First dates are so exciting, there’s nothing quite like meeting somebody new and feeling butterflies in your stomach every time you make eye contact. Shortly after comes the first kiss, first touch and first time that you wake up together… to enjoy breakfast in bed of course. But when is it the right time to talk about desperately needing to empty your bowels after you’ve clenched your cheeks through a vindaloo and two hour chick-flick at the cinema and now you’re balls deep into a 10pm spooning session on date night with insane stomach cramps?
It’s the fear of being heard that my boyfriend says caused him to run the tap on full in an attempt to drown out the sound of him breaking wind and making splashes in the toilet whilst in my bathroom. He set himself the target of two minutes at a time to silently alleviate his stomach cramps before he thought I’d pick up on his absence and suspect that he was in fact pooing – which he was. In this time he now rather comically confesses to feeling stressed, rushed and under pressure to muffle his bowels but get as much out as possible to prevent his stomach from rumbling like that of a hungry tiger every time he needs to poo.
Thinking back to when we first met I always noticed how loudly his stomach would rumble in the evening and I’d politely offered him even more food and drink not realising he was already desperately at bursting point but too scared to tell me or go to the toilet. On the odd occasion when a high-powered fart would bellow out he’d panic and hold his breath listening in horror for my reaction through the door as I merrily pottered about none the wiser. For some reason we get ridiculously embarrassed about bowel movements and struggle to keep up our everyday routine in the presence of new partners; yet suffering in silence and holding it in only leads to constipation, pain, cramps and trapped wind. So why make it a problem?
I felt rather smug and warm inside when he informed me that I am the first woman he’d felt comfortable enough to poo around in the shortest space of time with my open acceptance of his throne-fest having been discussed within a month of us first meeting. I look forward to my daily post-workout poo following gym and we came to a light-hearted truce one weekend whilst both desperately clenching that we would retreat to a bathroom each and poo freely at the same time whilst playing loud music to drown out any noise. Fifty Cent and UB40 are typically at the top of my playlist as I like something with a strong beat to get me started and then a bit of laid-back rhythm to bring up the second and third wave whilst my boyfriend prefers Peruvian flute bands mixed with bassoons and the odd bass drum or thunder clap dependant on his diet that week.
I’m all for open communication within relationships to reduce embarrassment, boost confidence and strengthen bonds. In my opinion there is absolutely no shame in discussing bowel movements and recognising the needs and wants of your partner – after all we’re only human. We now use a subtle code to let one another know the poo-truce is on by announcing we’re off for a sit-down wee, going for a Facebook scroll or answering an urgent email; bowels before beauty!