The lights are low, and the desire is high. Cue the porno music, ‘cause something sexy is about to happen.
Here comes the touching, the gliding, the moaning, and…a farty-sounding blast from your vagina?!
That mojo-ruining ruckus your girly bits just made is (colloquially) called a queef, also known as a puff of air escaping from your down-below, also known in more delicate situations as OMG NOOOOOO. It happens to every one of us, ladies, but it still has the power to mortify us. A queef can turn fantasy-caliber sex into an awkward romp or ramp up a standard trip to the gyno into next-level embarrassment.
Here’s the good news: Humiliating though it may be for some of us, it’s completely normal. So you really should feel zero shame or embarrassment. It’s only air, not like a gross, malodorous fart, even if it sounds like one.
Basically, it’s the same as the fart sound you can make with your mouth — only this one’s made with your other lips. Consider how our bodies are constructed: The vagina is not some kind of endless tube where the air can be redirected and, say, come out our mouth as a more easily stifled burp. It’s essentially a container with a bottom, and any air that gets pushed up in there is gonna have to come out the same opening. That’s, like, science.
So when you’re in any situation that might allow a little air to slide up in there, you’re ripe for the queefin’. Sex is the biggest culprit due to all the in-and-out action, but it can literally just happen whenever — like during yoga when your yoni decides to turn the quiet into queeeeeeffffff.
To make us all feel better about our queeferocity, I conducted an informal poll to see who’d be willing to share their queef stories. They agreed, on the condition that their names were changed. I can’t imagine why.
Cooter’s partner had the audacity to chuckle, but Muffy wasn’t there for his antics. “When we were dating and I queefed during sex, my boyfriend started laughing and I scolded him, ‘You pushed the air up in there! This vagina fart is half yours.’”
Speaking of laughter, Katherine Vulva’s wedding night turned from a romantic rendezvous into a mini-queefathon. “My husband begged me to show him a queef on our honeymoon. So I did because I can queef on demand. It ended up being a 30-minute queef-and-laugh session, and I said no sex that day because nothing kills the mood quite like that.”
But as I mentioned, it isn’t only sex that can make the beaver bark, and it isn’t limited to just grown-ups either. Faith Foghorn says her sister can also queef on command, and at middle school sleepovers, she and her friends “would take turns jumping off the couch while they queefed in mid-air.” Similarly, Jo Twatty’s 5-year-old daughter recently made the gleeful announcement (in front of houseguests, naturally): “Mom, I just farted out of my vagina!” thus reassuring us that queefing is an equal-opportunity occurrence.
Even Beyoncé queefs. Probably.
There is no foolproof way of preventing these toots from your taco (okay, okay, I’ll stop), but you can minimize the likelihood (during sex, anyway) by avoiding super-deep or rapid penetration and not changing positions a whole bunch of times. But why restrict yourself out of paranoia when you could just laugh it off? It happens. It’s a natural, normal, common bodily function.
Also, the best way to judge your partner’s character? If they’re grossed out by it or start dogging on you because a little air slipped out, kick ‘em to the curb because you don’t need that kind of judgment — in your vagina or your life.
Every owner of a vagina will experience a queef at some point. Every single one. Air down there is as common and natural as, well, hair down there. You can’t command your vagina to not queef. You can give her all the warnings you want, but nevertheless, she will persist. She will not be silenced, so we should just stop worrying about it and accept her natural vocalizations.