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What Happens When You Fart in Front of Your Wife, According to Science

Couples that fart together might be happier and healthier for it, studies suggest.

Farts are gross, yet occasionally funny, and ultimately an inevitable part of being a family. Although farting might seem uncouth, the scientific consensus is that they’re not anything couples should be ashamed of or shy away from. Ultimately, farts are sometimes just the GI system’s way of saying “I love you.” Here’s why husbands and wives should not hold them in, according to the research.

Holding in Farts Will Give You Bad Breath

When people hold in their farts, the gas absorbs into the body and is released through the mouth in the form of terrible breath, researchers warn. Depending on how offensive bad breath is compared to the occasional discrete toot, farting may be the lesser of two evil odors. Farting is definitely not a replacement for dental hygiene or even mint gum, but maintaining that minty fresh breath may be one good excuse to not hold them in.

Farts Tell Your Spouse That You’re Healthy

Farts may not be a sign of good manners, but they are a symptom of good gut bacteria and a healthy diet. If a person is not farting (and not holding it in) it means they’re eating nothing but refined sugars. In many ways, it’s just your butt’s way of saying that you’ve been eating your vegetables. Your spouse might not love the sound or smell as much as she loves having a healthy partner, but it’s all a fart of the same package.

Smelling a Fart Is Neither Good nor Bad for Your Health

A few years back, a study claiming that smelling people’s farts was healthy made the rounds. This was not quite the case (the study actually found that the chemical compound AP39 is good for cells, and is linked to the hydrogen sulfide that makes farts smell bad). But even if smelling farts isn’t healthy, it’s certainly not unhealthy.

Farts Are Usually a Little Bit Funny

People who think farts are funny may not be the most mature, but they’re not alone either. Farts satisfy three different philosophical theories that help to explain why some things are funnier than others, one study found. Superiority theory suggests that humor is rooted in dominance (and occasionally aggression) and that there’s nothing more aggressive than letting one rip. Incongruity theory states that things are funny when they’re inappropriate, which farts definitely are. And finally, relief theory explains that people laugh to relieve tension, and there’s no better release than, well, a fart. So if your partner is not laughing, science says they should be.

At Least Your Farts Are Not as Bad as Hers

Women’s farts smell worse than men’s because their farts have a higher concentration of hydrogen sulfide, according to gastroenterologist Michael D. Levitt, who’s published over 275 papers on flatulence. When you fart in front of your wife, don’t point out how much worse hers are, but think of it as an opportunity to take the blame for her silent but deadly rip. It’s a more chivalrous way of saying that you’ve also been eating very healthy.