Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stand Like a Man! A Tongue-in-cheek Look at Manly Urination

Lest you think that I have lost my sense of humor I respectfully submit this treatise to demonstrate otherwise. I generally don’t dwell on the subject of male urination, but since many of the blogs I frequent are into chastity devices for men, the subject comes up often. I felt it was time to address it from my point of view. The subject is “Should men stand or sit while urinating?” First I cover a bit of history.

The Early Days ...

Before the early man came out of the trees, he could do it while sitting on a branch, just as a woman could. Still, he had the equipment to direct the spray so that it missed his dangling legs. On the long run this may have become a manly thing. Meanwhile the woman probably had to squat even on the branch just to avoid the salty liquid drying on her legs and eventually cause itching. Keep in mind that I am seeing this from a man’s point of view whose exposure to the outdoors have been through camping in the back yard with his children.

This was the beginning when men were distinctly identifiable from women. Men could stand while whipping the little guy side to side as they scanned for predators, whereas the lowly women had to squat and not be afforded the panoramic view from behind the tall weeds. This had to be part of evolution. Man: tall protector. Woman: squat protected. Consequence, man stands. Only a wimp or a woman would squat. One must admit, there is a magnificence attached to the scenario. I am surprised that we see so little of this in cave art and modern TV advertisements.

Privatizing the Action …

With formalized religion oozing out of the witch doctor realm sin was invented. One of the sins was urinating in public: you had to get it indoors. The term “outhouse” is a euphemism for the means for sitting on a hole while doing number one or number two. There is bucolic charm to the idea of a tiny wooden shack with a half moon cutout above the door. When you really have to go, almost any place will do. Naturally you don’t want to do it in your house, so there was the outhouse alternative. With all that, men still stood outside to scan for predators while swinging the little guy even as predators became scarce. Women had to sit on the hole behind the half moon whether parting with number one or two. In the summer the odors were ripe, the flies kept busy. In the winter one tended to freeze the somewhat private parts unintentionally. Washing of one’s hands afterward took second place to buttoning up the clothes.

Industrial Revolution …

Large towns with paved streets became less able to accommodate public urination. The issues ranged from modesty to the objection of the city burghers to the stench on a hot summer day. This was the beginning of privatization of the activity. Men would still stand over a hole in the floor; women would squat over their own hole in the floor. A modicum of privacy was offered by partitions between the sexes mainly to shield the shy female bladders from the ogling by curious males. This era also introduced the need to clean up after the users. The job description of the attendants of these public dumps required the ability to wield a bucket of water and a scrub brush, much like today’s college graduates who still live with their parents. No formal education was needed, college graduates needed not apply. The labor supply was endless, and the users remained oblivious to the result of their use and misuse of the facilities. At the end, men still stood.

Modernization of Indoor Pplumbing …

Whether public or private, porcelain made the difference. When combined with tightly coupled water source and drain it made the users glad that they did not have to fight the flies in the summer and the freezing of their thingies in the winter. There was still an issue with odors, so vents and windows were supplied. At this point the men no longer had to stand to scan for predators. In the privacy of the wash closet they could sit and take care of business, and no one would call them wimps for doing the equivalent of womanly squatting. As we very well know, this did not happen. There were two reasons for the continuance of this primitive but manly custom. One was the illusion of maintaining the manliness of urination; the other was the invention of the urinal.

I am not sure whether the urinal was invented to support the manly illusion, or the manly illusion was maintained because the urinal was invented. Regardless, any man would feel foolish to walk into a public restroom used by modern barbarians and sit on a filthy toilet seat when a perfectly good, albeit filthy, urinal is available. Why, even women have succumbed to the lure of inventions that make it possible for them to avoid using the filthy toilets just to urinate.

While I am on the subject I want to point out an interesting fact. Many travelers when using public toilets make themselves at home so to speak. They shit and piss on everything. Of course, that makes it less desirable for subsequent users, especially women who can’t stand up while doing it.

Next installment: "The modern Man and Indoor Plumbing"


Her Majesty's Plaything said...

I maintain the male privilege of standing during urination but also of mopping up after myself and cleaning the bathroom regularly! Nothing like taking a dump in an outhouse in January with little raccoon eyes staring down at you from the shadowy hills... Brrrrr.... That was cold!

subservire said...

Well, you've certainly put a lot of research into the subject, even if you don't dwell on it.

It's been three years since I've read your blog and it's good to see you haven't lost your touch.

Look forward to communicating with you on a regular basis in the future.


Susan's Pet said...


Your "Majesty" appreciates that. I assume you always put the lid down afterward.


Glad you are back. I hope I gave you cause for at least a smile.