Follow me into the bathroom, I want to tell you a story about my life.
Now here’s the hard part: You have you wait to hear it until I’ve adequately voided my body of its waste, in whatever form it is holding at the moment. In this bathroom, my male (biologically or otherwise) friend, you and I are not standing sneaker to sneaker, shoulder to shoulder, bent elbow on arm attached to hand holding respective penis to bent elbow on arm attached to hand holding respective penis at the great line of porcelain patriarchy we call urinals. You’d be handling your own on your own while I’d be yards away, only faintly aware of the melodic tinkle dribbling from your wiggle.
For you see, I always sit down to pee. And yes, it’s political.
As a man, I go through the world feeling its weight on my shoulders. I would rather society not tell me that it expects me to be so strong and virile and active and pouring sweat and carrying around lumber all the time, but it does, and like a good man, I listen. It’s exhausting. I need all the resting time I can take, that’s exactly what I’m taking when I take my pees.
I think of my bathroom time as both my pee time (I actually love peeing) and my me time. It’s where I get to dismantle the façade that I carry around—strong, rational, my cards close to my vest, my farts sucked into my body with the strength of a Dyson. In my stall—and, yes, for the time that I’m in it, that stall is mine—I get to unleash the real me. The potent fragrance of my id never fails to impress me, once pushed out of my superego’s membrane.
I sit on the toilet and I clear my mind—and my body. While in my crouch, I never want to have the burden of thinking about what’s coming out of where (for that reason, I often put a plastic bag over my head in case my body feels like vomiting). Sitting on the toilet means whatever wants to come out can come out. Whatever will pee will pee, as the song goes. I’ll confess that I’m prone to sharting, and so peeing sitting down helps keep my underwear clean, which is good for the environment if you think of the environment as broadly as possible, which I always try to do, though sometimes I fail because, after all, I’m only a man.
It’s easier to read while sitting down, and though my urination generally lasts no more than 30 seconds, that’s a perfect amount of time to read tweets from some cool Twitter feeds like Matt McGory’s and Sam White’s. Those guys are awake to things that most other guys can’t even dream of.
Sometimes I’m frankly not in the mood to touch my penis and I like to pretend in its place is just a small hole put on my body for one reason and one reason alone: to void waste. It’s my right as a conscious man to regard my penis however I see fit, even if it means being willfully unconscious of said penis.
What penis? :)
Speaking of holes, sitting down to pee allows me to quietly bond with women, without ever burdening them with my maleness or need for validation as a result of how open-minded and cool I am about their condition and the world in general. I know their plight. I know what it’s like to be on the wrong side of toilet-seat privilege. Demanding that seats be put down and stay down isn’t just the job of gals these days, guys. Allyship means demanding fairness even when it doesn’t benefit you. (In my case, though, as a man who only sits down to pee, it does.)
Equality just does not exist until it’s felt by all. Including me. Sitting down to pee allows me to feel the burdens of not just the ladies, but several other marginalized groups, including but not limited to: people with disabilities, people whose kneecaps just got busted in by their arch nemeses, people whose Achilles tendons just got slashed by people under the stairs, people who just got their legs chainsawed off by Leatherface, people who are too depressed to get out of bed, people from 200 years ago who suffered from the vapors and couldn’t stand then and can’t stand up to pee now because they’re dead, very old people, and very young people who just got their first potty and have yet to have their existences soiled by disparity and the burden of societal expectation.
Sitting down to pee also helps keep the floor clean, which is good for janitors and the women who have been cleaning up for me all of my life and, with any luck, will continue to do so. Thank you, I’m sorry, and most of all: You’re welcome.