Social Question

Unbroken's avatar

(NSFW) How awkward are urinals to you?

Asked by Unbroken (9382 points ) December 3rd, 2012

I heard a little factoid on the radio and my curiosity took over.

I have always been fascinated how men think it’s normal to stand next to each and pee. Wondering what exactly the etiquette is, unfortunately nobody has been exactly forthcoming on this topic.

How men can pee off the side of the boat or the road and not give a darn, can crack all the jokes they want to about us women having to pull over but at men’s bathrooms the joking stops.

So here we are. Apparently pee shyness exists. And have finally shared the secrets.

Is this accurate? Will things ever change for men, will the bathroom be not only a women’s escape and bonding matter? Could this “invention“http://www.environmentteam.com/concept/public-urinal-planter/ help?

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38 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was standing in a urinal at Watkins Glen International. A guy walks up to the urinal next to me. It was Seral Van Demervin. I’ll have to check the spelling. He drove the IMSA Corvette. He looked over at me, said hi mate. and I haven’t worried about a urinal since.

wundayatta's avatar

There are two urinals and two stalls in my bathroom at work. The urinals are right next to each other with no barrier between them. The rule is that if you see someone at the urinal, you go to one of the stalls. Men who don’t do that are suspect. Everyone seems to know the rule except for the occasional suspect guy. I don’t know how we know this, but everyone behaves the same.

Ok. I’ll admit it. I was a suspect guy once. But I learned my lesson.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you think it’s bad here, you should see the public bathrooms in the Netherlands, where (quite often) each stall is accessed via a full-size locking door, even for the urinals. I’ve never seen “shy” in the USA to match that.

Otherwise, I ain’t shy. I learned to pee at my daddy’s knee… literally. I used to go to the bathroom when he did, and we’d stand at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock around the bowl, and I’d intersect his stream with mine.

And I don’t care how weird that sounds. Those are fine memories.

zenvelo's avatar

There is a whole code of behavior regarding proper urinal behavior . It even cam up at work today: we have four urinals, one of which is by a sink (and therefore off limits). And the one next to the off limits one was broken. So of three available urinals, only one person could go at at time.

And the rule on conversation is: only talk to people doing the same thing you are. So you can talk if you’re both peeing, or if you’re both washing hands. But absolutely no cross task talking.

Men don’t have couches like women do, for us it’s business only.

bob_'s avatar

It’s not awkward at all. Just remember, more than two shakes and you’re playing with it.

filmfann's avatar

Urinals are like elevators. You face forward and stay quiet!
When someone walks up to a urinal next to me and tries to chat, I begin to quietly moan “it burns!”

CWOTUS's avatar

I’ve seen the link that @zenvelo posted, and I “fail” at that every time. If some dude has a problem with another hetero dude standing next to him to piss into a porcelain urinal, then that’s his problem, and I’m sorry for him, but I’m not going to kowtow to his hangups, or cure them, either. And if there’s anything worth talking about, and he’s not a total dweeb (or psycho), then I’m not afraid to start a conversation, either. His problem, not mine.

There are two great scenes in All Quiet on the Western Front where Eric Maria Remarque beautifully illustrates (without beating the reader over the head about it) the shy, neurotic behavior of new conscripts forced into close quarters and far out of their comfort zone, and later, the relaxed, the-hell-with-your-hangups behavior of the same soldiers as veterans who are comfortable in their own skins and relaxed enough to defecate face to face with their comrades and talk easily while doing it.

DominicX's avatar

To me, they’re very awkward. I definitely suffer from “pee shyness”, so for that reason I almost never use them unless I’m in a hurry and the bathroom’s empty. I’ve read all about the “code”, but it doesn’t matter to me…it’s too public for my liking.

glacial's avatar

I’ve never understood this whole urinal thing, either. Who decided that all men are supposed to pee “in public”? And yet, there’s no pair of bowls for public defecation within the men’s room? Who drew that line? It’s odd.

@wundayatta Not that your description surprises me in the least, but why isn’t the rule that the first person in the men’s room goes to the stall, thus maintaining dignity for the first and second person to arrive? I don’t get it.

ucme's avatar

So long as no patrons of the piss-pot peek down at your penis, then all’s well….“eyes front!”

cazzie's avatar

@CWOTUS You just reminded me of what my little guy started doing when he started to stand and pee. Hubby would get up to go, and little man would run after him yelling, ‘Pappa! Kan vi tiss-i-kriss?’ which means, ‘Daddy, can we pee criss-cross?’ Not sure how that started, but if I ever hear my husband complain about girls going to the restroom in pairs, I will remind him that we can’t ‘tiss-i-kriss’.

But speaking of Amsterdam, at their airport, they have a unique system for improving ‘quality control’. http://www.hoax-slayer.com/fly-in-the-toilet.shtml

bookish1's avatar

The worst is when a professor/boss of yours is voiding his bladder and decides to chat you up while you’re washing your hands. I thought there were rules about men’s bathrooms, but academics don’t seem to be well read in them.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I can only pity the poor researchers who have decided to write their masters or doctors theses on Urinal behavior. Something about devoting actual research time to the dynamics of standing urination…..seems wasteful.

My own person dislike is the urinal troughs (like in a stadium bathroom) where a 12 foot ‘bathtub’ sort of thing is mounted to the wall, and the guys all whip it out and pee collectively, not individual urinals, just have at it together. That reminds me of the scene in Ghostbusters where the guys are worried about crossing the paths of the ion generators. It could be dangerous.

There’‘s another side to urinal use, however. In my college dorm (all male) a long time ago, occasionally women would ave to pee and they would go into the men’s bathroom because it was convenient at the end of the hall. Some of them told me that they used the urinal instead of the stool. How effective is that?

CWOTUS's avatar

Ah yes, “the fly in the urinal”. That’s not just at Schiphol Airport, @cazzie. I saw that at many of the places I visited in NL. (I was going to say “everywhere I went”, but that would have been misleading and maybe a little disturbing.)

wildpotato's avatar

@zenvelo Why is the urinal next to the sink off limits? Is washing your hands next to another guy taking a whiz where y’all draw the line? How is that appreciably different from standing next to each other while whizzing? Is the idea that the microscopic pee particles might fly across and contaminate you, and this doesn’t matter before you wash your hands but matters after?

@elbanditoroso Pretty effective, if you are one of the lucky ladies to have mastered the art.

Kropotkin's avatar

My experience during my formative years were the old style trough urinals without any separators at all. We used to see who could pee the highest.

burntbonez's avatar

Every time I pee, I imagine some scene from a movie where someone comes up behind me and smashes my face into the urinal.

As you might imagine, public bathrooms make me a twee bit anxious. Just a twee.

janbb's avatar

This may be a dumb question but while we’re on the subject, how much of the penis actually comes out of the pants when you pee at a urinal? I’ve always wondered about that.

CWOTUS's avatar

No art needed, @wildpotato:

Go-Girl

zenvelo's avatar

@wildpotato Actually, using that urinal is like peeing in someone’s hands. Part of it is a poorly designed bathroom.

wildpotato's avatar

@CWOTUS FUDs are awesome, but I dream of the day I can leave behind the need to rinse mine out after use and make the switch to freestyle. This is my preferred brand; it’s better than the Go-girl because the tube can be pushed up inside the funnel – plus it actually has a tube, and is easier to use with narrow-mouthed bottles in my kayak or the car. Freestyle lady stand-peeing (warning: link is a video – not graphic but probably still NSFW) does seem to have a bit of a learning curve.

@janbb I’ve always wondered that too. How bout it, guys?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Penis presentation: Depends on what I’m wearing and how low the zipper goes. Lower the zipper more penis presentation.

ucme's avatar

I have to let the entire beast out, easier piss stream then.

burntbonez's avatar

You take enough out to make sure you don’t get pee drops on your pants when you shake it off at the end. Sometimes you have to press your pants back, if they are kind of baggy in that area. You need to be able to direct your pee. It’s kind of more a clothing issue than anything else. But it’s not something I ever thought about before. You just do it.

janbb's avatar

@ucme I misread “beast” as “breast” and was really confused!!

ucme's avatar

@janbb Now that would be a neat trick!

livelaughlove21's avatar

My husband says the rules are that you don’t stand right next to someone at the urinal (or at the next one if they are separate) but, if it’s unavoidable, you don’t look at or speak to the guy next to you until you’re both done. He only uses the urinal if he’s alone or close to it.

It’s all pretty silly to me. Most guys are pretty open about urinating – my husband has peed outside more often than inside, I think – but they’re shy about it at the urinal. My friends and I talk to each other in the bathroom stalls, so why can’t they talk to each other without it being weird?

I guess it all boils down to, “It’s a guy thing.”

It’s funny, because in some countries, historically at least, everyone squats over a trough to pee in the restrooms. Can’t be shy there…

I always hear stories about what goes on in the guy’s restroom. At Wal-Mart last week, my husband said there was a guy in there at the urinal that kept yawning and humming and wasn’t even peeing. Needless to say, my husband went straight to the stall.

rooeytoo's avatar

The next time I hear a man go on about women and their silly foibles, I won’t have the nerve to bring up the urinal neurosis syndrome that men have, but I will think of it and inwardly laugh lmao.

To me this sounds like it should be a simple Nike moment, the way it is for women, for heaven’s sake, JUST DO IT!

Unbroken's avatar

Yay! another reason to be happy I am female.
Thanks all for the satisfying my curiosity..

burntbonez's avatar

Is that how it is then? Men bare their… uh… souls and women make fun of them for it? I say it’s back to the cave boys, and no girls allowed, unless being dragged by the hair.

Unbroken's avatar

Sure well our fondest wish for everything including death and waking up in the morning isn’t having our cock sucked either.

It seems just enough.

sinscriven's avatar

There is seriously a guide out there for this sort of etiquette. You must create as much stance as possible from other guys, or at the very least create equal distance from each guy. If you get in a position where you “break the equal distance pattern”, you either head for a stall, or you wash your hands and leave and come back later.

Rules are more lax if you’re using divided urinals. You keep your eyes on the wall, ceiling or your snausage, do your business, don’t idle around, and gtfo.

Breaking these rules makes you “That guy”.

wundayatta's avatar

@glacial Why would you go to a stall first? It’s much less convenient. You have to open and close the door. You have to lift the seat (unless you don’t care about anyone else) and then you have to lower the seat in order to flush the toilet (again, unless you don’t care about anyone else). Why would you voluntarily double your time peeing? Your idea seems like an idea only a masochist would dream up.

When I want to pee, I want to pee and get it done. First of all, I wait until I can’t wait any more. I take meds that make me pee far more often than I did when younger. I want to get in and get out as fast as possible, and that dictates the urinal, not the stall. Unless someone else is in there.

There’s a reason why most people use the urinal first. I think it’s because it’s convenient. A stall lacks convenience. Plus it is darker, more gloomy, and has suspect substances sticking to the walls. And paper on the floor.

CWOTUS's avatar

LOL @wundayatta you think about this way too much.

When the urinal is occupied, what do you think the sinks are for? And as for not caring about anybody else, I recall reading that urine is actually sterile, unless one has a bladder infection or wound which may put bacteria or blood in the urine. So I pee freely.

burntbonez's avatar

@CWOTUS I get the sense that @wundayatta thinks too much about everything. Then again, he seems to be joining everyone else here in that. Think on!

Unbroken's avatar

Ew peeing in the sink makes me squirm that is worse then spitting in drinking fountains or sticking gum in them.

At least give the illusion that you wash your hands please.

ucme's avatar

When I was a kid i called them helicopter seats, the little individual urinals that is.
I like helicopters me.

Unbroken's avatar

I don’t get it.

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