“What if I fart…or poop?”

Lola: In the words of one of our wisest staffers: “Never end up with someone who makes you hold in a fart. Life’s too short and sex is too ridiculous.” Another Rookie writer actually dumped her boyfriend the day after she farted during sex–because she was the only one who laughed.

As for pooping. As…for pooping…

LIVED TO BONE ANOTHER DAY: Krista herself.

Krista: Here is my real-life worst-case scenario that actually happened:

One winter night, I went to bed with my boyfriend (we’ll call him Jonathan here). I wasn’t feeling very well; we had eaten tacos for dinner and my stomach hurt and I was grumpy as I took off my clothes and climbed into bed with him. We ended up having sex, and then we both fell asleep, naked, with him spooning me. The windows were open—Jonathan and I both loved to sleep in really cold weather while being all warm with another person in bed. In the middle of the night, I sort of woke up, vaguely needing to fart really badly. Mostly still asleep, I farted—AHHH SWEET RELIEF—and felt immediately 100% better. I rolled over and fell completely asleep.

Sometime around 4 AM, I woke up again, feeling strangely cold and wet. It felt like I was in a…puddle of some sort. Hmmm. What was going on? I put my fingers down into the puddle and touched—OMG OMG—cold liquid near my crotch. OH SHIT, I thought. I’VE STARTED MY PERIOD IN JONATHAN’S BED. I froze there in the dark for a second, quietly panicking about the apparently HUGE amount of blood that was pooling on his mattress, then got up (Jonathan could sleep through absolutely anything) and switched on the desk lamp.

OH SHIT. IT WASN’T BLOOD. IT WAS ACTUALLY SHIT. One hundred percent liquid shit, goldeny-brown in color. YOU GUYS, I SHAT MY BOYFRIEND’S BED.

It was everywhere. Everywhere. It was all over me, it was all over Jonathan, it was all over his sheets. There is really no way for you all to understand how much liquid diarrhea there was in that room, and it was freezing cold, because the window was open. What the fuck was I going to do?

My first thought was that Jonathan could not be allowed see this. He was a germophobe—he’d never be able to recover. It would be the end of us.

He was still asleep. I went to his closet and grabbed a few washcloths. I grabbed his water bottle. Naked, covered in my own diarrhea, I inched toward the bed. Carefully, carefully, I pulled the top sheet off his body and threw it on the floor. He didn’t wake up. I wet one of the washcloths with water from his water bottle. Slowly, and so gently it almost didn’t work at first, I dabbed at the diarrhea on my boyfriend’s body. It took me about 10 minutes to wipe him pretty much clean.

Now about the bottom sheet, the sheet under his body: What was I going to do?

I did what anyone would have done if they were in my position and dating a heavy sleeper: I loosened the fitted sheet around the mattress and tugged, gently rolling Jonathan to one side as I pulled the sheet out from under him. This maneuver took another 10 minutes, and I was terrified that any second he would wake up and see what was going on. But you best believe I GOT THAT SHEET. You guys, it dripped in my hands.

Now I had the bottom sheet, I had the top sheet, and I had several shit-covered washcloths. I bundled everything in my arms and crept into the bathroom. I got into the shower clutching the sheets and washcloths, turned the water on “scalding” and used shampoo to scrub at the poo all over everything until there was almost no trace of it. I scrubbed myself practically raw with soap, dried off, hung the sheets over the shower-curtain rod, and went back to the bedroom, where Jonathan was sleeping, naked, on a bare mattress, with the windows wide open on a winter night. I checked to make sure there was no trace of diarrhea on his gorgeous body, then curled up next to him and dragged the blanket over us. His skin was freezing.

He woke up the next morning, confused, cold, and disoriented. “Baby, what the fuck? Where’s the sheet? Why are we on the mattress?” His beautiful, accusing eyes locked with mine.

For a second, I was speechless. If I told him what had really happened, he would break up with me (Nooooo!! I loved him) and then possibly kill himself, or at least spend the remainder of his adult life taking 22 showers a day and the remaining two hours rubbing Purell into his raw skin.

So I did what I had to do to save our relationship and to save Jonathan from the ninth circle of a germophobe’s hell and a lifetime of therapy. I looked him in the eye and said solemnly, “Jonathan, there’s something I need to tell you. Last night…you peed the bed.”

We dated for years.

In conclusion…

We’re not saying that to be a happy and responsible member of sexual society, you should just GET OVER any and all fears/phobias/hangups IMMEDIATELY or NO SEX FOR YOU. In general, it’s OK to be embarrassed about something, or think something is gross, or not want to do something because it seems weird to you (in a not-good way). You don’t have to feel ashamed about feeling embarrassed about feeling ashamed, OMG, not in this busy modern world.

Embarrassing stuff happens in life, to everybody. You have two options for how to respond to that stuff: You can try to prevent it, or you can get over it. Luckily, if you choose “preventing it” and it ends up happening anyway (which it will), “getting over it” remains an option. For some people, getting over it is riding a motorcycle of DGAF off of the highest cliff of YOLO mountain. For others, it means working around the stuff that embarrasses you—or finding a way to accept that something happened and that you felt embarrassed and now it’s over and you might as well move the heck on. If Krista did, so can you. ♦