Top image: Markus Spiske / Pexels
Earlier this year, researchers asked men in 13 countries if they sit or stand to urinate. For science.
As a result, we now have a detailed breakdown of international male peeing preferences (thanks, YouGov).
Apparently, German men are the most likely to sit down while they pee (40 percent sit every time). On the other end of the spectrum, Singaporean men are Team Standing, with only 5 percent sitting every time they tinkle and 33 percent never doing so.
The survey results, reshared on Reddit Singapore (r/singapore), provoked a healthy stream of comments.
Team Standing and Team Sitting each gave passioned defences of their peeing habits. Despite my lack of a penis, I know now that standing reduces contact with dirty toilet seats—but sitting means less pee splatter. But it seems to be such a concern that it’s explicitly spelt out in RICE’s company culture handbook in a section about office toilet etiquette. (“Men, aim”).
As for why the toilet seat is even dirty in the first place, one colleague has some firsthand insights thanks to the men in her family: “It’s a huge gripe that men who pee standing up don’t bother cleaning the fucking bowl of their damn piss and the whole toilet stinks.”
But if I may, I’d like to turn your attention to a closely-related and far more pressing issue: Some Singaporean men don’t wash their soiled hands after urinating.
Yes ladies, it’s true. I regret to inform you that you’ve likely touched multiple penises indirectly—and probably some bodily fluids—in your daily life.
It’s been two whole months since an informal poll on the Singapore-based Telegram channel Paiseh Questions revealed the stomach-churning truth, and it still haunts me.
A majority of women wash their hands after peeing. Meanwhile, a majority of men don’t.
It appears that some men think it’s acceptable to whip their dick out, take a piss, shake off the last drops of pee (another thing I learned from the very enlightening r/singapore thread), stuff it back in their pants, and waltz right out of the bathroom.
Of Dry Hands and Dirty Dicks
I wish I could say I haven’t been personally victimised by this, but I have.
The perpetrator was a man who shall remain unnamed. We were dating at the time, and he’d excused himself to go to the bathroom. I hovered around the entrance, and he made a beeline for me as soon as he reemerged, grabbing my hand in his.
The warmth and dryness of his palm immediately set off alarm bells. Sure, maybe he’d just used the hand dryer. But my woman’s intuition told me otherwise.
“You washed your hands, right?” I asked. Like the unwilling prophet Cassandra, I already knew the truth.
“No. Should I?”
There it was—the confirmation that I’d just had a bunch of germs, penis skin cells, and probably trace amounts of urine smeared on my hand.
I couldn’t resist probing further (after sending him back into the bathroom to clean those paws thoroughly, of course). His justification was that he “didn’t need to” since he technically wasn’t touching any urine with his bare hands.
Shockingly (at least for me), a quick Google reveals his rationale isn’t uncommon.
In a 2020 Metro article, men who were staunchly against washing their hands post-pee defended themselves. Among the excuses offered up were “a male’s penis is a part of his body”, “my penis is a lot cleaner than most mobile phones”, and “I’m not spraying piss onto my palms”.
To that, medical experts countered that even if penises aren’t inherently dirty, you’re inevitably touching other bacteria-ridden surfaces in the bathroom.
“Public toilets are breeding grounds for bacteria such as E. coli, Shigella, Streptococcus, hepatitis A and E – of which can lead to fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, strep throat or in more severe cases, organ failure,” one doctor told Metro.
“By simply taking an extra twenty seconds to wash your hands, you are helping to stop the spread of any potentially harmful bacteria or virus.”
And then there’s the fact that Singapore’s really hot, and nobody wants to be indirectly touching your dank, sweaty bits.
Pee sitting down, standing up, or upside down, for all I care. Just wash your hands after.