At the risk of causing a massive outrage from men everywhere who will claim that I am trampling all over their inherent manly rights, I believe that we should be teaching our little boys to sit to pee. And I’m a guy.
I have thought long and hard about this and have many reasons to encourage a change in the age-old tradition of using penises as target practice – at least when toilets are the only option when nature calls. If a urinal is available, there’s no question: use your squirt gun to paint a masterpiece in there. If you’re on a hike, camping, or even in your own backyard splashing around in a kiddie pool, feel free to liberally spray your liquid nutrients all over nature.
But if it’s just you versus a toilet, I beg you: please sit.
I myself have been sitting to pee since I was somewhere between 6 and 10 years old – I’m not sure exactly when; I’ve never been much into journaling, and didn’t mark a calendar or commemorate the event in any kind of way. But I do remember the thought process that led me to that decision. For whatever reason, my pee has never emerged in the classic flow that would allow a guy to stand 5 feet away from a target and hit it in a beautiful golden arc. My pee comes out as a split-stream. That’s right. Not just one, but two streams. And, since they aren’t equal in strength, it means that the further away they get from their source, the farther apart they end up.
Most of the time I tried my best to find the exact position that would allow both streams to fit within the toilet bowl target. I tried doing a half-crouch to get closer, and even got on my knees. But 9 times out of 10, if I just stood there, I had a mess to clean up afterward. So before I was 11 yrs old I decided that it just wasn’t worth either the stress of herding my urine streams every time I had to do a #1, or the inevitable mess to wipe up. I started sitting to pee, and enjoying the simplicity and the advantages of it.
Unless there’s a urinal. Urinals are my friends.
I am sharing what is assuredly Too Much Information with you because every movement, every belief, every action, that departs from the norm comes from somewhere. From a story. So now you have the backstory that explains why I’ve thought so much about how men should pee.
Women should pee sitting down too, by the way. Jessica has shared personal stories of public restroom experiences with me that are gag- and shudder-worthy. But saying that isn’t countercultural like claiming that men should sit down too.
Reasons why standing to pee is undesirable:
Penises are often not perfectly straight (Google it). This can be compensated for when aiming, of course, but if the owner gets lazy, or loses their grip or something, it will lower their score for sure.
Imperfect aim and science. Pouring a liquid into another liquid from a height of 2-3 feet is extremely likely to make a mess, even if it’s just a little backsplash. Even if you’re the best marksman on the planet, the impact will send things flying; in this case, droplets of pee. Which leads to my next point:
Who’s going to clean up this mess? Are little boys expected to clean and sanitize the bathroom every time they pee? Not typically. That’s mom’s job. Maybe dad’s. Yet, little boys are capable of cleaning up after themselves, in the same way that little boys and girls are able to help set and/or clear the table for meals. When we don’t expect our kids to help or clean up after themselves when they are perfectly capable of it, we are fostering a sense of entitlement in them. We’ve seen it in our own kids. When we relax about them helping for a little while, the next time we ask them to participate in table setting, their whole attitude communicates that they shouldn’t have to do that, and it’s completely unfair and unreasonable for us to even request it. I suspect it’s the same with pee that misses the mark. I also suspect that entitled kids lead to entitled adults.
It’s a sanitary issue.
Scenario #1: Pee on the toilet seat -> Pee on your hands -> Hands touching doorknobs or Hands touching your face. Shudder. The solution: wash your hands after you pee.
Scenario #2: Pee on the floor -> Pee on the bottom of your shoes -> Shoes tracking pee all over the house. Shudder. Solution #1: disinfect the toilet and floor after you pee. Solution #2: sit to pee so you don’t get any on the floor.
Thinking of the next guy (or gal). Lift the lid before you pee, or the next person (it might be you!) who has to go #2 may sit in pee. Also, remember to put the lid back down after you pee, or the next person who has to go a #2 (it might be you!) may fall into the toilet (yes, this has happened to me). Surprise! All this lid up and down business is a hassle.
Perhaps it is in boys’ nature to stand to pee. I’m open to that possibility. You know what’s unnatural? Toilets (Google it!). Which is the very reason why the Squatty Potty is growing in popularity. Let boys pee naturally in nature (and urinals), but as long as we’re discussing an unnatural device for taking care of business we need to weigh all the pros and cons to determine which approach is preferable. I will add that girls learn to sit to pee just fine – even though my girls show a definite preference for peeing standing up when playing in our backyard in their swimsuits. #girlscandoit #socanboys
A few perks for peeing sitting down.
Why not take a sit to demonstrate how we are on equal cheeks between the sexes? #socanboys #sitforequality
Sitting to pee even if you don’t have to is a great way to fight entitlement. So is cleaning and disinfecting the bathroom after you make a mess. I personally prefer the former. Call it lazy humility if you want.
Opportunity to slow down
Having to pull your pants down to pee is definitely slower than whipping it out and tucking it back in as you run out the door. The upside is it forces you to sit with your thoughts for a few seconds, maybe even feed that social media obsession as you check in on things on your phone.
- for where your penis is aiming, which means more focus on peeing, less on the penis – and I don’t think anyone would argue that it would be a bad thing for little boys (and grown men for that matter) to focus a little less on their little guy downstairs.
- over cleaning up
- over getting pee on your clothes/shoes
A better smelling bathroom
Less frequent bathroom cleaning?
Happier mom (or dad) as they spend less time fighting back the yellow tide.
More sleep and easier nighttime nature calls.
Say you’re sleeping and you become aware of a desire to pee. So you zombie-shuffle your way to the toilet. You’ll lose less sleep if you don’t have to see where you’re aiming because you’re in the habit of plopping yourself down on the toilet.
I know this is a huge departure from a deep-rooted cultural norm. Indeed a rite of passage for young boys – how else will they transition from babyhood to boyhood? (read again with sarcastic tone please) But I am convinced that sitting to pee will not harm their transition to childhood in any way, and instead set them up to reap a lifetime of benefits. And it’s never too late to start! Grown men can learn to sit to pee too!
Let’s all #doitsittingdown !