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  • Sam Meyer

Urinal Etiquette

Picture the scene: you are going to the bathroom, and choose a central urinal to go in. You hear the door open and footsteps following. You know that they aren’t going into a stall, but are hoping that out of every single open urinal, they don’t choose the one right next to you.

Out of the corner of your eyes, you see the little seventh grader, carrying his chromebook in its case around his shoulder, and backpack on, walking up to the urinals, and you guessed it, he goes to the urinal right next to you.

At this point, all you can do is look up and hope that they aren’t looking at you. This is everyone’s worst nightmare, and that’s why there is one of the most intricate systems of unspoken rules that everyone must follow while using a urinal, to minimize embarrassment. Knowing these rules will make you more friends than enemies, and the following will be a brief and forever unfinished journal of the rules.

The basis of the regulations relies on the core principle that only in absolute emergency cases may you even think about using a urinal next to someone. Using a urinal next to someone is a big no-no, and that’s why when in an empty bathroom, you always go to a corner urinal. In the case that each of the corners are taken, you want to go somewhere with the farthest radius on each side from the corners, say the middle.

You absolutely cannot take the urinal next to someone. You must find a space with at least a one urinal radius away from the nearest person. Also, if there are only three urinals and just the middle one is left open, you have to wait your turn because never in your right mind can you go in between two people. The only event that it’s okay to go next to other people is when there are dividers between the urinals, like at airports or stadiums.

The second, but just as important rule with urinal etiquette, is where you look. Most people look up above the urinal to ensure that they are not looking at anyone else while peeing, because someone else looking at you while you are in a urinal is every guy’s biggest fear. Along with looking up, looking down is also fine, as long as you make it clear that your eyes will not be wandering off during the duration of your urination. In the event you want to do a switch from up to down or vice versa, you have to do it discreetly or people will notice and get bad ideas about the type of person you are.

Another touchy subject is talking when you and your friends are in the bathroom at the same time, or maybe even peeing at the same time (you and your friends are all at least one urinal apart in this scenario, obviously). This is definitely knowing your audience situation. If you and your friends are super comfortable with each other, you can maybe crack a couple jokes, and you’ll know when you can do this, but otherwise, keep your mouth shut because you could be making it more difficult for your friends’ trips to the bathroom, or you could be making them super uncomfortable.

I hope that this guide has made it easy for everyone to understand how urinal etiquette works, so that he can avoid sticky situations. Next time that you’re in the boys bathroom, please think of this article and apply the concepts.


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