Ashera is a Marriage and Family Therapist with an extensive background in sexual health education. You can ask her stuff anonymously and she won’t get weirded out. Seriously, try her. Send your queries through our anonymous contact form here.

Dear Smashera,

When is it time to be more intimate in a relationship?  By intimate, I mean: when do you fart, burp, etc.? When I was first dating my now-husband in NYC, if I had to pee, I would ask him to go to the bodega on the corner and get me a candy bar. While he was on that errand, I’d use that time to pee or poop or what have you. Finally I got over it and peed with him in the apartment — it slowly worked up to farting in person. Now I can’t shut the door when I poop — he wishes I would. I will openly have a discussion, staring him in the eyes, while on the toilet.  He will politely ask, “Are you pooping?” and I will say “… maybe…” then he walks away! So, the question is this — WHEN do you drop those walls? When is it ‘normal’ to lose these hang-ups? I want your opinion!

Sincerely,
Open Doors

Dear Open Doors,

That’s easy!  Here’s the Official Relationship Grossness Breakdown:

Burping: second date
Small farts: 3-4 weeks
Big farts: 6-8 weeks
Peeing Openly: 6 months
Pooping Openly: 3 years

Just kidding!  This is entirely subjective.  I know couples that will really do ~anything~ in front of one another after a pretty short amount of time, whereas there are couples that live together for years that Will Not fart in front of each other. It’s all part of the unwritten rules that people co-create in relationships.

Humans are just pretty gross in general. We’re all full of fluids and smells and sticky stuff. It’s a part of life. Somewhere along the way we decided that hygiene is a big deal and it’s nice to NOT smell like an animal and that bathroom business should be done solo. I think that as relationships deepen, it becomes way less weird to pee openly in front of other people. Heck, that can almost be a marker of friendship!

As you noted, this definitely changes over time. Relationship milestones like moving in together and having children will definitely open up those doors. I don’t really believe in “normal” anymore, so I guess that whenever these things are comfortable for both people is the right time to do it.

The flip side to the coin is that this openness can take a toll on other parts of the relationship. This definitely is not always the case, but I have worked with couples where we needed to reinstate some more boundaries around bathroom stuff due to it affecting their sex life. For some people, it’s hard to jump into bed with someone after making eye contact with them as they drop a deuce. But again, this depends on the relationship and the people within it.

So, I guess, be your bad self and do what makes you happy. If you notice your partner grimaces when you do certain gross human stuff, maybe reel it back a little.

Keep it stinky, y’all.

Kisses,
Smashera