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

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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 🙁

  5. Cally,

    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.

  6. @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?

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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