Fart women must, and fart they do. Women have a long history of farting, but they have an equally long history of holding those farts in or depositing them into a hole in a tree. It’s not our fault. It’s yours, actually. But that’s not really the point here.
The point is that not only do we have to lug around all these farts, it is not easy to do so. Holding in farts is serious work; women spend a lifetime perfecting this dark art. We should be compensated for what amounts to reverse pollution. My personal theory is that resting bitch face is really resting fart face. Any grimacing woman you think is a bitch is probably just a nice lady sitting on about three to five farts. What you think of as one of those upbeat smiley ladies is really just a woman who has figured out where to put her farts, undetected. Ask her what her secret is today (and then message me)!
But women’s liberation has gifted women an embarrassment of riches, without giving us the most embarrassing riches of all. We have greater socioeconomic and legal power, as well as greater respect as thinkers and doers. What it’s yet to grant us is critical fart freedom, which I have long argued is the great gender equalizer. To fart is to be fully human, and while men get to fart freely, they have generally never let us just let one rip, for America. For freedom.
As Beyoncé once famously said, “Farting’s not given to you. You have to take it.” Okay, she was actually talking about power, but still: Farting is power. It’s also unique. While it’s not new (hopefully) to adult men that women fart, what may surprise men to learn is that there are actually six unique types of farts that happen only to female-bodied people. Ready?
A queef, you’re likely already man-screaming, is NOT a real fart. You are correct. It’s not a real fart, because it doesn’t come from the same gas that actual farts do, from food, bacteria, waste. So it doesn’t smell, unless there’s trouble a brewin’. But if it looks like a fart and sounds like a fart, and most importantly, a woman has to react all embarrassed and awkward about it as if it were a real fart, then for all intents and purposes, let’s treat it as one.
That is a queef, also known as vaginal flatulence, a fanny fart or a vagina toot. It’s when air gets into the vagina and then pops itself back out. Planned Parenthood’s Vanessa Cullins told Cosmopolitan a while back that it can really happen at any time, like during exercise, yoga or just mad chillin’, but that sex is the most likely time you’ll get to queefin’. That’s because being turned on means vaginal expansion, which literally opens up the space for more air; and also because “fingers, penises or sex toys can easily push air up there.” It’s the additional lubrication during arousal that makes the “poot poot poot” sound. (Yup, direct quote.)
For this reason, some people may call the queef a post-sex fart. While this sounds more sophisticated, it is still inaccurate. I’ve personally queefed in nearly every situation a person could queef — which is, like, all life scenarios. I’ve queefed after swimming, while doing my taxes, standing next to fresh flowers and also while writing this article.
2. Period Farts
If death is a fart, it’s smells like a period fart. Take boiled eggs, ice cream and Indian food, ferment it for 1,000 years and release only the gassy offset, and you have a period fart.
Worse, it’s also the hottest fart known to womankind, and—believe it—there is no known male equivalent. Take maybe your worst hot-wings-and-jalapeno man fart, wrap it in a burrito and multiply it times dry ice. It’s so hot and so thick and dank it actually sizzles. If you could actually see it emitting, it would look like a toxic cloud of cotton candy, but made of ghost peppers and old blue cheese.
Science tells us it’s because of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that tell women’s bodies to expel the monthly unused contents of their uteruses. It’s just that those chemicals can’t quite stay on target, so they also affect the gut. This means more spasms, which in turns mean a nightmare scenario down below. Period shits, too, are real, and they are molten lava.
You know how women were sent into the woods back in the day to menstruate because of the shame? I think it was the farts. And I’m not sure I blame them.
3. Lady-Food Farts, AKA ‘Fiber Farts’
They say you fart what you eat, and women eat two things more than men: yogurt and salads. Whether it’s with a giant, lonely bowl of lentils or a low-cal pack of despondent probiotic yogurt, women generally stay healthier than men thanks to eating “better.” So we may stay thin, but at a cost. That cost is that fiber-rich farts pack a much meaner punch.
One study found that women’s farts actually smell worse than men’s because they contain more hydrogen sulfide. One food type that contains more hydrogen sulfide is dairy. Another thing that causes loads of farts is eating a ton of vegetables. Now, those don’t always smell worse, per se, but they kick up the volume. Taken together, women outpace men this crucial category. By an estimate I just made up, it would take men 200 years to catch up on fart smell alone.
4. Pregnancy and Postpartum Farts
Fact: A pregnant woman is a farting woman. The same hormones that make her muscles relax when she’s gestating — allowing her cervix to widen to grow that baby — also relax her intestinal muscles. This means slower digestion, more gas, more pressure inside and less ability to control its release.
Welcome to Fart City, dude.
But if you thought that was bad, wait until after she delivers the baby, where the uncontrollable pregnant fart is now a mom fart — and weirdly, it seems to be attached to a megaphone. Not only can she still not stop the farts, but the farts are suddenly really fucking loud.
My postpartum fart was literally a clap. It sounded like someone clapped one time with extreme aggression and efficiency to, say, wake up a hearing-challenged grandfather or a sleeping teenager in a geometry class.
To be fair, though, the postpartum clap was my favorite fart. Mainly because for the period I enjoyed it, no one ever knew at first, or more importantly, for sure, that it was even a fart to begin with. Sure, it’s weird in an otherwise dead silent meeting for a clap to come from the general direction of your butt, but there’s always the possibility a chair creaked or slipped out of gear. Plus, even if it is a fart? It’s festive. That makes it the most feminine fart there is, because it’s so agreeable.
5. Menopausal Farts
I can’t personally attest to a menopausal fart since I haven’t aged into it, but from reading that menopause causes serious gas and bloating, I feel strongly there’s a menopausal fart that is distinctive in its own way. Again, it’s specific to hormones that happen to women during her gentle exit from procreating, including increased estrogen, which causes bloating. Maybe it’s flatulence, maybe it’s water retention, maybe it’s Murder, She Wrote. Either way, grandma has her own special farts, and we need to respect them.
6. Front Farts
Finally, a rare type of female fart is called the “front fart.” A few years ago, a woman took to Reddit wondering why farts sometimes “roll up through my labia.” Broadly answered the call and discovered that there is indeed an explanation for why a fart sometimes, as they put it, “exits through the gift shop” or gets “retweeted” from your butt to your vag. They also called it a “vart.”
The reason is, the fart moved. That’s it. Farts want to travel, too. It’s like their attempt at a semester abroad. As a commenter noted elsewhere on the phenomenon, it’s awkward because you have to “do a weird bend to re-fart your fart.” But I disagree: You can just shift in your seat and create an escape route that way.
What’s interesting about the front fart is that it probably could happen to men too, but your balls block the fart. Or, who knows, maybe it also travels up around your balls and over your dick but you can’t really feel it? Maybe uncircumcised men can? Maybe men never mention this because vaginas have far more nerve endings than penises, which means men are also missing out on this vital experience.
It’s possible you find all this information gross. But to me, you should actually feel jealous. After all, you’ve spent your life believing yourself to have the monopoly on farts, but women were hiding these divine abilities — and you had no idea. Call it fart privilege, or call it fart destiny.
Either way, now that you know, it’s not your job to envy these farts. Just try to sympathize. And if nothing else, give women you love the space — a lot of space — to work through them.