Before you stumble out of bed tomorrow morning and take that first piss of the day, just hold things in for a minute and consider what it is you’re about to flush away. After all, someone who has to pass a drug test might pay good money for that clean sample you’re hoarding in your bladder. Or maybe some South African students might make a brick out of it. Point is, maybe there’s a market out there for that morning leak, so let’s take a look and see before you quite literally piss it all away.
As of 2019, there’s only one real piss market in existence, so let’s start there. “Like anything else, urine is worth whatever somebody is willing to pay,” explains Jordan, owner of Urine the Clear, a company that’s been providing clean urine for 20 years. “When you consider that somebody may go to jail if they’re on parole or lose their job if they’re being tested at work, people would be willing to pay whatever they have to in order to not lose their freedom or lose their kids.” Right now, on Jordan’s site, two ounces of urine (a quarter cup!) would run you $59.95, while four ounces goes for $100.
With those costs, it’s not just the urine you’re paying for: Jordan also supplies an I.V. bag to ship the urine in and a heating element so that it’s the right temperature to pass a urinalysis. There’s also advertising costs for the website. When all that’s factored in, Jordan explains that, on the donor end, his supply is provided by trusted people that he knows are clean, and for their urine they receive $5 for four ounces. In other words, there might be some money in selling your pee this way, but it’s only enough to cover a 5-Hour Energy Shot.
But say you wanted to cut out the middleman and go directly to the source. How much could you make if you decided to set up your own lemonade-style urine stand? I spoke to Don Gorman (not his real name), a regular cannabis user with a fluid employment situation. Gorman has bought piss more than a few times in his life, and has paid a variety of prices for both real and synthetic urine.
Now, for those out there who haven’t cheated their way into employment, synthetic urine is pretty much what it sounds like: Fake pee created in a lab that mimics real urine on a chemical level. As Maximum Yield magazine explains, it contains the precise levels of creatine, uric acid, urea and nitrates, as well as the proper PH level, to pass for the real deal. As selling real pee is illegal in some places, many use synthetic urine to get around this, or perhaps because it lacks the ick-factor of strapping another dude’s whiz to your thigh. It’s also used by fetishists who are into stuff involving urine (or at least that’s what the places that sell it claim).
For synthetic urine, Gorman says he’s paid about 60 bucks at his local head shop. For the real thing, he once used his roommate’s clean sample, and just took him out to dinner afterwards. “I also have a friend of mine who would stand outside of a mall and size people up. Then, once he found a guy he figured was clean, he’d ask them directly if they smoke weed or do any other drugs, if they said no, he offered them $50 cash to pee into a cup,” Gorman says.
So, if you’re able to find someone who needs the pee directly, you might make about $50 to $100 on it, but waiting to be approached by shady dudes outside of shopping malls is hardly a sustainable business model, so I wouldn’t pin your hopes on that one. I asked Gorman how much he thinks he’d pay at most for a sample, synthetic or otherwise, and he said he’d probably drop a couple hundred. Much as Jordan said, Gorman explained, “How much would you pay to keep your job?”
Where, though, is this market going? With wider access to weed nowadays, might the demand for clean pee go up? Or, with the invention of synthetic urine and the legalization of marijuana in various states, is the price going down? Jordan feels that with more people smoking weed, that’s good for his business — he’s experienced an uptick in his market. It’s not enough of a change to suddenly start paying his donors big bucks, but he does say that more people are buying. He explains that even where weed is legal now, many employers still test their employees to be sure they’re not paying people who are tripping balls on the job.
As for that synthetic urine, Jordan says that while it isn’t good for business, he believes that there’s nothing like the real thing, as he often gets people who come to him because a synthetic urine has failed as the urinalysis was more sophisticated than they thought. Since urine testing is a big money business, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the way these labs test would evolve and adapt to people who are trying to game the system.
Outside the clean-drug-test market, sadly your piss is worth, well, shit. Those South African students I mentioned earlier, for example, aren’t ready to buy your pee yet, and it wouldn’t do you much good even if they were: NBC explains that to make just one biobrick — as they’re formally called — it took five gallons of urine, or approximately 100 trips to the restroom. “Compare that to the cost of a $0.75 brick at Home Depot,” explains John H. Locke, and NYC-based architect who specializes in green construction. If you do the math, that means that you’d only be able to earn three quarters of a cent per leak.
There are other uses for recycled pee, but probably none that you can make a buck off of. There’s beer made from urine — which is hilariously named a “pisner” — but that involved using more than 13,000 gallons of piss collected from a music festival, which was then used to fertilize a field of barley. It’s hard to imagine they could sell that beer at a reasonable price if they paid every drunk dude who broke the seal at a festival. NASA is constantly looking at uses for pee, including for drinking water and as an energy source, but unless you’ve got a Piss Mart outside of the International Space Station, it’s hard to see how you’d make any money there.
Really, there’s only one more viable market out there for urine, but it involves you becoming a highly sought after dominatrix first. “I’ve sold my piss a total of three times,” says Ceara Lynch, who refers to herself as a “humiliatrix extraordinaire.” She first got the idea of selling her urine 15 years ago, when she was propositioned by a man on the internet. Since then she’s sold it twice more, for $4,000 each time. As Lynch explains, “The dudes who buy it have a pee fetish, and they like drinking piss from beautiful women. I don’t claim to know what their exact fantasy is, but I’m sure everyone is different. If they’re buying it, though, they’re probably drinking it.”
So, there you go: All you have to do to make money off of your pee is to become a super-hot, highly experienced, wildly popular bondage queen.