How To Evaluate Your Relationship Based on Farts

My boyfriend farts in front of me ALL THE TIME.

And when I say he farts, it’s not just a delicate expulsion of gas… no, he full-on RIPS ASS, and frankly, I think he takes pride in it. And he doesn’t just fart on the other side of the room… no, he does it in bed pretty much every night. And like clockwork, I tell him how disgusting it is and that I hope he shits himself one of these times as payback.

Real People: Headshot Caucasian Young Adult Woman Holding Nose O

My more recent response to this behavior has been to start farting in front of him – frequently and aggressively. It bothers him so much, which just makes me more determined to continue doing it. Any time I fart, he will immediately stop what he’s doing, stare at me with steely eyes, and say in a flat voice, “Get out.” To which I just laugh and fart again – if I have it in me.

I ask him all the time, “How come it’s OK for you to fart but not for me?” to which he inevitably replies, “Because I’m A MAN. It’s OK for me. But when you do it, it’s disgusting.” Double standard much, eh?

Seriously though, before you get all offended on my behalf, you should know he’s totally kidding (well, mostly kidding) when he says stuff like that. It’s just become part of the dance of our relationship at this point. Romantic, huh? But it got me thinking.

You can’t scroll through Facebook anymore without seeing some article or post out there that offers a specific lens from which to view your relationship – usually for some evaluative purpose. Well, forget those. I have figured out the ULTIMATE barometer for relationships. Farts. It’s farts. I’m sure of it.

So allow me to lay out for you the stages of a relationship and what they mean based on farts. You’re welcome.

Stage 1

No one farts in front of each other. This is the beginning of a relationship, and you are both still trying to only show the best version of yourself to each other, and farting is not part of that equation. This is obviously much easier to accomplish when you aren’t spending the night with each other yet. This is also, apparently, a very difficult stage for many men. Gil informed me many moons later how miserable those first few weeks were, trying to hold in his farts around me all the time.

Stage 2 

He farts in front of you. Now, I apologize for the sexism here, but let’s be honest… the men usually fart first. And it usually happens once he thinks he’s “landed” you, ladies. Which, incidentally, is usually around the time you start rolling around naked together. At least, that was the case for us. As soon as we started having sex, he started farting. Not DURING sex mind you (although let’s be honest… it happens, but we’ll get to that), but at the same time chronologically in our relationship.

This means he’s comfortable around you, and that is a good thing. Or maybe more accurately, he believes farting will no longer jeopardize his ability to get laid. In this stage, although the men are farting, they are usually just doing it as a necessity and not typically as some type of twisted game or to trap you in the most foul Dutch Oven you’ve ever experienced. No, no, that comes later. Trust me.

Stage 3

You fart in front of him. This one is actually a bigger deal than you might imagine. As a general rule, women are typically more self-conscious about things that have to do with their body than men are. Which is silly, but doesn’t stop it from being true. Usually, by the time the woman in the relationship starts farting in front of the man, she’s gotten emotionally comfortable. There is a level of intimacy that goes beyond just sex – she now believes the relationship is solid enough to survive her farts. That she will still be lovable and sexy and desirable, even if she lets a stink bomb drop. She no longer has to leave the hotel room during a weekend getaway to fart in the hallway.

And actually, I’m adding an amendment to this stage – it’s also usually when she’s comfortable enough to poop in his general vicinity. I don’t mean an open-door dump (that’s just bad manners and definitely Stage 7 behavior, which I’ll explain in a minute) but rather on that same weekend getaway, she can poop in the hotel room bathroom instead of going all the way down to the lobby to handle business.

giphy (2)

Stage 4

You both fart for humor. At this point in the relationship, you are already intimately familiar with each other’s body parts. Someone has peed in front of someone already. You’ve probably had a sex mishap or two as you try new things. You can now laugh it off if you sneeze while riding him and a little pee comes out. It happens. You’ve reached the point in your relationship where you laugh instead of getting embarrassed. So now farts become joke fodder. You can openly tease each when you rip ass, and sometimes do it on purpose just to get a laugh. This is the stage where farting during sex is a total non-issue and even adds a good amount of humor into the mix, which usually just makes things better. Caveat on this one though… farting during ORAL SEX is never OK. Just… no.

Stage 5

Farting becomes competitive. This one may not apply to all couples, but it certainly applies to us. And I suppose this is the stage where things could go south quickly if you aren’t fundamentally compatible. This is the stage in which you try to outdo one another with your farts. In this stage, you have probably at one point endured a Dutch Oven at the hands of your beloved. If you’re unfamiliar, Urban Dictionary defines it as “The act of trapping a person under bed covers after releasing vile ass fumes.”

As I mentioned earlier, Gil seems to wait until he’s in bed with me or standing right next to me to let the biggest farts rip. Case in point: I am sitting on the couch writing this and he was at the kitchen table. After sitting there for 15 minutes or so he walked over to the living room to get something and farted DIRECTLY in front of me before heading back to the table. Oh, game on buddy. Just wait until you want to spoon tonight.

But this works for us, because we both find it amusing at heart and our farts are filled with laughter, not malice. Once you are farting maliciously, your relationship is in trouble.

Stage 6

You develop a 6th sense for their farts. At this point, you know everything about the other person… there are no big surprises left. Which is not a bad thing. It just means you are intimately connected on a whole lot of levels. You’ve spent enough time together to really understand how the other person operates. As my friend Melanie put it, once you’re with someone long enough, you can not only tell when they’re hungry before they realize it, or exactly when they’re about the come, but you can sense when they are about to fart. She calls it a “fart tell” and she figured out her husband’s awhile ago.

This is the type of intimate understanding of another human being that drives the dating industry machine. People want to find their match – the person who is going to understand them at their core. Be careful though… because from here it can be a slippery slope to Stage 7, which is where romance goes to die.

Stage 7

Farting has become the tip of the disgusting iceberg. If you slide into this stage, I can tell you that your relationship is probably in jeopardy and you need to re-evaluate your choices. This is a world where farting is the least of your troubles. Where you don’t even close the door when you poop. Or you leave nasty, skid-mark streaked underwear all over the floor. This is when you’ve reached a point where you can’t be bothered to keep up with personal appearance anymore, and you just don’t care about impressing the other person at all.

I’m not advocating that women need to wear a full face of makeup and a corset every night, or that men shouldn’t be able to lounge around the house in boxers all day on a lazy Sunday. A healthy relationship is one where you can be yourself, and be vulnerable and flawed. But in order for a romantic relationship to function, there still needs to be ROMANCE. And I think the longer a couple is together (especially after you throw stressful jobs, kids, and finances into the mix) the more effort it can require. So if you find yourself in Stage 7, check yourself. Take a step back and really evaluate things.

Try to remember those early days in the relationship, when you went through the trouble of waiting until AFTER you dropped her off to fart in your car on the way home. Or when you always shaved your legs for him and casually went outside to “check something” before you farted. Remember the romance of holding in your farts. Because while it’s in no way realistic in a long term relationship to ACTUALLY hold them in, it’s a reminder of a time when we did go out of our way, even gastrointestinally, for the person we love.

So fart away my friends, but don’t ever stop going out of your way for your significant other, and finding ways to make them feel special. That’s what really matters… we can always crack a window or light a match for the rest.

Image via Giphy

Silicon Valley Tech Employees Are EXACTLY As Spoiled As You Think We Are

You’ve read about us. You’ve seen stories on the news about us. We travel in packs. And ride company shuttles. And eat free, catered lunches every day and ride company bikes around different “campuses” of our offices.

We are the tech workers here in this California mecca known as the Silicon Valley. And we are EXACTLY as spoiled as you think we are.

Silicon Valley flag

I wish I could say we all realize it, and live every day completely grateful for our situation and the abundance of resources and opportunities we have at our fingertips. But the truth is, that’s not really the case. It has become our “normal” and we just want more.

I’m guilty of it myself. When the bar has been raised and you live in the type of world we do, it’s easy to start taking these privileges for granted. Because while free breakfast, lunch and dinner is all well and good,  and our in-office masseuse and chiropractor are awfully generous, many of us find it easy to forget that’s not normal. It sounds crazy to even type that sentence, but it’s true. I think it’s even harder for those employees who have just recently entered the workforce.

They are the lucky ones who graduated in the last few years, when we had already started to recover from the recession. While those of us who were already in the workforce felt the full impact of what was happening in 2007-08, they were still in college (or high school for that matter), with a vague understanding of what the changing economy meant to their job prospects and still trying to get every ounce of enjoyment they could out of college. I don’t blame them. College is often a comfortable bubble that exists outside of the “real world” where you can skip the classes you don’t like, stay out all night partying and still feel ready take on the world the next day. So they did, these lucky ones.

And when they graduated, they were able to land jobs at the tech behemoths of the Bay Area: Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, among others. Places where “company culture” reigns supreme and employee benefits and satisfaction are serious business. When THAT is your first experience out of college, it’s hard not to come to expect that from all your employers. When you’re 23 and part of your job entails drinking free booze all night while staying at 5-star hotels in San Francisco and getting a private tour of AT&T Park, it’s easy to lose touch with reality.

Hell, it’s easy to lose touch with reality even if that’s NOT your only experience in the professional world. I graduated college in 2006 and started working for a company in Los Angeles that made coffee and tea accessories. Basically, I sold mugs and teapots.

There were 5 of us when I started. I was sales, I was marketing, I was part-time warehouse supervisor, part-time copywriter and catalog editor, and store merchandiser for our biggest customers. It was an amazing growth experience but I worked my ass off and made a grand total of $34,000. Which, when rent for my apartment in LA was $1,300/month, didn’t go very far. But I learned to hustle. And there was no free soda in the break room. No free lunches. No “perks,” just work that needed to get done.

I remember one of my first big business trips out to Chicago – I was so excited. And so green. At 23, I hadn’t done much travelling. My boss booked my travel arrangements. I was flying into Midway because it was cheaper, but the cheapest hotel he could find was next to O’Hare, so that’s what he booked. And there was no money for a rental car, he told me. No, I would just need to figure out public transit, even when it meant a 2 hour train ride and 20 minute walk in the snow to the outskirts of the city to visit a customer.

I remember that trip vividly, schlepping around Chicago in March with my suitcase, asking people for directions and trying to keep a smile on my face and not freak out about all the things I needed to figure out. In hindsight, I realize the company was mismanaged and bleeding money and I was put in some situations I shouldn’t have been, but it is what it is. I’m grateful for those experiences.

I’m not sharing this to show how much harder I had it than the recent grads working at tech companies (well, maybe a little) but rather to point out that those experiences helped shape me. They helped make me stronger. And I AM proud of how I handled those situations, and how I was able to get things done without a smartphone, and without company support. I worked there for almost 4 years, and by the time I quit and moved to the Bay Area, the job market was picking up. And when I landed my first tech sales job, I could see things were going to be different.

And even having had those experiences, it’s easy to be seduced into the world of free food, free booze, and free travel, and forget all about those days.  Big name tech companies and start-ups alike are battling it out for talent. Talent that is way beyond my pay grade. I mean, yes, they would like to attract the best sales talent, but who they’re really battling for are the top notch engineers and developers, and once Google set the bar, the rest of the companies who wanted those “A players” needed to step up with those big perks or lose the talent war. And the rest of us get to take advantage.

I remember the first time my boyfriend came to visit my office last year. We had 2 kitchens in the building (all free food), a pinball machine on my floor, and a mini golf course set up around the office (part of a team building activity from the week before). When I got home that day, he told me I was never allowed to complain about work EVER again. And he had a point. While I definitely considered my job to be somewhat stressful at times, it’s all relative. He’s worked in retail, as a logger, and in nonprofit, rebuilding homes in New Orleans. He has always had to buy work supplies out of his own pocket. Seeing that world was like walking into an alternate universe for him.

And it’s a good reminder for those of us lucky enough to live in it that we really should be consciously thankful every day. Because I’ve seen it all too often… people forgetting how ridiculously lucky we are. It happens more often when your friends and social circle all work in tech too. Because you all live in the same world – you become a silo. I’ve seen internal company discussion boards where people COMPLAIN ABOUT THE FREE FOOD THEY’RE BEING SERVED. I’ll give you a minute to process that.

At one of the companies I worked for, once a quarter they would cancel our catered lunch and simply ask that we bring our own or go out to lunch with coworkers. The money that was saved in that ONE DAY across all of our offices was astronomical,  and they donated it to the less fortunate. Once a quarter. Four times a year. No big deal, right? Wrong. Without fail, every time that day rolled around, someone would complain about how that impacted their work day, that they couldn’t be productive if they had to go out for lunch, etc. BULLSHIT. Total bullshit. Even if you can make the case there is no convenient food nearby (which you can’t, you entitled, privileged a**hole) then get up 10 minutes early and make a fucking PB&J.

I’m using a harsh example to make a point… most people were not so extreme. And I think most DO try to be appreciative of what we have. But it’s a competitive environment that we’re working in, and we do work hard. So companies keep upping the ante. If it’s not more stock options and work from home flexibility, it’s sailing lessons and free gym memberships. Which is great for those of us already working in this industry, and for those lucky college grads who find a spot on one of those teams right out of school. But the more perks they pile on, the further and further detached from reality we become.

At some point, some of these companies are going to fail. Some of these people will lose their jobs, and may not be able find a new one as bright and shiny as the one they had before. Some of us, like myself, are going to willingly walk away from this world at some point, as painful as it might be to give it up.

And when we come out on the other side, we’re going to have a hell of an adjustment to make. Somehow, I don’t think we’ll get much sympathy when we complain about our sushi withdrawal and how much we miss having a personal “ergonomics expert” to set up our desk area to fit our delicate needs. But that’s a problem for tomorrow. Right now, I need to go play a round of mini golf and grab a free Perrier.

Faking It

I have a secret to confess. I’m faking it. Not orgasms, no no no. I never fake those. No, I had a moment today when I totally felt like a fraud in the whole production that is life. A moment that is all too familiar to me. I feel like I’m faking knowing how to be an actual grown-up. Even just using the term “grown-up” seems like a pretty clear indicator that I don’t know what I’m doing.


In recently visiting with family friends who have young children, I distinctly remember thinking, “I hope everyone doesn’t leave the room at once and leave these kids here with me… they need adult supervision.” Guys, I’m 30. I’m an adult, by every definition of the word. I can rent a car, I have a mortgage, I am at an age where my peers are literally growing people inside of them – on purpose.

By now, I’ve been in the professional workforce for almost a decade and have somehow convinced multiple companies here in the Silicon Valley that I’m worth six figures. I bought a condo. I bought a new car. I did the things I thought I was supposed to do. I saved. I spent…. a lot. I got jobs with tech companies that would offer me stock options. I leveraged those jobs for better ones. I learned how to log-in to my E*Trade account. I got a financial advisor.

But most of this was in the last 4 years. Before then, I was living in LA, dating every cliche I could find, spending almost half my pitiful income on my rent and the rest on bar tabs and shoes. Maxing out my contribution to a 401-K? Psssffft, please. I spent pretty much every penny I made and then some. And the economy hadn’t completely tanked yet, so I wasn’t really thinking about the future.

But at 26, when I moved back to my hometown in the Bay Area after a brief stint in New York (where I made zero dollars), I decided it was time to get serious, and put down some roots. So I’ve been doing all the things I thought a responsible adult should do – especially an adult woman who never planned on getting married and having a second income to depend on. And on the whole (especially to those on the outside looking in) it would seem as though I’ve done a pretty good job.

The truth is though, I have NO CLUE what I’m doing. I pretend I do – BUT I’M TOTALLY FAKING IT. I don’t really understand investments, or the stock market, or compounding interest. I don’t fully understand my homeowners insurance or exactly how my property taxes are calculated. I had no idea how loans really worked until I bought my condo, but I only stored that information in my brain long enough to sign the papers and set up auto-payment. Most days I feel clueless on at least one occasion. Usually more than one.

What I want to know is why more people aren’t talking about this. I read plenty of articles and posts about how hard it is to be a parent, and how moms really shouldn’t be so hard on themselves, because behind closed doors all parents are hanging on by a thread at some point, despite what their Facebook feed tells us. But the reality is, it’s not just parents… it’s all of us. We all want to seem like we have our shit together and that we know what we’re doing, when the truth is oftentimes we’re navigating uncharted territory.

I didn’t have a background in tech and the company I worked at in my early twenties was a joke, so when I got hired at these tech companies that have been my bread and butter for the last few years, I felt like I literally had no idea what was going on. I essentially hustled my way into those jobs – my background was in sales for a company that made teapots (seriously, we made mugs and teapots), but I sold myself into a career in tech sales. Pro tip: when it comes to sales interviews, a little bravado goes a long way.

businesswoman holding her head with hand

When I entered that world, I would Google acronyms for things like KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and LTV (Customer Lifetime Value) and hope nobody caught me doing it. I had a customer tell me once they were looking for Ruby on Rails engineers and I swear to god, in my head I sounded it out and spelled it as “rubion rails.” I would listen in on conversations between coworkers as they discussed their stock options and frantically try to remember what RSU and ESPP stood for (Restricted Stock Units and Employee Stock Purchase Plan, in case you were wondering). How did these people know so much? Who was showing them the ropes??

I tried – I really did. I went online and tried to read different articles. I had a brief but unfulfilling subscription to Forbes. But most of the time I didn’t even know what I was looking for. And more often than not, the things I read felt foreign to me and the information didn’t stick. I’m a contextual learner – and I had no context.

So I mostly just picked up on things from friends and colleagues and then cobbled things together enough to make them work for me. I used my skills as a sales professional to bluff my way through conversations on subjects I had very little knowledge of (all you really have to do is ask questions – people love to talk, and they love to talk about themselves more than anything else). I’ve also had some lucky breaks – a company that was acquired, an unexpected residual check, etc.

But when I was reading an article today about how much you “should” have in your retirement account by 30, I found myself teetering on the brink of a panic attack. HOW? How I am so far behind where I should be?? I know how… I fucked around the first half of my twenties and now I’m playing catch-up, but hell, I thought I was doing really well. And I know my situation isn’t the norm, so how do people outside the bubble that is the Bay possibly come close to hitting these benchmarks?

I know we’re all just doing the best we can, but it’s hard not to compare yourself to others, especially in Silicon Valley. Reading about entrepreneurs starting companies in college, buying homes in cash, making millions – that’s all very real and tangible when you live here. I sell to these guys. Hell, I’ve worked with these guys. And when you fall into the trap of comparing yourself to those around you, it’s easy to come up short, and wonder what’s wrong with YOU?

San Francisco Bay Area Golden Gate Bridge

At least, that’s what happens to me. I start to zero in on all of my insecurities and perceived knowledge or talent gaps. I start to think that maybe I just lucked into my current life situation. Part of me always feels like I may be revealed as the fraud I am at some point. That there was some kind of orientation into adulthood, into understanding all these things we need to be doing and planning and saving for, and I slept through that day. Which is totally ludicrous, because we’re all just winging it and making it up as we go (at least that’s what I tell myself to feel better about things).

Because even if there is a large percentage of the population who “gets it” and I don’t, that’s OK. I’m doing just fine. I’ll do what I’ve always done, and just keep asking questions and running Google searches until I find the answers I’m looking for.

And frankly, I’ve already mastered some of the most difficult challenges in any adult woman’s life: the perfect cat-eye liquid liner look, and how to apply false eyelashes like a pro. So, things could be worse.

My Mom Caught Me Masturbating

My mom officially knows I masturbate. Well, she has probably known that for a long time… we are pretty honest with each other and there have been enough slightly awkward jokes over the years to really bring that point home. Plus, who DOESN’T masturbate? To those who say they never have, I’m not even sure how to wrap my head around that. Please, do it tonight. It’s amazing.

Anyway, she knows, and has known for quite some time and we have the kind of relationship where we can talk about sex and it’s not weird or awkward. But let me be the first one to tell you… even if you have the kind of open relationship I have with my mom, nothing prepares you to be caught going to town on yourself with your Magic Wand. While having phone sex. Oh, did I not mention that part? Let me set the scene for you.

The story takes place about a year and a half ago. I was recently back in my own condo after having lived with my parents the month following a rather painful shattered ankle and subsequent surgery. I was so excited to be on my own again, and have some real privacy – when you are sleeping on a recliner and can’t move on your own, privacy takes a back seat. I should probably mention at this point I was seeing someone who lived in Maryland, and with me being in California, we were very, um, verbally expressive with each other since physical contact wasn’t on the table.

So I had reached a rather frustrating crossroads and desperately wanted to be in my own room, spending some quality time with myself. And my vibrator.

With that in mind, I announced my decision to go back home and my parents helped me pack up and get settled, with the agreement that my mom would stop in to check on me regularly and help me out with cooking, cleaning, etc. All the things I still couldn’t do while on crutches. And she already had a spare key so that made things easy. Are you starting to see where this is going?

One evening, we discussed having lunch at my condo the next day, but since my mom works different Weight Watchers meetings, she wasn’t sure when she would be available. We left the conversation with what I considered soft plans – I assumed she would call once she knew if she could make it. And when 2:00 rolled around and I hadn’t heard from her, I figured she wasn’t going to make it. And I got a call from Maryland. What’s a girl to do? Take a break from work and catch up with the East Coast, that’s what.

So there I am on my bed, pants strewn somewhere on the floor, “catching up” with both Maryland and my Magic Wand. Bedroom door open, since I’m in my condo alone and closing doors behind you on crutches is a real drag. And it was good, let me tell you. Weeks and weeks of build up and frustration finally coming to a head. Literally. I was so close I could taste it when I heard a noise that sounded a lot like my door opening. I froze, my lady boner disintegrating instantly. And then I heard the distinct sound of my door closing and my mom’s voice.

To be fair, I had just chastised her the day before for ringing the doorbell before coming in – I had a broken ankle, did she think I was going to get up and come answer the door?? Apparently she had finished up with her meeting and had taken our conversation to mean we had lunch plans for whenever she finished up and remembering my comments from the day before, had just decided to let herself in without knocking or ringing the bell.


None of that was consolation to me as my orgasm dissipated and the mortification of the situation started to wash over me. OK, so she came in the back door of the condo which doesn’t have a direct view into the bedroom at least but I was fully naked from the waist down, spread eagle on my bed and flustered from the lack of blood in my brain. And still on the phone with Maryland, who, I’m fairly certain hadn’t missed a beat on his end.

The logical next step here would have been to call out to my mom, tell her I was naked or changing, or ANYTHING else. But instinctively I tried to avoid the horror that is your mom walking in on you like that, so I sprang out of bed, leaping across the room to close the door, forgetting for a minute that I had a broken ankle. I remembered mid-air though and essentially tucked and sprawled to protect my ankle from any contact, and laid myself out across the floor and into the door, slamming it closed with my head essentially, phone still clutched in my hand. I screamed in pain or panic or both, and I could hear Maryland on the other end interpreting that as a sign of orgasmic bliss and an invitation to join me.

And my poor unsuspecting mother is now pounding on the door, demanding I let her in since she can hear me howling on the floor and is convinced I’ve fallen and hurt myself again and is probably mapping out the fastest route to the ER in her head. And I’m just babbling at this point and can’t put together a cohesive statement. At some point I hung up the phone and rolled away to let her open the door. So there I am, naked on the floor, bawling, with my mother asking me what the hell happened, trying to figure out why the fuck I’m on the ground.

As she is peppering me with questions, I’m trying to stop crying long enough to form sentences and I just didn’t have the wherewithal to even lie. I probably should have. But through a strangled breath I finally gulped out, “I WAS MASTURBATING! I’M SORRY!!”

She laughed. I mean, how could you not? Once she realized I wasn’t really injured and hadn’t just cracked my head open or broken another bone, she laughed her ass off. I wasn’t quite so ready to laugh about it. I was still naked and had a broken ankle, so I had to ask my mother to bring me some pants so I could get dressed and really assess whether I had hurt myself while hurtling my body across the room.

A few minutes later as we were sitting on the couch and had determined the only thing that was injured was my ego, my mom just looked me dead in the eyes and said, “I wish I could tell this story to everyone. It’s so funny.” Thanks Mom.

I’ll tell you one thing though… she ALWAYS knocks before coming in now.