The unspoken urinal rule



This is a post dedicated to urinating. Specifically, it’s a post about a rule that men have about using urinals.


If there are two urinals and one is in use, use a stall. If there are an odd number of urinals, space yourselves out at every other one. I’ve literally seen men wait for an end urinal to open up, even though there was a perfectly functional inside urinal not being used at the time. The bottom line is that apparently it’s socially unacceptable to pee next to a total stranger in public.

Because…something. I really can’t figure this one out. What the hell is the big deal here? You’ve gotta pee, I’ve gotta pee; let’s just pee and move on. There doesn’t need to be this whole social etiquette built around something as simple as using a urinal. As far as I can tell, there are only two possible reasons why this rule even exists in the first place, and they’re both pretty riDICKulous (oh, puns…).

The first thing that comes to mind is plain old homophobia. For some inexplicable reason, some men seem to think that as soon as they drop trouser every gay man in the world is going to come out of the woodwork to get a glimpse of their penises. This is ridiculous for multiple reasons. First and foremost, this only happens to republican senators in airport bathrooms. Second, this would seem to play into this idea that gay men go indiscriminately crazy for dick. I have several gay male friends, and just like every other living human being on the planet, they have types, certain people they’re attracted to–and more importantly certain types they are definitely NOT attracted to. If homophobia really is the root here, it’s based on an absurd egotism–namely that you’re so hot no gay man in the building would be able to resist you at the urinal. Of course there’s also the possibility that if you just happen to see another man’s penis you’ll be branded as gay. This is equally absurd, because any man who’s ever seen porn (read “every man alive”) has already seen another man’s junk and I’m sure they aren’t worried about being labeled as gay when they partake in watching some good ol’ fashioned pornography.

The second thing that comes to mind is penis envy. Let’s face it–men are insecure about the size of their penises. I’m sure that any woman reading this will attest to this, and men–you know this is true. I’m sure that for a certain percentage of men, the thought of being smaller than the man next to you at the urinal is embarrassing and humiliating. So to avoid feelings of inadequacy or inferiority we have urinal etiquette.

All I know is that if I have to go, you can be sure I’ll go, these urinal rules be damned. I’m willing to bet that 99.9% of men at urinals are there solely to pee, so can we please all get over this and leave all of the weird baggage outside of the bathroom?


17 thoughts on “The unspoken urinal rule

      1. That’s so weird. Maybe they need to make the partitions over 8 feet tall so that no one has to worry about anyone looking over them? Nah, that probably wouldn’t work either. Come to think of it, women never take the stall right next to one that is being used if they can help it either.

        We begin and probably end life having someone else privy to our body’s elimination functions, but I guess in between we like what? Privacy? A symbol of our independence?

      2. Really? An enclosed stall? That’s crazy.

        I guess maybe it’s a symbol of independence…but shouldn’t we have gotten over that after potty training?

  1. If it happens even with a partition, I don’t know what the problem could be. I know I’m a lady and all, but seems like that would fix it.

    And maybe I missed the memo, but I’ll take the stall next to one in use.

      1. I believe it.

        Recently I went to a gay bar which was interesting because the washrooms were for everyone. They did have stalls, though, not urinals. But it seemed like the walls were broken down a little, somehow.

  2. I have one friend who really likes to break the rules. I’ve never witnessed it, but he claims to drop his pants to his ankles to pee in the urinal- just to make everyone else feel as awkward as possible. 😉

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