Do you fold it or wad it?
October 21, 2014 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Buzzfeed conducted a(n unscientific) poll of over 300,000 readers on their bathroom habits. Some startling findings: most people pee in the shower, some people take their pants and/or their shirt off to poop, and 21% of respondents have their toilet paper facing the wrong way. The gulf between sitters and standers is widening, and the sitters contingent is winning. (Previously on sitters vs. standers.)

If you use the men's room, it's a good idea to know the etiquette (hint: no talking!). You should also know the best way to pee into a urinal to prevent splashback. Do men use the fly in their underwear, or do they pull the waistband down to pee? An intrepid metafilter user asked this question in 2006 and received 165 answers.

Should you pee in the shower? Many people are okay with this because they believe that urine is sterile, but they're wrong. Nevertheless, The University of East Anglia has started a campaign to encourage students to do so to save water.

Do you use your phone in the toilet? The Buzzfeed survey indicates that this behavior is on the rise; there's a 9 percentage point increase in texting over this 2012 study. This may be why your cell phone has more germs than a toilet seat. Germs are primarily spread through improper handwashing; only 5% wash hands properly according to a study at Michigan State University. In case you don't know how, here are the CDC guidelines.

Should you hover over the toilet or cover the seat? (Answer: sit the fuck down, princess.)

Afraid to poop in public? Jezebel addresses some methods for doing it steathily.

How do toilets work, anyway? How do you use the toilets in Europe? (Why do Germans like to look at their poop?) How do you use the toilets in India, or other places that use pit/squat toilets? Have a look at some other toilets around the world. The Numi by Kohler, at $6400, is the most expensive toilet available to the consumer (previously), while Toto washlets are a mefi favorite. Bidets are better than toilet paper for the environment, while wet wipes are terrible for the sewer system.

Happy pooping!
posted by desjardins (219 comments total) 71 users marked this as a favorite
 
this is a fantastic post and i'm so excited about the conversation to come!

21% of respondents have their toilet paper facing the wrong way.
it is not the wrong way! it is the "for the love of christ, cat, that's the expensive toilet paper! could you please not unroll the entire fucking thing???" way!
posted by nadawi at 8:02 AM on October 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


Flagged, crappy post. ;-)

that tag list is epic.
posted by eriko at 8:02 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sitters must track with smartphone use.
posted by drowsy at 8:03 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


21% of respondents have their toilet paper facing the wrong way.

Fighting words.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:04 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Do you use your phone in the toilet?

In?
posted by jeather at 8:04 AM on October 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


so, hover pee-ers - do you hover at home or only in public? what about at a friend's house? what about in your mom's house? (also, please stop hovering, i beg you)
posted by nadawi at 8:10 AM on October 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


Do you use your phone in the toilet?
In?


Via synechdoche the bathroom is commonly called the toilet in many areas. Maybe that's not common where you live? (I guess now we should have a Harvard Dialect Survey-eque poll of what people call the room where they shit and piss...)
posted by aught at 8:10 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gaahhhh toilet-seat hoverers are the worst. YOU'RE THE REASON TOILET SEATS ARE GROSS, LADIEEEZ.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:11 AM on October 21, 2014 [24 favorites]


Hovering women and seat-down standing men should be required by law to carry a sign reading "I defect in prisoners' dilemmas."
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:14 AM on October 21, 2014 [79 favorites]


I share an office restroom with some (unknown) fiend from hell who regularly a) uses those damned ass gaskets (some call them paper toilet seat covers) and b) leaves them for other people to remove from the seat.

I would almost prefer a hoverer. Almost.
posted by asperity at 8:16 AM on October 21, 2014


I used to have to pretend I was going to hover in public bathrooms with my grandmother because she would have a fit otherwise.

Via synechdoche the bathroom is commonly called the toilet in many areas. Maybe that's not common where you live?

Not common here, know the usage, thought it was amusing anyhow.
posted by jeather at 8:16 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


the thing i wonder about the standing wipers is, for the women (or men who sit when they pee), do you wipe the front first and then stand? do you stand for all the wiping? also, are your thighs and hips remarkably smaller than mine, because i just can't work out the math...
posted by nadawi at 8:18 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not common here, know the usage, thought it was amusing anyhow.

Really the word is "terlet" for many folks. Which is either more or less amusing depending on where you're from as well.
posted by aught at 8:21 AM on October 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Sat down for some "me" time, pulled out my phone as per usual, and found this post. Good timing!
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:21 AM on October 21, 2014 [15 favorites]


It wasn't until I got married and learned the intimate bathroom habits of my spouse that I realized, "Why WHY would you do that?" (And he feels the same.)
posted by Kitteh at 8:25 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'd be curious to see how time spent in the bathroom tracked with whether or not you have kids, the toilet being the only place you truly have privacy from either children or spouses.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 8:26 AM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]




Do men use the fly in their underwear

I generally use the spider, myself.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:28 AM on October 21, 2014 [16 favorites]


Men's urinal etiquette is fascinating to me, since it is this elaborate dance that I shall never witness in its pure form.

Women's bathroom etiquette, for me, is:

1. NO! I do not want to talk to you while I pee. I want you to be not in this stall. Or this room. In fact, I would prefer you were in another state.

2. Hoverers are horrible people and they shall be sent to a hell where they have to sit in someone else's cold pee splatter over and over again forever. They are the worst. A pox upon their bottoms.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:30 AM on October 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


the toilet being the only place you truly have privacy from either children or spouses.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh really.



I mean, I think that depends on the culture of your household and whether any of the children have learned how to pick the lock on the bathroom door with a nail.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:32 AM on October 21, 2014 [12 favorites]


This whole "don't talk in the men's room" is nonsense. Everybody knows that the best thing you can do in a crowded men's room (one in which you cannot keep an empty urinal between you & the next guy) is to catch his eye and compliment him on his taste in wristwatches.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:32 AM on October 21, 2014 [11 favorites]


2. Hoverers are horrible people and they shall be sent to a hell where they have to sit in someone else's cold pee splatter over and over again forever. They are the worst. A pox upon their bottoms.

Right? The very people who are afraid of foreign pee on their bums are the very people who leave it there. It ruins a night out after you've had a few, I tells ya.
posted by Kitteh at 8:33 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Mein Gott, zwei kilogram!" exclaims Günter, joyful and relieved.

Oh my god, I read that article ten years ago and that phrase has echoed in my mind ever since.
posted by rlk at 8:34 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't care about the toilet paper. I guess I prefer if it's coming from the back but I don't go nutty if it's not.

I've been sitting when I wipe for five years now, thanks to Cortex. I've covered that before.

I think talking on the phone while pooping is rude and disgusting. Don't do that.

I do occasionally pee in the shower, as long as it's my own shower. I wouldn't pee in someone else's shower.

I wash my hands properly. I work in a hospital and have become obsessed with having clean hands.

I don't hover. If the toilet is in a particularly gross place I might cover the seat with toilet paper.

I have stage fright and have trouble with urinals unless I'm alone or I REALLY HAVE TO PEE. Usually I just wait for a stall.

And for fuck's sake don't talk to me when I'm pooping. It makes the prairie dog go back in his hole.

And that is my TMI post for the day!
posted by bondcliff at 8:37 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


the thing i wonder about the standing wipers is, for the women (or men who sit when they pee), do you wipe the front first and then stand? do you stand for all the wiping?

Okay, I'm just going to come out of the closet and say it. I think there's a fundamental misconception about what constitutes "standing." It is not like you're standing at attention. There's some bending of the knees involved. Even if you were completely standing, I don't understand why you can't just reach between your legs. It's not like you can't move your feet apart. How would you straddle a bike?

Basically, I don't want my hands anywhere near the toilet water. I am not a germaphobe - I don't hover or cover! - but taking the risk of actually touching toilet water? No, it's just gross. Yes, I'm going to wash my hands as soon as I'm done either way, but before that I have to touch my clothes.

I don't understand the mechanics of sitters. You should NOT be wiping back to front when you poop, especially if you have a vagina!
posted by desjardins at 8:39 AM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


I mean, I think that depends on the culture of your household and whether any of the children have learned how to pick the lock on the bathroom door with a nail.

So, locked doors were meaningless in my house growing up. Parents and little brother both would just take a de-cottoned q-tip and shove it in the knob hole until the lock popped and walk in with 0 hesitation. You could be pooping. You could be showering. You could be jerking off. You could be changing a tampon. No matter, if they want to talk to you or get something out of the bathroom, they're coming in. Same thing for bedroom doors. Locks meant nothing.

The only thing that kept them out was if you had diarrhea. I guess that's an experience so unpleasant that no one wants to be in the same room as it. I learned pretty early on that if I wanted privacy and heard scuffling at the knob to shout "I HAVE DIARRHEA." Followed quickly by hearing them scarper off down the hallway to wait it out.

I realized it was the only way to get any privacy in the house, so what I'd do occasionally is hide snacks on myself and run into the bathroom to hide out with a book. I'd put a towel down on the floor, crack a box of cookies, and curl up with a book. All I had to do is occasionally shout about my explosive diarrhea when needed. When I'd emerge an hour or so later I'd get concerned "is your stomach still upset?" questions from my mom and have pepto forced down me.

I'm not sure why they didn't take me to the doctor for my obvious recurring intestinal issues because this happened a lot.
posted by phunniemee at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2014 [38 favorites]


It takes a tremendous amount of naïvety to be shocked that most people pee in the shower.
posted by sf2147 at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


There were some theories going round a few years ago that men tended to place the toilet roll so the dangling end was directly against the wall (which I take to be "from the bottom"), while women left a gap between the dangling paper and the wall ("from the top"). Or possibly the other way round.

Any views, Metafilter?
posted by Paul Slade at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2014


Via synechdoche the bathroom is commonly called the toilet in many areas.

I lived in the UK for while, got used to saying toilet (which makes much more sense to me), then came back to the U.S. and one day asked a guy in Home Depot where the toilets were. I did not end up where I wanted to be.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 8:41 AM on October 21, 2014 [14 favorites]


Any views, Metafilter?

Men are wrong.
posted by desjardins at 8:43 AM on October 21, 2014 [9 favorites]


still_wears_a_hat: "Via synechdoche the bathroom is commonly called the toilet in many areas.

I lived in the UK for while, got used to saying toilet (which makes much more sense to me), then came back to the U.S. and one day asked a guy in Home Depot where the toilets were. I did not end up where I wanted to be.
"

If you saw the movie Jackass, you were in the correct place.
posted by 724A at 8:43 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


An intrepid metafilter user asked this question in 2006 and received 165 answers.

Oh God, all the grown men still pissing like they're under fives in that thread. So disturbing.

I'm also puzzled by 'phone use - it's like the old cliché of people taking a newspaper into the loo. How long are these folk pooing for that they need on-bog entertainment? And why haven't they been to the doctor about it?

I mean, unless you're ill, shitting takes an absolute maximum of five minutes. (Doesn't it? I'm suddenly worried I have some rare high-speed pooing condition.)
posted by jack_mo at 8:43 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I wash my hands properly.

How do you know someone works in a lab? They wash their hands before and after.

Anyway, do you wash for twenty seconds? As a doctor once told me, you can sing either your ABCs or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to be sure you've washed for long enough. Either works fine.
posted by bonehead at 8:44 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


My office bathroom toilets have automatic plastic seat covers/ass gaskets. All you have to do is wave your foot or a hand over a sensor and it will dispense out a fresh new seat cover for your precious bottom. And yet there are *still* women in this office who hover. It is so infuriating!
posted by misskaz at 8:45 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


The second worst thing about hoverers at work (first being the pee on the seat, natch) is being in a nearby stall, hearing the hover stream -- I don't like that I can tell the difference between sitters' and hoverers' pee streams but I am cursed with this skill -- and knowing who it is, whether because you walked in at the same time, you heard them talking before they entered their stall, or you exited at the same time.

I really wish mysteries like these would not solve themselves so easily, as I now know who a couple of the worst offenders are at my office and it's hard to keep that knowledge from affecting my opinion of them.
posted by phatkitten at 8:45 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Ok, when you shit in the woods, do you hold the tree and lean back or lean against the tree for balance?
posted by 724A at 8:45 AM on October 21, 2014


My 5 year old gets completely naked to poop. We have been subtly trying to discourage this, since he will sometimes have to poop out of the house, and nobody does that in public bathrooms. But now apparently people do?
posted by Mchelly at 8:47 AM on October 21, 2014


I mean, unless you're ill, shitting takes an absolute maximum of five minutes. (Doesn't it? I'm suddenly worried I have some rare high-speed pooing condition.)

Depends on how much fiber one is getting, but considering the typical modern diet it's no wonder people are stuck in there.

That said, and as evidenced above, being on the toilet does not necessarily mean one is still pooping. Every so often you need some alone time.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:48 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


And then there's people like the LucasArts Shit Bandit. (I remember lots of other workplace poop stories after that one on the Bombcast, but it seems like they haven't been Youtubeized.)
posted by kmz at 8:49 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hold the tree and lean back, definitely. Otherwise you might get spiders on your back.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:49 AM on October 21, 2014


Ok, when you shit in the woods, do you hold the tree and lean back or lean against the tree for balance?

Don't shit near a tree. Squat over dirt. Make sure you're not going to poop on your pants. Best to dig a hole about six inches deep, enough to keep the flies away but shallow enough so the dirt can work its magic on your poop. Burn or bury the TP when you're done.

Here's a good book on the subject.
posted by bondcliff at 8:51 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ok, when you shit in the woods

There is literally a whole book on the subject. And it's a darn good one too.
posted by bonehead at 8:51 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


but taking the risk of actually touching toilet water? No, it's just gross.

What kind of toilets are you using where wiping while sitting involves touching the water?

I don't understand the mechanics of sitters. You should NOT be wiping back to front when you poop, especially if you have a vagina!

I don't have a vagina, but I don't wipe back to front. Which part of the mechanics is confusing? Are you imagining reaching between your legs to wipe? That's not how you do it. You sorta shift your weight onto one cheek, lift the other, and reach under from behind to wipe.

(With folded paper, of course. What is this wadding nonsense even about? That's madness.)

Because this posture naturally spreads the cheeks apart, it's easier and you get cleaner.

I just went back to the toilet and went through the actual motions to make sure I described this accurately.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:54 AM on October 21, 2014 [21 favorites]


Men's urinal etiquette is fascinating to me, since it is this elaborate dance that I shall never witness in its pure form.

The main rules are pretty simple --

1. if there are people standing at the urinals already, pick one that leaves as many empty urinals in between you and the others as possible
2. keep talking to a minimum; none is best
3. eyes up here, mister
4. try not to pee all over the bathroom like you've got a loose firehose

There are other rules, but those are the primary ones.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:55 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


If it takes you more than two minutes to void your bowels, you aren't consuming enough water and fiber.
posted by Renoroc at 8:56 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Best practice is to pack out TP. It doesn't degrade very quickly.

You can burn it too, but please, as the last thing to do before packing camp in the morning. Most definitely not before meals.
posted by bonehead at 8:56 AM on October 21, 2014


Katie Notopoulos previously on Mefi.
posted by josher71 at 8:59 AM on October 21, 2014


"I'd be curious to see how time spent in the bathroom tracked with whether or not you have kids, the toilet being the only place you truly have privacy from either children or spouses."

We have dogs and cats. The dogs know poop time is perfect for ear skritches, and one of the cats will butt the door open, roll over at your feet and mewl for tummy rubs. If you do not, you get a lap full of tabby.
posted by notsnot at 9:00 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think my favorite part about threads on toilet habits is when people come in to tell everybody that they're shitting wrong because it only takes them 7.04 seconds to poop on average and my god man think about your poor colon's fiber content.

Like, it's nice that you want to do your job, but the rest of us have cracked articles to read and coworkers to avoid.
posted by phunniemee at 9:00 AM on October 21, 2014 [27 favorites]


If it takes you more than two minutes to void your bowels, you aren't consuming enough water and fiber.


But sometimes YOU CAN'T STOP.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:01 AM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Speaking of tinkly mysteries, guys...have you ever noticed the stream is like an electromagnetic wave, with both horizontal and vertical sinusoid components?


(or am I just weird?)
posted by notsnot at 9:02 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


I've seen more than a few guys online talk about peeing in toilet sinks as something that everyone does from time to time. I never got an explanation why this is more convenient than taking two steps to the left and using the damn toilet.

I saw a documentary years ago about sewer systems, that claimed folding vs wadding toilet paper was a regional thing. The assertion was that Americans tend to wad while Europeans tend to fold. Apparently this has consequences for the designs of toilet paper (European stuff needs to be stronger), which in turn has consequences for plumbing design. This feels a lot like a nice little story that turns out not to be true, but I've never tried to verify it.

As a doctor once told me, you can sing either your ABCs or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to be sure you've washed for long enough. Either works fine.
I work in a medical school, and in the toilets you can generally tell who's had medical training. There's a specific hand-washing routine that they all seem to have had drilled into them, even if they're just going back to a desk. And, as posted above, you can tell who works in a lab because we wash our hands before and after.
posted by metaBugs at 9:03 AM on October 21, 2014


If it takes you more than two minutes to void your bowels, you aren't consuming enough water and fiber.

Two minutes to void my bowels, ten minutes to finish that stupid level on Stick Figure Wingsuit on my iPhone before going back to work.
posted by bondcliff at 9:04 AM on October 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


Basically, I don't want my hands anywhere near the toilet water.

In the UK, the level of water in the toilet bowls makes getting your hands wet completely impossible. I don't know why there's so much water in American toilet bowls (and other 'high level' countries - you see it sometimes in France, sometimes not).

That said, and as evidenced above, being on the toilet does not necessarily mean one is still pooping. Every so often you need some alone time.

'still pooping'? Ah! So folk are using their 'phones while sitting on the toilet, post-poo. That makes more sense, but surely it would be better to finish, flush and put the seat down, if you're just sort of chilling in the lav avoiding the family.

The idea of sitting for a while, keks down, while a recently pooed poo languishes glumly in the bowl below seems... not terribly pleasant. Also: hemorrhoids.
posted by jack_mo at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


A woman I know who is more of a germophobe than I is over the hoverer horror. She doesn't even ever look at the seat. She walks into the stall, lifts up the seat with the bottom of her shoe, then squats over the seatless can, then lowers the seat with the bottom of her shoe.

(She also always leaves her street shoes outside the front door on the welcome mat.)
posted by bukvich at 9:07 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


i do not have a penis, but i have known sink pee-ers - sometimes it's because they're washing their dick at the time and it's just convenient, sometimes it's because it's a one bathroom house and both people desperately need to pee and it's far easier for the penis-toter to pee in the sink.
posted by nadawi at 9:08 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


That makes more sense, but surely it would be better to finish, flush and put the seat down, if you're just sort of chilling in the lav avoiding the family.

But then the jig is up - they know you're done.
posted by desjardins at 9:09 AM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


if i want some bathroom reading relaxing time (something i got in the habit of while trying to find the right combo to treat my ibs-c) i bring a pipe with me - makes the-toast even funnier, covers smells, helps with the post-poo nausea, a perfect solution.
posted by nadawi at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2014


I don't understand the mechanics of sitters. You should NOT be wiping back to front when you poop, especially if you have a vagina!

Thus:

Step 1. - reach between nethers, wipe taint-to-front.
Step 2. - lean forward slightly, reach behind self, wipe taint-to-back.

C'est ca.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


But your Step 1 is exactly what not to do! How do you not get infections?
posted by desjardins at 9:12 AM on October 21, 2014


Does anyone else play urinal chicken? When you have the men's room all to yourself, start peeing, then take 2 big steps backwards and stay there as long as you can without a) peeing on the floor and b) getting caught by somebody walking in.
posted by peeedro at 9:12 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Parents and little brother both would just take a de-cottoned q-tip and shove it in the knob hole until the lock popped

It took me a good 40 seconds of re-reading before I realized this was not a euphemism
posted by Greg Nog at 9:13 AM on October 21, 2014 [22 favorites]


one of the cats will butt the door open, roll over at your feet and mewl for tummy rubs. If you do not, you get a lap full of tabby.

Another data point for this. My late (sigh) elderly cat would always (very close to 100% of the time) bump the door open and come in and sit on the bathmat (the tile floor is cold on those old paws) in front of me while I sat on the toilet, angling for ear/face/back scritching from a captive audience. I miss the old gal.
posted by aught at 9:14 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else play urinal chicken?

Apparently everyone else in my office does, because there is consistently a huge puddle of urine in front of the urinals. Which is a problem, because they only mop the floors once a month.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:14 AM on October 21, 2014


I don't know why there's so much water in American toilet bowls

It varies among brands in the U.S., I find -- even between the two toilets in our house. It seems like it sometimes has to do with the age of the toilet. The guest bath at my parents' house has a pretty old toilet fixture with absolutely no water-saving design, and it's annoyingly easy to wet one's knuckles wiping there.
posted by aught at 9:17 AM on October 21, 2014


But your Step 1 is exactly what not to do! How do you not get infections?

It's not like there's only a millimeter of space between your genitals and your anus. To date I've not had a problem keeping activity in each quadrant separate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:19 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


i do not have a penis, but i have known sink pee-ers - sometimes it's because they're washing their dick at the time and it's just convenient,

If I thought a guest to my home was peeing and washing his dick in my bathroom sink I would likely end the friendship. In no small part because it implies they are also drying their poorly-cleansed dick on my hand- or bath-towel. (Is this a post-sex thing? If so, just take a freakin' shower.) Wow. Shudder.
posted by aught at 9:22 AM on October 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


i have never known any sink pee-ers to do it in any sink besides their own.
posted by nadawi at 9:25 AM on October 21, 2014


I never got an explanation why this is more convenient than taking two steps to the left and using the damn toilet.

In lots of houses, the toilet is in a little room of its own. Let's say you're about to jump in the bath, don't want to walk around the house naked, and putting your trousers on is just too much faff - in that context, a bathroom sink piss is perfectly reasonable, I think.

I must admit that most of my sink pisses are completely unjustified, though - I'm just too lazy to walk ten steps to the room next door.

But then the jig is up - they know you're done.

Mystery solved. Thanks desjardins!

post-poo nausea

Er, the what now?!
posted by jack_mo at 9:25 AM on October 21, 2014


In no small part because it implies they are also drying their poorly-cleansed dick on my hand- or bath-towel.

I feel like there are at least 115 things about regular old non-butt sex that are grosser than drying a dick off on a towel.
posted by phunniemee at 9:26 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


I just got back from France and man, I wish we did bidets in the US. They're like a tiny bathtub for your anus. Your sparkly clean anus. Does work a lot better if you can take your pants off first though.

OTOH fuck the German shelf toilet. No amount of flushing works.
posted by Nelson at 9:27 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Speaking of sparkly clean anuses, I'm wondering:

I keep a stack of washcloths in the bathroom (partly) for post-pooping wash-up. Like, I wipe normally, then I wet the cloth (no soap) and do a pass or two to get anything that the paper missed. Then the cloth goes into the clothes hamper. This way, my anus can enjoy that freshly showered feeling all day long. (I don't always bother with this, but I usually do.)

Am I a weirdo?

Because even if I am, I'm a weirdo with a pristine butthole, and y'all should totally try this. Post-defecatory cleanup should absolutely involve water, and if you don't have a bidet, this is an easy and effective fallback option.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:32 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Er, the what now?!

related to the ibs-c, and then the treatment for the ibs-c.
posted by nadawi at 9:34 AM on October 21, 2014


escape from the potato planet baby wipes work perfectly fine for post pooping cleanse.
posted by bukvich at 9:35 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


i think it was in one of these conversations on mefi where someone someone suggested that if you think you're really 100% clean after pooping to try wiping the other direction and you might just be surprised. it has basically changed the way i wipe, like i'm checking directions on a compass.
posted by nadawi at 9:38 AM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


Is this a post-sex thing? If so, just take a freakin' shower.
"Apparently our penis beaker is strange and not the done thing."
posted by jack_mo at 9:41 AM on October 21, 2014 [13 favorites]


But wipes go into the landfill (not that laundering cloths is that environmentally friendly, guess), and I've read that wipes generally contain cleansers and whatnot that can irritate the skin (they do make disposable wipes for adults).

Or is this an "eww reusing butt cloths" thing? Because they go into an extremely hot washer with chemical detergent, then into an extremely hot dryer. And it's not like they get super-smeared-up with poop or anything.

I could maybe stop talking about my anus-cleaning habits, if you guys want
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:44 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


OP's link to the study about the sterility of urine is somewhat misleading. The subjects in that study had symptoms of UTI, but their tests came back negative for standard/known UTI bacteria (thus indicating that a new "gold standard" test should be adopted). I don't see any basis for generalizing to an asymptomatic population.
posted by DebetEsse at 9:45 AM on October 21, 2014


baby wipes work perfectly fine for post pooping cleanse.

Except that they're bad for sewer systems.

I think the washcloth thing is weird, and I would totally avoid wherever your laundry hamper is if I came to your house. Sorry. Get a bidet.
posted by desjardins at 9:45 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


I pose this question to the Men of MeFi: Do you have a reason not to sit for both functions? I have come to the conclusion that, at least in one's home, there is no reason at all to micturate standing. And I especially don't understand how one can do it standing in the middle of the night with the bathroom light off any more than I can imagine sinking a free throw with my eyes closed.

Also: TP over the front of the roll, same as paper towels. Unless you have a vertical paper towel holder, in which it's right-to-left.
posted by the sobsister at 9:46 AM on October 21, 2014


Probably billions of people squat when they have to "do the 2"; it's probably the most natural way. I can't help but think that one of the reasons for hemorrhoids is that people sit down in a way that doesn't optimally allow the last few inches of a stool to pass without stress. (Man, this stuff is challenging to write about in a way that one can imagine it not being mocked in some cleverly scatological way!)
posted by Vibrissae at 9:48 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am going to bring a box of adult diapers to the next mefi meetup I attend just so we don't have to deal with any of this shit (until later at least).
posted by srboisvert at 9:49 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I pose this question to the Men of MeFi: Do you have a reason not to sit for both functions?

Female here, but in an earlier thread I learned something I had honestly never considered before - sitting to pee would put one's dingus way too close to the wall of the toilet, and the force of the spray would create a slight splashback effect (see the link on the German shelf toilets above, where the problem is even worse) and plus you also have your junk touching the inside of a toilet.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have come to the conclusion that, at least in one's home, there is no reason at all to micturate standing.

It's much more convenient - no need to drop trou - and there's no risk of bopping your cock against icy porcelain.

Seated wees have their place, though: e.g. when very drunk, very tired, or on a boat in rough seas.

if I am, I'm a weirdo with a pristine butthole

...and wet shit all over your clothes.
posted by jack_mo at 9:55 AM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


My office bathroom toilets have automatic plastic seat covers/ass gaskets. All you have to do is wave your foot or a hand over a sensor and it will dispense out a fresh new seat cover for your precious bottom. And yet there are *still* women in this office who hover. It is so infuriating!

I encountered these for the first time in O'Hare's bathrooms a few months ago, and am I the only one who finds them weird and freaky? It's like sitting on food service gloves. Eugh.
posted by sciatrix at 10:06 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


EmpressCallipygos and jack_mo,

Points taken. However, I would offer in counterpoint the benefits of the Seated Wee:
(i) As I learned during my married years, it puts the proverbial kibosh on the seat-up/seat-down battle that men and women have waged for many bitter years.
(ii) It affords one a pleasant break from the hurly-burly of the day, during which one can take pride in the fact that one's toilet paper is properly orientated.
(iii) It gets one in the habit for the Seated Night Wee, or SNW (vide supra).

While the possibility of porcelain knob-grazing exists, with some care, the virile member need never touch the white or the waves.
posted by the sobsister at 10:08 AM on October 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


I may be explaining myself poorly. I clean myself as thoroughly as possible with paper first, like everyone else. But dry paper will only take you so far; if you stop there, there's always some residue, whether you realize it or not. You can leave the residue there, or you can remove it—either way, you're going to have a small but non-zero amount of shit residue in contact with your laundry (whether it's your underwear or a washcloth). Have you ever used a washcloth in the shower to clean the same region? Same thing, minus the rest of the shower. It's not like you would look in my hamper and think "OH MY GOD IT'S FULL OF SHIT-COVERED RAGS"

Or maybe I'm just a freak. Wouldn't be the first time.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:08 AM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


i cannot stand when people try to talk to me in the bathroom. or just stand there chatting in the bathroom. GTFO peeps. there's some women who just yak on the phone in the bathroom at the office and i don't understand it because the hallways and break room are also filled with people on personal calls so it's not like they'd get in trouble talking out in the hallway.

but then again... i get embarrassed if i'm looking at the interwebs and there's a pic of a person and i'm in the bathroom bc i'm like omg they can see me and then i remember they can't.
posted by sio42 at 10:09 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, regarding different methods of covering the toilet with TP for prophylactic purposes, I walked into the bathroom at work a year or so back and found that the toilet in the wheelchair stall had been...treated to a TP'ing that transformed it into a throne of sorts. It was somewhere between outsider art and the set-up for Saw VII. It was profoundly creepy, and I've regretted not photographing it to reassure myself it wasn't the product of a fever dream.
posted by the sobsister at 10:14 AM on October 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


(i) As I learned during my married years, it puts the proverbial kibosh on the seat-up/seat-down battle that men and women have waged for many bitter years.

My solution to that has been to always put both the toilet seat and the cover down as well. That way everybody is equally inconvenienced, the cornerstone of any democracy.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:18 AM on October 21, 2014 [22 favorites]


Men's urinal etiquette is fascinating to me, since it is this elaborate dance that I shall never witness in its pure form.

I once saw an online video game which presented players with a line of urinals, each with a different configuration of users already in place. You had to choose which urinal to use, sometimes in situations where the answer was obvious, sometimes where conflicting imperatives left you in doubt.

Half way through the game it added a curve ball by suddenly including a black guy among the urinals' users. Now white guys (like me) had to think not only which urinal gave them the maximum quarantine zone from all other users, but also worry whether following that principle might make them look racist.
posted by Paul Slade at 10:19 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


This made me laugh so hard. It was only in the last few months that I found out that my husband stands to wipe, and I thought that was the most insane thing I ever heard! So funny.

Also, who the hell takes their shirt off to poop? HAHAHA!
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 10:22 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


This thread just gets funnier and funnier. I've gone from a smile and a "hmm" to snorting and laughing. Also, Metafilter: Oh my god it's full of shit-covered rags!.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:23 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


How do you not get infections?

It's not like there's only a millimeter of space between your genitals and your anus.


The spacing is different on different people. For some ladies it does work best to wipe forward from the middle, then wipe back from the middle. Some of it depends on the shape/size/placement of the labia minora, which way you have to approach to get them out of the way. Whatever actually gets you clean and avoids cross-contamination from the rectum to the urethra area is probably fine.

/nurse
posted by vytae at 10:33 AM on October 21, 2014 [8 favorites]


Let me sum up this thread: Whatever you're doing, someone thinks it's gross and wrong.
posted by desjardins at 10:37 AM on October 21, 2014 [10 favorites]


Protip to folks with vulvas: don't wipe when you pee. Blot that shit. Works like a charm and you get to sidestep the whole front to back or back to front moral quandary.
posted by phunniemee at 10:40 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


They asked about texting, so why not ask about Twooping? Foobing? Although, depending on the day both can be toilets in their own right.
posted by Silvertree at 10:42 AM on October 21, 2014


I've only hovered once, in a filthy bathroom (waiting was not an option) towards the end of the night at a very crowded bar. The added degree of difficulty was that I was wasted. It wasn't the most nerve-wracking experience of my life, but it's up there.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:46 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Related: grown-ass Redditor discovers he's been pooping wrong his entire life.
Our toilet broke so I was in shopping for new ones and the sales person joked (no doubt for the millionth time) that I'll want one that automatically puts the seat down after I'm finished with it. I 'joked' back and said if I didn't have a wife I could save money and not buy one with a seat and I'd never have to hear women complaining about putting it down again. To which he gave me a strange look and said "but what about when you need to poop?". I naturally pointed out that I'm a guy and therefore don't put the seat down, I sit on the rim of the bowl. Several embarrassing moments later, I realize that I've misunderstood my entire life and that guys do indeed use the toilet seat. I left empty handed and red faced.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:02 AM on October 21, 2014 [28 favorites]


I find that "Someone's in here!" is too passive. I mean, I'm not SOMEONE. I'm ME, goddamnit. So I take an alternate approach - I say nothing and glare at the door, because Christ people, if you jiggle the handle and it's locked what the hell makes you need to check if it's really empty? Who do you think locked the door? Just leave me alone and let me poop in peace.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:05 AM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Given the general engineering prowess that Germans are stereotypically lauded for, it is surprising that their toilet bowl remains such an obviously broken design.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:06 AM on October 21, 2014


My solution to that has been to always put both the toilet seat and the cover down as well. That way everybody is equally inconvenienced, the cornerstone of any democracy.

This is not only exactly what I do it is also exactly the reasoning I use for it. COMRADE!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:09 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


I put the cover down to keep the cats from getting in there.
posted by X-Himy at 11:20 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


My solution to that has been to always put both the toilet seat and the cover down as well. That way everybody is equally inconvenienced

Including the pets.

(We keep all toilets closed when not in use, UNLESS we are going out of town. And then I thoroughly clean the toilet and leave the lid and seat up because what if we're like killed in an accident and the petsitters stop coming even though they're not supposed to stop until they get confirmation that we're home and it takes several days for our friends to realize they need to break into our house and save the pets. They'll need extra water then.)
posted by Lyn Never at 11:23 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Lyn Never, I do that and also leave some windows open when I go away in case there is a fire so the cats can jump out.
posted by jeather at 11:28 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


the white or the waves

Beautiful.

It's not like you would look in my hamper and think "OH MY GOD IT'S FULL OF SHIT-COVERED RAGS"

But it must, surely, be absolutely chock full of slightly pooish washcloths.

Lets assume you take a minimum of two poos a day - that's at least fourteen damp, ever-so-slighly poo-spackled washcloths come washday. Two of which have been oozing their tiny specklets of filth all over your shirts, trousers and the interior of the hamper for the entire week.

This still sounds much worse, poowise, than any dry film of invisible ordure lurking in my boxer shorts.

Come to think of it my dirty clothes storage system, designed to cut down on pre-wash sorting, also reduces potential interclothing faecal transmission: there is a separate bag for boxers and socks inside the clothes hamper. Not including merino wool socks, obviously - they go in the merino wool side-pocket with the longjohns and what sporty people insist on calling 'base layers', to avoid accidental high-temp. washing.

Perhaps you could invest in a dedicated shit-rag bag? I'm sure many of us in this thread would sleep easier tonight if you did.
posted by jack_mo at 11:35 AM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


(Doesn't it? I'm suddenly worried I have some rare high-speed pooing condition.)

You're obviously a power pooper, myself, I like to work in a nap if possible.
posted by e1c at 11:36 AM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I, too, remember the urinal placement game that Paul Slade mentioned. Its accuracy extends not only to the proper etiquette, but to its characters' various arm positions mid-piss.
posted by BevosAngryGhost at 11:37 AM on October 21, 2014


The whole "omg people are using their phones in the bathroom" thing is weird to me. Didn't your grandparents have a magazine rack in there?
posted by desjardins at 11:48 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Two minutes to void my bowels, ten minutes to finish that stupid level on Stick Figure Wingsuit on my iPhone before going back to work.

Touch toilet. Toilet Germs.
Touch phone. Toilet Germs now on Phone.
Put phone away. Wipe and Wash hands.
Pull phone out of pocket for meeting reminder. Phone germs from toilet back on hands.
Shake hands. Toilet germs now on coworkers.

Smart phones are not bathtoys.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:50 AM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


Does anyone else play urinal chicken?

Apparently everyone else in my office does, because there is consistently a huge puddle of urine in front of the urinals. Which is a problem, because they only mop the floors once a month.


On one of Henry Rollins' 1990's-vintage spoken word albums, he says something to the effect that after playing thousands of gigs in clubs and having seen many men's rooms, he feels sorry for any woman who meets a guy in a club, because these guys clearly have no control over their dicks. If they cannot hit a target THIS BIG, then what chance do they have with a target this big?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:51 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm going to venture a guess that the vast majority of women don't want a guy aiming his piss at her vagina.
posted by desjardins at 11:54 AM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Touch toilet. Toilet Germs.

Are you using your phone with your thighs? How much toilet-touching is involved when you sit on a toilet? There is zero toilet-to-hand contact when I'm engaging with the toilet, save for the flusher handle (unless it's a public toilet in which case hellooo shoes), and anyway by that point the phone is safely stowed back in a pocket.
posted by phunniemee at 12:02 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


This discussion? AGAIN???!?!!

Damn, I really do love you, MetaFilter.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:03 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


As to question #17, I was in a bar in Toronto that had a tiny soccer ball and a little plastic net in the urinals. How could you resist?
posted by transient at 12:05 PM on October 21, 2014


yes, i pee in the shower, and i take my pants off before an @home #2. #2 takes under ten seconds, but i remain seated until i've finished my cigarette. i'm not involved in the underwear fly/pull down controversy because i don't wear underwear and usually pee outside.
posted by bruce at 12:08 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh man, my partner and I spent YEARS debating each other about which type of toilet paper to buy. He prefers the "extra strong" kind that's tough and rigid and reminds me of wiping your ass with a paper towel. I prefer the "extra soft" (?) kind that's fluffy like normal toilet paper. It was a freaking revelation when we discovered that he's a folder, and I'm a wadder, and the two varieties of toilet paper are each very well suited to only one way of using it. The paper towel-style TP sucks for wadding, and the fluffy TP sucks for folding.

Now we buy both kinds of toilet paper, which is kind of ridiculous considering how little storage space we have in our bathroom, but at least The Mystery of the Wrong Kind of Toilet Paper is solved.
posted by gueneverey at 12:08 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


OK FINE, I AM A REVOLTING POO GOLEM
posted by escape from the potato planet at 12:09 PM on October 21, 2014 [17 favorites]


extra strong for lyfe!

also, blotting doesn't work with some vulva configurations - it takes a little more contact and moving things out of the way than that.
posted by nadawi at 12:15 PM on October 21, 2014


Thank you BevosAngryGhost. My memory of that game was obviously faulty but it's really good to know where to find it again.

On the subject of adding a painted target in the bowl so guys can indulge in a little target practice, I believe these symbols have sometimes been added in precisely the spot calculated to produce minimum splash back. Added enjoyment and extra hygiene all in one handy package.

One manufacturer was careful to choose a painted bee as his own product's target. And if you don't see why a bee is particularly appropriate in this context, you're clearly not the classically-educated Metafilter I thought you were.

Also, to whoever it was said they and their partner each required a different kind of toilet paper: does that mean you need two different holders screwed to the wall as well?
posted by Paul Slade at 12:21 PM on October 21, 2014


oh! and men! consider adding blotting to your post pee routine, especially if you're about to crawl into bed with your partner!
posted by nadawi at 12:22 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


The reddit guy who sits on the bare rim of the toilet:
I don't remember first using the toilet but it's always something I've done. So when people joke about having to put the toilet seat down when finished, it made perfect sense to me and I've never needed to question it. I don't think I'll change though. Try sitting in the rim, it's really quite comfortable!
Nope.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:28 PM on October 21, 2014


Nadawi's note neatly introduces a bit of verse I learned as a young sobsister:

You can shake and shake
and shake your peg,
but always a drop
runs down your leg.
posted by the sobsister at 12:28 PM on October 21, 2014


Also, to whoever it was said they and their partner each required a different kind of toilet paper: does that mean you need two different holders screwed to the wall as well?

Well the TP holder in our apartment was installed with the arms too close together, so any roll has to be half-used before it can even go in the holder. So we just keep our two active rolls on top of the toilet tank and put them away when guests come over, so the place doesn't look like a damn toilet paper museum.
posted by gueneverey at 12:52 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


This is not only exactly what I do it is also exactly the reasoning I use for it. COMRADE!

The poopers must control the means of production. ;D
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:52 PM on October 21, 2014


As a child I had severe stomach problems to the point where I had tons of tests done. Eventually they just put it down to irritable bowel syndrome. But anyways I would regularly spend half an hour in there. Sometimes I was in so much pain I'd rock back and forth and chant "this too shall pass" to myself. (No pun intended, just meant the pain would end.) I started taking books or magazines as a distraction from the pain - it actually helped me get out of the bathroom faster. I've outgrown the stomach issues mostly but I still take my phone in, or a book. Habit now.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:52 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've never understood disagreements about toilet seat positions. If it's not in your preferred position, you can reposition it yourself as needed, regardless of your gender. I thought that's what all normal people did.

You sorta shift your weight onto one cheek, lift the other, and reach under from behind to wipe.
This is an accurate portrayal of my stance on this issue (heh). Is this considered a sitter? Is there any other way? How do self-proclaimed standers envision sitters and vice-versa?
posted by The arrows are too fast at 12:54 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm going to venture a guess that the vast majority of women don't want a guy aiming his piss at her vagina.

The obvious response would be the second invocation of the term synecdoche in this thread.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:56 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


i always love this thread. this is the kind of conversation that you can't just start up while at lunch with co-workers, etc. here's some of my thoughts after reading my way to the bottom...

for context, i'm a guy.

i usually put the seat and lid down after any toilet use. i have also felt that a female cohabitant who would complain about her male cohabitant not putting the seat down when he's finished should be expected to put the seat up after she finishes. no?

i pee in the shower from time to time, but i don't feel good about it. i aim diligently for the drain, and make sure to wash up after (it's easy. i'm in the shower). and then i feel like the pee is being chased down by soap. i only do it while the water is running.

pee standing up mostly. poo sitting down always. wipe while seated (the shift/lean gesture maneuver described above).
posted by rude.boy at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2014


You only have to accidentally dip your hands in toilet water once to convert from a sitter to a stander. Gah.

Those of you proud of your ability to power-blast out your colon contents in record time, just wait for old age. I'm not there yet, but I have it on good authority that things will slow down on you eventually. Or do you think old people eat prunes and special yogurts for fun?
posted by emjaybee at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2014


Dudes: the problem with leaving the seat up is this - when we (people who sit) get up in the middle of the night to pee, we want to know that we are not going to wind up sitting in toilet water. In low light, it's easier to tell the difference between lid down/lid up than it is to tell the difference between seat down/seat up. We'd prefer not to have to turn the light on because it makes it harder for us to get back to sleep (and it might wake others up depending on room configurations). Closing the door (to turn on the light) might also wake you/others up.
posted by desjardins at 1:39 PM on October 21, 2014


Phone usage whilst public restroom pooping is pretty awful for the person on the other end who can hear the telltale echo and background flushes but hilarious for the person in the next stall who (if they are me) will immediately begin making horrible norovirus poopin groans of anguish.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:02 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


we want to know that we are not going to wind up sitting in toilet water

Basically, we DON'T want to be that Reddit guy. We are not people who ever deal with toilet rims except if we clean them, and that is a sufficient amount of exposure.

That's why a Full Down Policy is best. Everybody puts it up, everybody puts it down. It also prevents things falling or getting knocked in (especially unknowingly and then they get flushed and stuck), keeps the pets from drinking out of it and dripping water all over the bathroom, it looks nicer, and GERMY EJECTA so you should be closing to flush anyway.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:02 PM on October 21, 2014 [6 favorites]


Hovering women and seat-down standing men should be required by law to carry a sign reading "I defect in prisoners' dilemmas."

Based on the surrounding thread, I originally read this as "I defecate in prisoners' dilemmas", which led to a great mental image.
posted by Itaxpica at 2:23 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Based on the surrounding thread, I originally read this as "I defecate in prisoners' dilemmas", which led to a great mental image.

This is probably the only chance I'll have to share this particular memory, which is one I've always liked very, very much.

It concerns a guy I dated very, very briefly; one morning, after one of my "visits", we were pulling ourselves together to go out and get brunch or something. I was doing my hair in the bedroom mirror or something while he was in the shower; I didn't hear the shower turn off. All I knew was that suddenly he was throwing open the bathroom door, and there he stood, stark naked, just sort of considering the world for a moment; and then he nodded in self-satisfaction, and declared, "I poo on my enemies!"

I have always meant to work that phrase into my lexicon way more often.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:31 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


when we (people who sit) get up in the middle of the night to pee, we want to know that we are not going to wind up sitting in toilet water

This has never seemed a good reason to me, as you should always look at the commode before you mount it, because even if the seat is down, there could be a bug on it. Or even a spider.

The good reason to leave the commode lid up, seat down is that it should always be ready to receive Emergency Poop.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:33 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Are you using your phone with your thighs? How much toilet-touching is involved when you sit on a toilet? There is zero toilet-to-hand contact when I'm engaging with the toilet, save for the flusher handle (unless it's a public toilet in which case hellooo shoes), and anyway by that point the phone is safely stowed back in a pocket.


Always assume the infamous Yellow Pee Monster visited the restroom you were in. Assume the door handle was peed on, someone didn't use the toilet and instead peed on the floor, that the sink was used in a pinch, that the toilet paper roll was recently used by someone with explosive poo all over their hands... If for no other reason than in any public restroom kids use - well... lets just say no one wants to follow my daughter. ever. And that is supervised... but 3 years old trumps supervision any day when it comes to the restroom.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:39 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


there could be a bug on it. Or even a spider.

Uncle's step kid years back had her snake escape and go carousing through the house.

They found it curled up in the toilet a few days later.

Always check.
posted by phunniemee at 2:39 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I do have the kind of night light that plugs into an outlet, but since I live alone it's mostly to ascertain whether or not I'm about to trip on a black cat.
posted by desjardins at 2:57 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


desjardins: "But your Step 1 is exactly what not to do! How do you not get infections?"

5" taint.

I don't think people who sit actually wipe back to front. I think (I imagine it's been answered since you posted this and min) that Empress is referring to literally Number 1. Not going from the anus, but just a general, pee wipe.

I'm curious what percentage of men sit down to pee.

I'm also curious if weight/size has anything to do with sit vs stand wipers...

Also... looking at the paper to check if you're clean: early/often? Only at the very end of the wipe portion of the session? I wonder if this varies depending on scrunch vs fold.
posted by symbioid at 3:08 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


This survey merely opens new doors instead of closing old ones.
posted by symbioid at 3:08 PM on October 21, 2014


Metafilter: OK FINE, I AM A REVOLTING POO GOLEM
posted by symbioid at 3:13 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's why we have these wonderful threads every few months. At some point, surely we'll have all the information we secretly crave about others' (likely freakish) bathroom habits. If they ever start being deleted as doubles, I'm prepared to revolt.
posted by gilrain at 3:13 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


This has never seemed a good reason to me, as you should always look at the commode before you mount it, because even if the seat is down, there could be a bug on it. Or even a spider.

Even worse than something wrong on the toilet is something wrong in the toilet. The previous flush may have been inadequate or non-existent (I'm pretty sure I've experienced both), and that is why I always turn the lights on before the 1 or the 2.
posted by The arrows are too fast at 3:16 PM on October 21, 2014


I always leave the lid down and always check before sitting anyway even though I know the lid was down the whole time, because ONE TERRIBLE DAY there was a wasp in the toilet, mostly drowned but still struggling mightily, and had it escaped that watery grave I am certain its first life affirming act would have been to sting me right on the ass.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:18 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Have any of you ever met a woman who admits to hovering (and doesn't lift up the seat as in the one case reported in this thread)? It clearly happens, but I've sure never had someone tell me they do it. Because ugh, your tush is *not that special*.

In other news, I'm pretty freaking blind without correction, and damned if I'm going to find my glasses *and* turn on the light at night, so yeah, I would sorta like the seat down at home. I am going to pretend there has never been a wasp in any toilet ever because I cannot handle that.

At work I do not care though, because there I can see, and I can put the seat down just fine, thanks. So I find it very funny when there is a unisex bathroom and some poor male colleague comes out, notices me waiting, and looks terribly guilty.
posted by nat at 3:21 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


the sobsister, a good friend of mine taught me:
no matter how much you shake
or how much you dance
the last drop always
ends up in your pants
BURMA SHAVE
posted by introp at 3:28 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


The University of East Anglia has started a campaign to encourage students to [pee in the shower] to save water.

I don't know what the standards are in the UK, so all of my facts (and measurements) are US-based.

A US standard showerhead flows at 2.5 gallons per minute, or one gallon every 24 seconds.

A standard US toilet flush is 1.6 gallons of water; a urinal around one gallon. Lower-flow versions of both are available.

So, depending on if you were going to use a regular toilet or a urinal, the amount of water you save is equal to between 24 and 38 seconds of shower time.

I can't imagine just letting 'er rip while washing my hair or anything like that; if you're peeing in the shower, your shower is probably longer by the amount of time it takes you to pee. Which is probably going to be at least 20 seconds.

At least 20 seconds of heated water vs. 24-38 seconds of cold water. It might barely be worth it if you have free (geothermal) hot water, but otherwise, this idea seems to be an environmental loser.
posted by Hatashran at 3:34 PM on October 21, 2014


Who pees for 20 seconds? That is a long time, even for a dude.
posted by desjardins at 3:46 PM on October 21, 2014


From initial relaxation to final dribble?
posted by Hatashran at 4:00 PM on October 21, 2014


Have any of you ever met a woman who admits to hovering (and doesn't lift up the seat as in the one case reported in this thread)? It clearly happens, but I've sure never had someone tell me they do it.

My mother. I was, in fact, taught to be a hoverer, but have, as in many things, defected from The Way Of My People to saner paths.
posted by DebetEsse at 4:07 PM on October 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


That's why we have these wonderful threads every few months. At some point, surely we'll have all the information we secretly crave about others' (likely freakish) bathroom habits.

I just had an IRL version of a "weird bathroom habits" conversation the other night with friends, oddly enough.

Okay, actually it was about pajamas vs. sleeping naked, where I mildly freaked out a friend by confessing I sleep nude - and when she asked "but what if you have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night?" I said, "....I get up and....go there."

"Naked?"

"Uh....yeah?"

It took a few minutes of back-and-forth for me to figure out she was discreetly inquiring whether i was concerned about accidentally mooning my roommate rather than her thinking that the toilet was an occasion you had to be formally dressed for or anything.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:10 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Have any of you ever met a woman who admits to hovering (and doesn't lift up the seat as in the one case reported in this thread)?

My grandmother did. And she didn't lift the seat -- she covered the seat with toilet paper, then hovered.
posted by jeather at 4:13 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]




(Although admittedly, looking at birds on the wing, there is grounds to believe a cloaca might be more efficient. However, I think I will stick with my current set-up.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:19 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm sure a lot of people know this, but the biggest problem with hoverers is that it only takes one hoverer to ruin it for everyone.

See, a lot of hoverers aren't bad people, they're more on the fence about it. They're not going to sit in piss, and they're not going to wipe up someone elses piss(this makes me angry, you're WASHING YOUR HANDS RIGHT?), but they're good respectable members of society who aren't sociopaths and will sit down and pee most of the time.

It's just that if they encounter a seat with even a bit of sprinkle on it from an actual satanic hoverer who has an irrational fear of germs and needs a therapist ASAP, they're not going to wipe it up, they're going to just hover and make it worse.

My partner and several lady friends have a theory that the one insurgent hoverer is what causes all club bathrooms to self destruct.

All high traffic public bathrooms just need the self cleaning seats, or self dispensing seat covers and a fucking really loud embarrassing alarm that goes off if you hover. Like the ones they have at cell phone shops that go off if you yank on the phone too much. Hell, flashing fire alarm type lights and everything and big a neon arrow above the door to the stall. Make it so a security guard or employee has to switch the thing off and make sure it's still actively going off when that person comes out of the stall.

We need to shame this out of existence. No, princess, toilet seats are not that gross and you aren't too good or even that clean that your ass can never touch one.


To be clear, i also regard seat down stand up peeing penis-wielders as keeping company with charles manson as well. It's just that there's urinals and that isn't as much of a thing.


Another good solution would be to make ALL public toilets squat toilets, barring ADA ones, and make those require some kind of password to get in to(hell, tons of public restrooms require a passcode now anyways). I could roll with that.
posted by emptythought at 4:23 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Have any of you ever met a woman who admits to hovering (and doesn't lift up the seat as in the one case reported in this thread)? It clearly happens, but I've sure never had someone tell me they do it.

My mother. I was, in fact, taught to be a hoverer, but have, as in many things, defected from The Way Of My People to saner paths.

Mine too! I defected very early on because the idea that the butts of strangers were supposed to be more gross than the butts of my family just never made any sense. If anything family butts are the grossest, like some kind of toilet seat version of incest.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 4:25 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


The front surface of my phone was far and away the most horrifying thing I cultured in microbiology last summer. My professor looked at it recoiled a tiny bit, and said "you're a toilet texter, aren't you?" Guilty as charged.

These days I'm more careful about wiping the phone down with a bleach wipe periodically, but I'm still an occasional toilet phone gamer. Why do I never learn?
posted by ActionPopulated at 4:34 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


What I want to know is the preponderance of those who always flush to those who let yellow mellow to those who never flush, and whether it matters to them if it's a public washroom. Usually it's only one or two toilets, but I attended a university where a quarter to over half of the toilets in the building were guaranteed be left unflushed at any given time. WHY.
posted by wrabbit at 4:40 PM on October 21, 2014


I encountered these for the first time in O'Hare's bathrooms a few months ago, and am I the only one who finds them weird and freaky? It's like sitting on food service gloves. Eugh.

I grew up only flying out of O'Hare, so I'm always vaguely baffled by the lack of toilet technology in other airports (Japan excepted, of course, though the weird plastic toilet seat covers weren't in evidence). Then I remember that the toilet seat covers were probably the result of someone having clout and getting the contract.
posted by hoyland at 4:42 PM on October 21, 2014


sitting to pee would put one's dingus way too close to the wall of the toilet

We need a Brule's Rules for bathroom hygiene. For Your Health!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:50 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


> when we (people who sit) get up in the middle of the night to pee, we want to know that we are not going to wind up sitting in toilet water.

Can't you just sort of check the situation with your hand? I mean, lifting seat and / or lid is just part of peeing for me so I'm used to it, but in a dark room in the middle of the night I'm definitely being more cautious in any case.
posted by lucidium at 5:11 PM on October 21, 2014


It always delights me when an adult uses the word "dingus" as part of a normal, serious conversation.

This thread is the funniest bathroom-related thread I've ever read (and also the thread where I learned that some men will stand at the urinal and not use their hands. How is that even possible? Doesn't it whip all around??)
posted by triggerfinger at 5:13 PM on October 21, 2014


My favourite bathroom askme was the one where the poster was like "hYPOTHETICALLY how could one use the restroom without ever using one's hands" and it was the perfect combination of classic mefi problemsolving nerdery and OMG WHY.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:54 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


Nanukthedog: "Touch toilet. Toilet Germs.
Touch phone. Toilet Germs now on Phone.
Put phone away. Wipe and Wash hands.
Pull phone out of pocket for meeting reminder. Phone germs from toilet back on hands.
Shake hands. Toilet germs now on coworkers.

Smart phones are not bathtoys.
"

Why do you touch the toilet before using it?

Drop trousers. No toilet Germs on Phone at this Point.
Sit down. No toilet Germs on Phone at this Point.
Do your duty (doody). No toilet Germs on Phone at this Point.
Touch phone while doing duty/dy. No toilet Germs on Phone at this Point.
Put phone away. No toilet Germs on Phone at this Point.
Wipe bottom. Toilet Germs now on Hands!!...but not on Phone.
Wipe and Wash Hands. No toilet Germs on Hands anymore. Still none on Phone.
Pull phone out of pocket later. No toilet Germs on Phone at this Point. Therefore no toilet Germs on Hands.
Shake hands. No toilet Germs on Coworkers.
posted by Bugbread at 6:42 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


poffin boffin: "My favourite bathroom askme was the one where the poster was like "hYPOTHETICALLY how could one use the restroom without ever using one's hands" and it was the perfect combination of classic mefi problemsolving nerdery and OMG WHY."

I'm pretty sure it wasn't that thread, but one MeFi comment that has always stuck with me was this MeFite who said he basically didn't use toilet paper, because he pooped once a day, in the morning, and went straight to the shower.
posted by Bugbread at 6:44 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I follow Bugbread's order of operations. Until I need to use my hands, I'll do the high tech equivalent of sitting and reading the newspaper. Then I'll tuck the phone away. Once I start doing hand-related things when I'm sitting on the pot, the phone becomes completely off limits until I've washed my hands. For simplicity (so I don't have to futz with my pants while they're down) and safety (of the phone so it doesn't fall out of a pocket or something), I will sometimes tuck the phone in my bra when I stash it.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:58 PM on October 21, 2014


i rub my phone all over my dick and plune fingers into piles of maggots in the bathroom and do the Kefka laugh when i shake peoples hands
posted by Greg Nog at 7:01 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


Greg Nog: "i rub my phone all over my dick and plune fingers into piles of maggots in the bathroom and do the Kefka laugh when i shake peoples hands"

What do you do when you need to use the restroom somewhere other than home? Do you carry a tupperware container of maggots just in case, or do you just apologize to people when you shake their hands, saying, "Sorry, I'm out of maggots today"?
posted by Bugbread at 7:03 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


because he pooped once a day, in the morning, and went straight to the shower.

it was the wiping thread, the terrible wiping thread

i hope thousands of years from now anthropology students are forced to study that thread in class
posted by poffin boffin at 7:04 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


and the darth vader mom bedroom one and also the giant metal chicken one.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:06 PM on October 21, 2014


What do you do when you need to use the restroom somewhere other than home?

Polite hosts will provide maggots for their guests. Out in public you may have to provide your own maggots. I'm not sure what the maggot-related equivalent of "carry a packet of tissues in case the restroom isn't equipped with toilet paper" is)
posted by rmd1023 at 7:08 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


my aunt is a strident hoverer and disciplined her children for not being as disgusting as she was on occasion. she fully believes you can get stds from toilet seats.
posted by nadawi at 7:10 PM on October 21, 2014


i keep backup maggots in a satchel carried by my Familiar
posted by Greg Nog at 7:11 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


poffin boffin: "it was the wiping thread, the terrible wiping thread"

Whoa, I just checked that thread...and it wasn't that comment (the one I remember was pretty vitriol-free, unlike the commenter in the wiping thread). Which means there are multiple people who use that approach.
posted by Bugbread at 7:12 PM on October 21, 2014


There was another wipe-referencing thread after that one and at least a dozen askmes, the worst of which was the "sometimes the couch cushions still smell like poops after my husband gets up and walks away" one.

i wish to have the memory of that thread professionally expunged
posted by poffin boffin at 7:14 PM on October 21, 2014 [5 favorites]


poffin boffin: "and the darth vader mom bedroom one"

Hook me up with a link, man, I don't think I've read that one (and Google isn't helping so much).
posted by Bugbread at 7:15 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


It always delights me when an adult uses the word "dingus" as part of a normal, serious conversation.

We're talking about the staggering variety there is in the realm of pooping and you think this is a serious conversation?

And "dingus" is just fun to say and you know it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


it is so bad, the most bad
posted by poffin boffin at 7:20 PM on October 21, 2014


But "meatus" is even more fun
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


i rub my phone all over my dick and plune fingers into piles of maggots in the bathroom and do the Kefka laugh when i shake peoples hands

As long as you take your shoes off first it's not gross.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:23 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


gregory noggins you are never again allowed to steal my fries with your maggothands
posted by poffin boffin at 7:31 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


I used to work at a place where there was a woman who would flush the toilet every few seconds while she was on it. ALWAYS. Like, I was in the bathroom several times when it happened. I never saw who it was (though I had my suspicions) and it always mystified me as to why she did it. I didn't see it in the Buzzfeed poll, so I have to assume this is a relatively unusual phenomenon.

"Dingus" is a very funny word, which is why I always laugh like a adolescent when I hear it. One of the few words that will truly make me succumb to the hilarity of bathroom humor.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:49 PM on October 21, 2014


Bugbread: "Greg Nog: "...Do you carry a tupperware container of maggots just in case, or do you just apologize to people when you shake their hands, saying, "Sorry, I'm out of maggots today"?"

Eponysterical...
posted by symbioid at 7:52 PM on October 21, 2014


There are 8 stalls in the bathroom where i work, and very few women on my floor. Usually I choose a stall at one end or the other. About once a week, someone will choose the stall right next to me, despite all of the others being empty. This person never speaks to me or interacts in any way, and I can't figure out who it is (assuming it is the same one every time). Why would someone do this? I can't see any reason for it.
posted by desjardins at 7:53 PM on October 21, 2014 [4 favorites]


I didn't see it in the Buzzfeed poll, so I have to assume this is a relatively unusual phenomenon.

this is so common in japan (and maybe other nearby countries, not sure) that they sell flush sound machines that are installed in bathrooms so pee-shy ladies stop wasting water.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:55 PM on October 21, 2014


triggerfinger: "I used to work at a place where there was a woman who would flush the toilet every few seconds while she was on it. ALWAYS. Like, I was in the bathroom several times when it happened. I never saw who it was (though I had my suspicions) and it always mystified me as to why she did it. I didn't see it in the Buzzfeed poll, so I have to assume this is a relatively unusual phenomenon. "

I have a pretty good guess: so nobody could hear her bodily function sounds. It's pretty common here in Japan for women to flush the toilet before using it in order to mask the sound of their bodily functions. In order to conserve water, toilet makers have added devices in some restrooms which, at the touch of a button, make the sound of flushing (or, more recently, of waterfalls or other white noise (yes, I know, the sound of running water to mask the sound of running water sounds silly, but flushes and toilets do sound different from tinkling or splashy poo)). There's even a whole Japanese Wikipedia page on them, but unfortunately it hasn't been translated.
posted by Bugbread at 7:59 PM on October 21, 2014


Whoops, beaten to the punch.
posted by Bugbread at 8:00 PM on October 21, 2014


I'm betting there's an app for that!
posted by desjardins at 8:01 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


> For simplicity (so I don't have to futz with my pants while they're down) and safety (of the phone so it doesn't fall out of a pocket or something), I will sometimes tuck the phone in my bra when I stash it

When I was pondering the various possible sizes of the new phone I wanted to get, I cut out a paper template to see how it fit in my hand, a standard pocket, and my bra. Why do none of the phone reviews cover that important quality?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:06 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


That Wikipedia article on toilet paper orientation reads like a veritable gold mine of subjects we could have 300-comment arguments over:

Morton Ann Gernsbacher, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, compares the orientation of toilet paper to the orientation of cutlery in a dishwasher, the choice of which drawer in a chest of drawers to place one's socks, and the order of shampooing one's hair and lathering one's body in the shower.

Business end down (closer to the hot water spraying bit), top drawer (it's the short one that won't reasonably hold any other category of clothing), shampoo then condition then face wash then body (clean from top to bottom because that's how the water flows).
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:27 PM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


The corpse in the library: "When I was pondering the various possible sizes of the new phone I wanted to get, I cut out a paper template to see how it fit in my hand, a standard pocket"

3D paper templates? I thought it was just me! (Well, I don't do the bra check, but other than that...)
posted by Bugbread at 9:46 PM on October 21, 2014


And then I thoroughly clean the toilet and leave the lid and seat up because what if we're like killed in an accident and the petsitters stop coming even though they're not supposed to stop until they get confirmation that we're home and it takes several days for our friends to realize they need to break into our house and save the pets. They'll need extra water then.

I do this, too. (Doesn't everyone?)

It's pretty common here in Japan for women to flush the toilet before using it in order to mask the sound of their bodily functions.

It's not necessarily the sound of their bodily functions that is rude (as it was explained to me in JP), it's the sound of urine hitting the water that's rude. (A fine distinction, I'll admit.)

When I moved back from Japan to the US, several friends came to visit me, all Japanese women. Several times while we were out and about being tourists, I found myself in public restrooms with them and they somehow are able to do something to prevent their urine from making a sound when it hits the water. (Folded up toilet paper floated on the surface before peeing? Sitting far enough forward that they're hitting the bowl and not the water? I could never bring myself to ask.)

Also in re: JP and other Asian countries-- Squat toilets are the bomb, y'all. Your ass never touches anything that another ass has touched.
posted by GoLikeHellMachine at 9:57 PM on October 21, 2014


GoLikeHellMachine: "It's not necessarily the sound of their bodily functions that is rude (as it was explained to me in JP), it's the sound of urine hitting the water that's rude."

I've never heard it cast as "rude", just "embarrassing", just like how noisy diarrhea sounds are embarrassing in the West (and East and South and North). And, yeah, it's "whatever sound it makes", be that flatulence, splashing, whatever.

...ok, just checked with my wife, and she's never heard anyone imply that it's rude, just embarrassing, but since the world is full of all types, she wouldn't be surprised if there were people out there who feel vicariously embarrassed, and therefore think it's rude not to mask the sound because you might be embarrassing others. But she's never heard anyone express that opinion, she just thinks that it's possible that people like that exist.

GoLikeHellMachine: "Squat toilets are the bomb, y'all. Your ass never touches anything that another ass has touched."

Squat toilets suuuuuck. Sure, they might be better for your colon or hemorrhoids or the like, but you know how everyone here complains about "hoverers"? A squat toilet requires every single user to be a hoverer.

Or, put another way: When you were here in Japan, did you ever compare the squat toilets and Western toilets in train stations? Because one type could be kinda dirty. The other type was guaranteed to be filthy.
posted by Bugbread at 10:27 PM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Squat toilets are awesome, but a lot of people here can't squat so they'd be screwed.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:57 PM on October 21, 2014


Squat toilets are awesome, but a lot of people here can't squat so they'd be screwed.

What do elderly people do in countries where squat toilets are the norm? (Obviously not all people who can't squat are elderly, but most elderly people can't squat.)
posted by Room 641-A at 6:13 AM on October 22, 2014


Sit? Stand? I walk around and survey my goddamn kingdom.

Popular at work.
posted by mrgoat at 6:47 AM on October 22, 2014


Ah, I love these threads. They somehow restore my faith in humanity: not only does everyone poop, everyone has opinions about it.

True confession: I am both a folder and a crumpler. At the same time. Folding for area, crumpling for making sure there are enough layers between hand and bits. Yes, I kill many trees.

Also I have been forced on occasion to become a stander when the toilet stall is just too narrow to get my legs far enough apart. It's unnatural, I tell you. And I do think size is a factor in these things.

Question for people who have used them: how do ladies manage not to wee all over their pants on a squat toilet? That would be a strong motivation to use the toilet pantsless... Have never been able to figure that one out and if the thought of using one didn't already horrify me due to knee issues, that would put me right off. I realise this seriously limits my travel options and somehow am ok with that.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:43 AM on October 22, 2014


Oh, and that German toilet article made me laugh so hard I needed to pee. Priceless.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:44 AM on October 22, 2014


how do ladies manage not to wee all over their pants on a squat toilet?

Tilt-Shift
posted by Room 641-A at 7:58 AM on October 22, 2014


Athanassiel: "Question for people who have used them: how do ladies manage not to wee all over their pants on a squat toilet?"

I'm a guy, and I have years of experience with a squat toilet. I'm not a lady, so I can't give a personal answer, but just looking at basic anatomy, I'm not sure why being a lady would make it that much harder. I made some illustrations to help explain things back in this thread.

Here's one that just happens to have a female as the pooper/peer. The blue shows pants, which are automatically locked under the knees when you squat, and the yellow shows the urinary arc. The brownish shows the defecatory plumb line. Neither one approaches the pants.

Someone argued that you would get pee on your pants anyway, because pee isn't actually a straight line, so I made this illustration (for men) about how wide-spread your pee would have to be to be a problem. Now, I'm not a woman, nor have I ever been one, but I'd be mighty surprised if female pee scattered as widely as in the bottom half of that illustration. And that would just create a danger of getting pee on your feet. To get pee up to even ankle level would require the pee to come out almost parallel to the ground.
posted by Bugbread at 8:02 AM on October 22, 2014


Also, yes, while I am no expert on lady-pee, I do know that it doesn't come arcing out the front like in the picture I linked above. In that thread I was talking with a guy about guys peeing, and the picture was just a good picture of a person squatting, so I ignored the gender. The pee line is meant to be a guy's pee-line, not a woman's pee-line.

Oh, and rereading that thread, someone pointed out that squatting flat-footed is key, which is something I hadn't considered, because when I think "squat", I forget there's anything other than "flat-footed" squat. So we're talking Asian squat, not Western squat.
posted by Bugbread at 8:16 AM on October 22, 2014


I am both a folder and a crumpler. At the same time. Folding for area, crumpling for making sure there are enough layers between hand and bits.

YES THIS omg it is the best possible way, fold and crumple high five
posted by poffin boffin at 8:37 AM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


well. let's wash our hands first.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:37 AM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Have any of you ever met a woman who admits to hovering (and doesn't lift up the seat as in the one case reported in this thread)?


Someone confessed to being a hoverer in a conversation where most of us had worked in a nightclub.

We looked at her and I am surprised she didn't explode.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:25 AM on October 22, 2014


how do ladies manage not to wee all over their pants on a squat toilet?

Not used a squat toilet, but I have been in a desperate state while on a road trip and had to pee by the side of the road (to anyone near that patch of highway outside Walnut Creek, CA near the junction with Rt. 4 - I'm sorry). It is possible to push one's garments far enough down the legs in one direction and extend the business end of one's lower torso far enough away in the other direction that there isn't any cross-contamination.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on October 22, 2014


I think a problem for women wrt squat toilets is that in general we have more flexible hips, so for many of us when we squat all the way down, our butts are almost resting right on the floor, which is especially revolting when the thing you are almost touching with your butts and bits is a human waste encrusted hellpit. To successfully not pee on your bunched up pants legs it helps more IME to have your knees at as close to a right angle as possible, so basically a seat hover without the seat.

I would absolutely and without question take a decently maintained outhouse over any squat toilet any day of the week.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:58 AM on October 22, 2014


Thanks all. It had never occurred to me that you would lower your pants only down to knees. After some judicious experimentation with positions, I've concluded that my other problem was not being able to imagine the yoga-like flexibility to squat the way average people apparently can and I just can't. I shall have to be extra careful on long road trips.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:10 PM on October 22, 2014


To successfully not pee on your bunched up pants legs it helps more IME to have your knees at as close to a right angle as possible, so basically a seat hover without the seat.

I grew up in a family that did a lot of hiking and camping, so women peeing outdoors was just a normal, unremarkable part of life. (I can remember a few times having to stand shoulder to shoulder with my father and uncles to provide a privacy screen for my aunts to pee in places with no trees and cars passing close by, for example.)

So it was a surprise when I started dating and discovered that not all women knew how to pee outdoors. I've had to coach a few through it (because dating me means some outdoors time, for better or worse), and my second hand observation is that everyone's immediate inclination is to hover higher like you describe, but better results come from dropping down into a deeper squat that thrusts your ass further back (but in both cases without overbalancing and falling backwards mid-wee, which is genuinely funny but it's important to look sympathetic when it happens and not laugh until later).

A lot of my work is outdoors, and every time there is a mixed gender team people have to sort out peeing etiquette. Sometimes people make it explicit ("Ok, guys use those trees, women use these trees.") but more often people just figure it out without saying a word, and either things go super private with people hiking way the fuck over yonder to pee or it goes zero privacy with everyone peeing openly just like they would in a single gender group.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:01 PM on October 22, 2014


In re squat toilets, I have found that peeing slowly is the best way to not get whizz on your pants. Or, I mean, I guess you could perfect that sitting-in-mid-air thing, but I have zero core strength, so that's out.

I don't know why toilet-texting gets such a bad rap. Certainly no one thinks trouser waistbands are gross, and yet thats not only the first thing we touch after wiping, we don't wash the waistband of our pants after using the bathroom, like we do our hands. Think about THAT the next time you put your hand in your pocket . . .
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:26 PM on October 22, 2014


Chains: were you aware that the act of flushing renders particles of the wee and poo you've deposited into the toilet airborne, and can propel them quite some distance where they can then land on, oh, the phone you were just texting with?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:10 PM on October 22, 2014


Eh, but by that logic they're landing on your hands and face and hair and backpack and the doorknob and the soap and you might as well give up.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:34 PM on October 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yes, that's why I lower the toilet lid before flushing. Once you've imagined that, you can't un-imagine it.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:14 PM on October 22, 2014


Guys. They did the poop spray flush thing on Mythbusters and they found poop spray on everything, even controls they kept outside of the bathroom, but nothing in an amount high enough to actually transmit any poop disease. The phone is no more or less of a poop spray danger than anything else.

There's poop spray on everything, all around us, all the time. Even you. Even your face. Even the fork you grab to eat your burrito bowl with at Chipotle. You are eating poop spray right now. That's just life.
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 PM on October 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


metafilter: there's poop spray on everything
posted by poffin boffin at 9:39 PM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's poop spray on everything, all around us, all the time. Even you. Even your face. Even the fork you grab to eat your burrito bowl with at Chipotle. You are eating poop spray right now. That's just life.

Somehow I'm reminded of the Great Green Arkleseizure. But poopier.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:03 PM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Eh, but by that logic they're landing on your hands and face and hair and backpack and the doorknob and the soap and you might as well give up.

Yeah, that's kinda my take on it too. May as well text while pooing. It won't be any less gross than leaving your phone on the edge of the sink!
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:59 AM on October 23, 2014


So I am a hoverer only when it's a really gross public toilet. I usually just wipe the seat off because whoever hovered previously didn't wipe the seat off. But sometimes I'm just to grossed out and will wipe seat, hover, and then wipe seat again if needed. I'm more freaked out about what's lurking under the toilet seat that I can't wipe away. Eeeew.
posted by sio42 at 2:34 PM on October 23, 2014


there's a fundamental misconception about what constitutes "standing." It is not like you're standing at attention. There's some bending of the knees involved.

Now I understand, and I think you 29% are being incorrect, even disingenuous, calling that posture "standing" -- you're squatting! Just like the hovering princesses!


sitting to pee would put one's dingus way too close to the wall of the toilet

I believe this is only a problem for fat guys. The preference of this lean (and lazy) man is to sit to pee and I've never encountered a toilet bowl whose forward wall wasn't inches away from my unit (and not to worry about any splashing, EmpressC -- said unit in repose is drooping such that the stream generally goes straight down).
posted by Rash at 4:51 PM on October 23, 2014


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