Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why Do Men Pee Standing Up?

Or A Disgusting Habit Men Have

In the Beginning

God was just about done creating man, but he had two things left over in his bag and He couldn't quite decide how to split them between Adam and Eve. He thought He might just as well ask them. He told them one of the things He had left was a thing that would allow the owner to pee while standing up. "It's a very handy thing," God told them, "and I was wondering if either one of you had a preference for it." Well, Adam was so excited he jumped up and down and begged, "Oh, please give that to me! I'd love to be able to do that! It seems like just the sort of thing a man should have. Please! Pleeease! Give it to me!" On and on he went like a happy little boy. Eve just smiled and told God that if Adam really wanted it so badly, he could have it. So God gave Adam the thing that allowed him to pee standing up. Adam was so thrilled he just started whizzing all over the place - first on the side of a rock, then he wrote his name in the sand, and then he tried to see if he could hit a stump ten feet away - laughing with delight all the while. God and Eve watched him with amusement and then God said to Eve, "Well, I guess you're kind of stuck with the last thing I have left." "What's it called?" asked Eve. "Brains", said God.

The Thought

Why do men pee standing up? Before I begin it is important to make it clear that as a man I have always peed while standing up--at least until about a year ago. So why do men pee standing up? I believe there are two reasons:

  1. Tradition
  2. Convenience

And it is my conviction that both are poor reasons. Peeing while standing is a disgusting habit. Boys learn to pee standing up around the age of 3 and this habit continues throughout their whole lives. But before I get too far off into the reasons why men pee standing up I need to explain why I think it is so disgusting.

One evening about two years ago I had to go to the bathroom before bed. I walked down to the bathroom in my boxers and began to do what I had done for the past 23 years: pee standing up. For some reason though this night would be different from all the others. For one reason or another I noticed, seemingly for the first time, that pee was splashing out of the toilet and onto my legs and the surrounding walls, rugs and bathtub. With only my boxers on I could feel the pee splashing onto my legs. What a disgusting habit!

But it gets worse--this was one of my better days. How can I say the following while being discrete? Let's just say that on that particular night my stream was tight. Any man who pees while standing up (which as far as I know includes almost every man) will readily admit that there are times when things are not so precise. There are many times when a man can not control the precision of his stream. Suffice it to say that even on our best days there is a significant amount of pee which splashes from the toilet onto anything surrounding it. And that is on our best days! What about when things are not so controlled? What a disgusting habit!

So why do men pee standing up? It is now time to return to our discussion of the reasons why men pee standing up. I believe that the two reasons given above are self-sustaining. They are two heads of the same beast, so to speak. Men probably began to pee standing up because it was convenient. Once their children saw it they began to copy their dads and peed standing up as well. But if ever a boy grew up without learning this habit from his dad, it would most likely develop out of sheer convenience. So it seems there is no hope. Men will forever pee standing up and our bathrooms (as well as ourselves) will forever be covered in pee.

Social Change

So what exactly am I calling for? I propose that in the home, men ought to pee while sitting down. But it is important to note that I am still leaving room for men to pee standing up outside the home under certain conditions. I will discuss these further in the section "possible exception" below.

With any significant social change comes opposition. Take any boy who is over the age of fifteen (maybe even younger) and ask him to pee sitting down and see what his response is. I have been met with pretty fierce opposition from my family members and friends when I explained this idea to them. Interestingly though, almost every woman was thrilled by the idea.

For the past year I have been peeing while sitting down. It took a little while to get used to it but now it is normal. The only real annoyance is when I am dressed up with my shirt tucked in. On these somewhat rare occasions I tend to pee standing up to avoid having to re-tuck in my shirt. I have even taught my two boys (ages three and four) to sit down while they are in the house. I told them that when they are at school or a restaurant or a place like that they can stand up. So far they have not had any problems with the adjustment.

Possible Exception

There is an exception to my theory--places designed for men to pee while standing up, such as the trough-style urinals at sporting events. In fact most urinals would count given that the surrounding environment was designed to be cleaned easily. It's a lot like an off-road truck with diamond-plated interior: the interior is diamond-plated so that it can get muddy and be hosed out. Public bathrooms with urinals and tiled walls and floors are designed to get splashed with pee and to be cleaned easily and regularly. So any restroom which meets these requirements is a candidate for an exception.

The Challenge

I want to challenge you men reading this to experience it for yourselves. For the next week when you go to the bathroom before bed wear just your boxers. Then see just how much pee splatters on your legs. Look around your toilet, what else is getting splattered with pee? Probably your carpets, rugs, bathtubs, curtains, walls, sink stands, magazines, just to name a few. What a disgusting habit! Why do men pee while standing up!?