By Brittany Risher
Farting is one of those things we all do, but society seems to tell us we “shouldn't” fart. If we happen to pass gas in front of other people, it can often induce embarrassment and frantic looking around, hoping nobody suspects it was us. But it's a completely natural and common occurrence to fart.
It's the same thing with vaginal farts, otherwise known as “queefing,” but these usually happen in front of a much smaller crowd. When a person queefs during sex, it can leave them mortified and negatively impact their pleasure — even if their partner(s) doesn't seem to care.
It's time to embrace queefing as a normal and perfectly healthy bodily function. In an effort to help people who queef and those who witness them overcome any embarrassment, here's everything you need to know about vaginal flatulence.
What Is Queefing?
“When air is released out of the vagina, a sound is made that is most commonly described as queefing,” explains Sherry A. Ross, MD, women’s health expert and author of She-ology and She-ology, the She-quel. Let’s Continue the Conversation.
While it may sound like a fart, the two bodily functions are much different. Farts are released from the digestive tract – that’s why they smell – while queefing has nothing to with the GI system.
Dr. Ross and other women’s health experts also agree that a lot of the rumors around queefing are false. Contrary to popular belief, queefing does not mean you have an oversized vagina. It also does not cause pregnancy and is not dangerous to pregnant women in any way.
What Causes Queefing?
When it comes to sex, there’s often “a lot of thrusting…in and out of the vagina, typically pushing extra air into a dead-end space,” Dr. Ross explains. “The only way for the air to escape the vagina is through the same door, creating a sound like expelling gas from the rectum.
But sex isn’t the only cause of vaginal flatulence. Tampons, diaphragms, and menstrual cups produce this effect, as well as certain forms of exercise, such as yoga and stretching.
Is Queefing Normal?
Rest assured, as awkward as you may feel to queef, it is a completely normal bodily function. Scientists have even done a few studies on it:
But these numbers may actually be higher. “Anyone who uses their vagina on a regular basis is prone to queefing, so most women will experience it at some point,” Ross says.
How to Stop Queefing
Some positions such as doggy style and inverted missionary position (a.k.a. woman-on-top missionary) seem to be at a “higher risk” for queefing. If you wanted to, you could avoid those positions and find others that bring you pleasure.
Some women's health experts also suggest trying to keep your partner's penis inside of you as you switch positions to avoid introducing more air into the vagina.
In the end, vaginal flatulence is normal. In fact, the “only way to prevent queefing is if you don’t put anything inside the vagina,” Ross says. But really, what fun would that be?
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