The Marxist political scientist Michael Parenti once wrote, “The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital.” Perhaps no one knows this more intimately than 90-Day Fiance star Stephanie Matto, a YouTuber turned adult content creator who claims to have made upwards of $200,000 selling her farts in jars.
Perhaps best known for being one-half of the TLC reality show’s first same-sex couple in 2020, Matto went viral on TikTok in December by documenting her lucrative fart-selling business, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers with “day in the life of fart-jar girl” content, such as videos showcasing her diet (lots of protein shakes and cabbage stews). As an adult content creator who launched her own OnlyFans-esque platform, Unfiltrd, Matto receives dozens of requests for custom content per day, ranging from photos of her uvula to vials of her own poop. Yet she’s been shocked by just how high the demand for her jarred farts has been, as well as surprised by the reasons her clients cite for purchasing her fart jars for $1,000 a pop.
“People really like the idea of spending an exorbitant amount of money and kind of being — I don’t want to say ‘swindled,’ but it’s like a financial domination thing for a lot of men,” she says.
As a self-described “fartpreneur,” however, Matto may have girlbossed a little too close to the sun. On Christmas, she says, she went to the ER with what she describes as heart attack-esque symptoms, which doctors promptly diagnosed as severe gas pain as a result of her diet. Matto’s visit to the ER, which she recounted to a journalist from the U.K. outlet Jam Press, was aggregated across news outlets across the globe, prompting fervent social media debate as to whether Matto’s fart-selling enterprise was a savvy business move or a cultural death rattle resounding from the bowels of late-stage capitalism (pun very much intended). Yet Matto is unruffled by such critiques, and has harnessed her newfound virality into promoting her newest venture: selling fart jar NFTs for 0.05 ETH (a little less than $200) each, though she has significantly reduced sales of her physical fart jars following her ER visit.
Eager to learn the inner workings of a thriving fart jar business, Rolling Stone called Matto up at her home in northwestern Connecticut to discuss online sex work, the economics of selling a smell, and whether or not she plans to pivot to selling her queefs. She also threw in a plug for what is, in her educated opinion, the best flatulence-inducing pastry on the market.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
So can you start by telling me why you decided to sell farts in jars?
For years now, I’ve been getting a lot of requests from guys saying that they just want to inhale my farts. And I always thought it was kind of a joke. I never took it seriously. I thought they were just blowing smoke up my ass. So I’d laugh it off and just let it go. But one day I was thinking of different ways of making money and boosting my income with my platform, and I decided to try to actually sell fart jars as a joke. But then they actually started selling. So it kind of snowballed from that point forward. I mean, it’s just one of many weird requests I’ve gotten. I get weird-ass requests on a daily basis on my platform.
What kinds of requests?
There’s one guy who routinely pays me to make videos of me squishing my face. So there’s that. There’s one guy who has a uvula fetish, the little dangling thing in your throat. He pays me for pictures of my uvula. People have asked me for panties, bras or lingerie, toenail clippings, all sorts of things like that. But farts are a big fetish online — there’s sites that are dedicated to that specifically. So I always knew it was a thing. I just couldn’t believe that people actually wanted to smell my farts.
But I think there’s a lot of different elements in buying a fart jar. It’s not just the scent. People really like the novelty of it. Some of them do have fart fetishes, and a lot of them asked me to make videos of myself farting in the jar before I send it out. But I think a lot of them just want the full experience. They like the idea that they’re receiving something that’s just from me, that I took the time to write a letter for them, I include a photo. I leave a nice little kiss on the photo for every customer. With the packaging and everything, I take a lot of pride in it, and I do put a lot of effort into making everything look and feel special for the people who are ordering it.
Why do you think so many men are willing to spend so much money on your fart jars, if it’s not about having a fart fetish? What’s the appeal?
A lot of men like financial domination. They want to feel like they’re being taken advantage of. Even though I don’t feel like I am, but they’re like, “Oh, that’s so much money, but okay, I’ll spend it on you. Just bleed me dry.” So I think a lot of that is the financial domination aspect for men…. There’s also the ones that just do it for the novelty. It’s like, “Oh, look, what I bought. I have so much fuck you money that I could buy this reality TV star’s jar farts.” So, you know, I think there’s various reasons. Maybe some even just want the girlfriend experience, where they want that close, intimate feeling without the actual commitment to a relationship.
I don’t know if that’s necessarily the girlfriend experience, though. There aren’t that many girlfriends who fart in jars to give it to their boyfriends to smell, like, “Here.”
There’s a lot of girlfriends who fart in front of their boyfriends, and some of them might think it’s hot or cute. So maybe that.
I think it’s really interesting that sex workers get harassed for quote unquote “exploiting” these men. Like Belle Delphine, who got so much hate online for selling her bathwater. But as you point out, oftentimes, the exploitation is the point. The men are paying to feel like they’re being exploited.
Yes, exactly. And a lot of them are. And I don’t think it’s exploitative at all. I think like it’s it’s a super, super honest transaction. People know what they’re paying for it. They’re willingly inputting their credit card information, knowing what they are getting. There is also the potential that I could have just sprayed fart spray into that jar, or I could just be sending an empty jar. But I’m not. And they’re putting their faith in that.
Is there such a thing as fart spray?
Yes, there actually is, and I purchased a fart spray just as a point of reference because I I wanted to know what it smelled like and if it really smelled like farts. So I sprayed a little bit in my kitchen. Just one little spray. And I swear the smell lingered for like the whole entire day. I had to open all the windows. It has a very, very ugly artificial sulfuric scent, and that’s not something I would ever even attempt to sell or pass off as a real fart. You can just tell there’s a difference, it’s kind of like the difference between like fake maple sirup and real maple syrup.
Have you always been a particularly gassy person? Did you feel like you could produce enough to meet the demand?
Oh, I didn’t. I’m a very fart shy person. I’ve had a few boyfriends throughout my life and I’ve literally never farted in front of any of my boyfriends. Even a guy that I dated for four years, he never heard me fart. So now to be known worldwide, basically, as Fart Girl, it’s definitely ripping the Band-Aid off of my shyness about farting.
Can you tell me a little bit about the economics of it? Like, how did you decide how to price these jars at $1,000 each?
There’s not a lot of products out there that are like this. I’m currently on a new season of a television show that’s pretty popular [90-Day Fiance: The Single Life]. So I knew that I could probably charge a premium. It was around the holidays that I was selling them, so I did offer a discount of 50 percent off. And I had a few customers who live internationally who wanted to order them in bulk, so I did offer those people bulk order discounts. But there were some people who were so invested in the financial domination aspect of everything that they insisted on paying the full $1,000, even when I had the sale going. So I kind of just accepted it. But I really believe in valuing yourself. I value my time. I put a lot of effort and energy into every single order. And when you take into account the shipping and handling the materials, the food that I have to eat to produce the farts and everything — some people might think that a thousand dollars is too much, but I think it’s a good price.
Can you tell me a bit about the profit margins here? Are you losing money with the packaging and shipping and the food that you have to buy?
Definitely not losing money, but it it does cut into my earnings. With the first shipment that I sent out, which was 97 fart jars, I made somewhere around $50,000. But when I took into account the cost of shipping and handling and everything else, I mean, I think it was closer to like, $44,000 or $45,000 that I had as my net profit.
Is the scent actually in the jar? Do you ever smell your own product afterwards just to confirm?
This is kind of a little bit of my secret, but I don’t fart into the jar. I actually have these fabric woven flower petals that I ordered in bulk off Amazon. They’re not real flower petals. They’re completely scentless. I’ll put that flower petal in my butt crack region and I’ll fart on it directly. So you do get a little bit of that booty smell on it, which really lingers. It sticks to the fabric of the flower petals. So it does stay for a really long time. Then I caulk the jar and then I wrap the jar and tape, and then I put it inside of a bubble wrap seal package.
What does it smell like?
Every single batch I’ve done has been a little bit different. I think most notably — not my favorite, but I guess the one that I got the most compliments on — was a particular one I did with mostly cheese. It’s a little bit more of an earthy aroma, I would say. But that was actually by request. One of my clients paid a little bit extra for that. He wanted to have cheesy farts. So that day I ate half a block of sharp cheddar. And yeah, it wasn’t really the best for my body to eat that much cheese
Is transporting your farts across state lines legal? Have you ever looked into this?
Yes, I actually looked into it and there are no laws about shipping air in jar, like scented air in jars. Because if you think about it, it’s almost like a perfume without the liquid. So I don’t feel like it’s illegal, but I have been curious because I also have gotten requests from a lot of the people who want the fart jars for my fecal matter. So just out of curiosity, I was like, “Oh, is that even something I could do if somebody wanted to pay me a lot of money?” And apparently there are services online where you can send your enemies shit and they’ll deliver it to their doorstep. [With the farts], the only awkward thing is when you’re going to the UPS store to drop off shipments and they’re just like, what are in these boxes? I told them that it’s merchandise and they don’t really ask any more questions.
What are the demographics of the people who buy your jars? Where do they tend to be from?
Mostly it’s the United States, Canada, but I do have a lot of fans in India, and I have a lot of fans in Czech Republic because I actually have a Czech background and I grew up in Czech Republic. One thing that I was hoping wouldn’t happen [that did] is, my family in the Czech Republic is pretty religious and traditional, and one day I got a phone call one day from my cousin, like, what is this about you sending farts in jars?
You documented your diet on TikTok, which is kind of where you grew a big following. What is the best thing to eat for farts and what is the worst thing to eat for farts?
I mean, if you’re really looking to just fart as quickly and as pungently as possible, the number one go-to is cabbage soup. I make a really good cabbage soup. If you go to a Polish deli and you get their sauerkraut or cabbage soup, that is the best. There is also one brand of protein muffins, the Kodiak Cakes protein muffins. And they actually have a nickname in the fitness community as being fart muffins because they make you fart so bad. And those are actually good because they’re low calorie, they’re high protein. They make you fart and they actually taste pretty good. Not sponsored, but yeah.
I was gonna ask, is this sponsored content? That would be an interesting brand partnership for Kodiak.
Oh my God, it would. I was hoping that more brands would reach out to me after my first fart stunt went viral. But no, I think the only companies that are reaching out right now for sponsorships are like, sex toy companies… but I’m a big fan, so tell Kodiak to hit me up. [Ed. note: in response to Rolling Stone’s request for comment, a brand rep for Kodiak said that company’s Field Marketing Manager would “reach out if she’s interested in a partnership or sponsorship [with Matto].”]
There’s debate on social media over whether this qualifies as sex work. I’m wondering if you have an opinion on that and if you consider yourself a sex worker.
There’s so much stigma and negativity surrounding the term sex worker. It’s a very umbrella term. I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t wear it like a scarlet letter. I make my money in an honest way. I bring joy and happiness to bored and somewhat lonely people, and I’m not exploiting anybody. I’m doing everything on my own terms. I can stop or start whenever I want to. And you know, I’m the founder of an up-and-coming 18-and-up subscription platform. So yeah, sure, whatever people want to call me is fine, as long as they’re not using it as a way to degrade me or use it as an insult.
Have you gotten any backlash from sex workers or criticism from sex workers over this?
I haven’t really seen any. I’m sure there probably is. But I think that for the most part, all the creators on my platform have been super supportive and so sweet checking in on me when they found out that I went to the emergency room. I feel like the sex work community is among the most genuine and supportive people.
One criticism that I can imagine is that this is something that sex workers have been selling farts in jars, selling bath water, etc. for a while. And I could see how the response would be, “this woman is getting a lot of attention is because she’s a white, conventionally attractive, cisgender woman who appeared on a reality show.”
I can totally understand why people would feel maybe slightly upset about that. But one way of looking at it is like, yes, I may be a stereotypically attractive white female, but I think I’m also bringing a lot of eyes and attention to this type of fetish and kink. And like, you know, by spreading awareness, I guess you could say it might help boost the business of other sex workers who are maybe under the radar a little bit. So I think at the end of the day, it kind of helps everybody. I actually did see on Twitter or somewhere on my social media that one woman was like, “Oh yeah, my friend sells her farts and she’s been selling out.” And I’m like, “God, maybe I put fart jars on the map again.” And maybe I’ve unlocked a part in some people’s brains. It’s like, “Oh, wait, do I like farts? Maybe I do. Let me go buy some.”
How did you actually end up in the ER?
I bit off more than I could chew the week before Christmas. I had a lot of orders I promised a lot of clients that I was going to fulfill. I was basically following my protein diet, the beans and protein shakes. One day I really, really, really overdid it. I was feeling kind of weird all throughout the day, but it got really bad when I lay down in bed that night. I had this squeezing tightness feeling around my heart. And it was so uncomfortable and it was getting worse. I would breathe in and I wouldn’t be able to breathe in all the way because it would feel like a tightening around my heart. I also have a preexisting condition. I am in remission, but I did for three years have a very severe case of aplastic anemia. So I’m always paranoid and overly cautious.
I called up my friend. She brought me to the emergency room and I told them my symptoms. I was also on birth control for the first time in three years, so I thought, “Maybe I’m having a stroke, and maybe that’s why I’m feeling like this.” They admitted me right away. They gave me my own room and they ran an EKG and did a blood panel. They asked me if I just started taking any new medication, if I had changed my diet recently and I told them what I’d been eating. And they kind of like, looked at me like, “Okay, that’s interesting.” I didn’t really mention the jars because I thought that was a little bit embarrassing. I told them that I work out a lot. They didn’t really push any further than that.
So a couple of hours went by. I got the blood test. EKG results came back perfect. I was relieved. Then they told me, “this honestly sounds like you just have really bad gas pain, so just try taking the gas suppressant and avoid these foods that you’ve been eating.” So I was just like, “Okay, cool, avoid the foods that I’ve been eating for months for my business.”
At any point, were you like, “Listen, I do this for a living. I need to keep farting in jars. Can you tell me how to do it safely?” Why didn’t you just tell them that?
I don’t know. It was pretty late at night, I was not really brave enough to have that conversation with an emergency room doctor and nurses. That’s fair. But I always knew in the back of my mind that I was going to do fart jars forever. And if I can leave the fart jar business on top, like, I’m going out with a bang. I feel like at the end of the day, the job was done and I’m walking away. It’s not like when a show goes eight seasons and it sucks by season eight. I’m ending on a high note.
Well, you could have easily continued selling the jars without farting in them or getting someone else to fart in them.
I believe in karma. And I try to be as honest in my in my business practice as possible. I just felt like maybe this was the wiser thing to do…. maybe I wanted a shot at not being the Fart Jar Girl for the rest of my life.
So how did you decide to pivot to NFT fart jars? Was that before you went to the ER?
I was working with a graphic designer on developing a collection of digital fart jars. We had actually launched that already on FartJarsNFT.com. It’s also available to mint on OpenSea. And it’s basically a collection of 5,000 unique, digitally drawn fart jars, and they all have a different theme. And some of them actually come with unlockable, redeemable attributes. So 100 of the 5,000 fart jar NFTs actually do unlock the ability for you to redeem it for an actual physical fart jar. It’s a very, very, very limited quality, simply for the release of this NFT.
How many have you minted so far?
The last time I checked, it was over 100. It’s only been a couple of days… today this morning, last time I checked, someone had purchased a fart jar [NFT] for I think it was like $200 value and they had resold it for a thousand. So they made money.
Some of the NFTs are also redeemable for queef jars. Has anyone actually ever asked you for a queef jar before?
After the fart jars went viral, people did start asking me if I was going to start doing queef jars. But I feel like that’s kind of a joke. Like, people don’t really want a queef jar. People know that queefs don’t smell. So I didn’t really entertain the audience for queef jars very much.
I mean, it’s fascinating to me that you think that there is a legitimate and substantial market for fart jars. But the market for queef jars, you’re like, “Oh, you know, that’s a joke, that doesn’t really exist.”
Maybe one day in the future, I will try to sell queef jars and I’ll see how that goes, and then I’ll get back to you.
A lot of people have been questioning the value of NFTs or calling them a scam. I’m wondering, is this project intended to be a commentary on the actual value of NFTs is or the NFT marketplace in general? Or are you like a true NFT believer?
Oh, my gosh. That’s a loaded question. I do believe in the value of NFTs. I think they’re a way for people to recognize digital artists. Are there NFTs out there that could be scammy? I’m sure, just like with crypto, there’s coins in the past that have been scams, essentially. So I can’t speak on behalf of every NFT project, but mine is obviously legit and I think a lot of them are too.
But I want to push you on this a little bit because I mean, I think a lot of people would say that farting in a jar and packaging it as an NFT is, very much on the scam side of the spectrum. So what makes the fart jar NFT more legitimate than other types of NFT is, in your opinion?
Well, people are paying for artwork on the blockchain, and I think that it’s a pretty straightforward transaction. There’s no false promises in play. There’s a lot of people out there who do believe that NFTs are scams, but I just think it’s maybe because they don’t understand really what they are, and that’s their default is just to say it’s a scam. But there’s a whole community that supports it, and I’m enthusiastic about it.
You refer to yourself as a fartrepreneur. What do you think are the qualities of a successful fartrepreneur? Like, could I do this tomorrow if I wanted to sell my farts in a jar?
Hell yeah. I think that being a successful fartrepreneur means being unafraid to take risks and not caring about what people think, because ultimately those are two really big qualities you need in order to be successful. If you care what people think, you’re never going to survive as a fartrepreneur?
What’s the starting tool kit for an aspiring entrepreneur? Is there anything you need?
A butthole. (Laughs)