Diary

Why stand when you can sit?

06 September 2014 | Diary

Pull up a pew, male readers. There’s a way to go À Rebours between three and eight times a day without even pausing to think about it. Yes, I’m talking about sitting to pee.

“But that’s what ladies do,” says a twat I know called Jeff.

But what’s wrong with that? I like ladies. And I’ve definitely had more lady friends than Jeff, possibly because my shoes aren’t spattered with wee.

“It’s lazy,” objects my friend Dan, who seems to think that a complete unbuckling and debagging is somehow less effort than opening the fly and unleashing the thunderprawn.

Sitting to pee is the superior and admirable act of an Übermensch.

For starters, it’s an opportunity to read. While you’re sprinkling urine all down your shins, I’m learning something. Sitting also means you don’t have to switch on the blinding bathroom light if you need to make a midnight dash.

When sitting, you no longer piss on the toilet seat or the floor or your shoes. Why would you want to piss everywhere? You know someone has to clean that up, don’t you? You may even have to clean it up yourself. Why are you pissing everywhere?

You can take your time if you sit. Life is busy. A bathroom break can be a nice retreat from a hectic world. The one in my old office was certainly a bastion to me. I’m not sure I could have survived a single working day without punctuating it with lengthy toilet breaks in which I could gather my thoughts in privacy. The lavatory is my Fortress of Solitude, and there I shall make my stand, or rather, my sit.

You can do a bonus poo. Yes, you might end up passing an unplanned solid. This bonus offloading can only be helpful to your body. To the minimalist, it’s a no-brainer.

It leads you to appreciate a fine piece of Victorian industrial heritage. I have mixed feelings about the Industrial Revolution, but one indisputable marvel of the nineteenth century is the porcelain throne. The cistern and the sewerage system are incredible feats of engineering. In terms of infrastructure, the labyrinth of sewers beneath our city streets is as mind-boggling a testament to human ingenuity as the Internet. Make the most of it. Sit on it.

You can reject the bestial. In Primo Levi’s Holocaust memoir he mentions his bunk mates urinating “bestially” while walking around the room. I know the free man doesn’t walk around while peeing, but there is certainly something animal-like (or at least ungallantly drive-thru) about standing to release the yellow cable.

It frees the hands. If you touch neither the seat nor your sweaty old kok with your hands, you’re unlikely to get germs on your fingers and pass them into your mouth. In public washrooms, other men have pissed on those seats you’re lifting. It also frees the hands for other masculine activities such as reading the business pages, smoking a pipe or knitting a manly tea cozy.

You don’t have to remember to return the seat afterwards. I live with a ladyperson. A lot of my male friends also live with ladypeople. Some of the cooler bars I go to have unisex bathrooms. A number of my friends are cohabiting female couples. I want to help usher in a world where women don’t have to worry about falling in. You may accuse me of Utopian thinking, sir, but it’s easily achieved. Since I never lift the seat, I don’t have to remember to replace it. And so this oft-cited source of frustration between men and women can be eliminated.

It’s bonus sitting time. Obey gravity and relax. What’s the point of fighting for a seat on a crowded bus or train if you’re going to voluntarily stand in this other situation?

You can be an Internationalist. American men are behind the curve when it comes to sitting to pee. In Germany, sitting to pee is actively encouraged. The German word for one who sits is a sitzspritzer. Probably. There has even been a mass installation of little gadgets into German public bathrooms, which make irritating noises for the duration of a seat being in the upright position. In Japan, 40% of men sit to pee. Some Muslim men sit to pee too because it’s seen as disrespectful to pray (which Muslims do every few hours) in unclean clothes or shoes.

Standing while pissing is so white-bread. Join the rest of the world and take a seat.