Do men laugh so hard they pee their pants?
October 11, 2011 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Do guys ever laugh so hard that they involuntarily pee their pants, or is that just a female anatomy issue?
posted by jfwlucy to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's happened to me once.

So I'm guessing it happens to both genders.
posted by Conspire at 8:56 PM on October 11, 2011

Wow, I thought it was just an expression.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:03 PM on October 11, 2011 [7 favorites]

I have never seen or heard of this actually happening with any male.
posted by spaltavian at 9:04 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nope. Never laughed so hard I peed my pants. Shit myself once, but that's a different question.
posted by sanko at 9:09 PM on October 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

I made a male cousin of mine do that once. He already had to pee really bad and when I said what I did...muahahahahah!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:10 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Up with sanko. I've never done it, but had to suppress the urge to pass poop with great effort while busting a gut. Never had problems controlling #1.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:11 PM on October 11, 2011

A data point for you, here you go: I know of the existence of one prepubescent male of the species who laughed so hard he peed his pants when tickled by the undersigned 25 years ago.
posted by krilli at 9:21 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised some of you think this is uncommon. It's not uncommon, at least among boys.
posted by JimN2TAW at 9:33 PM on October 11, 2011

Little kids, yes (speaking as a former kindergarten teacher).

Personally, I start farting. Chicks dig it.
posted by bardic at 9:43 PM on October 11, 2011 [8 favorites]

I did once in... 5th grade, I think it was.
A couple months ago I laughed so hard I farted, still get crap about it from my friends.
posted by TheMidnightHobo at 10:47 PM on October 11, 2011

Played and lost at fart roulette, but never peed my pants. Maybe i just don't have funny friends?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:04 AM on October 12, 2011

This is actually a really under-explored area of academic continence research. If you want to go looking it up, there are two relevant concepts in the literature:

Giggle incontinence - this mainly but not exclusively affects preteen girls. It can be absolutely debilitating. It's considered as a variant of urge incontinence, where bladder control is suddenly lost in association with uncontrollable laughter.

Stress incontinence - this is classically in association with coughing, sneezing, and exertion, but for people with very weak bladder necks, then hearty laughter can do it too. It basically hardly affects men, at least not enough or often enough to be bothersome, except following prostatectomy or radiotherapy.

So the short answer is that although the problem is commoner in women, it can happen to men, and there are a couple of theoretical mechanisms.

I would start with this Pubmed search.
posted by roofus at 3:36 AM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

My understanding from web research back in the day was that it's Much more common in women, as are incontinence issues in general. But not unheard of in men.
posted by ldthomps at 7:21 AM on October 12, 2011

I am female and have never pissed my pants because of laughter.
posted by KogeLiz at 8:37 AM on October 12, 2011

I've never heard of it happening with men, whereas women of a certain age have those special pee-in-your-pants pads marketed to them from all angles. For waht that's worth.

Anatomically speaking, there are some big differences between the sexes' urinary systems:
1. Men have larger bladders than women, because there's none of that girly junk in there taking up room. Consequently, men are less likely to be at full capacity at any given time.
2. Men have an extra sphincter that keeps urine from exiting the bladder at all, because men's urethras are dual-purpose. (This is probably the bit that messes things up for little boys and post-prostate men.)
3. Men have much longer urethras than women, even before wangs come into the picture. If a drop of urine somehow manages to get past the first (manly!) sphincter, it's still got a ways to go before it gets to the other sphincter at the end of the chute.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:50 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

baby i have a really long urethra if you know what i mean
i'm sorry

posted by krilli at 12:48 AM on October 13, 2011

Thanks, everybody. My husband didn't believe it happened.
posted by jfwlucy at 8:27 AM on October 17, 2011

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