Pisser

My not-so-secret glee of violating urinal etiquette.

One of my favorite bar pastimes is using the restroom.

No, I don’t have some third-stage Freudian glee-gasm every time I have an opportunity to take my junk out in a public place. I’m mostly like you: I walk into the bathroom, I piss, and I wash my hands—the latter, by the way, I wish most of you did more after you’ve finished propping up your dick up with your fingers because, really, dude, I have to use that door handle, too. I don’t want to touch the dick-germed door handle after you with my bare hands. That’s gross.

The splendid little joy I get from peeing in public restrooms is because I love pissing next to other men. And, again, it’s not because of any psychoanalytical assumptions you’re immediately groping for after having read that last sentence. It’s because of the hilarious concept of urinal etiquette, the unspoken yet universally agreed upon code de urinoir that all men practice. As long as I can remember, and with the collaboration of all the men I know, violating this code is simply something that Thou Shall Not.

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Urinal etiquette. Some bullshit maxim in which men don’t try to make a currently pissing man uncomfortable by pissing too closely to him. The urinal treaty therefore requires that the second man select the furthest possible location from the first man to relieve himself.

The irony of this pact is that while you’re trying to make yourself and your fellow men as comfortable as possible whilst urinating, you’re basically asking to be made uncomfortable by following this. Luckily, I’m there, willing to step right in and piss right next to you to make sure you’re inordinately uncomfortable.

I wouldn’t even shake two shits out about this notion if it weren’t for the fact that, universally, men seem completely creeped out by any man pissing next to him. Why does it make it so much more comfortable if there is a urinal-sized space put between two men who want to piss? Men, who will piss off porches in front of people. Men, who will take a pause while drunkenly stumbling home and piss on the sides of buildings. Men, who as boys used to sword fight their urine streams with those of other boys. Men, who think the true north of the world is calibrated by the size of his dick. Yet it’s these same men who are frightened into urinary paralysis if another man happens to be standing too close to him while he’s trying to pee.

If I walk into a bathroom and see four open urinals and one frustrated man trying to squeeze out a pee in the fifth one, I will always defiantly saddle up in that fourth urinal and happily piss away the last $4 I spent half an hour ago on some imported Belgian beer. What’s more, I love being able to joyfully and audibly pee into my urinal while the dude next to me struggles with his stump and tries to overcome the onset of nervousness to try to dribble a few more drops of urine out.

Seriously, what are you worried about, Other Dudes? Regardless of how nice your ding is, if I or another man decides to piss next to you when other urinals are open, don’t worry, I’m not going to suddenly compliment your wristwatch while both of us are two-handing our dongs at the urinal. If I step into the urinal immediately to your right when other urinals are a safe distance away, it isn’t an invitation to start doing Hindu squats over each other’s faces. Just because I’m pissing next to you doesn’t suggest that we might accidentally suck each other’s cocks in the ensuing few minutes.

Trust me, you’re over-flattering yourself by assuming the role of vulnerable, besieged urinal-pisser.

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No man I’ve asked about urinal etiquette has really provided a substantial answer for why it’s so uncomfortable for a man to stand too close to him while at the urinals. Simply defending your comfort levels as saying it’s “creepy” or “skeazy” isn’t really an explanation. Why is it so creepy? What do you really think is the worst that will happen by this? Does it really ruin your day to be reminded that other guys besides you have a capable dick as well?

 The maxim of Andy Kaufman was that the joke was always funnier when the people on whom the joke was played weren’t in on the joke. That’s why I piss right next to all of you: I’m doing it because it makes me laugh knowing how uncomfortable it’s making you to have another man willfully choose to piss at the urinal next to you when so much further, “safer” options are available. More than that, it demonstrates to me the fragility of personal space and, for a lot of you, your own masculinity.

So if me pissing next to you is enough to subvert your comfort, to really jolt your manhood, I think it might be about time for you to re-evaluate your self-confidence, because if me pissing wordlessly next to you is enough to disrupt it, you’re skating on broken ice, broheme.

In the meantime, stop worrying about me and anybody else next to you. You should consider yourself lucky that I don’t forage that extra mile at the urinals and speak admirably about your wristwatch.

 

Read more of The Good Word on The Good Life.

Image credit: sashafatcat/Flickr

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About Drew Bowling

Drew Bowling is a writer, erstwhile photographer, and highly decorated factotum living somewhere in the United States. His writing lingers on language, gender, mental health, and occasional raves about outer space. Keep up with his fancy musings over on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Some bullshit maxim in which men don’t try to make a currently pissing man uncomfortable by pissing too closely to him

    if i am sitting in an empty train station waiting room that holds 30 seats, and someone then enters and proceeds to sit in the seat next to me, and especially in silence – my first question is, ‘why is this stranger choosing to sit next to me, why?’

    it is about a sense of personal space, that from yr piece is clearly different for different people.


  2. Some [boollsheet] maxim in which men don’t try to make a currently [piszing] man uncomfortable by [piszing] too closely to him (i respelt to avoid moder,ating)

    if i am sitting in an empty train station waiting room that holds 30 seats, and someone then enters and proceeds to sit in the seat next to me, and especially in silence – my first question is, ‘why is this stranger choosing to sit next to me, why?’
    it is about a sense of personal space, that from yr piece is clearly different for different people.

    • Drew Bowling says:

      Methinks you missed the point then. Why do you need that personal space at the urinal? Who cares? Do yer bizness and get out of there like the rest of us.

      • no it is you who has clearly missed the point

        • Drew Bowling says:

          Well. Dicks are dicks, and it’s not likely anybody would want to hold on to you, so. I’ll buy the first round.

          • what on earth are you babbling about.
            mindless.

            im bi, guess i must be selfhating
            *shrugs, and unbookmarks*

            • So, basically, Jameseq is afraid of people. Strangers sitting peeing beside him make him uncomfortable because they might be up to something nefarious, like thinking thoughts, feeling feelings, and having perspectives on personal space that he isn’t privy to…holy soot, that must make life so much more frightening. And now he’s unbookmarked this page because…well, I’m not actually sure what that was all about. But I will say this: public urinals are gross and I’m sorry you guys invented them because they she’ll terrible! Please invent a new pee place option, stat.

  3. In a word? Homophobia. Some jackasses are certain there are vulture-like monstrous gay men who want nothing more than to stare down at their junk or make a pass at them. Many of them see gay guys like some sort of vampire or leech – vultures lying in wait to visually rape them. Why they think they are so irresistible to every gay man within 100 meters is beyond me. Being gay doesn’t mean you don’t have standards.

    I’ve had unwanted attention at a urinal by a guy that was looking for more than a quick piss, but none that didn’t take a pointed glare or an “eyes on your own prize, please” to zip up and get out.

    • Drew Bowling says:

      Well, I didn’t want to be so afront about it, but… yeah. There ya go. Homophobia. Now shut up and piss, the rest of you.

  4. I have extreme difficulties urinating with someone next to me. Actually, for me it’s almost physically impossible. It’s purely psychological, but it’s there. But your actions wouldn’t bother me, because as a result of my lavatory experiences I always use a cubical. So when I need to spring a leak when out and about I get into the cubical and take it easy, probably making it unbearable for anyone waiting to use it for its intended purpose. Anyhow, next time you need to lay a cable and are getting frustrated because the cubicals are all engaged maybe you should just take a step back and smile to yourself about the guys with shycock that you scared into habitually using cubicals with your clever jape.

  5. As long as you keep your eyes on the road we’ll be fine.

  6. Random_Stranger says:

    Its called a social contract, and when someone breaks it, you have license to question their mental state and intentions.

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