Are you still clenching your butt in front of your boyfriend, while he revels in his farts? Have you stopped yourself from passing gas and experienced pain and bloating as a result? Well, if you truly want to express your love in a healthy way, hold hands not farts! Flatulence is a bodily function that and it's a 'fart' of being human. Well, we know that if you rip out a loud one during a first date or the grocery store, people would give you strange looks or laugh. Yes, laugh, a lot of people look at farts as funny natural occurrences.
But breaking the wind in the presence of someone that loves you won't do you any harm. In fact, some people would consider it as a weird milestone in their relationship. If you have already reached the burp milestone, it should be easy for you to break wind in front of your partner. Both are ways of releasing gas. And if you've never done it before, can you imagine the pure surprise on their face when they hear it or smell it? If you are still not convinced, there is evidence this level of comfort is a sign of a successful relationship.
We have evidence from research and relationship therapists claiming that couples that fart together, cross hearts together. But first, let's understand why holding in farts is unhealthy.
Holding in farts is unhealthy, not worth the politeness
According to Healthline, most people fart five to 23 times a day so if you are spending time with your girlfriend/boyfriend for the whole day and holding it in, we have bad news for you. In the short term, holding a far can cause immediate bloating, indigestion, discomfort. This is because when you tighten your sphincter muscles, a kind of pressure will start forming on the gas in your digestive system.
Farting is a sign of a healthy gut, it means that you have a thriving colony of bacteria producing gas in your digestive system. Farting is also an indication of how healthy your diet is. As we mentioned earlier, it reduces abdominal pain as it lets out the accumulated gas in the digestive tract. Most people avoid letting out farts because they fear ridicule. This starts early, according to a psychologist Shannon Chavez, passing gas is viewed as gross, dirty, stinky and not attractive. She says "Kids get ridiculed about it in school and are even embarrassed" by peers if they pass gas in front of the opposite sex or anyone, for that matter.” In case you were wondering smelling a fart, has no benefits or harmful effects on you.
Psychologists explain why farting benefits a relationship
In an enlightening interview with HuffPost, a psychologist and relationship expert gave their insights on the significance of couples farting in front of each other. Shannon Chavez, a psychologist and sex therapist tells HuffPost, that a social stigma exists around passing gas and other normal bodily functions such as burping. She explains, "This early programming can come up in our romantic relationships where someone feels inhibited or embarrassed by just the thought of it. I think it's something most people avoid in any sort of intimate relationship out of shame." They're probably afraid it might be a deal-breaker. But in reality, it tells you that your relationship is the real deal. Gary Brown, marriage and family therapist tells HuffPost that it's a healthy sign when couples are comfortable enough with each other to pass gas.
Chavez encourages people to normalise it so that we stop shaming people for it. Especially if your partner is naturally gassy or has digestive issues, it can be insensitive to shame them for their bodily functions. Rather, Chaves suggests," We must work towards encouraging them to feel more open in dealing with changes in their bodies and less secrecy and shame which can be isolating and embarrassing."
Allowing yourself to be comfortable with your bodily functions may also give you the opportunity to have better sex. Are you ready to enhance your sex life? Chavez tells the HuffPost why, "This couple is probably having great sex because they are comfortable with their bodies and what they do and are more likely to enjoy different types of stimulation and play with less inhibition, fears and insecurities,"
When is farting a bad sign?
Whilst it might seem mildly romantic, couples should know when to draw the line. There are chances that one partner could be continually farting in front of the other just to annoy them and continues doing this even after their partner has asked them to stop.
Kurt Smith, a therapist who specialises in counselling men tells the HuffPost that farting can also be a selfish act in some cases. "If your partner is not making an effort to control it, move away from you, or say 'excuse me' then it's an example of disrespect that could be evident in other areas of the relationships," he warns.
A survey by Mic showed farting together is a sign of moving from 'like' to 'love'
In 2016, Mic had released a survey asked 125 people in their 20s and 30s when they thought it was acceptable for them to fart in front of their girlfriend/boyfriend. Most people (29%) wait for 2-6 months to cross the 'fart barrier'. This is also considered to be the 'I love you' spot when partners profess their love verbally and make it official. Around 25% of the participants said that they took 6-12 months, but a confident 22% said that they're comfortable farting after just a few weeks. There were 7% of people that showed extreme reluctance to break wind, no matter what. They said they would never fart in front of their significant other.
Surprisingly a lot of the participants said they waited for the other partner to fart so they could join the bandwagon. The survey showed that most participants (73%) that did this were women meaning women were less likely to initiate farting in a relationship. This leads us to the question, why?
The stigma around women's farts
Women aren’t mystical creatures that fart out rainbows and vanilla-scented farts. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There is evidence that says that women's farts smell worse than men's. This is because their farts have a higher concentration of hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is known to have a ‘rotten eggs’ odour, the most repulsive smell from all gases in farts. So the next time your significant other decides to put a blanket over you immediately after farting, remember you can do worse.
The fact that your farts may smell worse shouldn’t dissuade you from farting unapologetically. If you’re too conscious about dropping a stink bomb, maybe open up the windows or let out a warning. But for how long will women hold in their farts for the sake of being polite? For ages, gender norms have pressurised girls to appear appropriate and presentable. Farting loudly never fell under their manual for appropriateness, even though it is normal. It’s time to let go of archaic rules of politeness and normalise women’s farts. It can be a step towards feeling more empowered and sometimes bring up conversations on gender roles.
Robert Huizenga, a clinical therapist, gives some insight into the results of the Mic survey. He writes on his marriage blog, "Farting in front of your significant other means you feel free to move beyond your roles. You may even find yourselves discussing family roles and expectations that you bring to each other. You need not carry the burden of continually being prim and proper."
Reaching the fart milestone
This might be harder to carry out in real life as your butt may be accustomed to clenching itself when you’re around your significant other. But rip one out and check their reaction. You might be surprised to find how accepting they are of your farts. After all, isn’t love about accepting the other the way they are, gassy and all?