Your honey makes your toes curl, your palms sweat, your heart flutter, and your stomach churn ... or was that the bean burrito you had for lunch?
In every relationship there comes a time when nature calls and you have to ask yourself, 'Am I comfortable enough around this person to let 'er rip?' Or maybe, like Carrie in that one episode, your sheet session is embarrassingly interrupted by an unexpected toot coming from -- oh, dear God no -- you.
You're not alone. According to a recent survey by CharcoCaps AntiGas products, 15 percent of adults have 'fessed up to farting during sex, while 72 percent say they've passed gas in front of someone else. So what if that "someone else" is your sexy new lover? Read on to see how real couples broke the breaking-wind barrier.
Toot Survival Technique 1: Don't Ask, Don't Smell
Gas may be a fact of life, but for some couples it's an issue best kept behind the bathroom door. Take Cynthia, who, even after 18 years of marriage, says that publicly passing gas is a no-go.
"This is a major issue for my husband, who gets very upset if I pass gas in his presence," she says. "He finds it a vulgar romance killer. If the need arises, I am to leave the room, walk away if outdoors, or get out of bed and leave the bedroom. We were walking home from my birthday dinner and one kind of happened and he barely spoke to me for a day."
Cynthia's hubby isn't the only guy putting his foot down on flatulence. Scott, who has been with his girlfriend for close to two years, claims that they've never cut the cheese around one another.
"We talk about it and joke about it but I really make it a point not to," he says. "She says she wouldn't care and, to her credit, she probably wouldn't. Still, it's a line I don't want to cross. It represents something larger to me, in a way. I think of it as a reminder to always be respectful of her. Ask me again in 20 years and see if my streak is still alive." (Scott -- if you ever become single, call us.)
Toot Survival Technique 2: Making Light of the Breeze
Holly, now married for three years, broke the farting barrier early on in her relationship. She tooted by accident, he laughed hysterically, they got over it. Now she and her husband have a light-hearted rule to help keep flatulence from ruining the romance: "No farting within an hour of wanting/planning/hoping to have sex."
Allie felt embarrassed the first time she inadvertently broke wind in front of her boyfriend, but now says, "Ultimately it is something that can make your relationship stronger, a funny joke you share together or something you are only comfortable doing in their presence."
Toot Survival Technique 3: Fartloose and Fancy-Free
On the other end of the spectrum are the couples who not only pass gas freely, they see it as a way to strengthen their relationship. (Yes, really.)
Now-married Drew says that fart confidence can even be a turn-on. "If one squeaked out and a woman apologized like a lady, I might've lost interest, whereas if she owned it with a line like 'Beat that!' I would have proposed!" (Hmmm ... we must have missed that chapter in "The Rules.")
Terena and her husband of 12 years have even turned their gas into a bonding experience of sorts. "At first I was shy to fart around him, but as time went on I had to relax or explode," she says. "We both laughed about it, so gas just turned into an inside joke for us. We now have competitions over farts. Who has the loudest, or longest, or smelliest ... we add categories as they come up."
They're not the only ones. Says Megan, "My husband and I have absolutely no problem passing gas. Sometimes we even make a game of it: One of us will fart, then the other one will try to do it louder. It's kind of juvenile, but who cares? We don't do it around other people. I think it would be ridiculous to spend the rest of your life with someone you wouldn't be comfortable enough to fart in front of."
She's got a point. After all, surely "for better or worse" has got to cover bad gas, right? Then again, Dutch ovens might totally be grounds for divorce.
Tell Us: Do you feel comfortable farting in front of your guy?