Bathroom Intimacy

by Marinka on January 4, 2010

I don’t think that Dr. Phil thinks through his advice.  I mention this to Husbandrinka and he says what he always says whenever someone mentions Dr. Phil: “Dr. Phil is a moron and an asshole.“  “What’s the difference?“ I usually ask and he explains that it means that he’s both stupid and obnoxious, which, according to Husbandrinka,  is not a good combination.

But my gripe is more specific.  Like when a woman writes to Dr. Phil, care of Oprah Magazine, saying that she’s looking up old boyfriends on Facebook and sending them innocent-ish messages, could Dr. Phil  reassure her that this is not cheating, please? And Dr. Phil says that a good rule is that if you are doing something that you are not willing to do it in front of your husband, it is cheating.  Which is bad news for that Facebook whore, but is devastating news for me.

Because this means that I’ve been cheating on Husbandrinka, every day, several times a day.  Poor guy.

See, i have a very shy bladder and a most modest colon and could never go to the bathroom in front of another person. Not just as a form of exhibitionism, mind you, but even if someone’s taking a shower, or brushing his teeth, I can’t pee.

I must be alone in the bathroom, with the door closed.  I don’t know how I got through college with their communal bathrooms.  To make matters worse, I had a college friend who’d always get into the stall next to me and continue our conversation.

“So, want to go to the café, or straight to the library?” she’d ask while starting to pee.

“Let’s just check our mail at the campus center and then head over for coffee. We can sneak it into the library.”
“Did you fall in or something?” she’d ask, now washing her hands.  The water would be running, This would be my chance.
“What?” she’d say, turning off the water and stopping me mid-stream.  “I can’t hear you with this thing on.”
“GOD!” I’d screech, kicking my stall door open, “I don’t like talking when I’m in the bathroom! I have a shy bladder, and you know this!”
She’d looked at me like I was crazy.
“Maybe you should pull up your pants, or is your twat not as shy as your bladder?”

I’m telling you, it’s a good thing that the college didn’t have  a clock tower.

But there are some people  (hereinafter known as “The Insane”) who believe that it’s some kind of form of intimacy to have an open bathroom door policy.  Like the Insane’s beloved is in the shower, and the Insane are peeing on the toilet.

I am pretty sure that I’d rather pee in the kitchen sink rather than do that. Or the oven.
“Hey,” I asked Husbandrinka mid-blog post, “do you think it’s weird that when you’re in the shower, I don’t come in to pee?”
“Pee in the shower?” he asks.
“No, pee in the toilet, while you’re showering.”
“”We have two bathrooms.”
“But if we didn’t?  Don’t you think that it would make us closer if I peed while you were showering? We could chat and everything.”
“Could you please say some more interesting, thought-provoking or mockable things about this topic, please? I’m writing a blog post you know.”

So apparently, Husbandrinka doesn’t mind that I use the bathroom in total privacy.  Please tell me that we’re not alone.  That we are not puritanical, repressed weirdoes.

Please tell me that you are not the Insane.

One year ago ...

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Sophie January 4, 2010 at 3:20 am

Not wanting to attach myself to one group or another, I fail to see the problem with any of the following:
1. Shy bladder.
2. Not wanting to talk while going to the bathroom.
3. Wanting to go to the bathroom alone, without any partners or watchers.

By the way, how did you manage to go to the bathroom alone when the childrenrinkas were toddlers?


Marinka January 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Easy! I didn’t consider toddlers “people”.


Sophie January 6, 2010 at 5:30 am

This is why you are so awsome. I bow my head to you.


Donna January 4, 2010 at 5:00 am

I’m with you. A girl’s gotta have some secrets, and I think bathroom habits qualify. I’ve been married for 15-ish years, and I don’t even like my husband to watch me taking off makeup or flossing. So see? I think I just out-weirded you. That can’t be good.


Marinka January 4, 2010 at 10:11 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever flossed in public, so I’m right there behind you! But now while you’re using the bathroom.


Beth January 4, 2010 at 6:36 am

I wish I could come up with something mockable… but I can’t. It doesn’t bother me to pee (in the toilet) while my husband is showering but who am I to judge if someone can’t.


Yvette January 4, 2010 at 6:56 am

I completely relate. And my friends give me a hard time about it.

All day long I am never alone….please at least give me some privacy at potty time.


Laura January 4, 2010 at 8:00 am

I’m with ya. I wouldn’t ever willingly use the bathroom with my husband in the room. He will very rarely use the bathroom (only #1!) when I’m in the shower if he can’t wait — we only have 1 bathroom. I hear that some people have no issue leaving the door open and doing ALL their bathroom business with their parter in the room, but I just could not do it. I don’t have a shy bladder — I just think it is kind of gross to be seen/to see someone sitting on the toilet expelling stuff from their body. I do acknowledge the irony of the fact that I feel this way about bathroom issues, yet my husband watched 2 babies come from my body (he was ‘down there’ the whole time) and I don’t have a problem with that.


January 4, 2010 at 8:56 am

I pretty much agree with you. In 15 years of marriage I would NOT go to the bathroom when hubby was in it. I hate that. When we were dating I would flush and try to pee while it was making it swooshing sound. I don’t LIKE people hearing me go. If that is insane then bring on the straight jacket. I think those things are private and better kept that way.


Mary Jo
January 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

Okay so I am of the insane… not if the person can like SEE me though. If hubby is in the shower I’m fine, and I leave the door open (when we live alone). Hubby is like you… he will not even approach a toilet if I’m in the room. Never. I don’t think it’s an intimacy thing for us… it’s a lazy thing. I’m lazy and sometimes I just gotta go.


christy January 4, 2010 at 9:23 am

Totally with you on this one. Completely!


MaNiC MoMMy January 4, 2010 at 9:29 am

So I guess this also means no pooping in front of spouse either? I can’t imagine not being able to pee anywhere — is it that you’re worried about the sound it makes and what others will think of when they hear the tinkle? My friend used to freak out if I said I had to use the bathroom at Target or another public venue (and yes, I mean for ‘the other thing’). I do think sometimes it’s how we were raised. Have you ever talked with your mom on how you were potty trained or seen how she uses the toilet? I bet it’s the same. Are your kids shy like this too? This is an interesting subject matter!


Anna Lefler
January 4, 2010 at 9:34 am

I am totally, 100% with you. In order to completely unclench, I need to know that the bedroom door is closed. And the bathroom door. And the door to the little toilet room. Three doors. Oh, wait. The front door of the house. Four.

Preferably, all the members of my family are milling about in the yard, waiting patiently and giving me a little “me” space. (Ideally, my husband is out of town on business and the children are sleeping at friends’ houses.)


BOSSY January 4, 2010 at 9:44 am

Yes, some things are better done alone.


CSY January 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

HA! I WISH I could pee by myself! I get home from work and HAVE to go and all of a sudden one of my kids will knock on the door. They’re NOT babies anymore, juat a LITTLE privacy PLEASE! No, I don’t think you’re weird – but I have no problem going into the bathroom to pee if Hubs is in the shower…not talk – PEE…


January 4, 2010 at 10:21 am

I’m a bit Insane, apparently. I would LOVE privacy in the bathroom. But with potty training the 3yo and the 13mo old who won’t let me go anywhere alone… well I don’t even try to close the door anymore.


the mama bird diaries
January 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

I am so with you on this. One of my husband’s siblings doesn’t have a door on their bathroom. How is that possible?

I had issues in college too with my shy bladder. We’d go to those crazy bars with no doors on the bathroom stalls. I don’t care how many lemon drop shots i put back, I need a door.


Tiffany January 4, 2010 at 11:59 am

hello. my name is tiffany. i am ‘the Insane.’


Birdie January 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm

– We live in the country, no houses nearby, and if he’s working outside, DH is perfectly comfortable walking out in the yard, near the woods, and peeing rather than bothering to come into the house. I used to yell that he could be arrested for indecent exposure, but as the years passed and the cops didn’t show up, I gave up on yelling.

– When the kids were little we closed the door to the bathroom, but left it open a crack so we could listen for them. Then the dogs learned to push the door open and come in, wander around, maybe lie on the bathroom rug to hang out or they’d just turn around and leave. Oddly enough, this didn’t bother me, unlike allowing husband/kids to wander in, and to this day, if one of the dogs wanders in, it’s fine. But please, no humans!


Zee January 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Apparently, I’m insane. We have an open door policy. If necessary, we chat while the other is occupied. I mean, we don’t schedule discussions for those times, but if need be, we’re both available for conversation. I used to talk to my mom while she peed – she was a captive audience.

However, my animals for some reason HAVE TO come in when we’re occupied. I guess its a force of nature.


Carolyn Online
January 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I thought in all of Russia there was only the one bathroom. What did you do when you were little?


Madge January 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm

oh you are absolutely right. totally grosses me out to even think about using the bathroom in front of anyone.


January 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

What I’m finding miraculous about this post is that you have manged to raise two children into pre-pubescence while EVER going to bathroom even ONCE by yourself. You do realize that you deserve to be in the Guiness Book of World Records for this feat, don’t you?

Case in point: From the time my infant screamed his little lungs nearly out of his body if I put him down, so that in the throes of Brand New Mother Panic and Insecurity I actually took him with me to the bathroom and held him while I peed (and you try pulling up your pants while holding a squalling newborn with one sleep-deprived arm), I don’t think I’ve had a moment’s privacy in the bathroom. I did eventually learn, of course, that it would not kill him to cry in his bassinet for 30 seconds while I went to the bathroom alone. But something had apparently already imprinted on his wee mind, and even now, I have to bolt the door if I want to be left alone rather than burst in upon by small children who cannot possibly wait three minutes to have their questions answered. This is not a matter of intimacy, though it is one of (in)sanity. As in: this lack of privacy is driving me insane.

Please divulge the secret of your ability to make the bathroom your haven of silence and alone time. I’m dyin’ over here.


January 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I’m pretty open about my bathroom habits, but there are times I just want to be alone. Bathroom time is a good excuse to think!


Shelle-BlokThoughts January 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm

HA! I only have this problem at work… for some reason my bladder is shy at the work bathroom…

I might need to see a therapist for it.


Pop and Ice
January 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm

We have three bathrooms and I’m potty shy to the point of only wanting to use the Master Bathroom. I don’t use the kids’ bathroom or the downstairs bathroom except in emergency. I close the door and sometimes even run water (do you?). Nearly had a vacation disaster when I saw that the bathroom, in OUR ROOM, was not fully enclosed. Hard to explain, but it doesn’t matter. I sent hubby OUT of our room anytime I wanted to use the bathroom.


Heather (qtberryhead) January 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm

I’m with you on this one completely. I lock the door to the bathroom when I’m home alone. Some people have naked dreams, I have dreams where I can’t find a private/working bathroom.
I also kicked the nurse out of the bathroom when I peed after giving birth, it’s a private thing…and I don’t need an audience.


anna see January 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I have an expressive bladder, however I have never gone to the bathroom in front of my husband. I can pretty much go anytime, anywhere, but I do not want to share this activity with him.


January 4, 2010 at 7:24 pm

an ex-bf of a former friend had to hide in his closet to “prepare to poop” he couldn’t go if he didn’t have some alone time. I dont want to know what he had to do to “prepare” himself, but all she told me was that he would go in his closet and shut the door before he could come out and poop.


January 4, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I don’t judge your excretory system. Mine is a total floozy. I will pee or poop in front of my husband. I will pee in front of any good friend. Or really anyone I have known for more than an hour. I bowled with you once so I would pee in front of you, Marinka, if it wouldn’t make your head spin around with horror. I don’t mean to terrorize. Just trying to explain my whorish open door pee policy.


January 4, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Even though you are doing something that you wouldn’t necessarily want to do in front of Husbandrinka, he knows about it and is okay with it. This means you are not cheating, but that you have an “open relationship” instead.


Casey January 5, 2010 at 9:31 am

I have a strict bathroom policy. Not because of a shy bladder, but because of my need to keep the two separate.

Intimacy + bathroom behavior (how do you do a not equals?) marriage in my book.

I’ve never tooted in front of my husband and still claim I don’t poop.

I realize this is on the other side of the spectrum for most, but it works for me. I’ve just never been good at mixing the two parts of relationships.

And, you know what’s funny? My husband would LOVE for me to discuss such things with him. Not because he’s a freak, but b/c he thinks bathroom humor is funny. So, I’m failing him in this regard……not discussing the ins and outs of my intestines. Shame on me.


Amy @ The Bitchin' Wives Club
January 5, 2010 at 11:34 am

I wish my husband would take a page from your book. I am the Sane to his Insane…. and someday I am going to go all clocktower on him for this. I am sure of it.


SoccerMom January 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

It’s funny you wrote about this. My family has a “open” bathroom policy. The door actually is never closed. Whether your showering or using the toilet, people are always in there talking. Same thing at my parents house. If one goes in to pee, everyone followers and continues the conversation. I have never thought of this as strange. My husband however, thinks it’s very strange that there is no privacy. We are just very open people. I guess if someone asked for privacy I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
I am also one who chats with friends while in the bathroom even at work.


MaNiC MoMMy January 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Yay SoccerMom, finally a mom who lives her life as I do! This is exactly how we are, except my husband is like this too. We all pee, shower, etc with doors open. It’s just normal for us. Never farting in front of a spouse — that would just make for some very uncomfortable times. If you have to be uncomfortable around the person you’re supposed to be most comfortable with in your entire life, well, that just doesn’t seem normal to me.


Maureen@IslandRoar January 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I was married for 11 years and never once peed (or anything else) in front of my husband. So you are not alone. Of course, I’m no longer married, so what the hell do I know??


magpie January 5, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Oh dear. I guess I’m insane.


Jayme January 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

I totally understand you. I can barely pee if someone is in the stall next to me. My husband and I are very funny about peeing in front of each other. Sometimes if I am peeing and he needs to walk through the bathroom to get to the office (the bathroom connects the office and our bedroom) he will wait until I am done or run through shielding his eyes. it is actually kid of funny.


Carrie D. January 9, 2010 at 8:37 pm

My mother-in-law’s house had the one bathroom so close to the living room you could hear anything that went on in there. I had to develop a system whereby I would put toilet paper into the toilet first, then quickly pee before it had a chance to sink to the bottom so that it would muffle the sound. I’d have to stay there for weeks at a time and the whole time was spent looking for opportunities to poop when nobody was around… and having my plans foiled mid-poop as someone came near. It became quite a challenge.


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