It’s not like it’s more pleasant to stand there, dick carefully clutched so other men can’t see how awesome it is, high-powered pee stream hitting the porcelain wall and splashing back all over your pants. I can’t say jamming my peestick into a gleaming white wall trough is more comfortable than meandering into a stall, shutting the door, kicking up the seat, and letting fly into a comfortably distant bowl of tepid water.
I doubt urinals were designed for comfort. Wikipedia backs me up in this regard: “…urinals are installed for efficiency: compared with urination in a general toilet, usage is faster because within the room there are no additional doors, no locks, and no seat to turn up; also a urinal takes less space, is simpler, and consumes less water per flush than a toilet.” Great, I’m glad men can be more efficient when disposing of bodily waste fluids. We have so many more important things to do than pee. Raping and pillaging, for instance. Or playing a game of pick-up basketball. Can’t really do either of those while peeing, at least not comfortably.
Now that I think about it, most things aimed at men are designed for efficiency. Our clothing is simple: easy on, easy off, rarely straying from a unified design and pattern to minimize the amount of time we have to spend standing naked in the closet. Our food is simple: meat, essentially, compared to all these pansy, feminine things like fruits and vegetables. Even our bodies are simpler, although I don’t think any one man in particular can take credit for that (unless you subscribe to a single masculine God, in which case it’s strange that you’re reading my blog).
But back to the matter at hand. I think the one place that I don’t crave efficiency is in the bathroom. The bathroom provides escape. There is an essential freedom inherent to entering a bathroom – anything can exit from any of your orifices and, even better, you can take all the time in the world to allow the exodus to occur. It’s not like you’re going to return to a stressful meeting where the boss chides you for “taking too long on the shitter.” It’s a universally understood fact that the bathroom is sanctuary, like a burbling forest stream or one of those funny Japanese pagodas. It is a place to relax for a moment and just let everything flow out of you.
So why counteract that calming experience with urinals? Where’s the stress relief when some obese guy in sweats ambles up to the urinal next to me and takes a good hard look at my crotch before ejecting a gushing blast of fetid air from the between the two loaves of bread he calls a butt? How am I supposed to feel comfortable peeing when, as Wiki so cleverly points out, “care must be taken not to confuse a trough urinal with a sink”? Even well designed urinals such as this one still give the impression that a hole in the wall is going to eat my penis. That hardly helps me feel centered and at peace with the world.
Down with urinals, I say. Even as filthy, beastly men, we should draw the line at what communal experiences we’re willing to partake in. Drinking from the same bacteria-infused cup during a beer pong match? Yes. Eating someone else’s day-old leftover pizza slice? Sure. Awkwardly sleeping together in big, drunk, vaguely homoerotic pile? Of course. But joining together in a noisy, smelly, wet piss-fest? That’s where I draw the line, at least.
Feel free to argue – maybe I’m just weird. Maybe I’m the lone man who wants to pee privately. Maybe I should just get a sex change. Oh wait.