You know that unexpected noise that sounds like flatulence, but mysteriously comes from your vagina? Yup, I’m referring to the infamous queef, which is (unfortunately) also known as a vagina fart. While it may cause you to pause briefly during a steamy sex session, the truth is, queefing is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a natural bodily function. In fact, if you haven’t experienced one yet, I’m here to tell you that in all likelihood, you will at some point in your life — probably more than once.
Before you start panicking, remember that a queef can happen in a variety of scenarios and for a range of reasons. “But WHY, body?” you may ask, indignantly. Indeed, our bodily functions are highly unpredictable, so it’s best to just embrace these insignificant incidents. There’s no use in fighting something that you can’t control — especially when it’s as harmless as a queef. Think about it this way: You don’t try to prevent a yawn or a chuckle, right? So next time you feel some wind from down under, take a breath and shake it off. Remind yourself that millions of other women before you and after you will experience a queef. And the world keeps turning.
In case you need some extra reassurance — here are a few reasons why a queef is nothing to stress about.
It can happen to anyone.
A queef happens when some built up air pressure inside the vagina is finally released, which is why you’re likely to experience one while changing positions, or when penetration ceases. It can happen during penetrative sex, oral sex, or fingering, as well as during exercise, according to sexologist Dr. Stefani Threadgill of The Sex Therapy Institute. It can also happen while you’re washing a dish, watching Bachelor in Paradise, whipping up some vegetarian chili… catch my drift? It can happen anytime. Just because. (Again, thank you body.)
Don’t be surprised if you hear one fly at the gym, as exercises like jogging and sit-ups can cause air to flow more freely in and out of the vagina. Since certain poses, like downward dog, can cause the muscles to relax more, a queef might very well make an appearance during a yoga class. (If it does, rest assured it’s not the first time your instructor has heard one.)
According to Dr. Threadgill, queefing is more likely to happen during certain sexual positions, such as rear-entry.
“This might especially happen for people who like to play with big motions in and out of the vagina or who play with pressure at the vaginal opening,” adds Dr. Rosara Torrisi, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and founder of the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy. It can also happen for people who like to have air blown into their vaginas during oral sex.”
Ultimately, queefing typically happens when the muscles around the reproductive organs are relaxed, thus allowing more air to enter the vaginal canal, according to a 2017 literature review.
It’s literally just trapped air.
Given that a queef is also known as a vagina fart, it’s no surprise that many women feel embarrassed about them. But here’s the thing: The main concern with traditional flatulence is the smell, right? A regular fart is created inside the body, where the air is mixed with bacteria and food breaking down in the gut. But that’s not the case with a queef.
It never reaches your digestive tract, so there’s no odor involved. Remember that next time you queef — it’s simply air coming in and air coming out. Nothing to freak out over!
It could be a good sign.
A queef could actually be a good thing between the sheets. Hear me out on this one.
If you consider that a queef is the result of trapped air, and during sex, that tends to happen with a position change or after some kind of vigorous penetration, and when your muscles are totally relaxed, well, it may actually be a sign that you’re having one hell of a time. Don’t believe me?
Says Dr. Torrisi: “It might even be something to feel proud of if it’s a product of great sex!”
So next time you queef while you’re getting intimate, instead of getting embarrassed and apologizing, consider giving your partner a pat on the back.
It’ll remind you to lighten up.
Sometimes, during sex, our brains become hyperactive and we get caught up in trivial things. We stress about how our breasts look from that angle, or how we smell, or how much body hair we have. But ultimately, good sex means embracing every aspect of our bodies and feeling confident in our own skin.
As Dr. Threadgill so wisely states, “The antidote to anxiety is playfulness.” She adds, “Many of us take sex too seriously — it is important to have fun in bed!”
So if a queef happens and you feel the need to acknowledge it, take a moment to laugh about it with your partner and get right back to business.
By the way — when I asked Dr. Torrisi for tips on fending off this frontal flatulence, she said: “Prevent it? Sometimes it just happens, like a burp or sneeze.” In other words, don’t fret too much about how to keep queefs from happening, just let your body do its thing.
A queef is a normal and innocuous occurrence, not to mention odorless. I mean, just listen to the way the word “queef” sounds — it’s hardly something to be scared of. If you don’t make a big deal of it, hopefully your partner won’t, either. A supportive partner will never make you feel any shame over something that’s out of your control — not to mention totally harmless. So queef away, Ladies!