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In Praise of Sitting While You Pee

Guys, gather round and listen up. I must impart some wisdom that will seem obvious in hindsight but may just change your outlook on life: You are allowed to sit down to pee.

And you should.

“But Miles,” you say, “men can pee standing up.” This I cannot attempt to refute. It is the sole reason for the ubiquity of a confounding device known as a “urinal,” which was invented by a genius who thought the point of peeing was to have it splash back on your pants, preferably while you’re checking out the pee-stream of a guy peeing six inches to your left. I reject the brainwashing that would have us accept this dystopian horror as normal. Fortune has given us butts and toilets, and it is imperative that we make maximum use of each, together, in a grand union of form and function. The standing pee was no doubt advantageous in our time as hunter-gatherers, and it still comes in handy at gas stations, or when the Starbucks bathroom is customers-only but there’s an empty alley out back. Shall we then refuse to see that its time has largely passed?

You already know that sitting is great; chances are you do it all day. You’re probably sitting right now, unless you’re one of those dudes with a standing desk, in which case you probably also never shut up about double IPAs. Who enjoys standing? Standing in line, standing still, standing for your country’s dumb national anthem, standing at a concert and realizing the headliners won’t go on for another full hour: Standing sucks! Now, sitting — that’s where it’s at. Sitting pretty, Sitting Bull, sittin’ on the dock of the bay. Everybody loves a good sit, because sitting was made for royalty. Treat yourself.

Are there health benefits to the sit-down pee? Sure. But I don’t need a dick scientist to tell me that I’m getting every last drop of pee in the bowl, every time. I don’t even turn on the light to pee in the middle of the night — I sit my ass down and feel the flow. If an impending fart seems to have only a 50/50 chance of leaving my body as such, I dispense with the odds-making and let ’er rip, tater chip. Perhaps you, too, live with a woman, and would see the advantage in becoming more acquainted with your toilet seat (i.e., aware of when it requires cleaning)? Hey, maybe you’ll spring for a nicer one!

My editor, Alana, thinks I’m deranged. She’s actually yelling at me right now. “Do you understand the freedom of not having to sit?” she’s asking. “It makes me mad — 90 percent of my penis envy comes from the fact that you don’t have to squat over a disgusting port-a-potty. You can pee wherever. You don’t need to pull down your pants. HOW DARE YOU TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED.” In fact, I don’t. I am selective about where to sit: yes for residential toilets and (nice) office restrooms, no to dive bars and stadiums and airports. This convenience, as Alana says, represents “the ultimate male privilege,” and I don’t disagree with that. But to waste that privilege would be a crime.

At the end of the day, though, nothing I say will persuade you better than the experience itself. The men who prefer to stand to pee are merely resistant to change — and afraid they’ll be banned from masculine society. Deep down, they suspect that trying the alternative leads to an irrevocable switch. They’re right. Look, Ryan Gosling does it, okay? Don’t you goddamn tell me you don’t want to be Ryan Gosling. Truthfully, the hardest part of sitting is the regret over all those years of spraying the wall with a 90º-angled pee jet right after sex. You’ll wonder why you made yourself endure that way, why the world wanted you to suffer. I don’t have an answer, but listen: It’s not too late for something different, something bold and humane and comforting. The choice is yours.

Don’t wait another minute. Chug some water and start sitting down for what you believe in.

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