Sex + Dating

The Art of Concealing Farts From Whoever You're Dating

farting dating
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

If you can fart around your significant other, ribald romantics often note, it’s a sign you’ve found your soulmate.

I’m not necessarily buying that. Farting is gross, and nobody, not even the love of your life, would want to be within 15ft of you when you let one rip. Maybe this whole line of thinking is just a thing guys invented so they could feel justified farting around their girlfriends?

All this is a rather long-winded (!) way of saying that I fart a lot, which makes it uncomfortable hanging out with my girlfriend for long stretches of time. It is often the case that I will sneak off for a quick bung blast when she’s not looking, but there are instances, of course, when that’s just not possible. Over time, I’ve managed to perfect some pretty fool-proof techniques both men and women can use to secretly -- and safely -- fart around their significant others. Or really, anyone else you’d prefer not notice you let it fly.

farting
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

The sidewalk fart

The sidewalk fart is particularly useful for silent-but-deadlies. Depending on the level of ambient noise -- traffic, rumbling subways, and whatnot -- a fart of moderate volume will probably be safe to try, too. This technique works best when the wind is blowing against you: even the most potent of farts will quickly leave your vicinity when the gas is released, making you inculpable.

If the wind isn’t in your favor, blame any arising smell on the air. But don’t be the first to point it out -- you know the old children’s rhyme, don’t you? Before you do the deed, take a quick glance behind you to make sure nobody’s walking in your wake. This is a courtesy AND a way to stave off embarrassment. You don’t want to be seen as a secret farter, even to a stranger.

The coughing fart

A risky proposition for those unacquainted with the intricacies of their gastrointestinal tract, the coughing fart isn’t for everyone. You need to have some sense of the fart’s potency before you unleash it. If you’re going to squeak one out and cover it up with a cough, it's better not smell like the inside of a wild boar’s digestive tract. But if you know -- depending on what you ate and how it’s sitting in your stomach -- that the fart will be relatively low on the stench scale, then the coughing fart is there for you.

Be careful, though. The fart should never be louder than the cough! This is extremely difficult to control... since coughing causes the fart to leave your anus with more force than you’d expect. So, it’s useful, but carries a higher degree of difficulty.

The under-the-covers fart

I’ve experimented with this one quite a bit, and found that even the most pungent of flatulence goes unnoticed if you do it right. (Caveat: I use a comforter, a thick barrier between fart and nose. If you only sleep with a top sheet, I cannot vouch for the reliability of this method.) Make sure your partner doesn’t lift the covers for about five minutes after you’ve let one out.

The gas lingers there for longer than you’d think, as anyone who’s farted under the sheets and then gone under for a quick whiff of ass vapor knows. The under-the-covers fart is best for quiet farts, which, in my experience, often come in the morning, when you don’t want to disturb the peace by getting up and going to the bathroom.

The bathroom fart

The bathroom fart works beautifully if you don’t use it too much. Your significant other is going to be suspicious if you’re sneaking off to the bathroom every 10 minutes to let one out. He or she will probably begin to think that you have more problems with your stomach than a bit of gas floating around in there. Anyway, it’s helpful if you have to pee, in which case you can flush the toilet right as you do the deed.

Bathrooms don’t hide as much sound as we think, so if you can also turn on the fan and perhaps the sink, then all the better. Throw in a cough, too, just to be safe. Oh yeah, also activate any fans if that’s an option. Make sure your partner isn’t going in right after you, and try to leave the door slightly ajar so the room can air out gradually.

The piecemeal fart

Done right, this is one of the most efficient techniques. You have to know that you’re capable of releasing the fart in bits and pieces until it’s fully out of your system. It can’t be so big that it comes out entirely when you start squeezing. (Those are best for the bathroom.) If you push out a bit here, a bit there, over the course of five or 10 minutes, no one will be the wiser.

This method is most practical when you’re eating dinner, preferably out at a restaurant, so your significant other can’t see what’s going on below the table as you carefully flex your sphincter to siphon out the gas. Be mindful that your facial expressions don’t give it away. Take a sip of your drink when you do it, just in case, so your face is partially hidden.

farting
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

The cooking fart

Fish, bacon, or anything with onions will help mask any scent. If you’re having your partner over for dinner, choose one of those items, or something else with an aroma sure to permeate your home for a while. It will confuse scents, and no one will know whether that smell is gas or food -- or both. Not to mention, your significant other will be so charmed you made dinner that they won’t even notice that the pungent smell may be laced with a dose of ass.

The trapped fart

The trapped fart is the riskiest of them all, and should be used sparingly. It’s useful for car rides when you have no other choice (and lowering the window would be suspect), or for when you’re cuddling on the couch and would rather not kill the vibe. (Be aware, however, that farting will kill the vibe far worse than getting up to go to the bathroom will.)

I recommend practicing this one alone a few times before you try it in the wild. It doesn’t always work, mostly because it requires some dextrous finagling with your butt cheeks to seal the fart beneath you. To do so, sit up straight, press your ass, hard, to your seat, and bring your legs together. You want to aim the fart slightly in front of you so it won’t escape out the back.

Then, let it out slowly and quietly, and wait for the verdict.

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Matthew Kassel is a freelance writer. His work has been published by The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review Daily and Cosmopolitan, among other places.