Why Farts Sometimes Get Trapped in Your Vagina
Or, as one Redditor puts it, "Sometimes when I fart it rolls up through my labia. Is this normal?"
Illustration by Brandon Bird
The human body is a beautifully disgusting and disgustingly beautiful Rube Goldberg machine, with many parts and processes interacting to make magic happen. But sometimes those processes interact to make something horrifying.
There are a few different names for the aforementioned phenomena: "vart," "exiting through the gift shop," "cooter pooter," "sisterhood of the traveling farts," and best of all, "retweeting." You toot, and the gas escapes your crotch area like it's leaving a party, making sure to say goodbye to every part of your anatomy. The fart is getting your labia's email address so it can send that funny dog video it was talking about a while ago.
And let's be clear, this is not the same as a queef. A queef is when air becomes trapped in the vaginal canal and then is released, usually with a fart-like noise. But what comes out of the vag is just air. Air that was maybe fucked into you, but air nonetheless. This is flatulence—gases created in the act of digestion—taking an unusual route of egress through the rest of you. "Also, it may stay trapped only to leave the vulvar area with a little 'ffllprprr...' with each step you take to get away from it," adds Redditor frootjewz.
Now you're probably asking yourself, "If this happens to me, am I a bad person?" And the answer is of course yes. It's shameful and wrong to even have a body, let alone one with a vagina. Add to that the act of farting—which is supposed to be the sole purview of penised bodies—and you've basically created a monster akin to Godzilla. Anything a woman does that a classical Greek statue can't do is disgusting: fart, have body hair, vote.
The women of Reddit seem to be the only ones strong enough to speak this evil's name. The thread which originated this discussion had 656 comments, most of which can be summed up as "omg me too!" There are also at least two other times this has been brought up on Reddit. So if a vart is a crime, there are an awful lot of guilty (farty) parties out there.
According to AsapSCIENCE, there is a possibility of "farts spreading Streptococcus pyogenes, a pathogen that can cause tonsillitis, scarlet fever, heart disease, and even flesh-eating disease." The pathogens reside in fecal matter particles within the fart. Therefore, it would behoove you to wipe down after a retweet, especially if you were about to do other things with your vagina. Things involving the mouths of others.
Medically speaking, varts appear to be a silly and harmless phenomena. "It's nothing I can think of research related to either for or against," says Debby Herbenick of the Kinsey Institute. "The body is cool/interesting/funny and the more we all accept our bodies and their sights and sounds and smells, and yes, fart movements too, the more relaxed we will be."
So let 'em ffllprprr, girls. Let 'em ffllprprr.
Ask-Hole is a regular column in which Broadly investigates questions you probably already knew the answers to, but we didn't, so here it is. Do you have a question about honestly anything at all? Ask us about it.