I've been seeing her for six months. We get along well; our sex life was great.
But in recent months, whenever we're intimate, she has vaginal flatulence (known informally as a “queef”) frequently.
We’d laugh it off but it now happens two-to-three dozen times whenever we're intimate. I'm uncomfortable performing oral sex on her anymore as I'm finding the sounds too distracting.
I've consulted with a psychologist who suggested I have something called misophonia. While it helped me understand why I feel the way I do around certain sounds, I'm unsure how to approach my partner.
Every time we're intimate I get driven away. It’s leading me to find excuses as to why we can't have sex.
I'm lost as to how to approach this now. If the sounds are going to continue to affect my mental health and lead to us having a sexless relationship, is it better for me to let her go?
We've explored the idea of counselling but it's something out of her control so I'm not sure what to do.
Thoughts on This?
If a woman has vaginal flatulence, why would you go to a psychologist in advance of her going to a gynecologist, and asking the important first question: What’s happening down there?
And if there’s no apparent physical reason from her inner workings, then both of you could ask a sex therapist, if anything’s happening during your sex play and procedures to cause this reaction.
The fact that that you don’t like the “noise” is natural. It’s distracting from the healthy act of making love with someone you otherwise truly enjoy.
But unless you both investigate the source of the problem together, it leaves each of you being wrongfully blamed – her, for something she can’t control, and you, for being averse to it.
I could’ve avoided using this question because some readers will find it more than they wished to know. But that would be unfair to you, your girlfriend and countless other women to whom this vaginal flatulence occurs. Especially, when the simple explanation is that the sounds come from the release of odourless air that’s been (unknowingly) trapped in the vagina.
Dr. Sherry A. Ross, MD, author of She-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women’s Health. Period, explains, “It happens when a penis, fingers, or sex toy go in and out of the vagina, bringing additional air along with it," says Dr. Ross.
“Sex can involve a lot of thrusting of the penis in and out of the vagina, typically pushing extra air into a dead-end space. Inserting tampons, diaphragms and menstrual cups can also push air into the vagina leading to queefing.”
Other causes include certain forms of exercise such as yoga and stretching, which potentially open and stretch out the vagina.
So, now you both know and hopefully other women and men engaging in healthy sex will look for logical answers to awkward moments, instead of feeling something is “wrong” with them or the relationship.
But what about the suggested diagnosis that you have Misophonia? It’s a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses that others might perceive as unreasonable.
According to Harvard Health Publishing online, it affects some worse than others and can lead to isolation, as people with this condition try to avoid these trigger sounds.
Contact the Misphonia Association. Cognitive behaviour therapy has had some success helping improve reactions.
Better that you two each get fully informed rather than end an otherwise good relationship.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman wanting to conceive a baby with the help of donor sperm (June 26):
“We think using a donor is an easy route. However, we never think about the 20-plus children who may have been conceived by the same donor. With DNA searches now as common and public as they are, I'd ask this woman, how will you or your child feel and what action will be taken when your child discovers s/he has many half-siblings?
“Also, have you considered the news about doctors who have used their own sperm and not those supplied by legitimate donors?
“I advise that the search to find a donor is very important and should be from a well-respected sperm bank.”
Ellie – Agreed. I also advised that she take extra care to choose a sperm donor whose basic physical and mental health conditions can be attested to by the sperm bank.
Tip of the day:
When something’s new/odd/disturbing about your physical or mental health, seek experienced professional help.