Maybe you don’t pee in the shower. But you almost certainly know someone who does: A recent study found that a minority of 48 percent of Americans claim to never do this, while 52 percent of us readily admit to it. And for good reason—peeing in the shower really isn’t as gross as it’s made out to be.
For starters, it’s more hygienic than peeing in a toilet, which results in a significant amount of splashback—on your jeans, on your hands and even on your face. Conversely, when peeing in the shower, the running water reduces splashback, dilutes your urine and sends it straight down the drain before it dries up on the floor. Plus, there’s a near 100 percent chance you’re washing your hands afterward since soaping up is pretty much the reason you’re showering in the first place.
It’s also better for the environment. Or at least so claim the leaders of “Go with the Flow,” a campaign that encourages students at the University of East Anglia to go no. 1 while they’re taking a shower instead of using the toilet beforehand. They believe that doing so saves a ton of water. As they told Slate, “We’ve done the math, and this project stands to have a phenomenal impact. With 15,000 students at UEA, over a year we would save enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool 26 times over.”
Finally, for those of you who are concerned about how clean your urine actually is, we have some good news. Pee contains a very low amount of bacteria—less, in fact, than what’s normally lingering on your skin—and it’s healthy bacteria. So go ahead, whip it out in the shower. Your jeans will be cleaner and your lawn will be greener.
We’ve all been there before: you’re in the shower, minding your own business, when all of a sudden you have the urge to pee. For a brief moment, you might think, “No, I can’t! It’s too gross! My feet are touching my pee!” But the thought quickly leaves your mind, and you end up peeing in the shower.
Then the next day, you do it again. And again. And again.
You might think you’re gross for peeing in the shower, but you’re far from alone: according to an (admittedly not that scientific) survey from Angie’s List, nearly 80% of people have admitted to doing so at one point or another.
But is peeing in the shower hygienic — or, for that matter, is it actually OK for you? We asked the experts to weigh in.
- It’s (fairly) hygienic.
- It’s environmentally friendly.
- It can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
- Some people think it could be good for athlete’s foot.
- 80 Percent of People Pee In the Shower
- Scientific reasons why people enjoy ‘golden showers’ – and they’re not necessarily ‘perverted’
- This Is Why You Should Actually Be Peeing In The Shower — And NOT Your Toilet
- What’s even in pee, anyway?
- Fun fact: Pee isn’t actually sterile.
- Peeing in the shower could actually improve your sex life, among other things
- The case for peeing
- Why You Should Pee in the Shower
- Why You Shouldn’t Pee in the Shower
- The Final Verdict
It’s (fairly) hygienic.
Let’s start out by talking about what’s actually in your urine. “Urine is basically filtered waste from your bloodstream. It is composed of water, electrolytes, and urea,” says Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, a urologist at Orlando Health.
Contrary to popular belief, urine is not actually sterile: even if you’re healthy, your urine likely contains low levels of bacteria. But because there’s a constant stream of running water to wash your urine down the drain, “urinating in the shower would not present any significant hygiene risks,” explains Robert Glatter, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwell Health and attending emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital.
It’s environmentally friendly.
You know that old saying, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow”? Well, it’s true: older toilets can use between 5 and 7 gallons of water per flush, according to the environmental nonprofit GRACE Communications Foundation’s Water Footprint Calculator. So peeing in the shower saves you a flush, which is actually a decent way to cut down on your household’s water use.
It can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Doing regular Kegel exercises, or contracting and releasing your pelvic floor muscles, has been proven to “strengthen muscles and improve blood flow to the area, which is thought to help sexual function,” thus improving the quality of your orgasms and helping you last longer in bed, says Brahmbhatt.
Additionally, he says, doing Kegels in the shower “can help men improve urinary control, especially if they have had prostate surgery or nerve damage that has led to a disconnection between the bladder, prostate, and surrounding muscles.”
Granted, you don’t have to be in the shower to do Kegels. But if you want to get started, try stopping and starting your stream for five minutes, two to three times a day. Then “repeat contracting those muscles 10 times. Slowly contract and release,” Brahmbhatt says.
Some people think it could be good for athlete’s foot.
There’s an old wives’ tale that peeing in the shower is a good way to prevent or treat athlete’s foot, a.k.a. foot fungus. It’s important to note that “there is no published evidence that urinating in the shower may help to prevent foot fungus or is a prescribed therapy to treat foot fungus,” Glatter says.
That said, urea, the nitrogenous compound found in your urine, is also present in some anti-fungal creams. It’s used to soften the skin to allow the active anti-fungal agent to better penetrate the affected area, explains Glatter. “In theory, could help treat or prevent a fungal infection,” he says. But because urea is typically only present in urine in small amounts, you’d have to pee a lot for this to have any effect.
To sum up: if you’re squeamish about bodily functions, then by all means, you should continue to micturate in the toilet like a good boy. But if you’re in the shower and you really have to pee, then it likely won’t do you any harm; in fact, it may even have some small benefits. So pee freely, friend.
Isadora Baum Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy.
80 Percent of People Pee In the Shower
Peeing in the shower just may be America’s best kept secret-nobody talks about it, but apparently almost all of us are doing it, according to a recent survey by Angie’s List on shower habits. Is it the irresistible pull of the rushing water? Is it the refreshing feeling? Is it just efficient multi-tasking? All of the above? Who knows! But nearly 80 percent of adults (i.e. people well past the potty training stage) copped to taking a tinkle under the shower sprinkle.
It’s not as gross as it sounds. It’s true that our pee is filled with bacteria, but no more so than our other bodily fluids, like sweat and snot, that get washed down the drain every day, Philip Werthman, M.D., urologist and director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine in Los Angeles, CA, told us. And you’re rinsing it off so it’s not as if you’re stewing in it, like, say, if you peed in a hot tub-which no self-respecting person would ever do, right? Besides, even Gwyneth Paltrow has extolled The Surprising Pelvic Perks of Peeing In the Shower.
But if peeing down your own leg isn’t your thing, no worries. The survey found we do plenty of other entertaining things in the shower. For example, nearly half of us sing in the shower, but one in five goes for the full karaoke effect by bringing a drink in too. And a quarter of us like to multi-task by brushing our teeth or taking care of other cosmetic fixes while we’re all steamed up. (Psst… We’re making a Case for Cold Showers.)
When it comes to how we wash ourselves, men and women are pretty evenly split, with dudes favoring plain washcloths while women stick to loofas or natural sponges. Ten percent of us just use our hands, the way nature intended. But one percent of respondents said they will only scrub down while wearing latex or rubber gloves. Who…are these people? Are they bleaching their tile grout while their conditioner soaks in? (On second thought, that’s not a bad idea.)
The one thing none of us are doing, however, is bathing. The researchers found that over 90 percent of Americans say they hate lying down to clean up. They added that this is probably why new hotels aren’t putting tubs in your room anymore and why house remodels are opting for bigger, fancier showers instead of more traditional washrooms. (You’re missing out-try these 10 Steps to Your Most Heavenly Bubble Bath.)
No matter how you do it, though, the most important thing is that we’re all getting good and clean. If you’re having a little fun in the meantime (or emptying your bladder), even better!
- By Charlotte Hilton Andersen @CharlotteGFE
Cosmopolitan.com spoke with one anonymous woman and two anonymous men who are turned on by peeing and being peed upon.
How old were you when you engaged in urine play for the first time?
Woman A: Twenty-two or twenty-three.
Man A: Twenty-nine.
Man B: Twenty.
Man C: I first started holding my pee when I was about 10, holding until I was bursting. I first peed on myself at around the age of 14.
What kind of urine play do you engage in?
Woman A: I worked in a dungeon as a dominatrix, where urine play was very common. I urinated on my clients – they never did that to me.
Man A: During a shower together, my partner mentioned that she was in dire need to urinate. I told her to just go in the shower. She was reluctant and I convinced her to urinate on me. She then urinated on my chest and I maneuvered myself so that she sprayed on my face.
Man B: I enjoy giving and receiving, but playing with females only, either in the bathtub or outdoors in seclusion. We both drink lots of water so that our bladders are full. Whether it happens before, during, or after sex depends on how full our bladders are. I also enjoy it when my partner urinates herself as I love seeing her clothing or panties get wet.
Man C: Golden showers with myself, desperation play, wetting myself, and various challenges like seeing how far I can pee. Desperation is where you have to pee, but you hold it until either you wet yourself, or give up and go to the bathroom. One common way to get desperate is called Rapid Desperation. You drink, maybe 250 ml, of water every 10-15 minutes. Within an hour, most people will end up wetting themselves. I usually do golden showers in the bath, for easy cleanup. I just put my feet over my head, angling my penis over my mouth or body, and pee away. Masturbation is also incorporated with my pee play. I find that having a full bladder intensifies my orgasm.
Do you do it only with serious partners, or in casual relationships too?
Woman A: It was for work mostly, although I tried it a couple of times with my partner. We were serious.
Man A: Only the once with a very serious partner.
Man B: Only casual relationships. I’ve never had a serious partner who enjoyed it.
Man C: I have only ever done it with myself, but I would be willing to try it with serious partners or in casual relationships.
Whose idea was it to try it for the first time — yours or your partner’s? What made you or them want to try it?
Woman A: It was my idea. I saw how much my clients loved it so I wanted to know if my partner would too. He didn’t let me urinate on him, but he wanted to do it to me. So I let him.
Man A: It was mine. Spontaneity made me want to try and because she needed to urinate.
Man B: Mine. The urination came from her needing to go and I jokingly said I wanted to watch. She eagerly agreed and I played with her while she went. It progressed from there.
Man C: I haven’t had a partner yet.
Did you enjoy it?
Woman A: It was kind of a control thing if you ask me. I enjoyed it with my partner because he liked doing it. I am a bit of a people pleaser.
Man A: I did enjoy it. It was something taboo and different and therefore a bit exciting.
Man B: Of course. It was a long-time fantasy that became a reality.
Man C: I wanted to try it because I thought the warmth would feel very good. i definitely enjoyed it.
What is the psychological turn-on of urine play for you?
Woman A: Urinating on my clients made me feel I was in control. Like I was better than them. It was a big ego booster.
Man A: The taboo and newness of it all was quite exciting. I also enjoyed the submission to my partner in a way, which was also brand new to me.
Man B: I am dominant sexually and commanding someone to participate excites me. Breaking a “taboo” is also exciting but taboos are in the eye of the beholder. There are people who still believe that oral sex is taboo! I also enjoy being urinated on but it’s not about being dominated. I enjoy the visual aspect of woman standing or crouching over me, her legs spread and holding her labia open as a golden stream flows.
Man C: Part of it is the taboo aspect, not many people engage in it.
And what is the physical turn-on?
Woman A: The change of temperature in urine is a big physical turn-on. Also, it doesn’t smell like urine. To be able to engage in urine play you have to drink a lot of water. I used to drink about a gallon of water before going in with a client.
Man A: I don’t think there was any physical turn-on. The turn on was purely psychological — I couldn’t feel much difference between the urine and the shower on my skin.
Man B: I don’t really get excited by the sensation of urine. It’s more the visual aspect of the act. I also get excited seeing a picture or video of a woman urinating.
Man C: A big part of the pleasure is the holding/desperation for me. The feeling of finally letting it go after holding for a long time is orgasmic. When I’m desperate, my whole body tenses up. When I finally release, I feel relaxed, kind of like right after an orgasm or finish a workout. Another aspect for me is the warmth of the pee is very soothing, especially on a cold day.
Are golden showers a regular part of your sex life now?
Woman A: Not anymore. I left that job, and I have a different partner now.
Man A: No. It’s not something that I would enjoy on a regular basis, or even outside of the shower.
Man B: No. It’s always difficult to find a partner that shares my desires and fantasies.
Man C: Yes. I engage in self golden showers at least a few times per month. I engage in desperation at least 3-5 times per week.
Do you have any advice for Cosmo readers curious about trying a golden shower?
Woman A: It isn’t as gross as it seems. Try it in the shower. It can really bring you closer together in a relationship. I mean …. would you let just anyone urinate on you?
Man A: Use a shower — there’s no mess to clean up. Drink lots of water because it makes for a stronger, better-smelling stream.
Man B: One person’s taboo is another person’s penchant. If it feels “ick” then it’s probably not for you.
Man C: Drink a lot of water beforehand. This dilutes the urine to mostly water, making it taste a lot better.
Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.
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This post was originally published in 2014.
Carina Hsieh Sex & Relationships Editor Carina Hsieh lives in NYC with her French Bulldog Bao Bao — follow her on Instagram and Twitter • Candace Bushnell once called her the Samantha Jones of Tinder • She enjoys hanging out in the candle aisle of TJ Maxx and getting lost in Amazon spirals.
Scientific reasons why people enjoy ‘golden showers’ – and they’re not necessarily ‘perverted’
Donald Trump has decried it a ‘POLITICAL WITCH HUNT’, but sensational reports about his alleged ‘perverted sexual acts’ in a Moscow hotel have rocked his ascendancy to the White House.
Of the unsubstantiated claims, it’s perhaps those relating to the President-elect’s supposed penchants which have captured the public imagination.
‘Watersportgate’, ‘PEETUS’ and ‘Yes wee can’ are just some of the phrases and monikers which have emerged since the unverified dossier was, ahem, leaked.
Whatever the truth behind the documents, ‘urophilia’ (also known as undinism, golden shower and watersports) is under the spotlight.
Golden showers: Perverted conduct?
Urophilia, when a person is sexually aroused with the sight or thought of urine, is a type of paraphilia which is – bear with us – an unusual sexual interest.
Donald Trump has described the leaked dossier as a “witch hunt” (Image: AFP)
Regardless of Trump’s alleged motivations behind his alleged decision to have prostitutes allegedly urinate over the joint, from a psychological stance, urophilia is not a “perversion”.
“There is nothing in psychological literature which suggests people who are into golden showers have any deficiencies,” Dr Mark Griffiths tells MirrorOnline.
Dr Griffiths , a chartered psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University, is an expert in areas of abnormal, social and health psychology with particular emphasis on behavioural addictions, including paraphilias.
In a blog post titled, ” Urine demand: A beginner’s guide to urophilia ” Dr Griffiths examines this fetish in full.
Dr Mark Griffiths
Your first question regarding urophilia might very well be, “why though?”
Wee is waste and any erotic attachment to bathroom habits seemingly goes against everything how we;re taught to view and treat many of our bodily functions.
So what does a urophiliac get out of it?
It turns out, there is still a lot to learn about a urophiliac’s motivation.
What Dr Griffith’s research does state is, “it appears urophilia is mostly likely associated with sadomasocism.”
Dr Griffiths also points out how, in a 1982 medical journal, it was found “urine fulfilled many different functions for urophiles.
Full bladders are also a turn on (Image: Getty)
These included, ” it serving as a fetishistic object, being used to humiliate or be humiliated (i.e., through urinating on another person or being urinated upon), and/or capturing the spirit of a sexual partner.”
It’s not just about being urinated on, either.
“Urophiliacs typically derive sexual pleasure from urinating on (and / or being urinated upon by) another person,” writes Dr Griffiths.
It is typically men who are urophiliacs. In fact, paraphilias tend to be more prevalent in men, Dr Griffiths explains.
Urophilia also includes enjoying drinking urine (Image: Getty)
It’s not just the act itself which may be sexually stimulating for urophilicas.
“Some urophiliacs may also experience sexual arousal from having a full bladder and/or feel sexually attracted to someone else who has a full bladder (‘bladder desperation) or wets themselves (i.e. ‘panty wetting’ or wetting the bed).”
The research continues.
But one point Dr Griffiths was keen to stress was how, when it comes to paraphiliacs, with some notable examples (necrophilia, paedophilia amongst others), “there is nothing untoward about that person.
“If it’s consensual and it doesn’t cross certain boundaries then, morally, I have no problem with that at all.”
Last night news trickled in of an unconfirmed report accusing president-elect Donald Trump of indulging in what the security services call a ‘perversion’ – paying women to urinate on a hotel bed Obama had slept in while in Russia.
Although Trump denied it, the story has got people talking (and joking) about watersports, and as a dabbler I felt compelled to offer an insight into this kink – why do people like it? What exactly is the appeal of either giving or getting a ‘golden shower’?
A penchant for watersports – or more technically ‘urolagnia’ – is not exactly uncommon. Last year during a nationwide study for Channel 4’s ‘Great British Sex Survey’, it came in at number 9 in the UK’s top sexual fetishes. Stats on kinks – especially taboo kinks – are notoriously hard to gather, because there are many things lots of us enjoy that we’re unwilling to admit. Even still, the survey estimated that at least one million British people are into watersports – a figure that is still pretty high, and born out by other data. In 2014, researchers at the University of Montreal set out to discover just how common certain sexual fantasies were in men and women. Around 3.5% of women reported fantasies about urinating on (or being urinated on) by a partner, and the figures for men were even higher: 8.9% wanted to wee on someone, 10% wanted to be weed on.
‘Urolagnia’ was voted Britain’s 9th biggest sexual fetish
That’s an awful lot of people, especially given that from a very early age we’re taught that our toilet business should be private, even shameful. So what is it that inspires grown adults to shower each other with the golden stuff? Well, the answer’s partly there in the question: for many, it’s the sheer taboo of it that gets us off. Piss play is sexy for the same reason that BDSM is sexy: it’s considered naughty, dirty, even morally wrong, so we use our sexual playtime to explore the taboo in a safe, consensual way.
That’s not primarily why I like it, though. I’m a much simpler creature than that, and for me the appeal is similar to that of watching a guy masturbate. On a very basic level I like watching men hold their dicks in their hands. I also like the sheer quantity that you can get with urine – a physical impossibility with semen, unless you have some as-yet-undiscovered diet that means you can ejaculate with the volume of a post-pub-crawl toilet stop. And finally, it’s the expression on a guy’s face when he – the clue is in the name – ‘relieves himself.’ There are echoes of the satisfaction of a really good orgasm.
There are more reasons – very rarely can you look at an individual kink and say ‘this is exactly why people like it’ – different people will pick up on different details that turn them on. But it would be remiss of me not to mention the humiliation thing.
The specific scenario in the (unproven) allegations – that Trump hired sex workers to ‘defile’ a bed that had previously been slept in by the Obamas – sounds like it has less to do with a genuine urine-related turn-on or humiliation kink and more to do with hatred and petty vengeance. But when talking about watersports, lots of people mention enjoying the humiliation aspect. Others enjoy the smell or the taste, or the warm wetness.
It’s not particularly dangerous, or unhygienic
While I appreciate all this might baffle those of you who’ve never been tempted, golden showers are something I’d consider to be fairly tame in the grand scheme of sexual quirks. After all: we all pee. Quite a few times each day. When compared to some of the other things I enjoy like, say, lying face-down on a bed and getting spanked while I beg for mercy, peeing is positively mundane.
It’s also not – contrary to knee-jerk myths – a particularly dangerous or unhygienic thing. If someone wanted to use urine to ‘defile’ a bed, the best they’d actually do is get the whole thing a bit damp and smelly. Urine is mostly sterile, and the greatest risk run by a watersports fetishist is that if they drink urine from the beginning of someone’s stream, they might ingest bacteria that had been hanging around at the entrance to the urethral tract. But this isn’t a risk if you’re only in to being peed on rather than in, and it can be avoided by never drinking from the start of someone’s stream. It’s handy knowledge not only in case you hook up with a fetishist, but also if you happen to get stranded in the desert: drinking urine is good enough for Bear Grylls, and as long as they follow the general safety advice, it’s good enough for kinky people too.
Yet despite it’s safety and relative popularity, urolagnia is still considered ‘obscene’ in the strictest technical sense. The UK’s Obscene Publications Act lists ‘activities involving perversion or degradation (such as drinking urine, urination or vomiting on to the body, or excretion or use of excreta)’ as one of its most commonly prosecuted topics – meaning that porn which includes urination is likely to get hammered by the censors.
There’s still plenty of watersports porn out there – a PornHub search for ‘piss’ turns up over 10,000 videos – but in general censors frown on anything that involves urine. In fact, the British Board of Film Classification in the UK won’t even allow female ejaculation in porn, because it is convinced that female ejaculate and ‘urine’ are one and the same thing. The proposed Digital Economy Bill, which is currently on-track to become UK law, would block websites which include acts like urination and female ejaculation. Which does raise the rather interesting question: if video did emerge of a public figure indulging in watersports with some sex workers, would anyone actually be allowed to publish it?
Girl on the Net.
This Is Why You Should Actually Be Peeing In The Shower — And NOT Your Toilet
Peeing in the shower is one of those things we’re taught to avoid, but did you know you’re actually missing out on some serious benefits — especially if you’re a woman?
It may sound crazy, but peeing in the shower really can be good for you. Just be sure to clean up afterward!
1. It’ll reduce your water bill.
Military Money Might
On average, each flush of a toilet takes between one-and-a-half and three gallons of water, while older toilets use as much as five to seven. When you pee in the shower, though, it just goes down with the rest of the water and soap, saving you money. Showers already use plenty of water anyway.
2. You’ll keep cleaner.
Wikimedia Commons / Open Stax College
Sometimes toilet paper… sticks. This isn’t much of a problem for men, but peeing in the shower helps women avoid toilet paper altogether.
3. It’ll keep your bathroom neater.
Wikimedia Commons / Emergency Brake
The more you use the toilet, the dirtier it gets — but when you pee in the shower, it all comes out in the drain!
4. It’ll reduce foot fungus.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but urine can be used for treating certain infections. Uric acid and ammonia contain anti-fungal properties, so you can kiss that athlete’s foot goodbye.
5. It’s good for your kegels.
Wikimedia Commons / Gend27
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know all about Kegel exercises. Since they tighten the pelvic floor, they’re also great for treating incontinence issues. If mindfully contracting your muscles feels difficult, though, try peeing in the shower (do a semi-squat). Practice “turning off” your flow for a few seconds at a time to get the full effect.
6. Toilets aren’t good for the environment.
You may have heard the phrase “if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” That’s a pretty good mantra, because the frequency by which people flush toilets has been a big problem for the environment. Peeing in the shower is just one way to help save water and energy!
7. Almost everybody else does it, so why shouldn’t you?
Wikimedia Commons / NASA
A poll of 1,000 women for Glamour magazine showed that 75-80 percent of women pee in the shower. Even Kelly Clarkson does it! So if you’re afraid that it’s weird, don’t worry — you’re in good company.
8. You’ll feel rebellious!
Wikimedia Commons / Bede735
Let’s face it: doing something that you’ve been told not to do can make you feel really cool sometimes. So let out your inner rebel and pee in that shower!
Saving the environment, getting exercise, curing athlete’s foot — what’s not to lose? While peeing in the shower has many benefits, remember the golden rule: only do it if you can keep it clean for the person after you.
Share these great tips with your friends below!
New television advertisements in Brazil are encouraging people to pee in the shower as a way of conserving water. Our own nation, you may remember, stood divided on the issue a few years ago during Big Brother 3 when Alex was appalled by Jonny’s unwillingness to make a distinction between loo and shower basin. The new campaign, however, undoubtedly marks a new stage – or high water mark, if you will – in the world’s development, and with new mores comes new etiquette. Remember, you may be weeing in the shower, but there’s no need to be rude.
• Don’t start until the water has. The water not only provides a cloaking effect, it also avoids lingering contact between the non-lavatory bowl porcelain and your urine. The idea is that it is whisked away down the plughole almost instantly, thus minimising breaches of basic hygiene and allowing maintenance of the pretence, even unto yourself, that you have not just peed in the shower.
• For similar reasons, it also behoves the micturator to do his/her business right at the beginning of his/her ablutions, thus providing a full rinse cycle.
• Don’t do it in a friend’s shower. Nothing ruins a friendship quicker than inappropriate urination. Keep it for post-pub antics in shop doorways where it belongs.
• Don’t do it in public showers – for the obvious reasons, but also because public showers very often involve wooden slat arrangements and we are talking about an activity that should only be undertaken on very, very non-porous areas indeed.
• Don’t get carried away. You may, if you choose, pee in the shower. But don’t wash in the toilet, and never, ever poo in the bath.
I pee in the shower almost every morning — great time-saving mechanism and as a female I find it liberating to pee at will. I thought this was totally normal, until this weekend when I found out that not only ONE but TWO of my friends have NEVER peed in the shower. Who is the freak in this situation?
Allie, 25, NYC
Don’t worry, love, your friends are the freaks. Most American adults pee in the shower, and I trust 1,169 survey respondents more than I trust your two pals.
A YouGov Omnibus survey in July posed the question, “In which of the following places, if any, have you ever urinated?” Sixty-two percent of people checked the box that said “in the shower.” What’s more, this appears to be a national phenomenon: The fraction of people who say they urinate in the shower is pretty consistent whether you’re looking at U.S. regions, or age, income, sex, race, education or marital status.
But before you get too excited and start brandishing labels like “freak,” you should take a closer look at the numbers on shower-peeing frequency. It turns out that 47 percent of people who said they had relieved themselves in the shower also added that they did so “not regularly at all — I have only done this once or twice.” As an “almost every morning” sort of girl, Allie, I’m afraid you’re in the minority — 14 percent of respondents said they do it “most of the time.” And remember, that’s 14 percent of the 62 percent who say they’ve ever peed in shower. So really, barely 9 percent of Americans share your bathroom behavior.
Solace can be found in the possibility that some people, including those two friends of yours, are fibbing. Of course, the desire to appear “socially acceptable” is an issue with all self-reported surveys. But the fact that 42 percent of respondents in another YouGov survey (conducted just four months before this one) said shower urination was “unacceptable” could explain the large gap between people who say they have peed in the shower (62 percent) and those who say they do it every day (7 percent). If I thought my behavior was unacceptable, I might admit to having done it, but I’d also be keen to downplay how often.
One last thing: You say “as a female I find it liberating to pee at will.” I imagine that sense of liberation comes from the fact that non-toilet urination isn’t always so easy for women. The data shows clear differences between where men and women choose to pee — men are more likely to pee in public.
Women in the survey were half as likely as men to have peed in a bush and five times less likely to have peed on a residential street. The gender gap closes, though, in places like baths and showers, where more discretion is available.
So, Allie, you’re pretty normal to have let yourself go in the shower (albeit slightly less normal for indulging quite so often). If you’re looking for time-saving and liberating options beyond the shower, might I suggest one of the female urination devices on the market, such as the She Wee or Whiz Freedom?
Hope the numbers help,
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Peeing in the shower is one of those things a lot of people have done at some point but may be reluctant to admit. It makes such perfect sense on a practical level, though! You’re naked, and there’s a drain right there. Plus, the whole running water situation doesn’t exactly make it easy to hold in your pee.
You also may have heard that urine is sterile, so you can pee on yourself with abandon and still technically be clean. But is it really OK from a health perspective to pee in the shower, especially if you’re not scrubbing down your legs and feet after you’re done? Here, experts weigh in on this pressing question.
What’s even in pee, anyway?
Your pee is mostly water, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, it can contain a bunch of other stuff, too, Stephanie Kielb, M.D., a urologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF. That includes urea (a waste product that forms when your body breaks down proteins), urochrome (a pigment that gives pee its color), creatinine (a waste product that forms with the normal breakdown of muscle), and ammonia (a compound that can give your pee a really strong smell when it gets too concentrated). If you’re on certain medications or take water-soluble vitamins, you may secrete those in your pee, too, Dr. Kielb says.
Together as a fluid, these various components travel from your kidneys through two thin tubes called ureters and into your bladder, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Your pee hangs out there until you’re ready to let loose that stream (and maybe a sigh of sweet relief, too).
Fun fact: Pee isn’t actually sterile.
If you thought urine was sterile, we can’t blame you. For a long time, many scientists did, too.
The idea stemmed from the belief that the urinary tract (which includes the bladder) was understood to be sterile, most likely because the techniques used for detecting bacteria in this area were limited. However, emerging research points to the presence of a bladder microbiome, or bacteria that normally live in harmony inside of this organ, Dr. Kielb says. Just as your gut and vagina have microbiomes, so does your urinary tract, which means some of this bacteria can wind up in your pee. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad; bacteria in your urinary tract can actually help keep that part of your body healthy, as it does with your gut and vagina.
However, if you have a health issue like a urinary tract infection (UTI), that bacteria can also get into your pee, David Kaufman, M.D., director of Central Park Urology, a division of Maiden Lane Medical and an assistant professor of Clinical Urology at the Weill Cornell Medical School, tells SELF.
Why should any of this influence your decision to pee in the shower? Theoretically, harmful bacteria from your pee could get into any open skin on an area like your legs and cause an infection, Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, tells SELF. For instance, cellulitis, a common bacterial skin infection that typically affects the legs, can happen when the bacteria Staphylococcus gets into your system through a break in your skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. And, wouldn’t you know it, certain strains of this bacteria are also known to cause UTIs. So, if you have a UTI or one is brewing without yet causing symptoms, you could theoretically pee out some bacteria.
Peeing in the shower could actually improve your sex life, among other things
Look, we’ve all done it.
There isn’t a single one of us on this Godforsaken earth who can say for absolute certain that they haven’t once (just once) peed in the shower.
You have like, just admit it.
Whether you think the concept is disgusting or not is irrelevant – we’ve done it, we know people who have done it, we probably know people who still do it, so let’s just do a mild full-body shudder and get on with the article.
Yesterday, a woman shared a query to popular parenting forum, Mumsnet. She wanted to know if it was unreasonable to think that peeing in the shower wasn’t disgusting at all.
The user said that she did it in her shower all the time and that her husband found it revolting as, you know, you would.
However, the woman said that she thought peeing while you showered was far more environmentally friendly than getting out of the shower to do it.
That got us thinking, so we decided to do a little research into that tidbit of information. And yeah, turns out she’s actually onto something.
Back in 2014, students at the University of East Anglia discovered that if every student in the university peed in the shower each morning, the university would save enough water to fill 26 Olympic size swimming pools in a year.
That a considerable amount of water, in fairness.
Still though, there are plenty of reasons why we shouldn’t really be peeing where we clean ourselves too.
If your shower is communal, chances are you’re going to be stepping on someone else’s pee next time you get in there to give yourself a hose down.
Never mind the fact that you’re most likely going to be pissing on yourself while you’re doing it… even if the water is going to wash it away.
Apparently though, there’s a better way to pee in the shower that doesn’t get the pee on your body – and can actually improve your sex life.
We know, we’re apprehensive too.
Wellness expert Laura Roxburgh told Goop a few years back that squatting in the shower to pee strengthens and tones your pelvic floor muscles.
“When you squat to pee as opposed to sitting up straight on the toilet, you automatically engage your pelvic floor and it naturally stretches and tones.
“Because your urethra is pointed straight down in this position all you have to do is relax for urine to flow out easily—as opposed to sitting up straight and having to strain to empty your bladder.”
Still don’t know how we feel about the whole scenario but sure look, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
Do whatever you want, just wash it down the drain afterwards.
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Kelly Clarkson does it, Madonna claims it can combat Athlete’s Foot and comedian Louis CK reckons anyone who says they don’t do it is a “dirty f**king liar”.
The question is: To wee, or not to wee? In the shower, that is. Whether you’re a wash ‘n wee enthusiast or staunchly against the practice (or so you say in polite company), it’s always going to be a talking point. So is it really a good idea?
RELATED: Why some women are skipping the shower FOR DAYS.
“It’s not particularly good or bad for you either way,” says Sydney-based GP Dr Ginni Mansberg. “There’s not anything particularly harmful in urine and it’s not going to be a problem for your health.”
However, unless you live and shower on your lonesome, the big call often comes down to the “Ew” factor — namely, having to stand in the exact spot where the other people who use your shower have relieved themselves. (Post continues after gallery.)
“The thought that there’s pee in the shower, particularly if you share the shower with other people, is a bit ghastly,” Dr Mansberg says.
“Having said that, considering you’re not weeing into a dry shower, you’d think it’s all getting washed down with water, along with whatever other bodily detritus is coming off you. You wash between your butt cheeks and the rest of it, and that all goes down with the water, but we don’t get ‘ewweed’ out with that stuff because it’s also on your body.” Dr Mansberg certainly has a point there.
RELATED: What the colour of your urine says about your body.
So, yes, standing among the traces of someone else’s urine is a rather icky thought. But if you’re one of the 20 per cent (according to this poll) who remain unconvinced, there are some pretty compelling reasons in favour of washing and weeing.
The case for peeing
1. It can be kinder on your lady bits
Let’s be clear: the toilet, and toilet paper, are both great inventions. However, especially when you’re the proud owner of a vagina, rinsing with water can feel more pleasant on your bits. “If your vulva is very irritated and toilet paper is really painful, sometimes it can be less painful to just be able to wash off with water afterwards,” Dr Mansberg says. Plus, you know it’ll do the job properly.
RELATED: Elle Macpherson carries a urine tester everywhere she goes. What, don’t you?
Also, you’ll avoid accidentally wiping the wrong way (hey, if you’re not a Morning Person anything can happen when you wake up) and risking infection.
2. It’ll save you some money. And time.
Okay, so shower peeing won’t save you thousands of dollars, but your water bill will be a little lower and your toilet paper will last just that bit longer. Unless you’re a billionare, it’s the little cash wins that count. Right?
Also, it’ll save you a precious minute in the morning, which can be the difference between getting on the bus comfortably and having to Usain Bolt for it.
RELATED: This is the easiest way to save money on your veggie shop.
3. It’s not going to kill you, or your housemates.
Despite what you’ve been told, urine isn’t 100 per cent sterile — but it’s pretty close, meaning it’s not going to burn through your feet if you miss the drain.
“Unless you have a bladder infection, urine itself should be sterile at all times. But the minute it comes out — this is particularly the case for women — it’s going to come out through the vulva,” Dr Mansberg explains. “It exits the body just above the vagina and the vulva’s got stacks of bacteria on it. Stacks. So most urine samples will pick up a bit of bacteria from the vulva on the way through. It’s not unhealthy bacteria, it’s not harmful, it’s fine.”
In a world full of debate and struggle, no arguments ever get more heated, impassioned, and violent than those pertaining to the bathroom. Mankind has been fighting over the proper way to suspend toilet paper and position the toilet seat since Thomas Crapper changed the world. One of the more recent debates to enter this arena is whether or not it’s ok to pee in the shower. People have been doing it for a very long time, but only recently has society reached a point where we’re ready to argue with strangers on the internet about it. What a time to be alive!
Today, we’re going to look at both sides of the argument. There are genuine reasons to support both cases. You’ll eventually get to make your own decision, armed with facts. But, most of you who think you already have the answer might be surprised. There’s more nuance and trade-off than people often give credit to this great debate.
Why You Should Pee in the Shower
Some of you just cringed. Should you really be included in this group of people? Most of you smiled, nodded, or felt otherwise vindicated. That’s right. We’re on to you. We know that you already do it. So, let’s begin by discussing the pros of golden showers (no, not those kinds of golden showers).
A lot of people like to start here. Science is on the side of shower sprinklers. There’s no beating the simple math that peeing in the shower will save water. In fact, the math is so easy that we should do it together.
Leading estimates say that somewhere around 25 percent of all home water use comes from flushing toilets. If you’re an average adult, you use the toilet roughly seven times a day (props on staying hydrated!). Not all of those are exclusively for urination, and we’re definitely not ready to talk about pooping in the shower. That’s unsalvageable.
But, if you shower daily and go ahead and let it flow while you do, that saves one flush per day. That reduces your total number of flushes by about 14 percent. It reduces your total water usage by roughly 3.6 percent (assuming you don’t take an extra-long shower when you pee). That might not seem like a lot, but for most people, it amounts to more than 500 gallons a year. That’s a pretty good conservation effort.
To add a little wind to your sails, if the entire country did one piss in the shower every day, it would save 185 billion gallons of water a year. That’s a huge number!
The best thing about saving water by pissing in the shower is that it’s literally the easiest conservation effort imaginable. You already shower. Chances are that at least some of the time you shower without pissing first. The running water gets to even the best of us, and before you know it you’re doing a little dance while you try to rinse shampoo out of your hair. If you just relax, you get to enjoy your shower a little more, and you’re doing your part for the planet and all while you do.
Even if you don’t care about conservationism, it’s easier to pee in the shower than not. Just stop using the toilet before you hop in the water. It saves time. You don’t have to worry about aim (mostly). Also, peeing in a warm shower is particularly relaxing. The warm water helps your muscles relax, so it’s the best pissing experience you can get. It might even be good for your bladder and stuff, but we don’t have any real science to back that up. When you feel how great a shower piss is, you’ll probably believe it’s healthy, too.
Conservationism and money benefit from the same math, but they speak to very different motivations. This one is going to be pretty short and sweet. Any water you save when you shower is cut from your water bill. So, unless you live in an apartment that covers this expense for you, pissing in the shower is good for your wallet.
Let’s see just how good it is for your bottom line. Using 2017 numbers, pissing in the shower would save an average of $20 a year. Maybe that’s not redefining your finances, but it’s still money in your pocket. And, need you be reminded, it’s money you get for doing things the easier, more enjoyable way.
Ok, the cleanliness of pissing in the shower is a little complicated. Some of this pro is also going to be a con later, but we’ll be clear about the why’s in both cases. Before we suggest that peeing in the shower is clean, let’s rule something out. If you have a bladder or urinary tract infection, don’t pee in the shower. Those infections can potentially be serious, and you want to keep them contained to the toilet. Once you’re healthy, you can go back to discoloring your shower.
With that out of the way, there is an element of cleanliness in pissing in the shower. The simple truth is that most of us don’t clean our bathrooms as often as we should. If you ever let your toilet turn a little too yellow before you bust out the bleach, then you should consider pissing in the shower. By reducing toilet discoloration by one piss a day, you actually slow down how quickly your toilet gets gross. Ultimately, you need to clean your toilet because poop is way worse than urine, but that’s a point for another day.
Even if you’re a little lazy about cleaning the shower, you should theoretically be doing a partial clean of the place when you wash your body. Your soap and shampoo should have some antimicrobial properties, and they’re scented. In both ways, they keep your shower from getting gross as fast as your toilet does in the same number of bladder releases.
Everybody Does It
We probably just triggered your mom’s voice in your head. She’s saying something about jumping off of a bridge. Ignore that. We’re not convincing you to start your own meth lab. The simple truth is that at least 75 percent of adults pee in the shower already. Most of you reading this are among them. There are two reasons why this matters.
First, you’re already getting all of the cons of peeing in the shower if you share a bathroom. Your roommate is exposing you and the shower to urine already. You’re not saving anything by holding it in. You might as well reap the benefits.
Much more importantly, those bastards are basically pissing on your feet. You absolutely must get them back. Otherwise, the primal laws of nature and instinct kick in. Ask any dog. If someone pees on you and you don’t pee back, you’re their bitch. You can’t beat nature.
Why You Shouldn’t Pee in the Shower
Those are some compelling arguments. What could anyone possibly say to convince you not to participate? It’s not like you’re going to give up on urinary revenge. You actually might. While all of the pros of peeing in the shower are real and true, so are the cons. For the most part, the cleanliness and hygienics of pissing in the shower are grossly misunderstood (pun intended). If you think that peeing in the shower sterilizes it and keeps it extra clean, well, that’s pretty much the worst thing you could believe.
Urine Is Not Sterile
Let’s start with the most important point. No one is entirely sure how this myth started, but urine is not sterile. It’s not sterile in your bladder, and it’s not sterile when it comes out of you. Even if your bladder was magically free of microbes, urine still has to pass through the urinary tract and urethra to exit the body. Those are both clearly full of microbes.
If you have doubts, consider the evolutionary argument. Generally speaking, people don’t like the smell of urine. Why do you suppose that is? It’s the same reason you don’t like the smell of crap. It’s full of stuff that can hurt you. Some of the urine smell is chemical. After all, it’s full of the stuff your body is excreting, so you don’t need it anymore. Some of it, though, is actually from the microbes interacting with those chemicals. In fact, one of the easiest ways to detect a urinary tract infection is by the onset of a new, strong, unpleasant odor. Clearly, you can follow your own nose to discern that urine is not a healthy substance to spread all over your home. Conventional wisdom strikes again.
The thing about urinary bacteria is that it’s typically harmless when it’s confined to the usual spaces. Your bladder handles those particular bugs just fine. So does the rest of the tract. That does not mean such microbes would be harmless if they ever got past your skin or ingested. So, at the very least, never pee in the shower if you have cuts, sores or legions on your feet. That’s asking for trouble, and anyone who suggests pissing on an open wound to clean it clearly doesn’t know how any of this works.
Even if your feet are fine, peeing in the shower will lead to a buildup of bacteria in the area. Soapy runoff might help a little, but it’s a losing battle. We’ll get into this more in a minute, but if you pee in the shower, you have to clean it more.
Lastly, you shouldn’t pee in the shower if you do any kind of shaving there — especially manscaping. Even though you probably don’t rub your junk on the floor, showers are humid. That enables the bacteria you introduce to thrive, and they can grow and move from the floor to other places. When you shave, you create at least small fissures in your skin, and you’re more susceptible to skin infections. Do you really want a UTI on your balls?
You Don’t Clean Your Feet
We need to be real. You’re a man, and by default, you’re disgusting. If you’re one of those higher beings, lording over the rest of us with your impeccable hygiene, you can skip to the next section. The rest of you need to pay attention. Letting soapy runoff collect around your un-scrubbed feet when the drain is partially clogged does not count as cleaning them.
We just explained that there is definitely bacteria in your urine. If you pee in the shower, you’re going to stand in it. If you share your bathroom, other people pee in the shower, and you’re going to stand in it. You can overcome this con by actually washing your feet. Otherwise, you need to abandon the shower piss (and probably the shower beer that inspires it) and get better at cleaning your shower. Speaking of that . . .
You Don’t Clean Your Shower
Even some of you who have great hygiene still get lazy about cleaning your bathroom. Here’s the major difference between pissing in a shower and pissing in a toilet. You don’t stand on the toilet. It’s pretty obvious, right?
Let’s not beat a dead horse. If piss regularly touches your shower, then bleach should do the same. Easy enough?
You Have Roommates
If you live alone, then the arguments against peeing in the shower lose a lot of impact. Sure, we joked about vengeance, but the simple truth is that adding people to the equation accelerates bacterial growth in the shower. It has to be cleaned more often, and since we already established that you’re lazy, you have to weigh your options. If you really aren’t going to clean extra to make up the difference, then reducing daily urine stains by one is still better for your bottom line.
You Aren’t Actually Saving Water
Let’s clarify. There is an element of conservationism in peeing in the shower, but it’s overstated by people who want to rationalize something they already do. For starters, peeing in the shower doesn’t actually save water. What about those numbers we just talked about? They’re still true, but a lot of people misunderstand what it actually means to save water.
The water that goes into our sewage systems isn’t lost. It gets cleaned. Thoroughly. That might not be true around the world, but a lot of countries have pretty advanced water treatment systems. When you “save water,” you aren’t actually increasing the amount of useful water that we have on the planet. Pissing doesn’t somehow destroy the liquid in the toilet bowl.
Instead, saving water means that you’re reducing your draw on already existent water systems. Those water systems clean the water that comes from the tap (including into your shower and into your toilet), and they treat your waste water (regardless of which drain collects it). What saving water really does is reduce strain on those systems. It still adds towards conservation, but by a lot less than you think. Our water systems are pretty efficient, so when you save 500 gallons of water a year, the overall environmental impact is extremely small. Your carbon footprint, for example, would be better impacted by taking cooler showers or simply turning off your car in the drive through.
So, for the conservationists out there, peeing in the shower can be part of your effort, but it’s not enough to spend the rest of your day guilt-free. It’s literally the least you can do.
The Final Verdict
What’s the real answer? Should you pee in the shower or not? As with most things in life, the answer is a boring, “It depends.” Pissing in the shower is definitely less sanitary than a lot of people believe, but it’s not the grossest thing you can do. If you live alone and clean up after yourself, go ahead and enjoy the release. There’s no harm in it.
Even if you have roommates, peeing in the shower can be just fine. Cleanliness becomes twice as important, but it can still be a net good thing. Just make sure you do things in the right order. If you’re getting nice and pristine before you piss all over yourself, you’re doing it horribly wrong.
Whatever you choose, there’s a good argument in your favor, but there’s one thing we learned above all else. Men who pee in the backyard are doing a real hero’s work.