One of the great things about having little boys is teaching them to pee standing up. You just take off their diaper and set them free in the back yard for an afternoon. Seriously, they figure out the whole peeing in the bushes thing like how a cat finds their litter box. As a dad, it’s a prideful moment. You envision your son peeing in the urinal next to you at the bar, at the sporting event, or wherever you dream of spending time with your little ones when they grow up. However, what if you pee while sitting down?
No, I’m not talking about ladies…I’m talking about men. More and more men are sitting down to urinate and it is even become recommended by health agencies. Stephen Shen, Taiwan’s minister for the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), urged in 2012 for Taiwanese men to sit when they have the urge. He cited that it would increase cleanliness in public bathrooms by reducing odors and puddles of urine from splash-back. Plus, peeing while sitting has been recommended to ward off potential prostate issues in men, it promotes a healthier sex life, and if you’re a multitasker you can keep answering emails on your phone. But is it emasculating?
Ryan Gosling pees sitting down.
It’s true. Look it up.
Then again…so does Hunter Pence.
The thing is, yeah…it’s a little emasculating. It’s easier (and more fun) to whip it out and go. However, just because it’s easier and more fun doesn’t make it the right call. I went and shot guns at a range last weekend and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I felt very manly afterward. However, I didn’t come home and start shooting guns in the living room. When I’m in my car alone and want to blow my nose; I snort loudly, hock a loogie, and spit it out the window. However, I don’t do that at my office or when other people are around. Lastly, when I’m camping and need to pee, I head over to a bush and I go. However, when I need to go at home…I sit.
Yup. I sit to pee.
Now before you go demanding I turn in my man-card, I’ll tell you how I have evolved to embracing the “fancy pee” as my technique.
I love peeing outside – one of my most favorite things. My wife thinks this is hysterical because I’ll walk outside to go pee in the bushes in my backyard instead of peeing in the nice bathroom. However, there’s nothing you have to aim into outside (unless you are writing in the snow) …all you have to do is not get it on you. Toilets are a tough target for tall people.
When I first started dating my wife many decades ago in New York, she would marvel at how much dirty laundry and dirty dishes I would allow to accumulate before I finally resigned that I would need to clean. I had been a bachelor for a long time and my lifestyle showed that. When she moved in, I learned all kinds of things that were supposed to be cleaned that I had not been cleaning. I also became very aware that any pee on the toilet rim was 100% mine with only a female roommate. So, I did what any sensible guy who hates cleaning would do…I found a way to make it easier…I started peeing sitting down. When we got our own place together I continued the “fancy pee” technique in the new digs and it remained that way until I had children 6 years ago.
Kids imitate their parents. Boys imitate their dads. So, I peed standing up quite a bit to help teach my boys how to pee standing up. They are 6 and 4 now and have no problems with the urinal. Many times, I find myself peeing next to Max (my 6-year old) at a restaurant or sporting event. It’s great…it’s guy time. Dodge (my 4-year old) still does the pants and underwear all the way to the ground technique and stands half naked in front of the urinal…but he doesn’t spill a drop. Awesome. Love them. My little men. However, at home…not so awesome.
Our toilets look like giraffes they have so many yellow spots. Those boys pee so often and so much…where is it all coming from? Max gets everything out and ready and the last thing he does is reach out, grab the lid and seat, lift, and then go. Drives me nuts. He’s going to forget one of these days and pee all over the lid. Dodge leans against the toilet’s side and touches every inch of the rim with his fingers while rainbow casting a stream into the far side. His 3-year old buddy tried the same technique last week while over at our house and peed all over the wall, the counter, the drawers, the floor, himself, and his brother. No joke, it’s harder than it looks. Peeing standing up – easy. Peeing into a toilet that’s as tall as you – not easy.
For me, I have returned to the “fancy pee” at home and friend’s houses. Mostly it comes from not wanting to turn the lights on in the middle of the night. I get up from bed, walk to the bathroom, sit down, do what needs to be done, and then back to bed without ever flipping on a light or worrying about aiming. If being rational is not masculine then call me “Jane.”
So, what do I encourage in my boys? Oddly, I’m torn. On one hand, I think they should pee sitting down in private bathrooms because their aim is not so great. On the other hand, if they don’t learn to aim now it will just get worse over time. However, if they’re going to pee sitting down moving forward, why not start now? I think where I stand is this: In the visual arts such as painting, as with many things, you practice the rules to create correct perspective and dimension. Once you know the rules, you can break them…but you should understand the rules first (and thus why you are breaking them). For peeing, I think they need to learn to stand and aim first to make them better aimers in time. However, once that skill is mastered, sit down to save from embarrassing splash backs and uncleanly misses. In the meantime, my wife and I need to teach them how to clean the toilet…that way, everybody wins. Once everybody is sitting with 100% accuracy, urine for a real treat.
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