Before I knew my boyfriend would become my long-term partner, I always had that nervous glee in the pit of my stomach before we'd go out. Some would call it butterflies, but it was also mixed with a twinge of fear of making a bad impression.
Even though I knew I was being irrational, for the first few months I was careful about my actions and what I would say. But, then one night we were watching a movie, I accidentally let one rip.
As embarrassing as it was, after a couple of humiliating seconds, we couldn't help but laugh. I realized my fears had been for naught, since farting is an inevitable part of life.
Of course, I'm not the only one who (now) thinks this. According to marriage experts, farting in front of your partner actually helps strengthen your relationship.
Shannon Chavez is a psychologist and sex therapist who often works with couples. She said the social stigma surrounding breaking wind is most likely cultivated during early childhood, which carries over to an individual's adult lives.
“Passing gas is viewed as gross, dirty, stinky and not attractive,” she told HuffPost. “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.”
“This early programming can come up in our romantic relationships where someone feels inhibited or embarrassed by just the thought of it,” Chavez added. “I think it’s something most people avoid in any sort of intimate relationship out of shame.”
But, how long does it take until you fart in front of your partner?
When is time to start acknowledging your farts?
In a 2016 survey by Mic, researchers asked 129 people when the right time to pass gas was, and there seemed to finally be a general consenus.
For 29% of the people surveyed, it only takes between two to six months of dating before they pass gas. It was closely followed by 25.2% of respondents, who said they only feel comfortable to start farting in front of their partners between six to 12 months. This is contrasted by 22.4% of people who were ready to pass wind only within a few weeks.
Oddly enough, according to polls conducted Business Insider and Match.com, people are more willing to engage in intercourse (between two and five dates), and say "I love you" (on an average of about five months) before farting in their significant other's presence!
However, once you get over initial fear of passing gas, your relationship is ready to be taken to the next level... or be a warning sign for a larger issue at hand.
Well, I might be exaggerating. While the initial fart in front of your paramour may be a possible experience, doing it too often could lead to problems in your relationship.
When it's a bad sign
According to Kurt Smith, a therapist who specializes in counseling men, when a partner goes out of their way to break wind in front of you (remember the average person farts about 14 times a day!), it could be a warning sign of their inconsiderate and selfish attitude in your relationship.
While this suggestion may seem extreme, Smith also indicates your partner disrespect towards you could manifest in other ways.
“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 relationship,” Smith explained.
But, luckily if passing gas is subconsciously done without embarrassment, it means you and your partner are in it for the long haul.
When it's a good sign
While we know farting is a natural bodily function, and nothing to be ashamed about, people still feel uncomfortable doing the deed, despite its benefits.
“It’s a healthy sign that you are comfortable enough with each other to [pass gas],” Gary Brown, a marriage and family therapist explained.
Chavez agreed, adding passing wind in front of your partner could lead to a better sex life.
“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,” she said.
“The more we can normalize it and not shame it, the better,” Chavez added. “It allows people to feel more open in dealing with changes in their bodies and less secrecy and shame which can be isolating and embarrassing.”
How long did you wait until you farted in front of your partner?