In the toilet

Ladies' restroom manners are deplorable.

Published May 25, 2000 5:31AM (EDT)

Ladies who spray
BY MARY ROACH (05/19/00)

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mary Roach! Your exposi on the irrational incontinence of female public restroom users echoed my years of complaints on the same problem. How many times have I returned from a restaurant or cinema bathroom in a fury of disgust, thighs aching from the Buns of Steel-type pose I was forced to assume over the commode thanks to some ditz who showered the place with pee for fear of "catching something" from the very site of her defilement. Much to the horror of male companions, but often rallying support from other fed-up women, I would rant about the vicious cycle of seat-urination: Someone comes in and sees a nice dry seat, assumes it's crawling with germy dreck, and thus pees from a half-crouch, floods the place and flees the scene. The rest of us are left to suffer the same fate, crouching angrily and hoping the one who started it all got plenty on her pants and shoes.

I will now be able to quote Gerba's analysis of toilet seat threats, generally minimal as I always knew they would be. I can't think of a better way to sound the call for women to stop these stupid stealth attacks, except perhaps writing it into a "Friends" episode, ` la "Can you spare a square?" on "Seinfeld." On the other hand, Rachel and (especially) Monica are probably seat-pee-er types anyway, they've certainly got the muscle tone for it.

-- Emily K. Durand

All I can say to Mary Roach is AMEN, SISTER! This revolting habit wherein women pee on public toilet seats and don't clean up after themselves has been bugging me for years. I have also noticed a HUGE number of women who don't wash their hands after using the public toilet. Disgusting. Forget the Million Mom March -- let's march on Washington to protest bad bathroom behavior. The number of people sickened by the spread of germs via unwashed hands is truly something to get upset about.

-- J. Lloyd

About 25 years ago, I bemoaned the condition of pissoirs to my second wife, comparing them to what I imagined was the state of distaff facilities. "They can't be as bad as ours," she said. "Women squat on the seats and pee all over them." Since I considered her a reliable source, I assume that those conditions were commonplace. A recent inquiry of my third wife confirmed this. And it's not hardly an influx of Asian immigrant squatters who are used to standing on footprints alongside a concrete trench that's the cause.

As far as VD transmission, I worked in an outreach and case management program for homeless mentally ill 14 years ago. My two female colleagues spent the better part of an hour one day whipping each other
into hysteria because one's very nice, clean, gay HIV-positive client used the office toilet. Lots of weirdness about door knobs, sinks and toilet
seats, and the need for excluding all clients from the facilities.
Finally, sick of the endless blather I hollered from my office, "You
can't get it from toilet seats! Just don't let him f*** you in the

But the notion that men's rooms are more sanitary is ludicrous.

-- Frank Smith

By Salon Staff

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