There are plenty of things that a father needs to teach their son. Dutch ovens, fishing, pocket pool, shaving, driving, how to play cards, and of course, Urinal Etiquette. But out of all the important man skills, let’s just say that Urinal Etiquette(Amazon link) takes the cake, especially in the age of social distancing. If you think you already know the rules, let’s see how well you score in this Urinal Etiquette quiz.
Urinal Etiquette: Know The Rules
In case you don’t already know what to do, here are the basics of Urinal etiquette. Break the rules at your own risk.
What Is The Ideal Distance To Stand From The Urinal?
Stand close to the Urinal, but not too close. Using the Urinal is not a long-distance sport. Don’t be the guy standing in the middle of the bathroom peeing in a giant arch into the Urinal. Also, don’t be the guy completely inside the Urinal. A 6″ to 10″ distance should give you enough space to pee comfortably into the Urinal without getting spray back off the wall.
Talking While At A Urinal
Don’t talk to strangers in the men’s room, especially not at a Urinal. A Urinal is not an ideal location for idle small talk, business negotiations, or trying out new jokes. Respect people’s privacy and let them do their business in peace.
No Peeking – Control Your Eyes While At The Urinal
Is it wrong to peek at other men, when urinating? Yes. Your eyes should be facing forward or down at your own business. Peeking over at the neighboring Urinal will probably get you punched.
Avoid Eye Contact
Let people concentrate while they are trying to pee. Sometimes people need to focus on peeing. They might be pee shy or trying to pass a kidney stone.
Urinal Spacing: How To Choose A Urinal
Never intentionally stand at a Urinal directly next to another man. Especially when there are opportunities to space out. Find the Urinal farthest away from someone else and pee there.
Put Your Phone Away: Urinal Etiquette
Don’t tweet, check your email or use your phone while in the bathroom. And if your phone rings, just call them back. Your hands should be busy doing something else.
Don’t Attempt Physical Contact
Don’t try to shake hands, give someone a shoulder massage, or touch them at all. Never offer to shake hands with someone standing next to you at a Urinal. No one wants to shake your hand while you are touching yourself. Believe it or not, people try to do this with celebrities, like Howard Stern, all the time.
Unzip Your Fly, Don’t Drop Trou
Unzip your pants or pull your waistband down just enough to relieve yourself. Never complete drop trou (aka drop your trousers and underwear) all the way down to your ankles like a toddler. No one else wants to see your hairy butt.
No Photos: Don’t Take Photos In The Men’s Room
Have you ever seen someone taking a photo in a public restroom before? It’s really uncomfortable and bad bathroom etiquette. If you’re taking a photo for a project (like photos for this article), then please hang up a sign warning people or just temporarily shutdown the bathroom.
Flush If You Can
Many urinals these days have auto flush sensors or might even be waterless urinals. But if there’s an opportunity to flush, make sure you do so. It’s a good Urinal Etiquette habit. No one wants to pee into your old stale pee later.
Don’t Use The Urinal As A Trash Can
Your gum, tobacco chew, toothpick, cigarette, or even used condom goes in the garbage can, not the Urinal. Otherwise, some poor cleaning person will have to fish it out later. Gross. Don’t be that guy.
Urinals Are For Peeing, Nothing Else
One of the weirdest things I’ve ever encountered was an old guy masturbating into a Urinal at a men’s room at the New York City Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal in the late 1990s. At first, I thought he was handicapped and struggling with his zipper. But when I figured out what was happening, I pinched off early and left.
Social Distancing & Why Urinal Etiquette Is Important
A lot of the basics of Urinal Etiquette are common sense. So it’s astounding when you encounter someone who breaks the rules. Here’s a disturbing story of someone ignoring social distancing at a men’s room Urinal submitted by one of our readers named BrorJace.
“Ok, so picture this, there are three urinals side by side. Now, nobody was in the bathroom, so I took the one all the way on the right, next to the stalls. Some big guy comes in and takes the middle one. That’s just plain wrong. That right there is a HUGE violation of Urinal Etiquette.
Not only does he take the Urinal right next to me when there was a free one on the other side, but he takes a peek down into my Urinal. That’s just plain disturbing.
So I looked up at him, let him know I caught that. See, it’s excusable (if totally disturbing) if someone gives you one quick peek, you know, just to make sure you’re there. But you have to give him the look, saying you saw that, and if he looks again he’s going to get punched in the face.
So a couple of seconds later he’s like “So, how are you doing?” Talking at the Urinal is another huge breach in Urinal Etiquette. I would have left, but I was right in the middle of pissing, and I’d look mighty stupid pinching it off and going into a stall, not to mention he’d get a huge look at my junk if I did that. So I answered him.
Bad move. He starts making idle chatter about the various gang signs on the wall in front of us. I was trying to ignore it, but he kept talking. He goes “So, what? You never talk at the Urinal?” I had had it. This guy was pissing me off (No pun intended). I had just finished peeing, so I tucked in and zipped up and turned to the dude. “No, I don’t talk in the Urinal. My mommy told me not to talk to strangers.”
The guy started to turn and come at me, but he remembered he was still pissing. Quickly he tries to prevent himself from pissing on his pants, but it’s too late. A huge stream of piss down the front of his pants. Sure, he got a good look at my junk and creeped me out, but I made him piss his pants and got away without getting my butt kicked.”
Bathroom Etiquette In The Workplace And Beyond
Bathroom etiquette doesn’t end with Urinal Etiquette. Don’t forget to check out our articles on how to poop at work and this disturbing photo gallery of the 7th-floor men’s room at NBC headquarters in New York City.
What's the ideal distance between you and the urinal?
Using the urinal is not a long-distance sport. Don't be the guy standing in the middle of the bathroom peeing in a giant arch into the urinal. Also, don't be the guy completely inside the urinal. A 6" distance should give you enough space to pee comfortably into the urinal without getting spray back off the wall.
Have you ever taken a peek at the guys standing next to you
Your eyes should be facing forward or down at your own business. Peeking over at the neighboring urinal will probably get you punched.
Do you unzip or drop trou?
Unzip your pants or pull your waistband down just enough to relieve yourself. Never complete drop trou (aka drop your trousers and underwear) all the way down to your ankles. No one else wants to see your hairy ass.
If your phone rings while you're at a urinal, will you answer it?
If your phone rings, just call them back. Your hands should be busy doing something else.
Have you ever taken a photo in a public restroom before?
Have you ever seen someone taking a photo in a public restroom before? It's really uncomfortable. If you're taking a photo for a project (like photos for this article), then please hang up a sign warning people or just temporarily shutdown the bathroom.
Have you ever intentionally used a urinal directly next to someone else even though there was an opportunity to space out?
Never intentionally stand at a urinal directly next to another man when there are opportunities to space out. Find the urinal farthest away and pee there.
Have you ever spit gum, tobacco, toothpicks or something else into a urinal?
Your gum, tobacco chew, toothpick, cigarette or even used condom goes in the garbage can, not the urinal. Otherwise, some poor cleaning person will have to fish it out later. Gross. Don't be that guy.
How frequently do you flush your urinal after using it?
Many urinals these days have auto flush sensors or might even be waterless urinals. But if there's an opportunity to flush, make sure you do so. No one wants to pee into your old stale urine later.
Have you ever tried to shake hands with someone at a urinal before?
Never offer to shake hands with someone standing next to you at a urinal. No one wants to shake your hand while you are touching yourself.
Do you frequently talk to people at the urinal?
Didn't your mother ever tell you not to talk to strangers? A urinal is not an ideal location for idle small talk.
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Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.