Sharts: 4 Common Causes and How to Handle a Shart Attack
We’re all fine with farting when we poop, but things get dicey when it happens the other way around.
If you’ve ever attempted to rip a fart, then felt (or smelled) something damp in your drawers, you’ve fallen victim to a shart. For those of you who are blissfully unaware, shart is a portmanteau of "sh*t" and "fart.”
Wet farts are more common than you might think. That said, the shame and stench of an untimely shart can easily ruin a date, meeting, or workout. We don't want dudes to suffer needlessly, so we're here to explain what causes sharts, how to handle them, and whether they can be prevented.
But first, the basics.
What Is a Shart?
“Shart” is a slang term for accidentally pooping when you fart. It’s a combination of the words shit and fart. The official medical terms for sharting are fecal incontinence or bowel leakage.
It’s easy to know if you sharted: you’ll feel a warm, wet substance around your gooch region. Some sharts are barely noticeable and only leave behind tiny traces of fecal matter. But sharts can also be explosive, warranting a shower, fresh underwear, and an apology to any bystanders.
A shart can happen when you feel like you have to pass gas, but there’s actually a turd loaded in the chamber. When you try to let it rip, you fill your underwear with feces instead of gas.
Alternatively, a shart can happen if you fart too aggressively. Under normal circumstances, air leaks out of your butt hole without any collateral damage. However, if you get overzealous and attempt to rip a loud fart, poop can easily sneak out behind it.
The origins of the term "shart" are unclear, but the earliest documentation is from a Usenet forum back in 2001. There’s also an Urban Dictionary entry from 2003, after which “shart” made its way into movie scripts at TV shows.
How Common Is Sharting?
Sharting is totally normal. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 people shart at some point in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health. Sharts tend to happen more often as you get older, since your sphincter muscles (which control your butt hole) get weaker.
Nobody is safe from sharts. That said, there are certain conditions that can make you more vulnerable to sharts:
- Being 65 or older
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Type 2 diabetes
- Medical conditions that affect your anus, pelvic floor, or rectum
- Gallbladder removal
4 Causes of Sharts
Sharts can happen anywhere, anytime. But they tend to be caused by one of these four culprits.
1. You Didn't Empty Your Bowels
Holding in your poop is never a wise decision. It can lead to constipation and awful stomach pain—but did you know it dramatically increases your risk of sharting?
"The most common cause [of sharts] is the incomplete evacuation of stool," says Elana Maser, M.D., assistant professor of gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "If the bowel is holding on to too much stool, some may slip out when flatus (air) is passed."
Want to know how often you should be pooping? Read the full guide here.
2. Forcing a Fart
Most civilized people try to pass gas in stealth mode, i.e. crop dusting. By slowly expelling gas, you reduce your chance of soiling yourself at work. Those who announce their farts forcefully and with authority increase their odds of sharting because their sphincter relaxes, allowing gas to shoot out faster and louder.
3. Digestive Problems
Solid stool is less likely to leak out of your hiney than watery stool. That can be caused by any number of tummy problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, or lactose intolerance.
Hemorrhoids cause the veins in your rectum to swell, which can prevent your anus from closing properly. This increases the odds of poop escaping when you're simply trying to pass gas.
How to Handle a Shart Attack
Sharting in the comfort of your own home is a mere inconvenience. Just toss your undies in the laundry and hop in the shower. Sharting in public, however, necessitates a swift, skilled response.
1. Find the Nearest Bathroom
Don’t waste time wallowing in shame. You can’t pass off a shart like you can a regular fart. You have to discreetly evacuate the premises and find the nearest bathroom.
2. Wipe Your Butt
3. Assess the Damage
Once your privates are poopless, strip down and assess the damage in your drawers. If there's only a little poop, you can get away with a spot cleanup: wad up some toilet paper, put a few drops of water on it, and dab the area affected by feces.
But what if you've dropped a full deuce in your pants?
If you have that misfortune, scrape as much of your poo into the toilet as you can and flush away. Next, you have to find somewhere to discard your soiled underwear. You can bury them at the bottom of the trash can or toss them out the window, but either way, you're gonna have to go commando the rest of the day. It may feel funky, but it's better than walking around with an itchy butthole.
How to Prevent Sharts
The only way to guarantee no sharts would be to never fart again—and that’s definitely not going to happen. That said, we have five tips to minimize the chance of a shart happening:
- Don’t push your farts out aggressively. Quit trying to cause seismic shocks with your flatulence. Let your farts out naturally instead of thrusting like a madman. If your stomach starts to rumble and you're on the fence as to whether it'll be a fart or poop, take the conservative approach and go to the bathroom.
- Be patient when you poop so everything comes out. Leaving too many turds in the chamber increases the likelihood of sharting throughout the day.
- Avoid “trigger foods” that give you explosive diarrhea and gas, i.e. coffee, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners
- Eat more fiber. Fiber bulks up your stool and can help reduce any leftovers in your system.
- Do kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This will prepare you to stop poop from sneaking out after a fart.
The average person farts up to 20 times daily, so it’s just a matter of time before you get some Hershey squirts. For these emergency shit-uations, it’s always clutch to carry a DUDE Wipe Single.
Sharting In Pop Culture
A common misperception is that sharts can’t afflict the rich and famous. But just as everyone poops, everyone sharts—even the queen of the Kardashians.
- Red Sox star Enrique “Kike” Hernandez sharted on the field during the 2020 playoffs, so we gave him an entire season’s worth of DUDE Wipes (check out the story in TMZ)
- Comedian Kevin Hart sharted
- Chris Brown admitted to sharting on stage in front of thousands of fans.
- So did lovable ginger elf, Ed Sheeran.
- YouTube star Tyler Oakley has allegedly sharted multiple times.
- Queen of the Kardashians Kris Jenner tweets when she sharts.
- WWE Wrestler Darren Young sharted in the ring mid-match.
- Al Roker even sharted himself in the White House!
If billionaires can poop their pants and hang onto their careers, so can you.
Get Shart Insurance with DUDE Wipes
No matter what preventative measures you take, a shart attack can still sneak up on you. Sharts are natural predators, looking for the most inopportune time to strike and cause maximum shame.
For these inevitable attacks, the best way to fight back is with DUDE Wipes Singles—they'll save your butt, your dignity, and maybe even your drawers. Don't be another victim; fight back against shart attacks with DUDE Wipes.