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Do you go to the toilet in front of your partner?
October 31, 2004 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Do you go to the toilet in front of your partner?

I mean, you see it all the time on movies and it's supposed to show (I guess) that the couple are relaxed and open with each other. But I've been with my girlfriend for five years and we're very open, very into each other (still), and yet I would never consider going to the toilet in front of her (number 1s, or number 2s) and would be, erm, disturbed if she did in front of me. So, are we strange and squeamish, or is TV/film skewing the field?
posted by benzo8 to Human Relations (45 answers total)
 
No 1, sure. No. 2, hell fucking no. It's impossible not to look disgusting doing that.
posted by jonmc at 10:53 AM on October 31, 2004


yep. with jonmc on this. we (me + the other, not jonmc) discussed it last night and decided that neither of us smelt exactly like flowers during such moments.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:58 AM on October 31, 2004


Whizz: okay, it's acceptable, but barely. Pretty okay if the other person is outside the bathroom and my back is to them; then we can both pretend it ain't happening.

Poo: sweet zombie Jesus, no. The time I am on the throne is between me and my creator, and that's it. I shall not have that door opened unto me for anything less than immediate threats of great bodily harm.

Also, it's well-known that bathroom doors are completely and utterly soundproof. No matter how disgusting the noises that emerge from your bum, someone outside CANNOT hear them well enough to comment on.

andrewcooke: I, on the other hand, do smell like flowers then. Neener. Granted, I smell like a titan arum or a rafflesia, but a flower nonetheless.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:02 AM on October 31, 2004


I don't mind urinating while my husband is in the bathroom, but not #2. I can hardly bring myself to admit that i do #2 at all. He will not even consider doing either in front of me, and does not want to see/hear me urinating. So we keep the bathroom door closed.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:09 AM on October 31, 2004


I grew up in a house with no locks on the bathroom doors and went a a school with co-ed bathrooms so I'm pretty used to peeing in front of or near people of either gender, boyfriend included. No 2, generally not, and I've never met a guy that wasn't absolutely horrified at the idea of taking a dump with someone else in the room.
posted by jessamyn at 11:14 AM on October 31, 2004


rhapsodie, glancing quickly down the page I at first somehow read the beginning of your comment as "I met my husband in a bathroom", and settled in for a good story. I must say I'm kind of disappointed... Couldn't you make an effort to be a bit more unconventional for my entertainment?

As for Mr. taz and me, we're not shy with each other on this stuff, but then we don't really hang out and chat during serious business, either. If we're having a great discussion, we almost always carry on during peepee.
posted by taz at 11:28 AM on October 31, 2004


I prefer privacy for number 2, but if hubby has something to say he waltzes in to say it. Number one, we don't worry about it. I'd say we aren't too prissy about that stuff after 21 years and three kids.
posted by konolia at 12:14 PM on October 31, 2004


Since everyone is saying pretty much the exact same thing, is there anyone who does #2 in front of their significant person?
posted by adampsyche at 12:19 PM on October 31, 2004


My wife and I have no concerns over #1, and while we prefer privacy for #2, it's no big deal if we have to share the room momentarily.

One wouldn't normally want to hang around while a dump is being delivered, simply because the air often isn't fresh-smelling during and after.

I figure if a person can feel comfortable having sex with someone, there shouldn't be any sort of embarassement over using the toilet. Sex is by far the sillier-looking behaviour.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:52 PM on October 31, 2004


you see it all the time on movies

For the life of me, I can't think of a single film in which this happens. Can you provide examples?

(And, really, should you be modelling your behavior based on what you see in a movie?)
posted by SPrintF at 12:55 PM on October 31, 2004


I don't much like it, but I think it is (and ought to remain) a personal thing.

Witnessing it on film/TV is no less obnoxious than in person, though.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:08 PM on October 31, 2004


SPrintF: Schindler's List comes to mind most immediately.
posted by waldo at 1:12 PM on October 31, 2004


For the life of me, I don't understand why people are so squeamish about pooing when their partner is in the room. For us, combining a bath (me) with a poo (her) is absolutely fine as long as we stick to our respective pieces of bathroom furniture. It's great to have someone to talk to while I'm in the bath, and if she has to poo at the same time, why, then we're just being super-efficient! Hooray!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:22 PM on October 31, 2004


If you can't bear to be separated from your partner even when in the bathroom, may I recommend The Love Toilet?
posted by Nelson at 1:29 PM on October 31, 2004


I believe romance and/or marriage is no excuse for that kind of familiarity.
posted by JanetLand at 1:35 PM on October 31, 2004


Oh my, I agree with FFF on a propriety question. If you fuck me, you can deal with me going to the bathroom. Then again, I pee in front of partners, roomies, my mom . . . I have to pee a lot and if I had to interrupt a (often beer-fueled) conversation every time, it would get old fast. Poo not as much, but that's because it's a great excuse to read, not because I care.
posted by dame at 1:47 PM on October 31, 2004


I don't care how 'comfortable' you are with a person, toilet time is the one thing 'not shared' IMO.

I don't like people walking in on me while I'm on the toilet and I'd never purposely walk in on them.

I had to suffer through this in my marriage, he thought it was fine that he'd come in and do his business while I was in the bath. ::shudders::
posted by kamylyon at 2:14 PM on October 31, 2004


For the life of me, I can't think of a single film in which this happens. Can you provide examples?

Henry Fool has a scene in which the titular character (Thomas Jay Ryan) proposes to Fay Grim (Parker Posey) after his seven espresso dump. Pretty funny actually. I'll bet there are more ...
posted by milovoo at 2:57 PM on October 31, 2004


Sex is by far the sillier-looking behaviour.

Are you [*ahem*] shitting me?

There's a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to watching people fuck. I don't think there's anything similar for watching folks squeeze out a log.
posted by jonmc at 3:03 PM on October 31, 2004


Only one large bathroom with tub has made it so that me and my SO have no shyness when it comes to using the facilities in front of each other. If I'm having a soak and he needs to no.2, so be it. It doesn't bother me, it doesn't bother him, and oddly we weren't shy even when we just started dating.

Never had that with anyone else though so It might be that we just love each so much it's sick. ;)
posted by dabitch at 3:07 PM on October 31, 2004


Both my sisters feel free to use the toilet for either, or, for that matter, both, function if I am in the bathroom troweling on makeup or futzing with my hair, i.e., the door is open. They pay no attention to my exclamations of "Hey, yechh." Thank you for this thread of validation.
posted by theora55 at 4:12 PM on October 31, 2004



There's a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to watching people fuck. I don't think there's anything similar for watching folks squeeze out a log.


No, but those Venn diagrams do intersect a little bit, let's face it.
posted by Hildago at 4:12 PM on October 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


True dat, hidalgo.

I was once visiting a freind of mine who used to be a paramedic. Halfway through a drunken evening he took out a videotape. He explained that some budies of his had been called to a home where a guy was found dead of a heart attack with his pants down and this video in the VCR.

You can guess how the tape ended. *shudder*. So while that diagram does intersect, it dosen't do so for anybody I'd care to drink with.
posted by jonmc at 4:53 PM on October 31, 2004


Fuck jonmc that is disgusting
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:31 PM on October 31, 2004


For the life of me, I can't think of a single film in which this happens. Can you provide examples?

Something Wild, with a young Melanie Griffith on the pot.
posted by NortonDC at 9:34 PM on October 31, 2004


I don't think there's anything similar for watching folks squeeze out a log.

Wanna bet?

(I couldn't bring myself to provide any linkage on this one.... you can thank me later.)
posted by spilon at 9:45 PM on October 31, 2004



There's a multi-billion-dollar industry devoted to watching people fuck. I don't think there's anything similar for watching folks squeeze out a log.


You are obviously not an aficionado of Japanese porn.
posted by Meridian at 2:32 AM on November 1, 2004


IIRC there was an episode of Sex in the City where this came up...Miranda (the lawyer?) was seriously freaked by a boyfriend who wasn't afraid to share the bathroom.

dame has it right. I'm someone who loves intimacy in a relationship and being relaxed enough to share all kinds of intimate moments - even 'at toilet' (altho' there's no need to make a performance about it) - is a very good thing.
posted by i_cola at 3:34 AM on November 1, 2004


I live with my SO in a walkup studio that costs too damn much. Thankfully the bathroom is actually a real room and has a real door and everything.

It was probably the 2nd or 3rd sleepover before we'd share bathroom space. It's really not that big of a deal. If you'd swap fluids with someone, being in the bathroom with them shouldn't be an issue.

The only time I actually care for that sort of privacy with her is when I'm planning on doing some reading.

I find you squeamish people a little strange. Have you people camped? Visited a farm? Ever used an outhouse? A latrine? How about an open-air outhouse, one of those cool rare ones with a view?
posted by loquacious at 3:40 AM on November 1, 2004


I recall a sketch from a 1980's British comedy show where one of the regrets listed by an old man was that he'd never watched a woman pee.
posted by biffa at 5:40 AM on November 1, 2004


The one thing that wigs me out is when people assert that their personal sensibilities on these sorts of matters should be universal.

I have a shy bladder that seems to be quite independent of how I think I think and feel about these matters. It doesn't bother me to have my SO pee in my presence; and, theoretically, it doesn't bother me to pee in my SO's presence. In practice, I need some time to convince my bladder control to cooperate. As for pooing, I'd definitely prefer that to be private for both parties. I don't think I've had a partner that was casual about this, although I'm sure I've been in the presence of a partner who was pooing. I mean, as others have said, if you have only one bathroom and you've been together a while, it's sort of necessary occasionally and not really a big deal. Personally, if a partner was completely casual about pooing in my presence, I'd find her unself-consciousness sort of charming and I'd look at it as an opportunity to overcome my squeamishness.

Anyway, my partners have varied in how they felt about peeing in my presence.

Does anyone else think that how people think and feel about this might deeply relate to how they think and feel about romantic relationships? Specifically, I very most strongly value the comradery/friendship/companionship of a romantic relationship, and in that context partners being able to be what and who they really are to each other, including icky physical things, seems part of the ideal. In contrast, some people prefer a romantic, somewhat mysterious kind of romantic relationship that idealizes in many ways their partner. That last thing that sort of person wants, I'd imagine, is to be faced with the unpleasant reality that their lover takes a dump regularly.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:51 AM on November 1, 2004


Call me old fashioned, but my partner and I prefer not to know certain things about one another. How the other looks urinating and defecating are two of those things. Keep the magic alive, people.
posted by haqspan at 5:55 AM on November 1, 2004


If you'd swap fluids with someone, being in the bathroom with them shouldn't be an issue

You must be the same people that try to have conversations with me while I'm pissing in the urinal. Stop it. If I'd wanted to converse with you, I'd've gone to your office.

Have you people camped?

Yes. They have these things called "campgrounds" with "bathrooms." If hiking, there are things called "trees" and "bushes" one can lurk behind.

Visited a farm?

You must visit some pretty awful farms; all of the ones I've seen have houses on them, with real no-kidding bathrooms.

Ever used an outhouse?

Chemical toilets count? Sure. What sort of pervert would follow me out into the cold just to watch me shit? Why would I want their company?

A latrine?

Nope.

I think you're not getting it. I would, if needed, crap in an open field or behind a tree or while my wife takes a bath. But if I can wait, why wouldn't I? She gets a nice private bath, I get a nice private crap. Win-win.

To me, it's not intimate, it's acting like a damn puppy-dog following me around everywhere and not letting me have an inch of my own space. I want to be alone sometimes. I will *insist* on being alone whilst pinching a loaf, if for no other reason than that it makes a good excuse.

Seems the only important thing is that people find like-minded folks to live with. And private folks like me should remember to lock the door if you're living with walker-inners.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:01 AM on November 1, 2004


OK, ROU, what would you do if you're touching cloth and you got back to your hotel room only to find your beloved is in the bath?
posted by biffa at 6:39 AM on November 1, 2004


Depends on what "touching cloth" means, as I've never heard that before. Assuming it has something to do with an urgent need to crap:

If ya gotta go, ya gotta go. Better to ruin my bride's bathing experience than to crap my pants.

Do you really think that someone who doesn't want to share the bathroom while crapping, or with a crapping person, is going to just stand outside the door looking forlorn as he shits his pants full to overflowing because someone's in there? It's a preference, for God's sake, and preferences bow to necessity.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:26 AM on November 1, 2004


I recall a sketch from a 1980's British comedy show where one of the regrets listed by an old man was that he'd never watched a woman pee

That was "A Bit of Fry and Laurie," the wonderful series starring Stephen Fry (director of the recent "Bright Young Things" and author) and Hugh Laurie (the father in the "Stuart Little" movies and author of the red hot comedy thriller "The Gun Seller"). They were so young then! And both obscenely talented.
posted by Faze at 7:51 AM on November 1, 2004 [1 favorite]


In principle, I have no problem with the peeing, but my bladder sometimes has other ideas. I would only poop in front of my wife in an extreme situation.

As far as movies go, Eyes Wide Shut has Nicole Kidman peeing with her husband in the room in the very first scene.
posted by faceonmars at 8:57 AM on November 1, 2004


In my "extreme love" situation there is a huge, insurmountable wall between peeing and pooping. Not only do we routinely leave the bathroom door open during pee time, we experimented early on with peeing on each other in the shower-- just one time for the experience.

Pooping, on the other hand is so private that not once in 4 years of co-habitation has my boyfriend ever even passed gas in my presence. The man has an anus of steel.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:39 AM on November 1, 2004


How about an open-air outhouse, one of those cool rare ones with a view?

I have crapped with the gods themselves, high atop mountains in the Monashees, the Kokanees, the Purcells. Open-air toilets placed with great care as to provide the best possible view. Truly, it is to touch the hand of God. Or to pull his finger, at the very least.

To me, it's not intimate, it's acting like a damn puppy-dog following me around everywhere and not letting me have an inch of my own space.

I'd be very much surprised if anyone's S.O. is following them around just to watch them push out a load. If they are, it's a fetishistic thing and not really quite pertinent to the original question.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:43 AM on November 1, 2004


well, my wife and i have no problem peeing in front of each other. we only have one bathroom, so we do occasionally poo in front of each other - but wiping? never. i draw the line at wiping.

now a friend of mine... he used to make phone calls while on the pot. i'd be talking to him, then suddenly he'd say "wait just a sec" followed by a loud flushing sound. somehow i personally find that a bit more disturbing than seeing my wife sitting on the toilet.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:04 AM on November 1, 2004


we only have one bathroom, so we do occasionally poo in front of each other - but wiping? never. i draw the line at wiping.

clf: in the absence of the three shells, this sounds like pretty grim behaviour.
posted by biffa at 10:40 AM on November 1, 2004


Both, naturally. But it's not like we watch and score 'performances'.
posted by page404 at 11:37 AM on November 1, 2004


I've never met a guy that wasn't absolutely horrified at the idea of taking a dump with someone else in the room.

Ha! At my fraternity house the upstairs bathrooms had no stalls, and also served as a sort of shortcut hallway between the front and back halls. Pooping was a social activity. To be honest, I often get bored/lonely now when I'm crapping.

Despite that, I still prefer not to mix it up in the bathroom with my girlfriend, although we haven't lived together full-time yet, so maybe that would change. Neither of us are really shy about it, I don't think, it's just a mutual respect, and wanting to preserve the mystery and romance and such.
posted by rorycberger at 11:44 AM on November 1, 2004


Well guys - thanks! I'm glad to hear that G. and I aren't uniquely prudish, slightly disturbed to hear that there are people who'll do a number 2 in front of their partner, and totally freaked out to find there are people who considering not doing to be an indication of a flaw in the relationship!

There's intimacy and sharing, and there's watching your partner dump waste material into the toilet, and in our lives, never the twain shall meet!
posted by benzo8 at 1:10 PM on November 1, 2004


"It is required that everyone, when urinating or defecating, hide his sexual parts from all pubescent persons, even his sister or his mother, as well as from any feebleminded person or children too young to understand. But husband and wife are not required to hide them from each other."
- Ayatollah Khomeini [from Chapter 9, On The Manner Of Urinating And Defecating]

Sometimes you just find this stuff on the web while the ask.me question is still in your mind.
posted by milovoo at 3:33 PM on November 11, 2004 [1 favorite]


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