Many men find public restrooms terrifying. Who knew?


Many men find public restrooms terrifying. Who knew?

“For many men, taking a piss at the office is apparently a 'nightmarish' experience,” writes J. Bryan Lowder at Slate. “[P]aranoia about seeing and being seen, elaborate attempts to construct sonic shields, and most of all, a deep sense that the perils of humiliation and social opprobrium waiting on the other side of the restroom door may very well outweigh the relief of relieving oneself.”

I do not share this phobia, and am surprised by the implication that it's common.

I do, however, share the common American custom of always selecting the urinal furthest from other men. That requires a quick bit of calculus in a busy public restroom. I don't remember ever being taught this. It's something you just absorb.

If this phobia is, indeed, common, it would explain one of the objections to Google Glass, that men would use it to secretly take pictures of other men's Carlos Dangers in public restrooms. You hear this a lot, and it baffles me. I don't think it's going to happen except extremely rarely – statistically equivalent to never. And if it does, well, I don't actually care. My Johnson is not some magical sprite that melts away when exposed to a photographic lens.

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