Human beings are disgusting creatures. We live among trash and dirty dishes, in cities that emanate smog and grime. We pick our noses and spit loogies. You can’t name something so gross that there’s not a kink website for people who are into it. Over the millennia, we’ve adopted all manner of habits to mitigate our filthiness — and its potential ill effects. Many of these are quite sensible: Frequently washing your hands during a pandemic comes to mind. Others are mere superstition, such as “not peeing in the pool.”
Yes, you read that right. You can and should pee in the pool. Who cares. The urine police will not arrest you. Just let it go, man.
“But Miles,” you protest, “you’re not supposed to!”
Hate to break the news, but someone else already has. The pool was not a perfectly balanced, sterile bath when you got into it; there’s always some pee in the mix. Why? Because at a previous moment, at least one individual correctly deduced that life is too short to bother with hauling yourself out of the water, drying off a bit and then dripping your way to the bathroom every time you need to take a piss. This is a case where, if all your friends jump off a cliff, you may as well join them. By going for a swim, you are consenting to swim in pee, whether it’s the ocean, a river, lake or pool. No reason to hold yours back.
Find that disgusting?
Well, so is eating ass, and we can’t fucking get enough of that. It’s who we are. When the laws of physics give you as elegant a system of excretion as what happens when you release the contents of your bladder into a fluid surrounding your body, you don’t argue with it. Especially if you’ve been knocking back light beers all afternoon. Don’t be a prude. That Bear Grylls dude drinks his own urine, and I’m supposed to feel shame for adding a few dozen milliliters of the stuff to thousands of gallons of disinfected water? Give me a break. Everyone has done it, and everyone has justified it in their own heads. I’m just saying it out loud.
And don’t come at me with this clickbait about how pee reacts with chlorine to produce a poisonous chemical. You’ve never had a reaction like you would to tear gas because your pal took a whizz in the pool; you’ve never even noticed a pool-pisser unless you happened to be in the vicinity when they relieved themselves. (Despite my position in this piece, I do not advocate for peeing when directly adjacent to a fellow swimmer, unless you have a close relationship and can play it off as a joke.) The urine is invisible and, should you liberate it strategically, unnoticeable — nobody the wiser. Whatever harm this supposedly causes is theoretical, predicated on a vague squeamishness that collapses under analysis. There is a social contract against the pool-tinkle because we hate the idea of it, yet the reality is fine.
You know who piddles in the pool? Goddamn Olympic swimmers, that’s who. Not a select group, either — probably all of them. If it works for the greatest athletes on the planet, then I’m not too proud to do it myself. Go with the flow. Cut out the middleman. Embrace the totality of the universe: The pool is pee, the pee is the pool, everything is everything. One day you’ll be in the nursing home, filling an adult diaper with your piss and wishing you’d peed in more pools when you had the chance. Life offers plenty of regrets, and you can preempt that one easily. By peeing.
Come on, you’re convinced. You’re ready. I bet you’ve noticed the ticklish pressure of nature’s call. If you don’t have a pool, rent or get yourself invited to a place that does, and experience the serenity of thinking, “eh, screw it” as you let a stream of wee diffuse through your bathing suit, into the sun-spangled blue. We all deserve that bliss — that freedom. No gods, no masters, only a large concrete vessel of water that contains an infinitesimal amount of liquid human waste.