In my opinion, the best thing about living in a loud, bustling metropolis like New York City is being able to openly fart when you walk down the street. I believe we all could get back a few minutes (or hours) of our day if we stopped spending so much time clenched in a bathroom stall fiddling with toilet paper to muffle our farts. Because the truth is: Everyone farts, and most people do it 10 to 20 times a day. So why is it so taboo for people to make absolutely no effort to hold in or muffle a fart?
We're (almost) cool with nipples being out in the open; and talking about queefing, butt plugs, and anal sex is basically dinner table conversation — but for some reason, farts are still so wrong, especially for women. When Jim Carrey farts in Dumb and Dumber it's a funny party trick, but when SJP farts in Sex & The City, she flees from bed and flits around the room with embarrassment. These might sound like dated references, but even in Broad City, an arguably raunchy and progressive show, the male characters do the farting.
The world is just now calming down from the shocking reality that women bleed from their vaginas every month, and guess what? They release other things from that general area, too. The time is now to have your gas be heard. Free your farts — trust me, they want out.
The truth, medically speaking, is that farts are a sign that your digestive system is functioning properly, and your intestines are going to town on the food that you ate. How much air you swallow — because you're anxious, drinking a carbonated beverage, or chewing gum — can also impact how gaseous you are, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. So, if you're a human with intestines, who eats food or breathes air, and you pretend you never fart, I think you're lying.
Not to mention, holding in your farts or doing something to limit how they're expelled isn't just stressful, it could be bad for you. Over time, gas builds up in your intestines, which can lead to bloating and abdominal pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. There's a lot of well-meaning advice out there about how you can limit the amount of gas you're making, and it's basically about changing your diet. But, as long as you're feeling okay, isn't it much easier to just let it rip? (Though if you're having prolonged abdominal pain, or if you notice something weird happening with your stools, you should definitely see a doctor.)
Freeing the fart is about being okay with the fact that farts happen, and when they do, it doesn't have to be funny or awkward or anything.
Psychologists have ruminated about why people find farts funny, and the main theories are that it's nervous laughter or people find it hilarious when our bodies show us that we are, in fact, animals. But who really cares, because both explanations are tinged with shame and anxiety. Even kids who barely have control over their bodily functions are raised to believe that farting is a humiliating thing. I have a vivid memory of my entire third grade class turning around to stare at the beast who dared emit noise from her anus (it me).
Farting has also become a sort of litmus test for intimacy between partners, but that's BS in my opinion, because farting doesn't have to be a spectator sport. When Mic did an informal survey in 2016, they found that 25.2% of people waited six to 12 months to fart in front of their partner, and 33.3% of people said it's okay to start farting in front of your partner when you're having regular sleepovers. Is it really worth the wait?
Personally, I've never farted in front of my partner (and we've been together for six years), but there was one time in the middle of the night when I heard someone fart. To this day, I'll never know if it was me or him (it was him). I remember feeling victorious that I finally saw one little flatulent flaw, and I could relax. But like I said, it doesn't really matter whether or not you fart in front of your partner (or anyone, for that matter) — freeing the fart is about being okay with the fact that farts happen, and when they do, it doesn't have to be funny or awkward or anything.
We all deserve a safe place to pass gas, whether that's on the street, in a bathroom stall, or at a party. It's going to happen at some inopportune moment, so we might as well be in control of how we react. As for the embarrassment? That'll pass, too.