Short answer: You can’t. But you can try!
While queefing, aka the sound or feeling of air escaping your vagina, is often lumped in with farting, they are two entirely different beasts. A queef is not a fart! For starters, farts are gas coming out of your butt, whereas a queef refers to the lil sound of air rushing out of your vagina. While the two poofs share some commonalities (they make similar sounds, both come out of the same general undercarriage region of your bod), they’re totally different.
“A queef is an odorless trapped air pocket that has nothing to do with your diet,” explains Tamika K. Cross, MD, FACOG, a board-certified ob-gyn based in Houston. On the other hand, Dr. Cross explains that a fart typically has an odor and can be a response to various things in your diet, such as beans, dairy, etc., and bacteria breakdown during digestion.
Queefs happen when air is pushed into and trapped in the vaginal canal, Dr. Cross says. Certain movements (e.g., sex) can expel the trapped air in a forceful, sometimes audible manner, she adds. Queefs can also happen whether you’re solo or with a partner; when your legs are spread-eagle; or with fingers, toys, or penetration with a penis, Dr. Cross adds.
No matter how much you remind yourself that queefs are beyond your control (ya can’t hold one in the same way you can a fart), there are some things you can do to minimize or lessen your likelihood of queefing during sex. Remember, queefs happen to everyone with a vagina at some point or another—it’s just physics! But if you’re curious about how to reduce your likelihood of queefing during sex, here are some things to keep in mind:
There may be certain positions you can stay away from if you want to minimize queefing.
Avoiding your legs in the air or keeping your legs open for prolonged periods of time can help limit the amount of air getting in the vaginal canal, which causes queefs, explains Dr. Cross. Since queefs are just odorless air pockets, any positions that can lessen the chances of air getting in will help your cause. Another position to avoid here? Doggy-style, says Dr. Cross.
Know that you might just be more anatomically prone to queefing than other people with vaginas.
All bodies are different and that extends to your private parts. “Some women are more prone to queefing than others,” Dr. Cross says, depending on the shape and length of a woman’s vaginal canal. Vaginal lubrication also makes queefing more likely, so women with more naturally lubricated vaginas may tend to hear more queefing, she adds. This doesn’t mean you should try to keep your vagina desert-dry during sex in order to minimize your likelihood of queefing, as painful sex is not worth it.
You really shouldn’t be embarrassed or try to consciously attempt to avoid queefing—especially if you think you should be embarrassed because you’re worried about what your partner might think.
If you hate queefing because it takes you out of the moment and makes it harder for you to orgasm, by all means, give non-doggy-style positions more playtime in your sex life. But don’t spiral over queefing for the sake of your partner. “To be honest, I don’t think anyone needs to consciously attempt to ‘avoid’ it, as this is a very natural and common physiologic function,” says Dr. Cross.
If you do queef, just roll with it.
Seriously, you can’t control it, and you don’t need to make a big deal about it to you or your partner. “There is no need to excuse a queef,” says Dr. Cross. “It may be embarrassing, but honestly, it’s super common and many women have experienced it at some time or another. Don’t let it be a mood killer.” In fact, some men are even turned on by queefing, as they interpret it as a sign that they’re a better lover.