The Guardian

You be the judge

Interviews: Georgina Lawton

My boyfriend won’t stop farting in front of me

The T prosecution Astrid A It’s offensive, it stinks, it’s disrespectful and it kills the romance b between us

I will always go to the bathroom to fart rather than doing it in front of my boyfriend Alex. We’ve been together for eight years and I’ve always followed this rule. I expect him to do the same, but he rarely does.

Farting in front of anyone is not a symptom of societal collapse – but it is morally offensive and kills the r romance when you do it in front of y your partner. It also signifies a breakdown in respect. That may sound extreme but I stand by it. Farting is also really gross. You could be forcing fecal particles up people’s noses. Ew.

When Alex farts, I have to leave the r room for at least five minutes to let it d disperse. Alex claims that his farts d don’t smell, but they definitely do. T There is a total ban on open farts on my side of the relationship, but it’s not upheld by him.

When Alex wants to fart now, he t tries to make a joke out of it. He will s say: “Oh, those bugs are here again” and pretend to stamp on them. He’ll let out a fart when he’s stamping in an e effort to disguise the sound. I’ll ask: ““What’s that noise?” And he will say: ““Oops! It’s the fart bugs.”

Recently he was trying to fix a doorknob and he said, “Oh no, it’s very squeaky,” and farted as he twisted it. I don’t think it’s all that funny but that’s his latest shtick. He has a very childish sense of humour, even though he’s 32.

I have issued ultimatums before, like: “If you fart I won’t touch you.”

But he always comes over and cuddles me afterwards. Recently I farted in bed by accident and was mortified. I’d broken my rule but it was an accident. Alex reacted in a totally over the top way, saying, “Oh my God, it stinks” – but it didn’t. Besides, mine are accidents; Alex just lets rip. He finds it incredibly funny whereas I feel shame and remorse. The other day I accidentally farted in front of a fan and it blew into Alex’s face. I was really embarrassed. Alex is trying to force me into lad territory with his farting habits and it takes away the romance. I’m not his mate, I’m his girlfriend. If you want to keep the sexual energy alive, don’t fart in front of each other.

The defence Alex Farting is healthy, and it’s funny, too. Besides, hers smell worse than mine

I hope I’ll continue to laugh about farts until the day I die. Farting is always funny and lightens the mood. I have experienced some great comic moments that were centered on a fart.

Upon reflection, though, I do find it funnier when one of my friends or I fart than when Astrid does. Is that sexist? Probably. But I’m just being honest. I agree with her that it takes away from the sexiness of the relationship. It’s not a good idea to just let rip in front of your partner all the time. But we’ve been together so long now, so it’s kind of like whatever.

Yes, it’s true that I do more of the farting in the relationship but I just can’t help it. She has always stressed that she finds farting in front of each other intolerable, but we’ve been together eight years now and it just sort of happens – better out than in, I always say. I see farting as pretty funny. And it is a completely natural part of being human.

The jokes that I make with the bug noises came about when Astrid and I were travelling in Colombia, and met an older man in a hostel. The guy farted within the first 30 seconds of meeting us. He said, “Oh no, it’s a trumpet-bug!” to lighten the mood and I found it hilarious. It’s stayed with me and I now use that line whenever I need to fart. Astrid is rarely amused, though.

I don’t think I’m the fartiest guy in the world. It just happens when it happens. It’s probably worse to hold them in; it can’t be healthy, so I never do that. I think Astrid saves hers up for when we’re reading in bed at night.

We’ll be having a lovely evening, and then all of a sudden there’s an almighty stink and I’ll have to abandon ship and get out of bed. Sometimes, she gets embarrassed and forces me out in anticipation. She will say “go away” and shoo me out of the room. Other times, though, she’ll drop a bomb without warning, which I don’t enjoy. Hers definitely smell worse than mine.

Both of us are vegetarians and eat very healthily, so that at least helps a bit with the smell, I think.