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Wise Guys: When Is It Okay for a Woman to Fart?

Tue, Dec 15, 2009

Advice, Wise Guys

no_farting_signphoto by ab9kt

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: When is it okay for a woman to fart in front of her partner?

colin_adamo_100Straight Single Guy (Colin Adamo): Your five-year wedding anniversary. Some rather liberal couples will try to tell you they really don’t care about their partner’s farts (don’t believe them, they are crazy — stop inviting them to your dinner parties). I know you want to share everything with your loved one, but some boundaries exist for everyone’s benefit. This could be the secret barometer for a good relationship. The longer you can go without ever farting in front of your partner, the better your relationship will be. Your five-year is a fine capitulation-point because the two of you have probably hit your stride by now. But be careful, once this door opens, it can never be closed again.

terence_100Gay Committed Guy (Terence): When I was little I was told that holding in farts causes cancer, or loose bowels, when you’re old. So for the sake of your happy retirement, do both of you a favor and let ‘em rip.

anonymous_suitStraight Married Guy (Matt): This is a tough one. I’d say after the first “I love you.” You’re safe after that. I know, it’s terrible to have to pretend until then, but some of us guys are under the (completely mistaken) impression that you ladies don’t fart as often or as terribly as we do, and I think in this case a little bit of a facade is a good thing. I’d still hope that after the facade falls there’s at least some difference between your farting habits and ours — but I guess I’m just old-fashioned that way.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. Colin Adamo is an undergrad at Yale University where he directs the biennial Sex Week at Yale; the other two are a little shy. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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25 Responses to “Wise Guys: When Is It Okay for a Woman to Fart?”

  1. Leigh Olivia Says:

    Terence excluded, are you guys for real? What are we supposed to do, invest in a high-tech, fart-filtering butt plug? Nervously jump up, announce we have to powder our noses and run (cheeks clenched) to the bathroom to disguise our secret, gassy shame? Do you also expect your lady to hide her razor, tampons and deoderant when you come over?…maybe don’t answer that one.
    Maybe I’m being uptight, but hey, farts happen, and it’s not always possible or comfortable to hold them in, and honestly, why would you? I mean, if you had the three-bean chili for lunch, it might be polite to discourage long oral sex sessions, but are we seriously expected to maintain the facade that our bums are used only for thong-display and anal sex? (While we’re at it, boys, how long do *you* wait before farting in front of your paramour?) Okay, some men have illusions that women are filled not with viscera, but with pixie dust and chanel no. 5, but can anyone explain to me what the possible benefit of reinforcing that fantasy would be?

    …but then, I’m young and stupid, and tend to date folk with occasionally puerile senses of humor.

  2. Johnny Says:

    “[Should we]nervously jump up, announce we have to powder our noses and run (cheeks clenched) to the bathroom to disguise our secret, gassy shame?”

    Yes, that’s EXACTLY what you should do. It’s what I do when I have to rip one and my girlfriend is around – I either hold it or excuse myself.

    Farts are a funny in a gross-out way, which is why (straight) guys can do it among each other. We have no sexual investment in each other. It’s ok to think our friends are crude pigs. No one wants to be grossed out by their sexual partner though.

    There have been one or two times where my girlfriend accidentally blew one, and was mortified. I found it cute to watch her blush and deny it. But if she just started letting ‘em rip in front of me? Puke-o.

  3. Leigh Olivia Says:

    Johnny, you must have far better sphincter control than I do. Kudos.

    I’m off to invest in some nose powder and a sound-proofed bathroom.

  4. Erin Says:

    Yeah I agree Leigh, I honestly can only hold it when I’m at work. At home all bets are off, sorry honey. I was raised in a family that made it clear that bodily functions are a way of life, they just happen. My mom was also a nurse so she obviously knew a thing or two about bodily functions. My stepdad is a gassy man, we have dogs who fart, we fart and it’s still okay. My BF and I waited till after “I love you”. I’m sorry people need to get over antiquated Victorian fears of the body. Maybe you could also by a helpful book called “Every one poops”. It’s along the same line and it’s a comfort to know, that like farting everyone poops.

  5. Johnny Says:

    Hey, some guys are into farts. There’s a whole genre of fart porn. If you’re BF is down, then let ‘em rip.

    If he’s like most guys, though, he’ll see you as a little less sexy every time you do it. No matter what he tells you.

  6. Dannie Says:

    Maybe it depends on the relationship. If you happen to be dating someone who finds farts gross, just be respectful of that as you would of anything else–and that goes for guys or girls. Period. I don’t buy this double double-standard shit that it’s okay for guys to fart as loudly as they can, but girls must maintain some false reality to feel comfortable. Fellas, if your gals are bothered by your farting, find ways to be respectful of that. Sure, everyone has times when it just happens and -should- happen, and no one should feel ashamed of that, male or female. Blushing and being mortified is not something I want to do with someone I may be spending the rest of my life with; I want to feel accepted, even with my flaws, and that might include gas here and there. Sure, one can laugh and say “oops,” but really–freaking out because a natural body function happened while you’re around someone you love and is supposed to love you? Get real. Sure, farting is gross, but pretending that it doesn’t happen at all and making people feel ashamed when it does happen is not a healthy way to go about a relationship. Be respectful: if it’s a peeve of theirs, try to avoid it but don’t freak out if it happens. If they continue to freak out and make you feel bad (either by words or just expressions and body language) when you are just being your natural self…well, what to do then, that’s your decision. Personally, I don’t want to be with a guy who will make me feel terrible for letting one slip now and again–nor do I want to make him feel terrible if he can’t make it out of the room on time.

  7. Spes Says:

    I don’t understand why this is a problem at all. My husband and I, even when we were first dating, occasionally had one rip while in the presence of the other, and neither was/is disturbed by it, nor was it ever an issue. (Although, we do laugh about our cats and dogs farting, but that’s because their butts are scary toxic.) Granted, we try to be polite and excuse ourselves if we need to, especially if we think it’s going to be stinky. But if one happens to catch us by surprise, we say “Excuse me,” and move on. Why? Because who really cares? It’s a fart, so what? It’s just a part of being human. If anything, it means that the other person is no more prefect than you, but is just as human. I should think that’s comforting. Also, holding in gas, is NOT good for you. It can cause sever pain and cramps. Also, if you’re looking out for your figure, well guess what, gas takes up space and expands your waistline. (I’ll sometimes joke that there goes a ÂĽ inch off my waist.) In addition to which, it can put pressure on your organs because there is more space being taken up than you body is happy with. Sorry folks, but I’m not willing to have my partner hurt themselves just for the sake of elementary school notions.

    And come on now, who’s really willing to let a silly moment of gas to kill the mood? Big shocker, you’re partner is an organic being!

  8. Erin Says:

    Johnny if he see’s me as being less sexy than why after 3 years does he still get hot when I’m in my PJ’s watching a movie or washing the dishes? Those are also less sexy. Oh I know he loves me. No offense you sound very shallow with that remark. Ladies if he really loves you he won’t care, it may not be a turn on but it’s no turn on for us when you let one rip, but the standard says I’m supposed to get wet when you do? BS. Everyone’s human and if he can’t except one bodily function then I probably don’t want to be with him.

  9. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Single guy said: “This could be the secret barometer for a good relationship.” REALLY? You think so? THE Secret Barometer?

    Jeez. I am not a gassy person, buy the Man is. So what? It has NOTHING to do with the relationship.

    The things some (usually single) people thing are “barometers” for a good relationship, when someone farts, whether he will hold your purse, if he buys you tampons etc.

    Sorry, NONE of these silly, petty things have a DAMN thing to do with a real, healthy long term relationship.

    Of course, everyone behaves themselves in the first few months of dating, but I think some who have never got BEYOND the first few months with anyone have some very twisted views of just what makes or breaks a relationship. I’ve been with the same man for almost 30 years, and monogamous with him for 2 decades. NONE of the things some thing are “barometers” have a thing to do with REAL LIFE LOVE and DEDICATION.

    Love is hard work, honesty, having some similar interests and some interests of your own and pursuing them, very similar values, a good sex life and the willingness to experiment on any of the above, except the honesty.

    Five years before one passes wind, for heaven’s sake. I would have had to leave my Man after the first few weeks…..good thing I didn’t have the people who are NOT in dedicated long term relationships on the internet to tell me how to think about MY relationships. LOL!

  10. Leigh Olivia Says:

    Hey, Dannie and Spes, thanks for being totally adult and reasoned on this one while I indulge in childish buttplug jokes. A definite “hear, hear!” on the idea that a man who can’t handle lady-farts in a relationship is not a man I need a relationship with (which, Johnny, works out perfectly, when you think about it–the farters and the non-farters can all pair off, and if two of them ever get mixed up, they’ll presumably just gas and sneer each other out of an affair. One hopes.)

  11. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Hmm, just had a thought. Do guys who would end a relationship because of a girl-fart feel the same way about queefing? Just wondering.

  12. Johnny Says:

    Queefing: I’ve only heard queefs during/immediately after sex. They’re funny. She giggles, I giggle, we move on. If I heard a queef in another context (which I may have) I’d probably just assume it was a fart.

    As for ending a realationship… not if she let one or more slip accidentally. Not if she ONCE let one blow just to be funny. But persistently, insistently behaving unsexily, whether it’s farting or something else? Yeah, I’d break up over that. A little decorum please.

  13. Spes Says:

    Alright, it’s coming across to me that women, in order to preserve the notion that girls aren’t gross, don’t actually possess creepy cuties, and are worth missing a night out with the guys, is that we must never let on that we fart, pee, poo, burp, have snot, queef, have ear wax, grow hair anywhere but on our heads and mound, and we never get ‘sleep’ in our eyes, either. It’s truly a wonder that all women don’t live in corsets, wear push up bras, have fake wigs, nails, eyelashes, don three pounds of makeup each morning, and wear body shaping pantyhose to slip into our stilettos. I mean after all, we have to cover up all of our ‘flaws’.
    Forget that. Too much damn work pretending to be something we’re not. And sorry fellas, we hetero and bisexual girls may dress up to get your attention, but you’re absolutely mad to think we’re keeping that up for life just because you think you’re so awesome that you deserve Barbie instead of a real girl.

  14. figleaf Says:

    For me it’s however you agree to deal with it as long as you don’t have double-standards. What always got me was guys who’d blow dust out of the cushions with a big smirk when it’s just guys around getting all shirty and prim when a woman does it.

    On the other hand, some people are raised to be discrete about it so if that’s how you want to play it then that’s ok too.

    It’s fine to complain about people who make giant productions out of them if that really bugs you. And it’s fine to be annoyed if they don’t warn you in circumstances where you’d really, really appreciate advanced warning. Imagining that a partner (let alone a whole gender) shouldn’t do it at all is a little childish.


  15. Johnny Says:

    Oh come on, don’t get all slippery slope: “No farting!? What’s next, burqas?”

    No one’s suggesting anything remotely like that. Farting is unsexy, and although everyone realizes that the unsexy is a necessary reality, doesn’t mean you have to flaunt it in front of your partner.

    The poo thing, for example. Your partner must accept that you do in fact crap. But do you do it with the door open?!

    Also, I would bet that most guys who don’t want to hear or smell their GF’s farts, also pay her the courtesy of not farting near her. Like me.

  16. Leftos Says:

    We had this exact question on our site, Leftos.com, but it was a guy asking the question. Coincidentally it was all women who answered the question and gave their 2 cents. Most of the women said they just don’t but it’s not because they aren’t comfortable doing it in front of their boyfriends…they just think it’s a bad image all together for a woman. Here’s the all whole post http://www.leftos.com/forum/view/328

  17. tay Says:

    The difference is control. If you can control it and excuse yourself to the bathroom or another room, do it. if you cant, you cant; and your sig other gets THAT grossed out by it, there is probably some other issues there. For me, it is burping. I rarely, if ever, do it, and if i do it is 99% of the time controlable. I find it equally gross when men and women do it, but im not going to hate my boyf if he lets one slip ya know? It doesnt matter, man or woman. Manners are nice, and it is always ok to accidently let one slip. But imho even 35 years into the relationship, if you can hold it, do.

  18. Madamoiselle L Says:

    This is one of the most ridiculous conversations I have ever got into.

    Decorum is, of course, called for. My Man tends to be proud of his farts, looks at me like he just accomplished something, or BLAMES me, and I assume this is a “Guy Thing.” Of course, after so many years together, I couldn’t care less. We had a friend going a few weeks ago, when, the men were hanging around, farting, I made a joke, “I don’t fart.” The guy believed me, my Man told him, “She burps like a trucker but no farts.” I am NOT a gassy person at all, but, I’m human. But we has this guy going for a while.

    Oddly enough, my Man DOESN’T burp, I don’t know if there is something wrong with his upper GI system or what. If he needs to, he has to go IN AN OTHER ROOM (he learned that early, cuz it’s really gross) and….well, get the burp out. I am not going to go into detail.

    What a strange conversation.

  19. Cally Says:

    This is really a non-issue. My boyfriend and I do not censor ourselves, except in extreme situations. We love each other as a whole, bodily functions and all. We burp and fart in front of each other, and yet somehow manage to still find each other incredibly wonderful and sexy! This is after 3 years, mind you.

    Also, Johnny, what does “persistently, insistently behaving unsexily” mean? That they are stubbornly acting “unsexy”, just to spite you?

  20. Elea Says:

    @Madamoiselle L
    wow this is the first time i’ve read about that, i have that exact same thing as your man. I can’t burp! tried to learn it, doesn’t work. There’s like something in the way of letting it come up all the way.
    It’s very frustrating and painful as-well. So i go into the bathroom, put my finger in my throat, therefore clearing the entrance, and then all the air comes out, just air.
    I would be so curious to now why this is? Does he know?

  21. Johnny Says:


    Yes, that’s how I’d take it. If I thought she was just throwing rectal restraint to the wind and letting fly every time she had to fart, or even a tenth of the time, I’d tell her I don’t like it. If she kept it up, that’s what I’d call persistently, insistently unsexy.

    Unless she called, “SAFETY!” afterwards.

  22. Madamoiselle L Says:

    Elea, I don’t know why he does this. (I’m a nurse and I don’t remember this being covered in school, although there is a surgery for reflux which can prevent one from puking and sometimes burping as a side effect, he hasn’t had that surgery.) No idea why this happens. Just a variation with his GI.

    And, yes, he has to do the same thing you do to get a burp out. Poor things. :(

  23. Doug Says:

    I always felt that the golden rule, treat others as you would want to be treated, has a sub-clause: the golden relationship rule. And that is if I can do it, she can do it; if she can do it, I can do it. I wouldn’t be disgusted with myself if I accidentally ripped one, why would I be disgusted with her? Sure, I’ll try to hold it in and go fart in another room, but that’s courtesy, not something to promote an unnecessarily contrived image of myself as perfect.

    As long as excuse me’s are said, I’m cool with it. There’s no reason for bad manners.

  24. Elizabeth Says:

    I fart in front of my guy and he farts in front of me and we haven’t been together quite five years. But after about one or two times of me passing gas and feeling completely embarassed and humiliated by it – he finally said “Baby, I love you and I know that you fart sometimes. I don’t care if you do that in front of me.” And so we do. I mean if you’re all down for that kind of uh… restraint, then its whatever. But I think it’s kind of silly.

    Though I must say, personally my toots almost NEVER um, smell. It’s just air. (Which apparently is weird, since I’m about half a step from being a vegetarian). Certain foods mean smelly gas and if so, I run to the bathroom… no one should have to deal with that. But a silly noise? Get the heck over it is what I say.

  25. Mix Says:

    I agree that there shouldn’t be a double standard, but if you find it unsexy and your partner doesn’t respect your sexual desires, then you should get out of the relationship. Granted, dumping someone because they’re gassy is a little ridiculous to me, but if you find that it is seriously cramping your sex life, you might as well get out now before feelings get hurt.

    Side note: my partner accidentally farted on our first date. I didn’t care, he didn’t care, and 22 months later we’re in a healthy, sexual relationship. And we fart in front of each other constantly.

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