View Poll Results: Women - sit or squat? (see the OP)
Normally sit, and don't care about a seat cover of any sort. 134 81.71%
Normally sit, but with either a prefab seat cover or toilet paper on the seat. 12 7.32%
Normally sit, but only to defecate and not pee, normally *without* a seat cover or toilet paper. 2 1.22%
Normally sit, but only to defecate and not to pee, and normally *with* a seat cover or toilet paper. 2 1.22%
Normally hover for all cases. 4 2.44%
Other (post an explanation?) 10 6.10%
Voters: 164. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:16 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Official Straight Dope Poll: Women, do you Sit or Hover?

Cecil and I were chatting last night about research topics and we found an interesting question regarding the public toilet habits of women. Namely, there seems to be some surprising numbers on how many women will hover over a toilet seat on a regular basis versus how many will sit - with or without a seat cover.

So, ladies, we'd like to know what you normally do in public toilets. If you have some special technique or style, or some sort of horror story which changed you from a "Sitting Susan" to a "Hovering Helen, please elaborate.

Before answering please note that we know this is an unscientific poll, so please do not post telling me such.
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:37 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Women who hover in public toilets should be shot and pissed on. Well, if they can do it without leaving a mess, I don't care, but the ones who leave a wet seat behind, line 'em up out back.
  #3  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:40 PM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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Sit, no cover. Why bother doing it the hard way?
  #4  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:57 PM
followrivers followrivers is offline
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Normally I hover and I do not make a mess. I really don't even understand how people get pee all over the damn place anyway. I would never voluntarily sit on a public toilet, it's been ingrained in me since I was little to not do that. When I'm drunk, however, this all goes out the window.
  #5  
Old 12-14-2012, 12:21 AM
SweetiePotato SweetiePotato is offline
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I had an ex who staunchly insisted that I hover. FTR, I never did and never do.

I think he misunderstood how much of our private area comes in direct contact with the seat...
  #6  
Old 12-14-2012, 12:27 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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People who hover and kick the flusher instead of touching it are germaphobes. And germaphobes are weird, man.
  #7  
Old 12-14-2012, 12:49 AM
AngelSoft AngelSoft is offline
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Ugh, the ones that hover are the worst. As has been mentioned, clean up your damn tinkle sprinkles. Because if you don't, and I walk in immediately after you, I WILL say something. I just don't understand people who hover. The damn door handles have more germs on them than the toilets. Seriously, even if there were germs on the seat, what are they going to do? Magically work their way down from your ass cheeks to your nether regions and infest you with all sorts of nasty diseases? Doesn't work that way. Just sit on the damn seat.
  #8  
Old 12-14-2012, 12:50 AM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is offline
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I'm with the "line em up" sentiment when it comes to those sprinklin' bitches. If I can't find another dry seat, in that case I'll hover. When I was younger and went to trashier clubs and bars, I hovered because the seats were always wet. But it's not my preference. There's pretty much nothing to "catch" from a terlet and I'll sit, thanks.
  #9  
Old 12-14-2012, 01:02 AM
colander colander is offline
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I voted "Other," because for me it depends on whether I have to go #1 or #2. If it's #1, I hover. If #2, I stand on the toilet seat and let 'er drop. Of course, if it's both, I usually just go in the sink.

Last edited by colander; 12-14-2012 at 01:03 AM.
  #10  
Old 12-14-2012, 03:19 AM
Cinnamon Imp Cinnamon Imp is offline
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Sit, no cover. Grab a chunk of paper to wipe down the seat first if necessary (then flush the paper with the rest of the flushables, not leave it lying around, obviously). I don't think I could physically relax enough to pee if I was hovering!
  #11  
Old 12-14-2012, 03:46 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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I'll point out that I've been in public bathrooms where there is no lid, as the custom appears to be to hover. I just find another bathroom in the vicinity.

I sometimes do clean the seat with a toilet paper before sitting down. And I also clean if there are sprinkles (from me or from the flush).
  #12  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:46 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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I would never voluntarily sit on a public toilet, it's been ingrained in me since I was little to not do that.
In the complete reverse of this, my mother taught me that it was very impolite to hover.
  #13  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:07 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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I would never voluntarily sit on a public toilet, it's been ingrained in me since I was little to not do that.
I would not have imagined that people were taught to do this. I thought they just figured it out on their own
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Last edited by Fear Itself; 12-14-2012 at 05:09 AM.
  #14  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:09 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Sit on the damn seat, or else leave no evidence of your odd vice of hovering.

I sit unless the seat is visibility soiled, in which case I find a different toilet. WTF is it with people who wrap the damn seat in more layers than an Egyptian mummy? And if you must do that, flush the damn creation afterward. If YOU won't touch it, Princess, neither does anyone else want to. Seriously, how do these bitches wash themselves if they're that afraid of their own ass cooties they won't dispose of their own seat covers?
  #15  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:40 AM
Antigen Antigen is offline
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Unless it's a filthy seat, I sit. Actually, if it is a filthy seat, I go find another toilet. I hover only as a last resort because it's awkward and uncomfortable. I don't have open sores on my ass and I'm not going to be catching Toilet-AIDS if I park it to pee.
  #16  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:42 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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Sit, unless it's dire.

Uuugh but you know when the seat shifts when you sit down and your bum touches the cold, wet side of the toilet?

In my student halls, there were girls who hovered to poo. How do you even do that? I don't think my muscles work that way. Squat maybe, but not hover. And go on, ask me how I know....
  #17  
Old 12-14-2012, 06:31 AM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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ISTM that women would be better served with "hole in the floor" type squat toilets similar to those found in some parts of Asia and other parts of the world. At least just for urinals, anyway - they could still have conventional turdlets, as well.
  #18  
Old 12-14-2012, 06:40 AM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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^^^ And I don't mean "hole in the floor" literally, of course. There would still be a fixture, it would just be lower and smaller, and designed for squatting over without contact.

Just doesn't seem fair that men have dedicated, no-contact urine receptacles, and women don't.

Last edited by voltaire; 12-14-2012 at 06:44 AM.
  #19  
Old 12-14-2012, 06:41 AM
kayT kayT is offline
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ISTM that women would be better served with "hole in the floor" type squat toilets similar to those found in some parts of Asia and other parts of the world. At least just for urinals, anyway - they could still have conventional turdlets, as well.
If you had my arthritic knees you would not suggest this. The squat part is not all that bad but the get-back-up part is damn near impossible.
  #20  
Old 12-14-2012, 06:52 AM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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If you had my arthritic knees you would not suggest this. The squat part is not all that bad but the get-back-up part is damn near impossible.
Well, just like in men's restrooms, there would be the two types of toilets. You could still use a standard toilet for #1, if you want/need to.
  #21  
Old 12-14-2012, 07:53 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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ISTM that women would be better served with "hole in the floor" type squat toilets similar to those found in some parts of Asia and other parts of the world. At least just for urinals, anyway - they could still have conventional turdlets, as well.
Having been faced with holes in the floor toilets in various parts of the world, I can say without doubt that it's horrible, unless you're the sort of woman who only wears skirts and no tights. Otherwise, your trousers-round-your-ankles WILL dip into whatever puddle is inevitably on the floor.

What's more, I don't know about other women, but my aim isn't always that accurate. I'd like to sit, thank you.
  #22  
Old 12-14-2012, 07:54 AM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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Sit, no seat covers. I live on the edge. Plus hovering is weirder than owl shit.
  #23  
Old 12-14-2012, 07:57 AM
Cinnamon Imp Cinnamon Imp is offline
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Well, just like in men's restrooms, there would be the two types of toilets. You could still use a standard toilet for #1, if you want/need to.
*deep breath*

I'm possibly about to embarrass myself here, but do other women feel the difference between needing #1 and needing #1&#2?

Don't get me wrong, I'm completely continent, and know when I need to go to the loo, but it never occurs to me to distinguish between going to the loo just for a wee, or for both.

And I have wondered how men cope, having to pay that much attention to which sphincter is feeling the pressure, in order to choose which facility to commit to entering :P
  #24  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:10 AM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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We manage...

The hostility in this thread is quite fascinating, btw. Never knew this was such a hot-button issue!
  #25  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:14 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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I sit, and i never use one of those papers. if it's really messy I try to go to another stall, but if it's the only bathroom around for miles (and I have been in this situation) I absolutely hover, if everyone else has obviously been hovering before me.

As to the squat toilets, I am here to protest! You most certainly don't get your pants wet. I've done it a thousand times and never gotten my clothes wet, not even with salwar-kameez or heavy saris or lenghas. You just get the practice in.
  #26  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:20 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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We manage...

The hostility in this thread is quite fascinating, btw. Never knew this was such a hot-button issue!
Yeah. I think it's because the fear of sitting on the toilet seat is based on ignorance (getting cooties, basically, as you can't catch anything from the seat touching your bum). Ignorance is annoying. That, and the ignoramuses who insist on hovering then piss all over the seat that you want to sit on. And then they don't wipe away their own piss because they're too icked out by that. So yes:
  #27  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:31 AM
FlyByNight512 FlyByNight512 is offline
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I'm possibly about to embarrass myself here, but do other women feel the difference between needing #1 and needing #1&#2?
Yup, it's pretty obvious actually. It had never occurred to me that some people don't.

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As to the squat toilets, I am here to protest! You most certainly don't get your pants wet. I've done it a thousand times and never gotten my clothes wet, not even with salwar-kameez or heavy saris or lenghas. You just get the practice in.
As someone who's never used a squat toilet, I'm having trouble visualizing that. Do your pants go forward or back to stay out of the way? Or do you pull one leg out entirely?

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The hostility in this thread is quite fascinating, btw. Never knew this was such a hot-button issue!
Likewise. There must not be many hover-ers around here, I've rarely seen messy seats.
  #28  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:35 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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No, you don't pull one leg out entirely. That would be really weird.

You pull your pants down and you kind of tuck them behind your knees. So basically your butt and thighs are hanging out. You might even have to wrap your shirt around your waist; the kameez part of the salwar kameez is long, so I often ended up tucking it under my arm.

It sounds complicated but after you've done it a couple-three times you do it like second nature.

You wash your butt right there, too; there's usually a pail of water. The only thing I didn't like was they didn't have a way to dry your butt afterwards! So you kind of had to do this little shimmy. Then you pull your pants up, step out, and wash your hands at the sink which is usually less than three feet away - not in the toilet. As a matter of fact, the toilet and "bath" room are usually separated. No one wants to take a bath the same place you go poo.
  #29  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:03 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Normally I hover and I do not make a mess. I really don't even understand how people get pee all over the damn place anyway. I would never voluntarily sit on a public toilet, it's been ingrained in me since I was little to not do that. When I'm drunk, however, this all goes out the window.
Ewwww!
  #30  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:41 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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When I'm drunk, however, this all goes out the window.
But do you sit or hover on the windowsill?
  #31  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:48 AM
Anne Neville Anne Neville is offline
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Yeah. I think it's because the fear of sitting on the toilet seat is based on ignorance (getting cooties, basically, as you can't catch anything from the seat touching your bum). Ignorance is annoying.
Ignorance, and germophobia. Both of which are annoying. So people who hover are doubly annoying, and that's without even taking into account if they leave pee everywhere. "Annoying" seems too mild a word for that.
  #32  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:51 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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And I have wondered how men cope, having to pay that much attention to which sphincter is feeling the pressure, in order to choose which facility to commit to entering :P
Trust me, the one feels nothing like the other for us guys; no paying of attention is necessary.

Is there much confusion on that score for women? My wife generally is quite clear on whether or not I should expect her to be back from the restroom right away, or whether it might be a somewhat extended visit, but I have no idea how representative she is.
  #33  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:52 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Yeah, I think you need another option -- swipe the seat with some TP to make sure it's dry, then sit. That's what I do, and it looks like I'm not the only one. (Voted "sit, period" although that's not precisely correct.)
  #34  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:55 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Trust me, the one feels nothing like the other for us guys; no paying of attention is necessary.

Is there much confusion on that score for women? My wife generally is quite clear on whether or not I should expect her to be back from the restroom right away, or whether it might be a somewhat extended visit, but I have no idea how representative she is.
Um, no. I never have any doubt which call of nature is doing the calling.
  #35  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:01 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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Um, no. I never have any doubt which call of nature is doing the calling.
Me neither. They're very different sensations to me. Of course, you might change your mind once you sit down....
  #36  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:11 AM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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I'm a reformed hoverer. Hey - mom taught me from when I was a wee lass that my delicate ass flesh could never touch a public toilet seat lest I get every manner of funky ass rash. It is important to note, she also taught me to clean up after myself, because for f's sake, your mom doesn't work here - so there was no sprinkle issue.

I had crazy well developed thigh muscles from hovering like that all the time. Then I started reading here, Broomstick called me a fucking bitch, and ever since I've sat down. I only sat in someone else's pee once, 'cus that's a lesson that doesn't need repeating, so there you go.

I can report to this day that my mother carefully wipes down the seat with toilet paper and sanitizer she carries in her purse, lines the whole seat with either TP or a cover if it's available, and then hovers over the whole set up. It takes her FOREVER in the damn bathroom, but I guess her ass flesh is safe.
  #37  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 AM
This_Just_In... This_Just_In... is offline
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Seems like the perfect solution so we can all live in a happy world is for people who hover to simply lift up the seat. Thereby the chance of them peeing on it is nil.
  #38  
Old 12-14-2012, 10:19 AM
Diamonds02 Diamonds02 is offline
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Piss-hover.
Poo-TP the seat and sit. Ever tried to poop and hover. It's like a plane free falling into the ocean.
Out in wilderness-Stand and piss like a guy. A very useful odd talent.
  #39  
Old 12-14-2012, 12:20 PM
TheBori TheBori is offline
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Out in wilderness-Stand and piss like a guy. A very useful odd talent.
I've often wondered why more women don't select this option...that is, the stand and shoot. I realize there is a potential lack of directional control (It would be quite a task to write you name in the snow, for example), but it would solve a lot of hover issues. Could you use a urinal?
  #40  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:50 PM
voltaire voltaire is offline
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Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
Having been faced with holes in the floor toilets in various parts of the world, I can say without doubt that it's horrible, unless you're the sort of woman who only wears skirts and no tights. Otherwise, your trousers-round-your-ankles WILL dip into whatever puddle is inevitably on the floor.
How is what happens to your trousers any different than what would happen to them if you either sit or hover over a regular toilet? Remember, I'm talking flushable fixtures that are slightly raised off the ground and well-designed, so don't picture the worst literal "hole in the ground" uncleaned and unmaintained toilets from hell that you've been forced to use out in the middle of nowhere.

It just seems that a substantial percentage of women always hover, and other women are forced to hover over the filth that results, so you might as well design some toilets to make it easier to do.

Quote:
What's more, I don't know about other women, but my aim isn't always that accurate. I'd like to sit, thank you.
The design could absolutely take bad aim into account. Instead of something that looks like a bowl or a hole, picture something more like "slot" that you straddle, making it so you basically can't miss. Certainly less likely to miss than hovering over a standard toilet, anyway.

And I think everybody would agree that the general population has a much higher percentage of hoverers than the the results of this poll suggests. Even if some people might resent "giving in" to their ignorance, it seems ludicrous to not design toilets around how a substantial proportion of the population always/sometimes uses them.

Last edited by voltaire; 12-14-2012 at 04:54 PM.
  #41  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:55 PM
Antigen Antigen is offline
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I've often wondered why more women don't select this option...that is, the stand and shoot. I realize there is a potential lack of directional control (It would be quite a task to write you name in the snow, for example), but it would solve a lot of hover issues. Could you use a urinal?
How do you want us to "shoot"? Do you know what the anatomy is like down there? We don't have a hose to aim, and it's likely to end up running down a leg.
  #42  
Old 12-14-2012, 04:58 PM
EmilyG EmilyG is offline
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I sit. I'm freaking tired of the women at my school who "hover" and piss all over the seat.
And yes, I understand that when the toilets flush, water from the toilet sometimes spews in drops onto the seat, but I know the difference between toilet water and piss.

Ugh.
  #43  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:01 PM
jabiru jabiru is offline
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Sit. Isn't that why they call it a rest room?

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Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Yeah, I think you need another option -- swipe the seat with some TP to make sure it's dry, then sit. That's what I do, and it looks like I'm not the only one....
Some of the public loos at the mall where I shop have little spray thingies on the wall which contain anti-bacterial stuff. If I remember I spray some of this on the paper and give the seat a wipe.
  #44  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:09 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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Sit, no ass-gasket. If the toilet is disgusting I find another one or hold it. If it's got a drop or two on it from the previous occupant, I used TP to swipe it dry.

As the spouse is fond of saying, "I have an immune system and I'm not afraid to use it."
  #45  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:15 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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The hostility in this thread is quite fascinating, btw. Never knew this was such a hot-button issue!
It is, imagine being the one who sits in a room full of hoverers, like those from the place where the toilets have no lids that I mentioned above.
  #46  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:24 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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Originally Posted by alice_in_wonderland View Post
I can report to this day that my mother carefully wipes down the seat with toilet paper and sanitizer she carries in her purse, lines the whole seat with either TP or a cover if it's available, and then hovers over the whole set up. It takes her FOREVER in the damn bathroom, but I guess her ass flesh is safe.
I don't understand this - if she's going to hover anyway, why wipe down the seat and line it with toilet paper.? In fact, why not just lift the seat altogether and eliminate any possibility of leaving a mess?
  #47  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:30 PM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Yeah, I think you need another option -- swipe the seat with some TP to make sure it's dry, then sit. That's what I do, and it looks like I'm not the only one. (Voted "sit, period" although that's not precisely correct.)
I probably assumed incorrectly that absolutely no one would sit without wiping. It's been a long time since I've seen a seat completely free of water, urine, blood, or worse out in public.

If anyone sits WITHOUT ever wiping, please reply (if for no other reason, to brag about your barbarian prowess!)
  #48  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:40 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Originally Posted by Una Persson View Post
Cecil and I were chatting last night about research topics and we found an interesting question regarding the public toilet habits of women. Namely, there seems to be some surprising numbers on how many women will hover over a toilet seat on a regular basis versus how many will sit - with or without a seat cover.

So, ladies, we'd like to know what you normally do in public toilets. If you have some special technique or style, or some sort of horror story which changed you from a "Sitting Susan" to a "Hovering Helen, please elaborate.

Before answering please note that we know this is an unscientific poll, so please do not post telling me such.
I sit, and don't bother with porous covers (I have never understood how porous paper is supposed to block micro-organisms smaller than said pores). I HATE discovering that the previous user of the toilet in question hovered, since those special princesses with such delicate backsides can't be bothered to clean up after themselves. Apparently, I should be absolutely thrilled to have to wipe up some stranger's urine before I can unload my own.

Of course, I do have a functioning immune system and some awareness of just what parts of a restroom are germiest (and it's not the toilets).
  #49  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:42 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Originally Posted by Cinnamon Imp View Post
*deep breath*

I'm possibly about to embarrass myself here, but do other women feel the difference between needing #1 and needing #1?

Don't get me wrong, I'm completely continent, and know when I need to go to the loo, but it never occurs to me to distinguish between going to the loo just for a wee, or for both.

And I have wondered how men cope, having to pay that much attention to which sphincter is feeling the pressure, in order to choose which facility to commit to entering :P
I can usually tell "which sphincter is feeling the pressure", but since I sit for both, no real difference in what I do about it.
  #50  
Old 12-14-2012, 06:14 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Saint Paul
Posts: 26,155
Quote:
Originally Posted by followrivers View Post
Normally I hover and I do not make a mess. I really don't even understand how people get pee all over the damn place anyway. I would never voluntarily sit on a public toilet, it's been ingrained in me since I was little to not do that. When I'm drunk, however, this all goes out the window.
(a) Great username-thread response combo.
(b) I guess that makes up for all the guys who pee on the wall when they're drunk.
(c) Hi, Opal!
(d) I chose "Other" even though I'm a pointer because I wanted to see the numbers.
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