Farting in Bed
December 17, 2003 7:38 PM   Subscribe

I just started dating this really awesome girl, and we spend the night together often, and I want to know how long I have to wait before I can fart in bed.
posted by vito90 to Human Relations (61 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
*consults etiquette book*

Three weeks. Yep. That's the definitive answer. Exactly three weeks. But only if the sex is good. If the sex is lousy, you have to wait 6 weeks.
posted by iconomy at 7:41 PM on December 17, 2003

constant farting in a relationship signals its doom.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:43 PM on December 17, 2003

As soon as possible. Do it now. Get it over with. It's too important to procrastinate over. You need to find out if your partner is fart-compatible before you invest too much in a doomed relationship if you find out she isn't.
posted by normy at 7:47 PM on December 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

In my experience the best thing to do is put this off for as long as possible. Being able to pass gas in front of one another will happen when it is supposed to happen. Optimally you want her to be the first to pass gas ... and once she does it, you can do it and it just becomes part of the wonderful intimacy of couples' life.
posted by johnnydark at 7:47 PM on December 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

You need to find out if your partner is fart-compatible before you invest too much in a doomed relationship if you find out she isn't.

Excellent point.
posted by anathema at 7:49 PM on December 17, 2003

The real question to ask is how long is it okay before you can fart during sex...
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:49 PM on December 17, 2003

I really hate that period where the relationship is still too new to be farting in front of the other person, but we have started spending quite a lot of time together. I end up really cramped up from all the held-in gas.
posted by ODiV at 8:28 PM on December 17, 2003

Excuse yourself, run to the bathroom (or outside!), and when you return, make a joke about how much better you feel...and then segue into asking what to do if you just can't hold it, it's causing you great pain, and you're about to burst...and gauge her reaction.
posted by davidmsc at 8:34 PM on December 17, 2003

The important question isn't when you can start farting in front of her, but when can you pull the sheets over her head when you do?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:44 PM on December 17, 2003 [2 favorites]

I have been with my wife for many years, and I haven't willfully passed gas in front of her, ever. Neither has she.

I can recall a couple of occasions on my part where it was a suprise to me and completely accidental. Neither of us mentioned it.

But, uniformly, I have made a concerted effort to never do it in front of my wife out of respect for her. Maybe I am old-fashioned or too mannerly. But I have never done that in front of her. Nor do I swear in her prescence or leave the toilet seat up. So that is the type of relationship we have, and it isn't for everyone.

One of our friends passes gas in front of his wife; but then again, he does it in public too. My guess is that if you are the kind of person who makes no judgement about breaking wind, then you ought to find a partner who is the same way.
posted by Seth at 8:45 PM on December 17, 2003 [2 favorites]

You must practice diligently, and train yourself to fart silently. When you can do this, and you silently pass wind when you're with your lady friend, you can then safely blame it on her.
posted by majcher at 8:56 PM on December 17, 2003

No, no, no. Get a dog (a real one, not some yappy little Napoleonic piece of fur) and blame all your farts on said dog. Just make sure the dog follows you from room to room, so your excuse is always at hand.
posted by trondant at 9:04 PM on December 17, 2003

Get a dog. Blame it on a dog. And above all, remember that natural bodily function are dirty, sinful, and evil.
posted by keswick at 9:05 PM on December 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

I just started dating this really awesome girl, and we spend the night together often, and I want to know how...
You're just bragging ;-)
posted by kickingtheground at 9:23 PM on December 17, 2003

But Vito, is she a Mariners fan?
posted by billsaysthis at 9:33 PM on December 17, 2003

Please, if you can with her, you shouldn't have any problem farting in her presence. If she's *that* prissy about it, then you've got other problems.
Seriously though, I think people object more to really rude stuff (like lifting your leg and letting one rip as loudly as possible while chortling) more than the actual physical process. Just try not to fart (or burp, or spit, or vomit...) directly ON her (unless she's into that...), and always say "excuse me". You should be fine.

posted by bonheur at 9:33 PM on December 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

15 years.
posted by y2karl at 9:38 PM on December 17, 2003

"I want to know how long I have to wait before I can fart in bed"

I've been married to my wife for 18 years, and we dated for three years before that, and I still won't. It's not that difficult to excuse yourself from a room for a moment, or hold it until that's possible.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:24 PM on December 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

I'm with Seth. Love is difficult enough as it is without having to withstand farts as well. Farts are unpleasant. Farts are very easy to hold in (specially if you've been duly repressed since early childhood) and the lower intestine is designed to store them conveniently. In fact, I'm convinced farts are wastefully released on their own - their purpose is to rocket-launch and expedite defecation.

There was a cartoon in this week's Spectator - two cats sitting in a restaurant, sipping martinis. The female cat is saying to the stricken male cat: "I'm sorry, Tom, but something snapped when I saw you on the litter tray."
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:33 PM on December 17, 2003 [2 favorites]

My exboyfriend was not shy about farting, and it was a disgusting turnoff. It has nothing to do with being prissy, and everything to do with being respectful. It's the same principle as those people who announce "I have to go take a dump". Shut the fuck up! Nobody wants to know, and nobody wants to experience your farts with you, either. An occasional slip is no big deal, but for god's sake, learn to live outside the frat house and hold it.

Or, perhaps you should just let it go. If farting freely in front of your girlfriend/wife is something that is important to you, then like an earlier poster said, it is important to get it out of the way and find out her reaction before you waste any more of each other's time.

FWIW, I did not dump my ex specifically for the farting, but it was an element of the "synergy" of bad qualities that made his dumping (awful pun not intended) inevitable.
posted by gatorae at 10:43 PM on December 17, 2003 [1 favorite]

My boyfriend and I fart in bed all the time. It's a bit of a running joke between us. How we laugh! We're both males, however - if that's relevant.

It's belching in bed that I won't stand for.
posted by malpractice at 11:26 PM on December 17, 2003

Most of my relationships are based on farting.
posted by pemulis at 12:20 AM on December 18, 2003

[this is starting to get weird]

I kid because I love... ;)
posted by gen at 2:15 AM on December 18, 2003

You can't fart in bed till you are married.

I do appreciate the manners of those who try never to pass gas in front of a significant other, but for some, things like that are a sign of true intimacy. Even more than sex. Being able to accept one another at that most private of levels is not a bad thing. Though I suppose that implies a certain earthiness to a relationship.

Besides, at that point, farting in bed usually sends off a round of giggles.
posted by konolia at 3:15 AM on December 18, 2003

Let out a small one during oral sex, after that, any future farts won't seem so bad - she might even like it, though I wouldn't bet on it. (NB: Don't follow through)
posted by biffa at 4:05 AM on December 18, 2003 [2 favorites]

five fresh fish, we're all adults here. You can call it "The Dutch Oven" and we'll know what you're talking about.
posted by yerfatma at 4:44 AM on December 18, 2003

I'd say "never".

But then you aren't dating me, or any other MeFier. This is a question properly addressed to the woman you're dating.
posted by orange swan at 5:15 AM on December 18, 2003

i agree with konolia (if living together ten years counts as married). it seems a little bit sad to hear that some people have a (long term) relationship where that kind of intimacy isn't possible. but then i guess maybe there are parts of our relationship that look a little sad to those with total sphincter control(TM).

also, is it really possible? i mean, what about when you're half awake in the morning and your bowels take you by surprise?
posted by andrew cooke at 5:16 AM on December 18, 2003 [1 favorite]

Sure, refrain in her presence, and never speak of it...if you want a relationship BUILT ON A FOUNDATION OF LIES!!!!!
posted by luser at 5:29 AM on December 18, 2003 [2 favorites]

I have 'sensitive guts' and fart frequently and pungently. When being fellated and warning the fellatrix that an unavoidable fart is coming I've found as a result of the warning there occurs an almost overwhelming warmth from the fellatrician ('wow - you must really love me!'). However, sensitivity to the mood is always required. It also depends how far into the act you are. During foreplay - no way; been at it for a quarter of an hour with a positive response - fart away kiddo.

Geez, MeFi ain't what it used to be. Mind you, I can't comment after my Discuss Fipi thread yesterday (members only I think).
posted by boneybaloney at 5:33 AM on December 18, 2003 [1 favorite]

How about being present when the other is 'using the bathroom'? If a difference, how so?
posted by boneybaloney at 5:36 AM on December 18, 2003

The real question to ask is how long is it okay before you can fart during sex...

'The first time' was what I was coming here to post.

And, to follow on from boneybaloney, the funniest single moment in my entire sex life (and yes I am still that sophomoric) was many many years ago when the woman that I was...er... orally pleasuring came hard and simultaneously let the loudest fart I've ever heard (no doubt because of sheer proximity) go on my chin.

Heh. Still makes me giggle. In a proud kinda way.

Haven't seen her since then, come to think of it...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:46 AM on December 18, 2003 [2 favorites]

I'm sorry, but those of you who want to make farting together in bed a sign of "intimacy" are, not to put too fine a point on it, insane. Do you also invite your SOs into the bathroom with you to watch you defecate in order to enhance intimacy? Farting is unpleasant, and you should always hold it in until you can slip off to the bathroom. Implying that your bed partner is prissy because he or she is disturbed by farting is just an attempt to shift the blame away from your neanderthal self, which is where it belongs. If a fart happens to slip out while you're in the middle of sex, no polite person is going to mention it, but if you're the sort of person who wants to be able to fart whenever you feel like it, then you should be the sort of person who gets used to living alone.
posted by anapestic at 5:54 AM on December 18, 2003

Response by poster: Wow. There are so many divergent opinions here. I'm certainly not talking about the lift-up-the-leg-and-go-for-decibles kind of flatulence. Despite my posting record I'm more mature than that. I am talking about the 3 AM is-she-asleep-or-awake-because-I-have-to-get-up-in-two-hours-and-I-don't-want-to-get-out-of-bed kind. She has a well developed sense of humor and if we're going to work out then at some point it's got to happen. I'm no big game farter, but fifty years is a long time to not let it go. And it isn't the same as pooping in front of your partner either, so personally I don't buy that line of logic.
posted by vito90 at 6:08 AM on December 18, 2003

This is exactly why sex is such a funny game.
posted by ferociouskitty at 6:09 AM on December 18, 2003

When my wife and I were first together, one evening we both had subs or pizza or something with a lot of onions on it, and later that evening as we were getting ready for bed, we both started farting up a storm. Since we were both similarly afflicted, it ended up being a pretty funny experience, and the "who farts first" awkwardness was...gone with the wind....(ducks and runs).

Go share a steak bomb and let 'er rip!
posted by briank at 6:11 AM on December 18, 2003

My fiancee and I both fart in bed all the time. Fart harmonies. Given that we both produce a fair amount of methane, I'd much prefer to spend our time snuggled in bed together, with the occasional fart, then have each of us separately getting up out of bed and leaving the room a dozen times during the night. No, holding it in for 9 hours is not an option for either of us.

anapestic - if we're neanderthals, then we're happy neanderthals together. But don't worry, we won't move in with you.
posted by tdismukes at 6:15 AM on December 18, 2003

Do people think they're not farting in their sleep? Probably more so for those who hold it in the rest of the time anapestic ;)
posted by biffa at 6:21 AM on December 18, 2003 [1 favorite]

I'm dating a veteranarian born and raised on a dairy farm with 3 older brothers, so this point is moot. One of those "yes, I fart on the second date" moments.
posted by mischief at 7:16 AM on December 18, 2003

shift the blame away from your neanderthal self...

I usually give it a few weeks, though my former landlady says a few months is more polite. My boyfriend and I fart in front of eachother all the time, when we're not busy pretending to blame the dog, or getting up and announcing "I have to take a big dump, excuse me." I don't know if it's imtimacy per se, I just look at it as one less thing I need to go pretending about. Since neither of us care about the etiquette involved and both are amused by scatological humor in general, it works for us.

Or, to speak the language of my neanderthal brethren and sistren in this thread: oook oook ug ug okk urh gnuh ook ook!
posted by jessamyn at 8:13 AM on December 18, 2003 [1 favorite]

Please, by all means, fart away. It's a natural body function. Everyone does it. For chrissake, she's putting her mouth where you piss (hopefully, my boy, hopefully), and there will inevitably me more gross things you do in her presence.

But at least be mature and polite about it- don't announce it or comment on it, and definitely don't turn it into some kind of spree.
posted by mkultra at 8:41 AM on December 18, 2003

I just remembered-there is a children's book written by a Japanese author entitled "Everyone Farts." (There is another book in the series called Everyone Poops.)

I think it must be written with Japanese sensibilities, because one of the things the author says is that it is unhealthy to repress a fart.

I am NOT KIDDING about these books (they may be called "Everybody Farts/Poops, memory fails me) and I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon had it.
posted by konolia at 9:00 AM on December 18, 2003

I guess my original answer about respecting her enough not to do it must be put into perspective.

If you are one of the types here that cares not about ettiquette... thinks manners are only for some sort of stuck-up Barry Lyndon gentility... and wish to discard social mores because they aren't "keepin' it real," then I'd say fart away.

But if you believe in civility (even if its posteuring) and think manners are a good thing, then I wouldn't do it.

I will admit that behaving in a civil and mannerly way with an emphasis on ettiquette does take effort. But I submit that relationships are something that take work, and you should always be on guard. Once you quit caring what the other one thinks, you begin a slippery decline in the relationship.
posted by Seth at 9:06 AM on December 18, 2003

Once you quit caring what the other one thinks, you begin a slippery decline in the relationship.

I'd say it's more an issue of knowing what to care about and when. I think what most people here are saying is that their relationships are secure enough that they know its boundaries, and farting is one of those things that they are recognizing as superficial in the relationship.

If I were a betting man, I'd say the difference of opinion here lies in the fact that the farters believe a relationship is a thing of comfort, where you don't have to wear the same mask that you present to the outside world everyday, while it seems that the non-farters (seth in particular) think the relationship is a realm that requires just as much restraint?

classic libertarian vs. authoritarian issues at work here.
posted by Hackworth at 9:26 AM on December 18, 2003

personally, if she's got a toothbrush at your house then you can fart in bed.
posted by Hackworth at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2003

Once you quit caring what the other one thinks, you begin a slippery decline in the relationship.

The idea that you should have to be your false self around someone you are intimate with, and that this barrier to truth somehow actually supports the relationship, is self-evidently absurd.
posted by kindall at 10:10 AM on December 18, 2003

Well, now, let's not be too hard on the non-farters.

Some people are raised a particular way, and for them that IS their comfort zone. Others of us were raised in what I would call more earthy households.

So it seems that the real question is whether or not the other person in the relationship is a farter or a non-farter. One would see it as intimacy while the other would see it as rudeness.

Actually, these rules carry over into friendships. There are some people who I absolutely would not pass gas around if there is any way to avoid it, and if it happens, I would be mortified. On the other hand my closest friends, while they don't intentionally fart out loud, aren't worried about it if it does happen, and we have often joked that our friendship is close enough that farting is not an issue. It is the farters who I am willing to share my heart and tell my secrets to.
posted by konolia at 10:19 AM on December 18, 2003

The Gas We Pass
Everyone Poops

Might I suggest a copy of Who Cut the Cheese as a coffee table book?

My little girl (just less than 2) counts 'Fart' as one of her first hundred words, and finds it both hillarious and useful. (We don't get out of the tub for farts, just poops). You can probably guess the point of view of the rest of our family...

Advice wise, 3 weeks is probably fine if you think she'll be concerned. And a big fat "Ha!' at Yerfatma, I'll introduce the terminology at home one of these days... (if not the practice :) ).
posted by daver at 10:27 AM on December 18, 2003 [1 favorite]

The problem with me wife and I is that hers make no sound, but will raise the dead (silent but violent types, perhaps a bit of lactose intolerance there), whereas mine make hilarious noises, but are barely noticed by the olfactory senses.

We waited a bit, but once, during a wrestling episode before anything sexual occurred, she let one go, and quickly said that she must have stepped on an elephant.
posted by adampsyche at 11:06 AM on December 18, 2003 [1 favorite]

Well you can put me and my wife into the "earthly types" category.

I was going to share our farting habits, but I've decided that it really isn't information you all need or want.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:56 AM on December 18, 2003

I have to throw my lot in with the farters. I was raised in, as Konolia said, an "earthy" household (I like that term. I'll be sure to bring it up while we're all passing gas on each other after Christmas dinner) and learned that being able to be comfortable with one's own bodily functions around others was a sign of closeness, comfort, and intimacy. Not to mention a lot more convenient than running out of the room every time I have "shoot a rabbit" (as my grandmother used to say).

I have never had a long-term relationship that didn't involve the willingness to fart in front of each other. It's usually something I get out of the way first, just because I hate the underlying feeling of formality and discomfort that stems from not being completely oneself--warts, farts and all--in front of someone you will potentially be spending a lot of time with. I'm sure this is a direct result of that earthy upbringing I had.

One of the funniest fart-related comments I've heard came from my SO who, in response to a big old toot from a friend of ours in the backseat of the car, said, "Who brought a trumpet back there?"

So thus, then, is my advice: Let one go in bed, and then say, "Who brought a trumpet to bed?" The hilarity of the comment will surely overcome any discomfort.

(Note: My mother married a man who is very, very private about bodily functions, and who will shut the bathroom door to blow his nose. I adore this man, and respect his boundaries, and never fart in front of him, but I do revel in talking about farting, or pooping, or anything, in his presence, because he gets so damned flustered about it. It's just adorable.)
posted by jennyb at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2003 [1 favorite]

As you're basking in post-coital bliss, announce that you can hit the ceiling with your spit and proceed to noisily gather the necessary ammo. When she pulls the covers over her head for protection from the failed attempt (or drips), flatulate away. Study her reaction for clues of acceptance of your future gas-passing. If she is offended, you'll have to give up either her or a relaxed sphincter.
posted by joaquim at 1:08 PM on December 18, 2003 [7 favorites]

Joaquim - Wow, dude, you're my hero. Not only a dutch oven, but dutch oven entrapment!
posted by SpecialK at 1:20 PM on December 18, 2003

Personally, I think leaving the room so as not to fart in front of your partner is a little extreme and weird. On the other hand, being crude or stupidly jokey about it ("It wasn't me, it was the barking spiders!") is no good, either. Just say "excuse me", and don't make a big deal out of it.
posted by Shoeburyness at 4:08 PM on December 18, 2003

I was going to share our farting habits, but I've decided that it really isn't information you all need or want.

I guess I figured if you read this far, you're just asking for it anyway.
posted by adampsyche at 4:12 PM on December 18, 2003

Well, then, I rip 'em out unabashedly in bed. Big, exuberent, jully farts. Fortunately, they seldom stink. I figure my week of intensive intravenous antibiotics whilst in I.C.U. for a head injury killed the bad bacteria. Farting makes me feel good, though it's not nearly as good as that big ol' dump in the morning. That is a little bit of heaven, I swear.

My wife, OTOH, silently leaks these eye-watering demons that leave me gasping for breath. Not as bad recently: must be a food thing, perhaps that lactose intolerance idea. Come to think of it, she hasn't been nearly as evil since taking up soy milk. Hmmmm.

I try not to fart around anyone who I wouldn't also feel comfortable having in the bathroom as I piss or take a dump. Which means everyone but my wife.

I don't much appreciate my father-in-law's ability to let stinking wet ones rip out. It sounds and smells awful. He wouldn't want me in the bathroom when he's shitting (and I wouldn't want to be there: the man must have a dead dog up his ass!), so why's he feel free to share his farts with us? ugh.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:32 PM on December 18, 2003


vito90, has any of this helped any?

Of course there is another tack you can take...Beano. And avoid cabbage.
posted by konolia at 4:49 PM on December 18, 2003

Response by poster: konolia - I think the sagest advice, that I plan to implement when the need arises, was this suggestion. If there's going to be a future with her, might as well let things happen earlier. It will certainly help me sleep at night not having to get out of bed under some bullshit pretense. Thanks to everybody who offered.
posted by vito90 at 5:19 PM on December 18, 2003

We wait with bated breath. Just wondering how you're going to post the update in the form of a question.
posted by daver at 6:20 PM on December 18, 2003

A MetaFilter self-link, of course, with full video documentary, director commentary, and links to "The Dutch Surprise" family boardgame.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:35 PM on December 18, 2003

Response by poster: Jan. 1, 2004 @ 5:15 AM. We had been drinking champagne all night and I couldn't wait any longer. She responded in kind. So...about 6 weeks give or take.
posted by vito90 at 7:54 PM on January 1, 2004 [7 favorites]

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