Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why aren't urinals in stalls?

I've known for my entire adult life that urinals aren't in stalls, but I never realized how open they are until I saw this scene in Big Bang Theory:

That's no good at all for if you're a shy pee-er, or if the need is less urgent (but you want to go before leaving on a long commute, for example) so it takes some time to get started. Other people are right there and can see you and look you in the eye. But if you're in a stall, all other people can see is that there's someone in the stall. You have more privacy, and, if you're shy, you can just close your eyes and ears and shut out the world.

Given the number of men in fields like architecture and construction and plumbing, I'm surprised no one has put urinals in proper stalls yet. And it also surprises me that men continue to use open urinals when stalls (i.e. with toilets) are available.

Can anyone shed light onto why people still choose to use urinals?


laura k said...

It's worse than you think. Some older washrooms in cheaper kinds of places (older public schools, for example) don't even have those partial walls between urinals. And some really old places have communal urinals that look like troughs.

I find the whole idea of these things very bizarre. I do know a man with a very shy bladder who only uses stalls. At least they're there as an option.

Anonymous said...

It's very rare for a washroom to have those urinal dividers...they were probably added to provide some "shielding" for TV purposes.

As a guy, I've never really had an issue with urinals...the standard etiquette is to leave an empty space between you and the next guy, if at all possible.

impudent strumpet said...

@Laura: I'm rather shocked that they have children peeing out in the open! That seems even more inappropriate for some reason.

@Anon: Are you able to articulate why, given the choice between open urinal and closed stall, you choose a urinal? Even if one has no problem with peeing in the open, it seems to me that peeing in private is superior. What am I missing?

Anonymous said...'s probably due to conditioning for the most part. Urinals are faster (no fussing with stall doors) and more convenient, and I guess a bit more sanitary than going into a stall which may stink or be messy (seeing as a guy would normally pee standing up whether at a urinal or in a stall). I think there is a general unwritten rule that stalls are for shitting in.

laura k said...

Fussing with stall doors! As if closing a door is a big deal.

I do think it's conditioning, but obviously men pee in toilets standing up. Don't most men do that in their own homes??

clydelaz said...

Most men do not care if another man sees his penis. This 'shyness' is a female idea. Before the women's movement took hold in the 1970's and 80's (or as one talk show host calls it 'The Pussification of Men'} many places had open stalls with no doors where men would poo and no one thought anything unusual or embarrassing.