Wise Guys: Can Men Handle the Fact of Female Bodily Functions?

photo via Flickr

Advice from three of EM & LO‘s guy friends. This week a straight woman asks, “Can straight men really not handle the fact that women fart, poop, menstruate, etc? Are women really supposed to hide these things/not talk about them with their partner?”

Ask the Wise Guys
Your Own Question!

Straight Single Guy (Tyler Barnett): The problem with this question is how it is worded. It IS a fact that women have the same gross bodily functions that men have. It is also a fact that we pretend not to know about the first fact. We pretend not to know for the same reason you pretend like we are the ones making you hold in your farts. “But men fart all the time, it’s not fair!” you say. “Men poop and often joke about it! That’s disgusting, why should I have to pretend like I don’t have an asshole!” Well, for starters, you are right. It’s not fair, and yes, it is a double standard. But in this case, it’s a self inflicted double standard. Women conceal their bodily functions from each other, too. You don’t fart loudly and proudly in front of each other like we do, and you certainly don’t discuss your poop as frequently. You don’t think farts are even funny, which I can;t even begin to understand. We think they are hysterical! So this isn’t an issue about straight men not being able to handle it, we certainly can. But can you?

Straight Married Guy (James Glazebrook): This is an issue that separates the men from the boys. While enjoying farting is a childish pursuit we never quite grow out of, being able to enjoy – or at least tolerate – the farts of the fairer sex is something only a real man can do. Squeamishness about a partner’s bodily functions is simply a symptom of Commitmentphobia. Unless the woman’s *really* gassy, the only thing scary about her farts is that they indicate a relationship moving to the next level. If she feels comfortable enough to give as good as she gets, then you’re in a sweet – if not sweet-smelling – spot. Here, equality is vital: if you fart in front of your woman, she may do so in front of you; likewise pissing. My wife and I have drawn the line at “sharing” our poos, mainly because of a weird hang-up on my part. She assures me that she doesn’t care – after all, she has to hear my poos, and smell them afterwards, so the only thing I’m sparing her is the visual of my face straining as I squeeze them out. But I fear that this is the last taboo – that once we cross the line into shared shitting, we’ll never be able to come back, and we may never find each other attractive again. Irrational, maybe, but some things are just too disgusting to share.

Gay Single Guy (Daniel): How men handle the matter of women’s biological realities really depends on the man and how much “reality” plays into his idea of sexually attractive, and I suspect, how he views women in totality. In other words, if a man can’t handle the fact a woman farts, poops, menstruates or even shaves their body hair, what kind of distorted view of women is he clinging to? One where the orifices of women are only for their sexual enjoyment? It sounds ridiculous because it is. On the opposite side of this coin, there are plenty of women–and gay men for that matter–who are totally okay going on and hiding the farting and nose picking et al away from her/his significant others. And that’s probably as a result of their own sense of decorum, but the bottom line is that some straight men don’t care, and others are idiots.


Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is James Glazebrook, a British writer/illustrator working in Berlin with his photographer wife on their cool blog, Überlin; our Gay Guy is Daniel, a one-time stripper and sex columnist; and our Single Straight Guy is Tyler Barnett of Tyler Barnett PR in LA. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. Once you’ve been married for a couple years sharing a bathroom and then been there for all the bodily functions of pregnancy and childbirth, then changed diapers, dealt with blood and vomit, you really have seen and heard it all. The whole bodily function gross-out seems silly. That said, there are very, very few people (men or women) who walk toward a bathroom when someone is making sounds on the toilet. That’s just common sense!

  2. ^ See, I’d normally feel the same way. My girl got me with the humor. If she did bodily functions actual-factual style (“It’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of and women fart too, you chauvanist”), I’d have dumped her. I was mollified by the sheer joy on her face after she got me that bad. As a practical joker and a puerile type myself, I couldn’t help but love her for it in spite of myself.

  3. Ladies are more discreet about body function, unlike men who just don’t care. The first time I was invited to my girl friends house I certainly did not do or talk about any of those things although eventually she in fact did start to mention those sort of things first. I told her to remain being a lady and NOT start talking about those things.

  4. Farting in front of me? My lady has farted ON me. I started it. She returned fire. I was aghast. How COULD she? Jesus CHRIST! Frankly, I have always been emphatically opposed to revelations of female bodily function (except menstruation, which never bothered me). I like a seamless veneer of femininity, and that’s what I thought I had found in my dainty lil’ lady. Now here she is laughing her ass off after bending over and blowing one right at me; she is mimicking the stunned and horrified look on my face, and laughing even harder; tears of hilarity well up in her eyes as I stomp to the bathroom and wash my face. I was stone-faced and disgusted, but she offered no apology.

    It is battle I lost. Flatulence is now a cornerstone of our domestic humor. It took some getting used to, but hey, I’ve got a pretty little lady with the maturity of a 13 year old boy. Don’t all guys dream of that?

Comments are closed.