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8 Public Bathroom Secrets Guys Won't Tell You

There is a very complicated system for pooping.
PHOTO: istockphoto

In terms of adhering to social norms, few places are as stringent as a public bathroom. Making eye contact with a stranger or accidentally bumping someone might elicit a fumbling apology on say, a crowded subway car, but in a public bathroom, those are the actions of a madman. You should never be standing so close as to make physical contact even remotely possible. 

Thus, here are all the “things that wouldn’t naturally come up in conversation because why would you ever press someone for details on his visit to the bathroom.”

  1. As a general rule, you should leave as many urinals as possible between another man when peeing. 

    This is baseline bathroom etiquette because men are deeply fragile beings. If it’s you and another person in the bathroom, the first guy should, ideally, use a urinal on one end. The second person coming in would then use the urinal on the other end. If there are say, five urinals and a third person comes in, they can then use the middle stall without upsetting the balance. If the second guy had instead taken the fourth urinal and a third person comes in, said third person has to then choose to pee next to someone. Also, if you choose to pee next to someone when you don’t have to, it’s incredibly unnerving. It’s exponentially unnerving the more empty urinals there are. For instance, if a man is peeing at the end of a row of 10 urinals, and someone else walks in and choose the urinal directly next to the first man, it is scientific fact that the second man is a murderer. He has no regard for human life.
  2. As an addendum to that rule: if using two urinals next to each other would put you in physical contact with someone else, it’s best to use a stall. 

    Some bathrooms are tiny. There are bathrooms out there that can put you shoulder to shoulder with a fellow pee-er (peeist? peeing person?). It’s uncomfortable to have a stranger touch you while peeing. If a stall is open, most people will just file into there and quietly wonder what sadist designed this bathroom.

  3. No one questions the line to the stall door.

    This isn’t a good thing, but in the rare instances when a line forms in a men’s restroom, everyone just assumes that those ahead of them on line are keeping an accurate tally of which stalls are actively being pooped in. Oftentimes (and possibly because men aren’t as used to dealing with bathroom lines), those people fail at their task and a stall remains open and then after like, 10 minutes some brave soul goes up and shakes the door. If it turns out its open and unoccupied, that man is allowed to skip the line and poop immediately. 

  4. Pubes are everywhere.

    Who knows how or why pubes are floating around and sticking to everything, but some bathrooms are like the Upside-Down except with pubes everywhere. It’s like some guys pull their pants down and tufts of pubes fly out.

  5. Children are bathroom monsters. 

    All the rules go out the window with kids. They run around, roll under stall doors. It’s pure anarchy.
  6. We have no couch like you all do. 

    Personally, I’ve seen one men’s bathroom (maybe two?) that had seating beyond toilets, and these were very fancy bathrooms. As far as men are concerned, we’re all only in there to piss and shit (the one thing we all have in common) and get the hell out. Any man who is in a bathroom and doesn’t need to go is insane. And I can only imagine what a couch in the average man’s bathroom would look like, considering the state of everything else. [Editor's Note: Despite what some men have been lead to believe, not all women's restrooms have couches.]
  7. All of the soap dispensers are always empty except for one. 

    It’s entirely possible this is a law in some states, because there’s no other rational explanation for this phenomenon.
  8. Men don’t typically go to the bathroom together on purpose.

    No one knows why women tend to group up and men make pissing a lone affair. But if a guy is at a table and another man stands up to use the bathroom, while there can be exceptions, he’s generally going to at least give the guy who went first a thirty second buffer.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.