Today, we bring you a very special anthropological study that painstakingly details the bathroom finishing habits of the modern American male. Warning: things here are about to get a bit hairy.
Now, I have lived on this planet for 33 years and I have concluded any extended bathroom venture the same way: sitting down, toilet paper bunched in my right hand, reaching back and around my body and gently wiping upwards, balls to butt. That's how I've done it forever. That's how I'm comfortable. But a couple weeks ago, a handful of our readers mailed in declaring that they stood to wipe, which I found to be completely alien.
Now, reader Dave would like to point out that College Humor did a quick poll of this phenomenon ages ago. Of 4,214 voters, 56% sat, while 44% stood. I found this breakdown to be shockingly even. I never knew. Such is the insular and private nature of our world in the john that we can find ourselves stunned at such different methodology.
I wanted to explore this schism (crack?) more, to get perspectives from both sides of the fence. What follows are emails from many of our readers. Some stand. Some sit. Some do both (heretofore known as being asspidextrous). Some CONVERTED. I think you'll find their opinions to be quite eye-opening. BROWN EYE opening. Let us begin.
I wiped standing as a kid then switched to doing it while sitting. Wiping while standing closes your asshole and prevents an even mediocre wipe. I had constant shit stains when I used to wipe standing, which is horrible for a kid whose mom bought him tighty whities growing up.
I can see that, but it would be foolhardy for you standers out there to assume that sitting always precludes Hershey squirts. Take it from an expert skidmarksman and towel pooping bandit.
I'm a 23-year-old male who not only stands to wipe, but has never even contemplated any other form of wiping. I had no idea there was any other way until I went to college and people would see me stand-up over the top of the stall (I'm 6'4", the stall was roughly 5'10") and confused everyone. Apparently it's a New Jersey thing, as I did an impromptu dorm floor census (of both sexes), and everyone from Jersey wiped standing up.
Not only do they wipe standing up, because they also flex one bicep and kiss it while doing so. Everything I know about Jersey I learned from Mike "The Situation."
Standing while wiping is the only way to go. One hand (my left) pulls my buttcheek to the side while the other cleans the affected area. It's flawless... I think if I wiped while sitting, I'd end up with poop all over my arm.
I am 24 years old and, until today, had always wiped while standing. Then I had a nice leisurely post-lunch trip to the shitter at work, stayed on the john to wipe, and it was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my lifetime.
There's that eye opening again.
True story (though not terribly interesting). Like many others, I've always stood while wiping, and it never occurred to me to sit. Don't know why; guess it was how I was taught. Last week, I went to my sister's for Thanksgiving, and her 2-year-old needed help wiping while she was changing her 6-month-old's diaper, so I was assigned duty. I went in and told him to stand up for me to wipe, but he wouldn't. He looked at me like I was crazy. We stood at an impasse for a couple of minutes, until my sister finally showed up to find out what was the delay, and then went ahead and wiped him while he was still seated on the toilet. I thought this was something special for the little'uns, the wiping while seated, until I read your column. And I'm a Pediatrician.
Dr. Fernando will only give you a wowwipop if you wipe in the Isosceles stance.
So I used be a stander, it never occurred to me to sit while I wipe I was just easier to stand. However ,I say used to be a stander because I have since converted to sitting. A few years back I got a new job and at the company I worked for the gaps between the stall doors and walls was exceptionally wide, thus while standing to wipe I was basically showing dong for anyone walking by. I went to wiping sitting down. Now I am a sitter even when I am at home, I find I get better anus coverage and it also helps with dingleberries. So there you have it the tale of a stander turned sitter.
That's a good point to consider right there. HOWEVER, I would like to note that I have a tendency to go dingleberry picking while in the shower, STANDING UP. You see how these habits end up mixing and matching?
One positive has come from standing to wipe. Early in our dating years, my wife walked in on me (as girlfriends tend to do, goddammit) whilst in mid-wipe. I'll never forget that face. It was a terrible moment for both of us, but one of the best moments of our relationship as far as I'm concerned. She has never once, in the eight years since, come anywhere close to the bathroom while I'm taking a shit. Peaceful every single time.
Now is where things get odd. So the girl was terrified to see her man standing up, which means she was obviously a sitter. I'm assuming most of the College Humor readers polled were men. So I wonder if the divide is anywhere similar with WOMEN as it is with men. I'll bet you anything that more women sit to wipe, sitting having the greater share of asses, so to speak.
In early 2005, I was on a ski trip with 6 of my college buddies in Vermont. I accidentally walked into the bathroom of the house we were staying in right as one of my buddies was wrapping up a dump and wiping his ass. I was FUCKING SHOCKED to see my friend standing up and cramming toilet paper in his ass. I quickly exited, and went back to the living room where I promptly informed the other 5 guys what I had witnessed. "Dude, he was standing and wiping his ass! How fucking weird is that shit!?" Instead of the uproarious laughter I expected, I was met with complete silence. I would come to find out that I WAS THE ONLY ONE IN THAT HOUSE THAT SAT DOWN WHEN I WIPED MY ASS. As I was high as fuck at the time, this situation completely blew my fucking mind.
I returned home and launched an investigation into the Stand vs. Sit question that has been going on for the past 5 years. I have talked to friends, friends of friends, random people at bars, etc. I was, and continue to be, completely fucking fascinated by these results. . .
- There is a 50/50 split between sitters and standers
- Each half is completely unaware the other half exists
- Amongst the standers there is a 50/50 split between those that simply stand up and those that stand, turn, and face the toilet.
Now, why the fuck would you turn around and face the toilet? You've completely abandoned the bowl at that point, with the bathroom floor as the only landing pad beneath your ass for stray material.
I also discovered the sitting vs. standing question when I was in high school about 8 years ago. I was a stander, and it never occurred to me that sitting was an option. One day I was shitting in the stall next to a friend of mine, and he saw me stand up, and was AMAZED. We polled our entire group of friends, and it was about a 60-40 ratio of sitters to standers. Moral of the story, once I found out that sitting was an option, I switched. It was the greatest bathroom innovation of my life. Hands down, sitting is the superior option. You get to sit down for longer, with beats standing any day, and you definitely get a more quality clean.
Paul makes an excellent point there. Sitting is much better than standing in general. Who doesn't love a good sit?
I call bullshit on the people who say they stand to wipe and didn't realize there was another way to do it. Do these people not watch TV or movies? Whenever there's a glimpse of someone shitting, they're always sitting, never standing. In fact, the movies helped me to realize I was wrong, as I'm a converted stander to sitter myself.
Yes, but you never see people WIPING in the movies, do you? And of course, everyone SHITS sitting down. No one takes the actual shit while standing up. DO THEY?!
/doesn't know what to believe anymore
I used to stand to wipe my ass. The thought of putting my hand down the toilet bowl revolted me. It wasn't until I went to college that it dawned on me that standing up did not allow me to get every last piece of poop on my cheeks. I always wondered why my ass would be itchy about an hour later. I don't know what the actual catalyst was, but once I started to stay sitting to wipe, I began to have a dryer ass and fewer shit stains in the boxers. I have not looked back.
I know what he means by that ass itch. Where you really start digging into your ass to itch and you realize OH FUCK. IT'S ITCHING BECAUSE IT'S POOPY. Never good.
For as long as I could remember I stood up to wipe following a dump, I don't know why, I just did, and in doing so dealt with the annoyance of clumps, multiple wipes, drippage, etc. Then, for some reason, call it curiosity, last year I started wiping while sitting, which clearly was the better way to go, albeit the weird stretch you have to do to get in there and the possibility of skimming the water is kind of tough. The main benefit however is that your cheeks are automatically spread way apart, so you can really get in there, even draw a little blood which is when you know you really wiped well.
I do like a good blood wipe.
This weekend a couple friends of mine tried to play a joke on me by saying I was weird for sitting on the toilet seat while pooping instead of sitting on the rim, and seeing if they could convince me that I was weird for using the toilet seat. Turns out what gave them that idea was that one of them actually knew some Asian guy who didn't know what the toilet seat was for. He thought it was a "seat protector" that you put down when you pee so you don't piss on the rim of the toilet. Then when he had to poop, he would sit on the rim of the toilet. My friend said it took five people to convince the guy that he was doing it wrong and the toilet seat was meant to be sat on, not used as a "seat protector". I was tempted to try this method of pooping in my bathroom but then I remembered how much piss I would be sitting on, plus running the risk of falling in the toilet.
And it's cold! Ever sit on the rim by accident? Like a goddamn ice luge.
Yet another person checking in about standing to wipe. I think I do it solely because I am terrified of touching my shit iceberg with my hand if I wipe while sitting.
I find it interesting that so many people don't know about standing (or sitting down) to wipe. Because I do both. I like to sit faithfully for the first few wipes (who has the energy/patience to stand that whole time?), then transition to standing for the last wipe of the sequence. I feel like I end up with a cleaner product.
PICK A SIDE, WAFFLER!
I had a friend who used to always stand to wipe. It wasn't because of how he was raised, or race or anything like that. No, he stood so he could check out his handiwork and if he was suitably impressed, he would move to the next stall over and wipe there leaving his magnificence for all to see.
Now THAT is a man and a half. I'd shake his hand for that. I do like the diea of standing for admiration. When you sit and try and peek, you kinda stare between your legs, but your ass shades your project.
You are undoubtedly inundated with emails about this but I was a life-long standing wiper but recently (past year or so) switched to sitting. I too had no idea there was another way until my wife barged into the bathroom one day while I was having my me time.
You see the trend here? Many guys are converts to sitting, but very few converts to standing.
I asked my brother if he stands or sits to wipe. He replied, "sitting, obviously" and FREAKED THE FUCK OUT when I told him I stand. He said it was among the most disgusting things he has ever heard. He had no idea that anyone stood, let alone his own brother, so that kills your argument about the way we were raised playing part.
So it's NOT genetic. Got that?
My friends and I once spent an entire afternoon discussing it, and the emerging theory was that it was a function of height. If you're 5'10 or over, you stand. If you're under, you sit. One corollary: fat people sit regardless.
But what if you're fat AND you're from Jersey? Because that's a common thing.
Just to add to your unofficial case study...I stand up.
There's a scene in Pick of Destiny where Jack Black is on the shitter and the crazy Tim Robbins character is telling him some big secret about how to get the pick...and JB wipes while sitting before leaving the stall. I was stunned by this, and eventually decided it was just something they did for the movie so they didn't have to worry about showing his cock by accident. Apparently I was wrong.
Indeed you were. Jack Black has no cock.
Dr. Steve Brule:
I normally didn't like standing when wiping until I figured out the perfect compromise - putting one foot on the seat whilst wiping. I call it "The Washington", because when I put my right foot on the seat I feel like I'm George Washington crossing the Delaware to sneak attack the Hessian troops...which is yet another way to associate shit with the German populace.
Listen to that man. He IS a doctor. And, unlike Fernando, he didn't go to medical school in Honduras.
A friend of mine used to date the daughter of the CEO of the company that makes Kohler brand toilets. My friend was pursuing his Master's degree in international relations, and when he met his perspective father-in-law, his academic background sparked a conversation about international toilet techniques. Apparently, Kohler has a special laboratory for developing toilets for different international markets. People from different cultures use the toilet differently, and Kohler needs to test their technology for a wide variety of pooping procedures. They fly folks in from many different countries and ask them to do their business on new toilet models to make sure there are no surprises. The engineers do not actually watch the testers poo, but as long as the equipment works, they consider it a successful movement.
Several years back, Kohler introduced a model of self-flushing toilet that uses a sensor to automatically flush when the user stands up. They flew folks from all over the world to test them, and all the tests were successful except for one demographic. Whenever a woman from rural India would use the commode, the flushing mechanism failed. The engineers checked all the equipment and determined that everything was in working order, but the engineer did notice strange marks on the seat. Finally, one of the test subjects agreed to allow an engineer to watch her do her duty. Then engineer was astonished. Apparently, in rural India, where toilets are scarce, women are not trained to sit while using the bathroom. Instead, they squat. The test subjects applied this custom to the new toilet by squatting while standing on the seat. The flush sensor was designed to detect a seated customer, but it was not designed for the rarely-used climb-and-squat technique.
I am very happy that I am not a toilet design engineer.
And that concludes our intensive study of this hidden phenomenon of American life. I hope you've learned something today. I hope this brings some semblance of closure to the debate (please, no need to email us any further accounts of your habits). And I hope you have to take a shit now, because I certainly have to. God DAMN I gotta squeeze one out.