sitting down to pee14 Jul 2021
for the past couple of years, i’ve been sitting down to pee. i just found last week on (chosen) family vacay that by dear friend, ben g., has started doing it, too!
i started doing it for one main reason: it really confused/bothered me that there seems to always be a line for the women’s rest room and rarely the men’s.
my understanding of this pattern is because men’s restrooms have urinals and as well as stalls while women’s restrooms only have stalls. this means men’s rooms can have high throughput because you can have a couple urinals in the space of one stall which allows more folks to use the space simultaneously. ex: if the men’s and women’s rooms are the same size, the men’s room might have 2 urinals and 1 stall while the women’s room would have 2 stalls. but like… who decided the bathrooms needed to be the same size? why didn’t women’s rooms just get more space so they could also have three people in them?
anyways, when ben and i talked about this last week, we started talking about the benefits of sitting to be pee so i’ll share a bunch of those as the last part of this post:
- in a very small and simple way, this practice let’s me more of the experience of women and non-binary folks in my life. arriving to a pee-covered toilet set or a toilet left seat up i started to experience in a different way. and i definitely have started making sure i left toilets how i’d like to arrive to them.
- it’s cleaner! there little to no splash zone when sitting to pee which means the toilet, floor and area around the toilet is cleaner and needs cleaning less frequently. i also no longer have that awful experience of pee splashing off the urinal wall onto my pant legs.
- (this thought came from ben even though i also knew it be true but have never articulated it): you poop more! when you sit down, your body is already in position to poop and so there’s an opportunity to check-in and see if you actually want/need to poop. which is great because if my body needed to but i had just dissociated from that sensation, it’s lovely to start building that reconnection. sidenote: sitting to pee probably also increases your average time on the toilet. which probably is another factor in why men’s bathrooms get higher people throughput. curious if there are any people who have had to sit to pee for their whole lives that would be willing to share some thoughts on if that seems true or not.
- i get to slow down. even just the act of having to pull my pants down makes me move slower than i do when i just unzip. maybe i’ll have a moment or two to be with a thought or feeling i’d have normally let pass away or internalize unconsciously. or maybe i’ll just take a few deep breaths and recenter before going back to whatever i was doing before. whatever it is, in a hyperspeed culture, slowing down is almost a positive thing.
- increased personal stake in gender neutrality and accessibility. even if just on the issue of bathrooms, if i have the same experience as women and non-binary folks, it’s much more obvious why and how i could organize to structure physical spaces so they’re easily accessible for all. if we assume everyone sits to pee and, eventually (because we’re all only temporarily-abled) we will all need assistance with it, i can see so clearly how we are deeply under-allocating the amount of space we need for bathrooms.
words / writing / post-processing
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