Look, buddy. Everybody poops. Sometimes it hurts.
Look, buddy. Everybody poops.
You do it. We do it. Your crush does it. He or she is probably doing it right now, grimacing with effort while simultaneously checking out the #tagforlikes Instagram hashtag.
Yet, for some reason, despite its biological ubiquity, pooping is "shameful." This is especially true for for females, who are required by baseless societal standards to remain proper, feminine and devoid of foot-long poo at all times. Dropping a five-pound toilet baby into her date's poor old toilet does not exactly convey the sort of delicate politeness chicks are expected to maintain … but according to an old study that was recently resurrected on the internet, it totally should.
The study showed that couples who are comfortable talking about poop together are happier than couples who feel it's a gross or shameful subject. Regardless of the couple's sexuality, it appeared that when they embraced each other's grossest habits, their relationships carried on more smoothly and they felt more comfortable being themselves around each other.
This actually makes a lot of sense. As the two or three or six of you in the relationship get to know each other better and spend more time around each other, there will inevitably be some dreaded point where one of you has to shit in very close proximity to the other, and it will be very obvious what you've just spent 10 minutes in the bathroom doing.
If a couple can shrug this off with a simple "FUCK THAT SMELLS, anyway, what do you want for dinner?" it shows a level of confidence and non-judgment in each other that directly correlates to the amount of support and satisfaction couples feel. Poop, then, is a certain flavor of intimacy.
And intimacy isn't just about sex or "talking about your feelings." It's about revealing your true selves to each other, smelly excretion processes and all. We're all human, we're all flawed, and at any given time, each and every one of us is a walking poop tube, a lukewarm organism with a percolating shit core. In fact, if you think about it, the deepest, most private part of ourselves is not our souls, but our shit. No matter who we are or where we come from, we are all just hotels for poop, temporary places to rest up before it heads out. It's the great humanizer, and when couples pick up on this, it creates a healthy sense of comfort and security.
That's why Thrillist writer Jeremy Glass strongly suggests that all couples have what he calls "the poop conversation."
According to Glass, the poop conversation is "an open and very honest chat between two people in a relationship about each other's bathroom routine, including what your loved one should expect (always open the window afterward), what to avoid (said bathroom directly after a crap has been taken), and whatever you need to discuss to obliterate any poop-related weirdness."
Why is this necessary? Well …
"Every relationship is bound to have its awkward moments," Glass notes. "But feeling uncomfortable and discouraged every time you walk out of the bathroom is a feeling that will ruin your relationship and make the inevitable walk toward the toilet as painful and jarring as your stomach directly before you go number two. The poop conversation breaks down walls and secures a level of intimacy few people get to experience."
In fact, Glass suggests the poop conversation is one of the most important conversations you'll ever have in your relationship because it "opens up a whole new world to one another and catapults couples to a place of utter security, trust, and intimacy that most people only have with their best friends or siblings."
So, how do you broach the topic and actually have this magical poop conversation?
As Glass suggests: "Being on the brink of an emergency rectal blowout is the easiest time to gracefully slip the act of defecation into the conversation."
Start off with something like, “I love you babe, but I'm about to ruin the bathroom with the force of my shit. What you're about to smell and hear may change the very fabric of your being."
Then, after the devastation is complete, talk about it. You might be pleasantly surprised to hear that not only does your partner not care, but that they'll still love you the same.
Here's a handy sample conversation for you to try:
Person 1: “My god, I can’t believe what just happened in there.”
Person 2: “Haha, what?”
Person 1: “Well, let’s just say it’ll be a long time before I have another bite of Mexican food.”
Person 2: “Why’s that?”
Person 1: “That extra-thick carnitas burrito with a double portion of refried beans just did to my colon what Hitler did to Poland in 1939.”
Person 2: “Gotcha! Well, I’ll wait a few minutes before I take a shower.”
Person 1: “Might want to take 20 minutes.”
Person 2: “Yikes.”
Person 1: “Wanna have sex?”
See how intimate that was? Think of the poop talk as the precursor to the wedding ring. It's a way to clear the air about everything you’ve ever done before you make a lifetime commitment.
"It’s like listing all your past sexual partners, except partners made out of digested food," says Glass.
In the end, feeling embarrassed about the world's most natural bodily process is just ridiculous. When you love someone, you should love them fully, and that person that you love is literally filled to the brim with poop, so why not love that part of them too? Also, do you know how bad it is to hold it in? It's very bad.
Take it from James Joyce, who once proudly claimed that he could pick his wife's farts out in a room of farting women. If that's not true love, and true acceptance … well, nothing is.