David Pescovitz at 11:18 am Wed, Feb 20, 2008
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
When Mr. Happy is hesitant to do his thing, just multiply 2 or 3 digit numbers in your head. Distracts you just enough to get things going.
Looks like a great way to get robbed. Your back is turned and your pants are down.
Personal space invasions in the lavatory: Suggestive evidence for arousal. Middlemist, R. D., Knowles, E. S., and Matter, C. F., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976, 33, 541-546.
Personal space is defined as an area with invisible boundaries surrounding an individual and into which others may not come. People seek comfortable interpersonal distances and will move away when others invade their space. A field experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that personal space invasions produce arousal as measured by delay of onset and duration of menâ€™s urination. Men using a three-urinal lavatory at a Midwestern university were subjects. According to a previously determined schedule of random assignment a confederate either, stood at the urinal directly adjacent to the subject, stood one urinal away, or was absent from the lavatory. An observer with a periscope was concealed in a toilet stall and recorded measures of urination. He did not see the faces of the subjects. Data were gathered on 60 users of the lavatory, all of whom did not know that they were subjects in an experiment. Delay of onset and persistence of urination were inversely related to closeness of another individual at the urinal. For example, urination delay (measured as the time between when a subject unzipped his fly and when urination began) was 4.8 seconds in the Confederate Absent condition, 6.2 seconds when the confederate was one urinal away, and 8.4 seconds when the confederate was at the adjacent urinal. Results were interpreted as supporting the hypothesis that increased arousal is a result of personal space invasions and this is a probable cause of certain behavioral responses (for example, moving away).
@18 and 21 – I was recently in Europe: Belgium and Netherlands to be precise. Had a humorous moment when I stepped into this odd “sculpture” that was actually a single outdoor public urinal. After that moment of realization, I started to notice there were public open urinals everywhere – even some OLD ones made of sandstone against old church walls. Maybe its us Yanks that have a problem with public urination? Any European posters wanna comment?
I grew up with the trough urinals also, nobody seemed shy back then. It didn’t bother me back then, but I wouldn’t care for it much today.
Even when I was old enough to go into taverns, a lot of places still had the trough. Some places would just fill the trough with ice and it would serve to flush as it slowly melted.
I also remember the strange scenes at Dead shows, especially at Shoreline. Set breaks would find thousands of people crowding into the bathrooms. Entering that confined space with its condensed energy was always an experience, more so on mind altering substances.
I’d imagine that a great deal of time is lost to the “bashful bladder” experience. As both space and time become increasingly harder to come by, advancements of this sort would seem worthwhile.
This looks like a huge leap forward in the area of peeing on the back of a guy’s shoe.
I think some of that conditioning is local, rather than a universal part of western culture. I know none of the guys I grew up with cared too much about urinal dividers, or peeing in the woods, or at a trough for that matter. In fact I learned how to pee my name into the snow by example. (a bad example perhaps, but I wasn’t unusual)
For us it was mostly that we just didn’t care. If someone went and stared that would certainly bother me now, and would’ve then as well. But if you weren’t staring at someone’s package then no one really cared too much.
But like I said, I think it’s a regionalism. Or possibly this is an urban v. rural thing. Or maybe a socio-economic thing. But I’m pretty sure it’s not a universal norm for western culture.
Here in Germany, we don’t have urinals directly out on the street; In places that are frequented by drunken people, we got little (dirty and never cleaned) houses with urinals inside.
I recall hearing somewhere that EU legislation requires dividers between urinals which might make building new street urinals impossible.
Here in the UK public street urinals are turning up everywhere.
They get put outside bars in town centres and at carnivals, concerts etc. – the kind of places where if a bloke can’t find a toilet they just go.
a top ten list??
Where are bars going to hang their ads if your staring at a dude’s back?
I will never understand why men don’t just use stalls.
Having been ogled by a pedophile while at the urinal as a little boy (7?), I’m all in favor of privacy. I split as soon as the perv started trying to talk to me.
BTW-To you that seem to miss the purpose of a public toilet…
Don’t talk to me while I’m trying to pee.
If there are a bunch of empty urinals, don’t take the one next to me.
If you are standing in line behind me, drunkenly trying to rush me (concerts, sports), I will stand there as long as possible.
these urinals look designed to get three into the usual space for two
I wonder, how about a public fountain/sculpture/urinal? It could be in a town square, a reflecting pond base with a spire in the middle. A spiral staircase with no hand rail wrapping around it all the way up (say high enough so you couldn’t clearly see someone standing at the top. That way you could do your business,participate in performance art, “prove”your manhood,get a terrific view and help the gene pool (the unfit would plunge to their deaths) all at the same time.
Most washrooms in Japan are open enough that anyone walking by can see who’s peeing, and it’s not unusual for the cleaning lady to start mopping the floor next to me while I’m going. They even have co-ed washrooms. You get used to it.
Personally I think it has to do with personal space and that added vulnerability that comes with having a piss. As far as space, I’ve seen medieval toilets that were basically a plank with 5 or so holes bored where everyone would sit and shit together without any dividers and it made me realise how we have changed over 500 years or so (they were Tudor era). Not something most of us would feel comfortable with nowadays I reckon. Obviously they had a different sense of personal space then. I think the need for space must have grown along with our sense of being an individual. And as someone who likes to spend my summer on a nudist beach in the south of Spain when clothes are only worn at night when it’s cold, I’ve noticed that when I want to piss I like to move off and piss against the cliff face. It can’t be the worry of people looking at your tackle because they’re free to do it any time. That and seeing the sheepish look on my dogs faces when they are doing their business leads me to think that a good part is probably having to drop your guard. Isn’t that why blokes like to piss against trees and walls when outside?
Isn’t that what alleys are for in the UK?
Important safety tips are covered in the Sims2 training video “Male Restroom Etiquette”.
I have long thought it completely amazing that there is a whole business whose job it is to keep men from seeing each other’s penises. I would kill to be at a meeting where they’re discussing dividers and doing testing to see how much can be seen behind this prototype, etc.
I mean, I can be pee shy, but come on. Just do your stuff and get over it.
The most interesting men’s room I’ve ever seen is in the lobby of The Paramount Hotel in NYC. Walls, ceiling, countertops are all mirrors and no dividers….
I’m pee shy even if there’s someone in one of the stalls. Hell, even if no one else is in the restroom I have a hard time getting started at a urinal. The splashback is also an annoyance.
More interesting than the dividers is the way these are angled off the wall so that the men standing at them are all facing one direction in a line. Not sure how I feel about that.
forget about peeing ‘pee-shy’ we really need the dividers to prevent ‘pee-spray’ it’s especially nasty during the summer when you’re wearing flip-flops and shorts and realizing the guy next to you is misting your foot with his tinkles. GROSS!
Listen, even with THESE urinals, you STILL have to follow protocol.
No standing next to someone else if there is another urinal OR stall available!
/You don’t want to get beat up.
Yeah, I’m not sure I’d be too happy about staring at a guy instead of a wall. And for misting, you just have to spray into the natural curve of the bowl.
Men have it rough. Women may have to wait in line but at least they get some privacy. I’m lucky if there’s any sort of divider between the urinals.
Are people honestly this concerned about people seeing their junk? That just confuses me that anyone cares that much…are you concerned about impressing others, or what?
This is a giant leap for mankind. We must now entirely do away with “the trough.”
Come on men, it’s not that hard, just imagine a raging mountain stream…pee-shyness be damned.
i’m still amazed at the number of public toilets here in Tokyo with nothing separating the urinals from full view of the street, train station or park. nothing says “pee shy” like having a thousand commuters off all ages & genders walking past, right next to you.
I am old enough to remember, as a pee-shy kid, the pre-port-a-potty days.
In farm country, at the county fair and the AAA minor league ballpark, there was just a gutter-like galvanized sheet metal trough setup at a decline. It wasn’t a foot wide, maybe 15 feet long. An open faucet at one end, a drain hole in the floor at the other.
Everybody lined up along the thing and made their best aim. It wasn’t easy to hit. And the arching streams, the spray and the guy across the trough who might miss and hit you were all big distractions.
I would often wait to see if the crowd thinned but it never did. I would be surrounded by grim, weathered country elders silently arching their spent whiskey and beer into a small community target. I had no other choice and, as a kid, I couldn’t wait.
I don’t see how this is much better than conventional urinals. Now you have to be facing the other person’s back while they are urinating. Conversely you have someone behind you if you are going. I really hate it when I’m trying to go and someone is standing behind me. I always get bashful bladder when that happens. Having a divider is much better. This new configuration just looks stupid.
This will make it really easy for that old trick where you lightly piss on some random dudes leg and get out before he feels it soak into his pant leg.
Just wait…Senator Larry “Closeted Republican Anonymous Ghey Sex Afficianado” Craig will file legislation to ban these no-peek urinals in the US of A
I can never understand the lack of privacy in public mens rooms. I don’t want to whip out my junk while rubbing shoulders with another guy. It’s just creepy. A simple divider between the urinals is not much to ask. When we build out restrooms here at work, we always put a divider panel between the urinals. Wa-la! No more creepy.
@Mattharvest: I guess if you’re comfortable with it, there’s not a lot of debate to participate in. I just find it uncomfortable. Why wouldn’t it be? We’re socially conditioned almost from birth to consider our genitals a private thing. Very few people would be comfortable walking around in public with their penis hanging out, and that’s essentially what an open urinal requires. Just because it’s other men doesn’t mean they’re not strangers.
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