Leesa, a mattress-in-a-box company, recently surveyed 983 American cohabiting couples about the unsexy aspects of their bedroom lives: their annoying habits, their sleep quality, their relationship satisfaction, their draconian bed-sharing rules. A lot of the results of this definitely-not-scientific survey were pretty standard: The more a person uses a phone in their bed, the more likely their partner is to be unsatisfied with their relationship (duh); everyone sleeps better when they sleep alone (duh again); cover-stealing and wearing headphones in bed are annoying habits (once more with feeling: duh). But when it came to the portion of the survey on “rules,” one answer shook me to the very fiber of my being: 21 percent of couples have a rule not to fart in bed. After I reassembled my blown mind, I wondered: what the hell is wrong with you monsters?
The bedroom ‘rules’ portion of the survey dealt with, well, the laws that couples set down to be comfortable in the bedroom. Most of these make sense: 60 percent of couples try not to go to bed angry, while another 54 percent don’t bring food or drinks in bed. Some rules were petty — 37 percent have an actual rule that couples have to stay on their side of the bed — others seem to be instated for the overall relationship health, such as the fact that 30 percent of couples have a gag order on arguing in the bedroom, and another 30 percent make sure there is no work done in bed. Fine. While I do enjoy snacking in bed sometimes, none of this shocked me.
Then the rules got weird. Seventeen percent of couples use separate blankets (Is the tug-o-war really that bad?) Eleven percent have a rule not to burp in bed (huh?) four percent don’t cuddle, as a rule. (As a rule! What 39.32 couples hate cuddling so much that they made it a rule?). And finally, 21 percent of couples say they have a no-farting rule in bed.
Listen, I could understand if maybe, say, four percent of couples were uncomfortable with farts in bed. But 21 percent?. That’s ridiculous. What do these couples do, awkwardly get out of bed to go rip a fart in the bathroom, as though they were new cubicle mates and hadn’t crossed that line yet? Or do they spend all their time in bed purposely making the frame creak to cover up the completely natural sounds of their bodies? If one person ate something that makes their ass act like a howitzer, do they get booted to the sofa?
I have many questions. But, more importantly, I have other thoughts. First of all, and most pressingly: if not in the privacy of their own home, where’s a person allowed to let loose a butt cough without shame, or, more importantly, stress? Those poor sphincters, always holding, holding, holding.
Then there’s the fact that farting, and the rest of the gross stuff — is a natural (and often hilarious) part of sharing a bed, and a life, with someone. In the beginning of a relationship, maybe the farts are held in, a secret part about yourself that you’re not ready to share with your partner. But by the time I’ve signed a lease with someone, or bought a home, I’ve got to say it: if they aren’t comfortable with my gas, it’s not going down. Farting is a totally normal — and often funny — function of the human body. It is a gross way of being vulnerable in front of your person. Letting a fart out every once in a while also tells them that being around them is as comfortable as breathing — or breathing in gas. Sometimes, a fart, much like unbuttoning your pants after a big, gross pizza meal in front of the television, is a way of bringing two people closer.
Am I making a big deal out of an inconsequential sleep survey? Sure. But the fact that there are some people that have this rule is ludicrous in the same way that some people refuse to let their kids taste ice cream. Ever. Also, the no-farting rule is also silly because everyone cranks out farts in their sleep anyway. So what are those fart-shamers going to do? Set a nose alarm and wake up in the middle of the night every time a little ‘briiiiiip’ hits their noses? Or, are they going to let go, and remember that in the grand scheme of things, a fart here or there isn’t going to ruin a relationship?
Trust me, I’m not saying that a person should rip ass with abandon the minute they step into their homes. But I’m also saying that our homes — particularly our bedrooms — are the only place that we can rip ass without judgment. The people we love should accept our smelly farts as they love us. As the psalm goes, love is patient, love is kind, love makes it okay to let ‘er rip in front of your partner.