Men’s Room Etiquette, Instinctive? A Scientific Essay.

An inquiry into Men’s Restroom Etiquette and Elimination Instincts

 (Also known as The Ten Commandments of Elimination)

Explanation: The following essay is the first time an author has explained this very sensitive subject. It has been considered taboo until now. Evolution has led all species along diverse pathways concerning elimination. Male canines lift their legs to urinate while females crouch; both genders cover their eliminations with their rear legs. Male felines spray, females do not. Both genders carefully cover their eliminations with their front paws. Equines of both sexes adroitly lift their tails to defecate even while in motion. Some birds eliminate at roost, some on the wing.

 Over millions of years evolution has bestowed certain elimination instincts on primates. For example, humans use objects (paper or leaves) to wipe themselves after defecation, while other primates, although capable of that behavior, do not. Humans eliminate away from sleeping and eating locations. Other primates do not discriminate as thoroughly. These elimination instincts have been refined throughout hunter gatherer times, through the time of the establishment of villages and towns, and eventually reached their peak development in the public restrooms of large cities. This essay will confine itself to the elimination instincts of the male of the human species in public restrooms. Consideration of female elimination instincts will be dealt with in another paper.                                                        

Adolescent boys can’t find information about restroom etiquette on the Internet, they don’t study it in school, and fathers don’t sit down with their sons for a man to man about it. So, what’s a boy to do? How can an adolescent boy learn the etiquette that will be required of him whenever he uses a public restroom? The answer is… he doesn’t have to learn it, it comes naturally as I will explain.

I doubt women will have any idea what I am talking about, and I must admit that if there be such a thing as “ladies restroom etiquette,” I know nothing of it. Men will, however, know exactly what I am talking about concerning men’s restroom etiquette.

Every man who has ever used a public restroom obeys certain natural behavioral instincts, sometimes referred to as The Ten Commandments of the Men’s Restroom. The forerunners of these ingrained laws, I suspect, were born during the dawn of man by hunter/gatherer males, and preserved and refined by evolution into current times. Archeological finds have uncovered primitive urinal and defecation sites making this clear.

For the sake of the women, who still do not understand my thesis, I will list The Ten Commandments.

1 – When a man with need enters a restroom, his selection of a urinal is done without prior thought. He instinctively knows exactly which one to choose. This selection is done with 100% reliability. Men invariably do not choose a urinal next to an occupied one for fear of spray. First choice is always between two unoccupied urinals. Only if there are no other choices will a man choose a urinal next to an occupied one. It is uncanny but true and a perfect example of instinct in action. The selection of commodes, while not as engrained, is similar.

2 – If one must stand in line to use a urinal, a twelve-inch interval is instinctively maintained between standees. Any unintended bumping is immediately followed by perfuse apologies by both men regardless as to who initiated the contact.

3 – It is absolutely anathema to unzip and prepare for one’s turn at the urinal prior to reaching it. Penises may not be displayed for reasons of modesty and fear of ridicule.

4 – Instinct tells men not to smile at or to banter while micturating, especially with a stranger. “Nice weather we are having.” or “ I love your shoes.” is totally out of order and will be frowned upon.

5 – At completion, no more than five brief shakes are performed before returning penis to cover. Any more shakes will draw suspicious looks and brow rising.

6 – A man instinctively knows that upon completion, he must zip up before turning around to face other men. Penis exposure is unacceptable.

7 – Manual flushing occurs naturally without forethought and intention although it is not considered to be mandatory.

8 – Hand washing automatically follows, but exceptions have been observed. Scientists are puzzled at this behavior and feel that men may instinctively know that hand cleansing is futile because hands will become recontaminated by the handles of washroom faucets, and restroom doors upon exiting. Primitive man did not have to worry about this problem, thus this instinct never fully developed.

Scientist still puzzle over the sequence of hand washing which would make more sense to practice prior to handling ones organ that after handling said organ.

9 – The same instincts apply to commode use. Stall doors are never left open when occupied, and talking to the occupant of the next stall is unacceptable, with the exception that a sitter may ask for toilet paper if he is out, or an aborigine may ask for a broad leaf. Upon leaving a stall or forest setting, a man automatically advises the next occupant if a deficiency exists.

10 – Sighs, gasps, moans, heavy breathing, and gas-exhaust are natural, but always done softly if possible. Educated and refined individuals pass gas more quietly than others. Singing, humming, and whistling are not instinctive activities and seldom performed.

Men will read these Ten Instinct Commandments with intuitive knowledge that they are true. The primitive origins of these instinctive behaviors began in primitive Cro-Magnon hole in the ground latrines and evolved into modern self-flushing urinals and commodes. Males have benefited from their progenitors’ legacy and unerringly demonstrate their rich genetic heritage every day in modern rest rooms.

Understandably, women will remain perplexed at these excretory revelations, but are advised not to discuss the topic with their husbands, brothers, and sons. They should instinctively know not to bring up such masculine matters.

Scientific speculation concerning female instinctive elimination behavior remains uncertain and will depend the growing strength of female dominance in daily activities. A follow-up scientific essay by female researchers is highly recommended to fill out the complete picture of this fascinating and sparsely studied instinct.

Author’s note: Currently, funds are available,  for contrary research results,  from several religious organizations that wish to keep mixed elimination from naturally occurring in the future. “Modesty, once destroyed,” they claim, “will destroy humankind by encouraging infidelity, divorce, child abandonment, homosexual activity, mixed marriage, abortion,etc.” Caution is advised before accepting funding when  predetermined results are expected.

Thank you for your consideration of this important subject. Comments are welcome at graygoosegosling.wordpress. Replies from religious fanatics will be deposited in a flushing device.


About cgosling

I am a retired medical/scientific illustrator and creator of patient teaching simulators, who has given up illustration to write about science, superstition, and secular humanism. I consider myself all of the following: atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, freethinker, skeptic, and nature lover. I have several published books but the mass of my writing is unpublished. I write children's fiction, poetry, essays, and several plays and radio theater shows, that are available as free downloads to be used on secular podcasts and meetings. They can be heard on Indy Freethought Radio or on YouTube “secularradiotheater”. I hope some of my writings will be of interest to like minded freethinkers who I cordially invite to respond. I am also a Darwin impersonator. I invite readers to listen to and use the Darwin script for secular purposes.
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