First kiss, first date, first I love you: we're made to believe that actual fireworks will ignite as we reach certain milestones in our romantic relationships.
In reality, there are smaller, unspoken moments that bond you with your partner more intimately than those hallmark milestones ever do. For example: the first fart. I was surprised at how close I felt to my ex after he scurried over to me and farted against my leg. No, I wouldn't request this act of intimacy frequently, like I would a big bear hug after a long day at work -- but something about it told me we had reached a new level in our relationship.
To shed more light on this under-discussed milestone, I asked some guys and gals about the first time they let one slip in front of their partner and what sort of lasting trace it left on their relationship.
I gagged while I was giving my boyfriend a blow job, and as a reflex I farted. He was lying on the bed and I was on top of him on all fours, and suddenly I farted and there was this moment, frozen in time, where I stopped and he looked up at me. We both started laughing and after a while he told me to keep doing what I was doing -- no need to let a little fart ruin a perfectly good BJ. It could have been awkward, but his laughter made it OK. I would say it brought us closer, although I still hold my farts in as much as possible. Best to keep the blowing to one end at a time. -- Jessica, 23 (Los Angeles, CA)
Teardrops will fall
I was staying at my girlfriend's parents' house for the weekend and we were lying on her couch in the basement. She had farted in front of me before but they were always little cute ones. But damn, this time she really let one rip. It was earth-shattering. Loud and long. We locked eyes and she started laughing, and then she started crying, and then she was really crying, tears running down her face. I was so horrified that she was crying I started laughing and then her crying turned back into laughter and it was the most confusing, hilarious 10 minutes of my life. Now I tease her about it all the time -- she made herself cry by farting. -- Andy, 26 (Indianapolis, IN)
The one who smelt it
I once farted and blamed it on my girlfriend at the time. We had been going out for about a year and I had been having SBDs (silent-but-deadlys) all day. While we were having sex, I farted again. Completely silent, completely deadly. Before she could blame me, I said, "Ew, Jamie. What'd you even eat today?" At first she was a little confused, then a little angry, then pretty grossed out, and then finally she laughed. She later reiterated by farting on my hand when I was spooning her. I would say our farts bonded us. Sometimes she would burp and blow it towards me, though, which I always hated. I don't miss those burps. The farts, though -- the farts I miss. -- Benji, 24 (Chicago, IL)
Awakened by true love's... fart
For our first vacation, my boyfriend and I went to Great Wolf Lodge in the Wisconsin Dells. It was 4/20 so we smoked a lot of weed and ate a ton of snacks. We were spooning and watching TV and as I started to doze off I suddenly woke myself with the loudest fart! I kept saying it didn't happen but my boyfriend couldn’t stop laughing and teasing me about it. I stayed in denial for a while but over time I got more comfortable farting in front of him. Now we fart all the time. Also we're engaged! -- Julia, 25 (Boston, MA)
The (farting) red flag
One night freshman year of college, I was lying in bed and my girlfriend was gathering her things to head back to her dorm. While I was talking, I let out a big wet one. I just kept talking -- the lights were off and it was hard to tell if she noticed. She was like, "Did you just fart?" And I was like, "Nope. I must have kicked something off the bed." Instead of teasing me about it she actually believed me, and that was the moment I knew we really weren't right for each other. It was so obviously a fart! Come on. -- Jonathan, 24 (St. Louis, MO)
Have a fond memory of a first fart? Let it rip in the comments.
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Hillary Waldstein is a writer whose sense of smell is so strong, she can tell if someone farted in a room three years ago. For more unfortunate facts follow her on Twitter: @HillWald.