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Farting Etiquette


Call it bad luck, or wrong place, wrong time, but during the past week I've had some unfortunate run ins with flatulence.
(And yes, once or twice I was the guilty party.)

This morning, as I boarded an elevator with a stinky stench, it occurred to me that perhaps we all need a refresher course in when and where it's okay to fart.

I jotted a few notes down...What follows is a handy guide of some do's and don't's.


Sometimes you can't help it. You just got to let one fly.
Break wind.
Cut the cheese.
We've all been there. And this guide points out times when you should hold it in and places you could let fly.

By no means is this guide complete, but hopefully it covers a range of public and private spaces, so you can use better judgment next time you're in a fart or no-fart situation. And so you limit the chances of being fingered as the culprit.

It's okay to fart...


Crowded Subway train: Go ahead, commute suicide. Who will know? Nobody, as long as you keep a straight face.

Walking down the street: Sure. As long as you're in motion no one will know.

Dance Floor: Generally okay. You might want to move or electric slide off the dance floor though, to avoid complete detection.

In Bed:
Single: Fart all you want.
Couple/Married: If your mate is game, fan the flames.
Just dating: Hold it in.

Playing Sports: You exert a lot of energy playing sports. And when there are others around and you're in constant motion, you might be able to get away with ripping one while you play. Or run a mile around the track. Doing it on the bench might earn you respect with your teammates too.

Watching sports: This one is a little dicey. If you're in open stadiums or larger crowds {football, baseball, hockey, NASCAR} you can probably get away with it. And if you're with friends you may have a contest to who can fart the loudest.
Go Team!
Then again, if you're on the sidelines at your kids game or more civil sports like Tennis or Golf, you may want to hold it in.

In your car: See bed.

Around Babies/Kids/Old People:
Babies have no clue.
Kids think farting is funny.
And seniors can't hear very well so they might say, "excuse me" for you.

Sky Diving: If you can let one rip at terminal velocity, go for it.

In the ocean: By all means.
In a pool: With caution. Depends on the size of the pool and your proximity with other people. Watch the bubbles kiddo.
Hot Tub: Ewww! Just don't.

Walking Dog: When you're out with your pooch you can let it fly and blame the dog. Dogs are cute. Cuter than you anyway. But be careful Romeo, if some lovely lady thinks it's you, you've blown your chance.

At a funeral: Farting at someone elses death is completely disrespectful. But that's not the point. Funeral homes smell bad, even with all those flowers around. A fart just blends in or better yet, goes unnoticed. Plus when there's a dead body in the room there's someone to blame and people are so sad who's going to notice your expellant.
(Just do to quietly.)


It's probably not okay to fart...

Commuter/Amtrak Train: Commuter trains have a more civil atmosphere than the subway. So unless you are walking through the aisle on your way to another car, chances are your fart will be detected.

Elevator: No. No. No. No. The second you let one go, the elevator will open and someone will walk on. Oh and elevator farts always smell: it's like Murphy's Law or something.

Cubicle: Just cause you have a few feet of space to call your own, doesn't mean you should let one fly. If you're confident there won't be a smell, fine. But do you really want to take that chance?

Meeting: The last thing you want to do in a room full of your colleagues, clients, bosses, etc. is break wind. (If you are trying to get fired, then ignore this one.)

Racquetball court: An enclosed space, no escape plan. Hold on fella.

Medical Office (Doctor, Dentist, Specialist): Same rules as the elevator apply.

Nude Modeling: If you're the nude model, don't. Otherwise you risk not getting your stipend. Worse, those drawing you will probably add some accents to their sketches that document your flatulence.

Gym: People tend to fart when they exercise. It just goes with all the grunting and straining. Well that should stop. Weight rooms, yoga studios and aerobics classes are just too small to risk tooting. So resist the urge with all your might.

Airplane: There's something about high altitude that brings out the gas in everybody. I've been victim countless times of the silent but deadly when airborne.
Airborne flatulence may be unavoidable sometimes, but farting at 30,000 feet is not the kind of mile high club you want to join. Hit the lavatory before you board and during the flight. You don't want to be stuck in a tin can for 3 hours with stinky McGasFactory.

During Sex: When it comes to passing gas and intercourse, the answer should be obvious. No! - No matter how comfortable you are in a your relationship.

Skiing: Downhill skiing requires a lot of layers and bundling up. So when you fart, it tends to stay trapped inside and you're the only one who smells it.
Take that from years of experience.

At the movies: 97% of the time don't. Movie theaters tend to have terrible air flow, lacking proper air conditioner and ventilation. The stink will just hang around you like a cloud, pigpen. So, unless the theater is virtually empty, try to hold it in.

Last but not least, if you have a terrible sense of smell: If you have a bad sense of smell, then you should hold your farts until you're in a bathroom, alone or far from others. If you can't smell you, it's still a safe bet that others can.


That's it for my quick list. Please add your suggestions to the comments. And good luck holding it in. If you're in the mood, watch the Top 10 Fart Lighting Videos.

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I ALWAYS fart on airplanes. I am convinced that the most poisonous fart will go undetected while in flight. This has been tested on 2 cross country flights, and 1 trans Atlantic flight. So far, so goo.

said jbudd75 on March 18, 2009 4:03 PM.

I fart way more than 14 times a day.
One thing about farting in public, if it's SBD then the question is - "Who dealt it?" (The one who smelt it?). If you can keep a straight face this can provide some good laughs.

said E on March 18, 2009 5:59 PM.

I have always believed in letting one go as you enter an airplane so it lingers in First Class and also letting one rip one floor before you get off in the elevator so as to leave a present for the rest of the poor saps!

But that is just me!

said Jonniewalker on March 19, 2009 7:48 AM.
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