sleep with it, etc. Everyone has their own preference.

As for passion, that shouldn’t be a problem either:) I have been married to my hubby for 20 years now, and no spark went out due to the pump. I’m assuming you’re single from your comment above? I would just be upfront. You might find you prefer to disconnect your pump for the time. You can give yourself a bolus before or after, to cover the basal you miss.

Hey Chris,
I wanted to suggest that you join the Diabetes and Sexuality (Men) group, where this topic would be right on target.


Good luck with the pump. I’m not on one now but when I was it was never a “passion killer”. I would usually just disconnect it before those romantic times. No problem really although sometimes the infusion set can be a little scratchy on your partner (same problem with Dexcom sensors). The biggest passion killer I have found is having low blood sugar.

I’m not concious of the fact that I’m attached to my pump all the time, but I know it’s there, and its a reassuring feeling. Just like I freak out sometimes if I don’t have my wallet, cell phone, or watch with me, its something that becomes a part of me, and it feels as if something’s wrong when I don’t have it.

I was married before I got my pump, so intimacy (and explaining what this crazy thing is) wasn’t such a problem for me. Personally, I disconnect the pump during these times (the exercise makes up for the lack of insulin - just don’t fall asleep without it!) In response to Brian’s comment about being scratchy, I save the plastic cap that covers the infusion set (Minimed Silhouette) when you take it out of the packaging, and put it back in when I disconnect. The cap smooths out the rough edges. My wife doesn’t even notice its there.

Hi Scott, Thanks for your comments, was useful hearing your point of knowing its there in a reassuring way rather than seeing it as an unwelcome guest. First day today after 26 yrs of injecting so am aware will take time, Thanks again, Chris

Hi Brian, Thanks for reply & your best wishes regarding starting my pump. Also appreciated tips during those passionate moments. Sure its more mind over matter at moment and will be fine and your hypo comment hiting home about what a real passion killer is!

Hi Manny

Thanks for response and will check out mens group site you reccomend. Great site here, your name and comments were first i seen after stumbling upon site recently and you seem to make everyone welcome as well as saying things how they are, just wanted to mention i apprecaited that! Chris

Hi Toni

Thanks for your reply. Felt reassured about the connection issue as right now i am so aware it is there - guess its just a question of time. Thanks also for answering some of the questions i was too embarassed to ask my health team today. Somehow it seems a little easier on here.


Chris: Welcome to pump life. It makes life much easier and better, and does not have an impact on dating or intimacy. I’ve been on the pump for 6 years (started while married, now divorced and dating again). It is easier to deal with taking insulin during the date, since it is less intrusive than injections. And, you’ve probably seen others with the same response – anyone who makes pump/diabetes an issue is someone that won’t be good for you long term. I tell people after the first date (if I want a second), and, so far, everyone is positive.

I don’t think you ever forget you have the pump, but you certainly become used to it and, if you are ever without it, you miss it.

I’m so used to it being there, that I took it off yesterday and didn’t even notice it was missing until my BG had gotten too high. One of these days I’ll learn that I shouldn’t disconnect. So, ya, it’s almost like it isn’t even there which is great unless it really isn’t there.

Hi Jonathan

Thanks for reply. Was really helpful hearing your positive experience of pump and relationships. I hear often the need in UK for pump use only to better control sugars without discussing the benefits of freedom for individual. Understand vast majority of type 1 diabetics in states are on pump compared with only 1% in UK . So intereseted in the other benefits especially freedom it can give.

Thanks again

Hi Lee Ann

Thanks for reply…good advice!


Hi, Thanks for responding to my question, maybe i am focussing too much on my perceptions of the pump, in reality it seems most people are not turned on or off by it. Chris

Chris: I was really worried about peoples’ perceptions when I started dating. It has not been a problem at all. It is hard to believe that that’s the case, but it is true. I’ve only recently realized that.

Thanks Jonathan, that helps!

Just to share some recent experience…

I took a week off from the pump and switched back to injections last week when my husband and I went to the beach on a “belated honeymoon”.

As I re-attached the pump at the end of the week, I asked my husband if he noticed that it was not there that week-- he said that it hadn’t even crossed his mind.

I have been on the pump since before we started dating. The pump is part of me, the me that he dated, fell in love with, and eventually married. We are both so used to it that I could never even call it a burden. Actually when I wake up in the morning, I always laugh that the pump is in my hand before I am even conscious. It’s really like part of my body now :slight_smile:

Hi Kristin, Thanks for response. Its reassuring to hear the normaility which partners accept the pump. Maybe i am transferring my own concerns into false perceptions from other people. Just out of curiosity why did you stop pump when you went on hols and return to injecting? Chris

We went to the beach and were snorkeling often. I just wanted to freedom to be able to jump into the sea without removing the pump. You CAN go to the beach with the pump (some pumps are completely waterproof-- Animas), you can also just disconnect for an hour or so while you swim.

I was a little paranoid about breaking my pump or having it get stolen when I disconnected it-- so it was more for peace of mind than anything else.

But it is possible to take pump vacations and go back for shots if you just want a break. Most people find that life is so much better with the pump that they don’t want to take breaks, but it’s nice to have the option!

  1. RE: Sex. When I take the pump off, I SUSPEND it and it beeps as a reminder after several minutes. My wife then says my pump is getting jealous that she (my wife) is occupying my time instead of her (the pump). Good for a chuckle certainly. And oddly true…

  2. I was worried that sleeping with it would be a pain. It is VERY MILDLY annoying. Very mild. Sometimes I lay on it and have to move it, but it is not a big deal at all. BUt I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice. Scale of 1 to 100, where 100 is REALLLLLLY annoying and 1 is nothing, I would give it like a 4.

  3. Low blood sugar is surely the biggest romance killer. Keep your Sweetarts handy. 8 sweetarts=~15g fast acting carb.

  4. I use medtroinic minimed. Every infusion set comes with a cap. Not sure about Animas, but I’d imagine it’s the same. Keep one handy cuz it will scratch her when you are getting busy!

  5. I sometimes just leave it on. Depends.

  6. I would guess when dating, you can ask the gals if they ever dated a cyborg? The diabetic terminator. I mean , Arnie was a cyborg and he is or was a sex symbol! It might break the ice a bit? I would imagine being upfront about it would be best. You know, you are at the bar or the restaurant with your woman, take your bolus for your beer or whatever you are eating. Might be a good time to introduce her to idea that you have an attachment.

  7. Don’t say anything like “Say baby, want to see my pump??”

  8. at the beach, I keep my pump attached and the pump in my pocket. I wear trunks. Not sure about Europe. If you wear a speedo, you might have a problem and have to detach. If not, you can attach the infusion set to your higher butt cheek area underneath the suit. The nurse practitioner recommended that to me when I got mine. I tried it a couple times. I wasn’t crazy about it cuz it was too close to my belt line. A little uncomfortable. Of course, I am not trying to impress the ladies with my body. So i just have it attached right above my waist line on my side. I don’t know if anyone even notices. Of course, I don;t care if they do anyway. Oh yeah, I swim with my pump quite a bit. (1x / week on avg). I don’t think I have ever detached it. Can be a little self conscious about it at first. But I got over it.

  9. when I don’t have my pump on, I feel…incomplete. It’s really disconcerting. Eventually you will get used to it. after a week or so maybe. Also, I cut a small hole in my pants pocket and feed the tube through that so I don’t wear the pump on my belt. It’s in my pocket.