First things first, queefing is a totally natural bodily function that happens when air gets trapped in your vagina. It’s also sometimes referred to as vaginal flatulence, but it’s even less of a thing you can control than regs flatulence, because it’s just air getting in there, which you really can’t be expected to “hold it in”. But somehow, no matter how often you remind yourself of this fact, it can still be a bit difficult not to blush a little when it happens.
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But queefs are normal, and worthy of being acknowledged as more than just an embarrassing moment that you try to forget as soon as they happen! Like, did you know that your likelihood of queefing can be influenced by whether or not you’re ovulating? Or that some dudes actually find it to be a turn-on? With the help of doctors and sexperts, we’ve put together a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to know about queefing and why you should never be ashamed of your queefs.
1. Queefing is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of, but if you want to minimize your likelihood of queefing, try sitting backwards on a toilet seat.
Why? Sitting backwards on the toilet when you pee (aka straddling the seat facing the back of the toilet, as opposed to normally), opens up the labia majora and vaginal canal which can allow some of the trapped air to escape, according to Dr. Michael Ingber, MD, a board-certified doctor in urology and female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery at The Center for Specialized Women’s Health.
2. Some guys find queefing to be hot and flattering.
If you needed any more reason not to be ashamed of queefing, keep this in mind. “A surprising number of men are actually very turned on when a woman queefs,” says Kayla Broek, sex and relationship coach at Beyondages.com. To these dudes, a queef makes them feel like a more capable lover since they’re “filling you up” to the point that the air that’s naturally in your vagina has nowhere else to go, according to Broek. It def has more to do with positions and your own vaginal anatomy, than your partner’s skills in bed, but alas. It’s a comforting thought that men can be turned on by them.
3. You might be more prone to queefing depending on where you are in your cycle.
People can be more likely to queef when ovulating or on their period because your pelvic floor tends to be weaker during these times, says Gabi Levi, sexpert at Shagstory.com. As to when your pelvic floor muscles are at their maximum strength? That would be during the luteal phase of your cycle, or right after ovulation and before your period, explains Dr. Ingber. “We speculate that this is due to hormonal changes during this time,” he adds.
4. It’s not a fart.
Sheila Loanzon, a San Jose-based board-certified ob-gyn, says a queef is just the passage of air through the vaginal canal. A queef happens when air pushed in from something like sexual penetration (be it from a toy or a penis) needs to be released from the vaginal canal.
5. It’s the vibrations from the labia majora that you’re hearing.
“The sound comes from the vibrations of the labia majora, which includes the vulva and vaginal lips.” Dr. Loanzon explains. “It’s similar to the sound of flatus, colloquially known as farting, or gas exiting from the rectum, which occurs when the butt cheeks flap together.”
6. You can’t control queefs like farts, because your butt is just tighter.
“The anal sphincter is much tighter and better toned than the vaginal tissue, and therefore can be controlled,” Dr. Loanzon says. “It can contain passage of gas from the gastrointestinal tract, whereas you can’t control your vaginal muscles as readily.”
7. Certain positions will put you more at risk of queefing than others.
Dr. Loanzon says positions, like doggy-style, in which your partner pushes more air into your vaginal canal, can make you more prone to queefing than others. You can also be more likely to queef if you rotate positions too quickly after your partner has pumped air into you.
8. Depending on your birth history, you may also be more likely to queef.
Dr. Loanzon says women who have given birth to larger babies may have larger vaginal canals, which can accommodate more air.
9. There’s really nothing you can do about queefing.
“If you try to contract the vaginal canal to prevent air from coming in, it can cause sex to be more painful,” Dr. Loanzon explains. “If anything, you could try to manage the amount of air going in by slowing down the speed of penetration and using less depth — not having sex hard and fast, jackhammer-style — but it’s probably not that realistic in the heat of the moment.”
10. Using a lot of lube can mean delayed queefs.
Dr. Loanzon says if air bubbles get trapped inside lube, a queef can come out during sex or when urinating afterward.
11. Don’t be embarrassed by your queefs!
Dr. Loanzon says to remember that queefs are natural. “Just say, ‘excuse me,’ and carry on. And maybe laugh, because that can release the tension. It’s very anatomic so it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”
12. You can queef from doing nonsexual things like jumping jacks, coughing, or even wearing underwear.
Yep! Dr. Loanzon says anything that can introduce air into the vagina, like jumping jacks or trampolining, or coughing and sneezing, can also lead to queefing. “Some people also notice when they’re wearing a thong, the labia gets trapped and air can get in that way too. That’s another reason why you shouldn’t be embarrassed, because it usually happens when you’re either having sex, exercise, or wearing clothes, which means you’re taking care of yourself in some way.”
13. The word “queef” is not a medical term.
Who knew! Dr. Loanzon says doctors normally just refer to it as “passage of air through the vaginal canal.”
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