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June 21, 2011 1:55 PM   Subscribe

When I urinate, where should I aim?

Assume a standard western domestic toilet 1 and a standing position.2 Where north is the far side of the bowl, where do you aim?

Rather than making this a poll, I'd like to know what place to aim is objectively best.


Splatter: What goes in the toilet should stay in the toilet. I think aiming into the water is likely to cause the most splatter (I sometimes see leaping macroscopic droplets). I have not tested this hypothesis.3 Am I right?

Noise: aiming for the water at the center of the bowl is noisy, likely audible outside the washroom. Aiming above the waterline is far quieter.

Aesthetics: Aiming east or west near the waterline gets a nifty whirlpool motion going, clearly a plus.

What other considerations have I overlooked?

My current target of choice is south, 2 cm above the waterline. This seems best to me, but previous threads1 have suggested that north minimizes splatter in a urinal. Is there some reason to think that north is best with toilets as well?

All things considered, where is best? I'm asking this as a serious question, more or less. Anything I do every day is worth doing right.

(1) A toilet, not a urinal, outhouse, squat-toilet, snowbank, tree or anything Japanese. For askMeFi discussion of urinal targeting, see here and here.

(2) A sitting position presents a different set of problems. You can expect much less noise and splatter (E=mgh) but any splatter will probably land on you, particularly a problem for those of us with dangly bits. It's a more difficult problem to solve since aiming options are restricted, particularly for those of us who don't have dangly bits.

(3) I can't imagine actually testing this. Food coloring in the bowl?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow to Grab Bag (50 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I vote North.
posted by royalsong at 1:58 PM on June 21, 2011

The correct answer, sadly, is Girl Style.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:02 PM on June 21, 2011 [13 favorites]

As a rule, I aim north, precisely at the waterline. That seems optimal in terms of splashback reduction.

This is an utterly absurd question and I love you for posting it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:05 PM on June 21, 2011 [10 favorites]

East. I also stand a few inches off axis so the stream is more nearly vertical, for a more nearly tangential impact.

Of course, aiming so near the edge of the bowl requires a higher level of mindfulness.
posted by Bruce H. at 2:06 PM on June 21, 2011

Of course, if you're ruling out sitting: Water by day, porcelain by night. The porcelain produces much less noise, much more splashback. The water is loud, but urine doesn't bounce off it.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:07 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

My father was known to yell at someone in the bathroom, "Hey! Can ya aim a bit to the side? You sound like a cow on a flat rock."
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:07 PM on June 21, 2011 [10 favorites]

(And with the water, the deeper, the better.)
posted by Sys Rq at 2:08 PM on June 21, 2011

Look "justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow" if this is a big enough problem in your life that you have to ask about it on the internet, then the answer I am afraid is that you need to realise that you were not one of those men god intended to piss standing up, and you need to sit down.

On an entirely unrelated note and not at all speaking from direct personal experience, one advantage of getting into the habit of sitting is that if you attempt to drunk text your girlfriend while doing the deed, your $500 iphone will not, on slipping from your hand, end up short-circuiting in your own piss.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 2:12 PM on June 21, 2011 [14 favorites]

North. Juuuuuust above the waterline.

There are, of course, exceptions to this protocol -- such as in the events:

A: It is 3:47 AM, the cat has just awakened me because I callously forgot to fill the food dish before I went to bed. My eyes are hazy, my head fuzzy, it is dark and everything is off balance. I gotta sit, because there is no way in hell that I am going have anything resembling aim. If I try and stand, I'll be lucky to not piss on the damn bathroom mirror.

B: I have just engaged in the most lascivious of adult sport. Dangly bits are glued together in all sorts of ways. Though urinating in 8^10 streams can be spectacular in the way that a Peter Frampton concert is spectacular, I also don't want to clean it up. Resign thyself to sitting.

C: It is morning, and I have had the best, most amazingly vivid dreams imaginable...involving Mila Kunis, a jar of small pickles, and a last meal served on Alyson Hannigan's ass. It is time for the thirsty giraffe. Or the superman, depending on how dextrous I feel.

D: Amazingly attractive girlfriend is JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR. Do I stand? Do I sit? Do I run the tap? SHE COULD HEAR ME PEE! OH GOD, SHE COULD HEAR ME PEE! QUICK, DECIDE HOW TO HANDLE THIS!!!! This one is sorta a crap shoot.
posted by kaseijin at 2:12 PM on June 21, 2011 [38 favorites]

I have a cabinet immediately next to my toilet and so I've been able to test this for you just now. Aiming at the side of the bowl makes much less noise but produces truly prodigious splash-back onto my poor cabinet. Aiming into the water is louder, but there is almost no splashing. I vote for water, because noise is less important to me than having to wipe up urine all the time.
posted by InsanePenguin at 2:12 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Actually there are different toilet styles that remain common. For some you can get the side joint going. For others it doesn't matter where you aim, there are particles a-jumping.
posted by cashman at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2011

And yeah. As much as I do enjoy male privilege and being able to pee standing up (shave with a real razor! lather with a real brush! toss that towel over your shoulder, put those arms akimbo, and pee proud!)...if you don't want to be constantly wiping piss sparks off of everything, then there's only one way to pee, and it is a shameful way. =|
posted by kaseijin at 2:18 PM on June 21, 2011

Aim towards the base of the tree.

In the winter you are required by man law to spell your name in the snow at least once per year, provided the snow is available.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:21 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

If your mom still cleans the bathroom, aim high and live with the consequences. Otherwise sit down.
posted by Namlit at 2:28 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sit down. In the cubicles of the men's bathrooms at the French National Library, there are spotlights directly above the toilet and matt black tiles on the floor around it. These made clear that no matter how carefully you aim, if you piss standing up little droplets of urine will be spattered all around the toilet. If you sit down it's not falling from such a height and it doesn't splash so badly, though you still need a bit of directional optimization.

Don't feel obliged to follow this advice in any public place of urination.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 2:44 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

What other considerations have I overlooked?

That you're over-thinking this and should just get on with it and pee.

Do not sit down. You have an evolutionary advantage in that regard. If you sit down, you're holding back the entire species. Plus, you're being a girly man for no good reason. Unzip, aim, fire, zip, flush, wash hands and get on with your life.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:49 PM on June 21, 2011

Slightly off topic because it's about urinals; in the 80s, two dutch ladies got some design recognition for suggesting that pictures of little insects be embedded at strategic positions in the porcelain of public urinals. The reason? Men like to have something to aim at. The effect? Cleaning the surrounding areas became noticeably easier where these urinals-with-a-fly were installed.
It still bugs me that this idea hasn't caught on internationally.
posted by Namlit at 3:00 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

As a girl , I can only contribute this: grab a bit of toilet paper and wipe the rim. Whoever cleans the toilet will LOVE YOU! It has the added benefit of keeping the smell to a minimum between cleanings.
posted by annsunny at 3:04 PM on June 21, 2011 [9 favorites]

I just wanted to point out that there are differences in "standard domestic western toilets". American toilet bowls have a much higher water level than Australia and (I believe) the UK. This changes the equation somewhat. Aiming for just above the water line in an American toilet would cause much more .... splatter, than in an Australian one.
posted by Diag at 3:30 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

North. A little off-center to create the Altered-States-style whirling vortex.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:34 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

as a girl i can only contribute this: grab a bit of toilet paper and DAB THE END OF YOUR DICK. that last drop wasn't the last drop, seriously.
posted by nadawi at 3:35 PM on June 21, 2011 [17 favorites]

Pee on one knee. All the advantages of standing and sitting. Together at last.
posted by kjell at 3:46 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: By my count, the tally so far:

5 - Just sit you slob
4 - North (waterline)
3 - East/side (waterline to high on the bowl)
2 - Center/water
2 - Unspecified aiming point, standing/kneeling
1 - South (2cm above the waterline) - me

I feel baffled and alone. What's wrong with south? Straight down, steepest possible angle of incidence as the stream hits the bowl. Wouldn't any spatter just be reflected down into the water? (AoI=AoR) Besides, at that AoI the stream clings to the bowl (surface tension?). Can that really be worse than making visible splashes in the center?

(assuming we're not going to go science fair on this, the most objective approach to take is to try each other's ideas. East near the edge of the bowl seems crazy to me, but I'll try anything once)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:57 PM on June 21, 2011

as a girl i can only contribute this: grab a bit of toilet paper and DAB THE END OF YOUR DICK. that last drop wasn't the last drop, seriously.

As a girl, you have no idea. That last drop doesn't even come out until everything's all packed up. Dicks are dicks.

And also, a lot of bathrooms have sinks conveniently located at man-crotch height (so kids can reach, I guess), and the faucets are often unpredictably splashy. So that's what that is. Honest!
posted by Sys Rq at 4:09 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Aim at the middle of the water, unless the sound of yourself peeing scares you. Splashback from a water landing is 99% water. Splashback from porcelain is 99-100% pee.
posted by bricoleur at 4:12 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Sit down, only because it's so much easier to clean the toilet.

Way to piss all over the thread, fire&wings.
posted by Specklet at 4:14 PM on June 21, 2011

Nah, this is a real physics problem that needs graphs and charts and in some cases a micrometer.

Count me in as North. The problem with South is that you're shooting over the rim to hit that smooth spot and that's just not a good angle of attack. Too much risk involved.
posted by snsranch at 4:15 PM on June 21, 2011

Best answer: For further research, including graphs, diagrams, and super-classy photographs:
The Bathroom
posted by kelseyq at 4:55 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you clean your own toilet, fine, stand. I don't care where you aim, because you get the stink and the mess.

If your SO cleans, then be a man about it, and sit.

The women of the world thank you.
posted by BlueHorse at 4:58 PM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

I've just finished training a small boy and finally realized that the hole that males pee out of is not round. It's a slit. Sometimes it sticks together and the fine urine mist winds up everywhere. You don't see it at the time.

We both sit now.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:05 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Via the internet:
Comedian Rita Rudner once included a line in her routine about men and bathrooms, "If they hit anything they think they've done a good job."
posted by hexatron at 5:13 PM on June 21, 2011

If you stand, wipe down the entire area with a bathroom wipe. If you sit, just make sure you flush. Or go outside and find a bush.

I live with a stander, I encourage him to go outside and pee like a man, in a bush or on a tree. He does. When he goes inside, it splashes all over. He knows it does and cannot help it. It is gross.
posted by fifilaru at 5:59 PM on June 21, 2011

The problem with South, as I see it, is that there is so little margin for error. A little wrong move and you're peeing on the rim... not good. Sitting is out of the question, ffs. For me its North, a cm above the waterline.
posted by DarkForest at 6:04 PM on June 21, 2011

... just one more reason I am soooo happy my relationship is of the lesbian variety. What if you put some toilet paper in the water and then aimed for that? It seems to me that this would reduce noise and splash back. Of course, I know very little about penises (penii?).
posted by AlliKat75 at 6:09 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Drat, AlliKat, I thought I was going to be first to suggest that, but my hopes were dashed at the last post. I know a square of paper reduces noise and splash for #2, but my options for testing #1 are... limited....
posted by anaelith at 6:38 PM on June 21, 2011

Y'know, whatever you do, don't take the name of the question category to heart.

"Grab bag" indeed.

I say dead in the middle. The "rebound" that you see when a drop of water hits a surface in slow-motion video? You're trying to keep that fucker from forming.
posted by notsnot at 7:38 PM on June 21, 2011

I'll chime in as an ally to your team, justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow. I aim south when I need to suppress noise. I don't, however, aim due south - more like 7 o'clock than 6. I find that being off-center lets things flow with the contour of the bowl, like banks on a racetrack curve or in a velodome. I aim just above the water line - close enough that the water is disturbed by the force of things, but not so much so that it splashes. Like you, I generally find that any rebound is directed safely toward the middle of the bowl.

Of course, as others have noted, not all bowls are shaped the same, so sometimes it's necessary to be flexible and adapt as circumstances warrant. I'm also a strong believer in the "clean up after yourself" school of thought, and I do so any time I even think I've crossed the line.

Also, when I don't care about sound, I aim for the middle of the deepest part. In special cases, like those that kaseijin decribed, I sit.
posted by unsound at 9:03 PM on June 21, 2011

Directly into the water. It makes the loudest noise and I find that really funny. Yes, I'm an inconsiderate housemate - but I do wipe the seat down if I accidentally spray it.

Life's too short to worry about macroscopic droplets of urine.
posted by Ted Maul at 2:10 AM on June 22, 2011

Response by poster:
The Bathroom, Alexander Kira

Hard data!  That's exactly what I needed!  Thanks kelseyq.  I grabbed a library copy. (here are crude scans of the relevant passage)  Now I can really overthink this.

First, bricoleur is making sense.  While standing, aiming for the center is noisy but safe. The water is a big target.  There may be quite a lot of splatter, but at least it's diluted.  The question is whether it's possible to produce even less mess while also being quieter.  Designing an optimal procedure for standing urination requires an analysis of what can go wrong.

Causes of mess

1) Initial inaccuracy.  You're going to be a bit off target when you start up.

2) The stream is bigger than you think.  Your urethral opening is not a cylinder.  You'll notice the stream twisting as it leaves your urethra, causing centrifugal scattering.  The degree of scattering will depend on your output pressure and the exact shape of your urethra, but I am not your urologist. Expect the vast majority of urine volume  to fall within a diameter of 1-1.5" by the time it reaches the bowl.

3) The penumbra.  Around the main stream there is a mostly invisible spray of fine particles.  The penumbra will have a diameter of 3-6" by the time it reaches the bowl if aiming straight down. The penumbra will be much larger if you not aiming straight down (conic section). Aiming forward and downward at a 45° angle, the penumbra will fall on an ellipse with an alarmingly large major axis of 4-9"

4) Splashes when the stream hits the water. I have no data about this.

5) Hard surface reflection.  An idealized stream dropping vertically and hitting the waterline produces next to no splatter.  The same stream hitting a bit above the waterline causes zero splatter (!) according to Kira's images.  Perpendicular impact with a hard surface is bad. More on that shortly.

6) Pressure goes down as you start to run dry, and that will affect your aim.  Careful aim can compensate for this, but not perfectly.

7) The dreaded last dribble

8) Ultimately, the problem is that toilets are optimized for defecation, not urination.

How not to pee

A plurality of mefites said they aim for the far side of the bowl.  The data shows that this is by far the worst option.

The splash pattern for perpendicular impact is horrifying.  It goes everywhere.  Everywhere. A stream that hits the porcelain on the far side within 20° of perpendicular will fire off droplets up to 10" vertically, 30" longitudinally and 40-50" laterally. When you aim for the far side of the bowl, everything within three feet of your toilet is going to get drizzled.

Aiming for the far side waterline is better than just shooting at the far side, but it's still very bad.  Recall that the main stream has a 1-1.5" diameter on impact.  Even if your aim is perfect, half your stream is hitting porcelain and going everywhere.

For extra fun, the 45° angle of fire needed to reach the far side means you'll have a big penumbra (4-9" long).  If your stream is centered on the far side, part of the penumbral flow will be missing the bowl completely.  Your aim will also be vulnerable to pressure changes. You'll get noise when you drift into the center, and there's the possibility of squirting right out of the bowl.

In short, aiming for the far side is the technique most likely to leave your bathroom covered in a fine yellow film. It's giving standing urination a bad name. Farside aiming plus a refusal to clean the bathroom should be considered grounds for divorce.

A procedure for optimal standing urination: the center-to-nearside method

1) Lean forward until your equipment is just short of being directly over the nearside waterline. You're setting yourself up to aim straight downward in step 3. You may need to assume a wide stance and step in a bit closer.  

2) Aim for the center of the bowl water. Begin.

3) Once you've begun, slowly redirect the stream until you are aiming straight downward. You should be aiming for a point on the near side of the bowl 1" above the waterline. Stay on that target until you're done.


- minimum chance of initial aim error.  The water in the bowl is a large, safe target.  The cost of starting in the center is a couple seconds of noise, but I think that's a worthwhile tradeoff

- minimum spatter.  I need more data, but it's plausible that the nearside target method is reliably cleaner than the center target method

- having stepped forward to aim straight down, the nearside target can be hit without difficulty

- the penumbra stays in the bowl with a 1" safety margin (on my toilet). Caution: if you are very tall the penumbra will be larger. The margin of error could become unreasonably slim.

- near minimum noise

- aim unaffected by changing pressure (it's a vertical drop)

- the last drop has a safe place to fall


The data shows that incautious standing urination is astonishingly messy. Correct technique can make it clean and quiet. Sit if drunk, dazed or engorged.

Science! Now I never need to think about this again.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:14 AM on June 22, 2011 [15 favorites]

I was at a bar a couple weeks ago, and needed to go to the rest room. A blind man was walking towards it, and I was ready to knock him over to beat him to the mens room, but there were too many witnesses so I let him go. Besides I've been drinking and would have knocked myself over probably. Anyway, I expected pee to be everywhere after he was done. But when I got in there it was pretty clean, and the seat was up. So that tells me he didn't do it girl style, so I am wondering what is wrong with all of us people with perfect vision if a blind guy can aim like a sharp shooter?
posted by udon at 4:44 AM on June 22, 2011

Another vote for off-axis north for tangential effect - bonus points if you match the toilet flush vortex direction. Which leads to an important corollary point: make sure you initiate the flush before you're completely done to mask the pathetic sound of those final kegel-squirts at the end.
posted by klarck at 4:51 AM on June 22, 2011

Guys guys please, obviously the correct answer is to hold it for as long as possible (you'll see why shortly), and then aim the in the dead center of the bowl, and push it out as hard as possible, in order to maximize the bubble production of your pee-stream.

Once you have covered the entire surface of the water in bubbles with your violent stream of pee, you should immediately reduce the pressure on your bladder, and with the gentle droplets streaming from your loins you should then attempt to pop every single bubble you just created. This will take time, patience, and an enormous volume of urine, so plan carefully. And remember, practice makes perfect.

Oh, and it's no fun on those toilets that only fill 1/5 of the way so the surface area is about the same size around as a softball. Way too easy. Much better on the standard American fill where the water's surface area is closer to the circumference of a volleyball.
posted by Grither at 5:19 AM on June 22, 2011

Response by poster: I bungled the link to my scans from Kira's The Bathroom. These should work:
1 - standing options for women. Kira neglects this disposable tool.
2 - includes splash pattern pictures.
3 - sitting would "deny the male free use of his greatest glory." Really?
4 - diagram of stream and penumbra dispersion
5 - stream radius table, hard surface splash effects chart

Reading Kira's book as recommended by kelseyq has made me feel like an expert. As long as I'm posting way too much1 in my own thread...

The Sitting Position

The following is a bit gender normative. I apologize for that. Your genitalia may vary, possibly affecting the results.

Standard toilets are not ideal for urination while sitting. They're suboptimal for women and worse for men. If urinating while sitting on a standard seat, it might be wise to shower after urinating.

Women: Because e=mgh, spatter and noise are greatly reduced while sitting as opposed to standing, with impact velocity coming mostly from output pressure. However, even assuming half impact velocity as opposed to standing, we should still expect spatter to bounce up to 5" vertically. Any spray that goes forward and hits the bowl perpendicularly will spatter a bit onto your butt. How clean is the surface of the bowl?

Spray that hits the water is quite possibly worse.  I did a quick test run aiming straight down with male genitalia and felt a good sized droplet hit me mid- thigh. Ew, I know where that water's been. Does palpable backspatter sometimes happen with female genitalia as well? Often?2 If not, leaning forward might help. Keep in mind that there might be micro-droplets that you aren't noticing.

Men: The lower firing altitude for men makes the situation much worse. The bowl is roughly hemispherical.  No matter which direction a man aims his stream he will hit the wall perpendicularly for maximum backspatter. Aiming into the water is definitely worse. Exotic targeting is not much help. Lifting your genitals high and aiming downwards is uncomfortable (for me at least), risks accidentally hitting below the waterline and is little improvement over the situation for women. Aiming upward into the lip of the bowl would still create some backspatter and risks catastrophic failure. Because men's external genitalia are only inches at most from the bowl and water surface they're basically a splatter piñata.

Optimal urination from a sitting position

A raised seat is best for men or women. Two or three extra vertical inches will get you out of the splatter zone. For best results, men should aim to hit the plastic on the front of the raised seat at a steep downward angle rather than going straight into the water in the bowl. Without a raised seat, women seeking ninja-optimal results should stand on the seat and squat. Wipe that seat down when you're done. Men should stand if possible, assuming their standing technique is good. If urinating while sitting on a standard seat, try to think happy thoughts.

Now where am I going to read?

1 - Please indulge me mods. I've learned so much from this thread and feel a need to share my newfound obsessive knowledge with others.

2 - I'm more comfortable asking people on the internet than I am asking my wife. I prefer text-only mockery.

posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:57 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Help, I can't stop! Three things I overlooked.

There's no point futzing with the details of aiming strategy if you're letting so many micro-droplets scatter out this way.

Second, when standing any squirting should be aimed at the center of the bowl. You don't want other people to hear it, but you need to accept that your aim will be poor enough that you need the largest safe target available.

Third, standing and aiming for the side of the bowl can be a viable strategy but it will take careful planning to do it without making a mess.

- it's sanitary if and only if the stream hits the porcelain at an angle of 25° from horizontal or less. If you angle in from the side a bit this may be possible, though the safe target area on your particular toilet may be small or nonexistant. You might get the steepest angle of incidence if you aim way up above the waterline but...

- measure the distance from your proposed target zone to the rim, side to side and front to back longitudinally. You will need to be at least 1.5" from the side of the rim and 4" away longitudinally backward and forward to keep your penumbra in-bounds. Actually, you'll want to be further than that to give yourself a margin of error.

- the target area needs to be at least 1.5" in diameter plus a margin of error. Remember that that's how broad the stream really is. It may be hard or impossible to find a safe target area of that size

- the target area needs to be contiguous with the bowl water. That criterion may be hard to meet because of the curvature of the bowl at the bottom

- because you are firing off-vertical, maintaining aim as you lose pressure will be difficult


The center-east-center method

1) You may need to stand a bit to the side to get the angle of incidence you need.
2) Aim for the center of the bowl and begin.
3) Redirect the stream to the target zone on the side of the bowl that you've identified for your particular toilet.
4) As soon as pressure starts to drop, redirect the stream back to the center

It takes extra work to identify a safe target area (if any) on your model of toilet and it's a bit considerably riskier than the nearside method, but if you want to both be quiet and get a whirlpool going it might be worth a try.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:51 PM on June 22, 2011

posted by lalochezia at 2:51 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Many public urinals already have a fly on them.
posted by custard heart at 3:37 PM on June 22, 2011

Many public urinals already have a fly on them.
Aha, so it did get international. I stand corrected. What a relief.
posted by Namlit at 4:34 PM on June 22, 2011

I'm not a huge fan of The Oatmeal, but I think this pretty much sums up the sitting v. standing debate outside of unusual circumstances.
posted by craven_morhead at 6:13 PM on June 22, 2011

Response by poster: Serious error needs correcting

Theory vs. Practice

Testing the center-nearside method while barefoot I felt droplets hitting my feet. Well, that's really amazingly terrible. What happened?

Based on this diagram, Vertical drop near the waterline was supposed to produce near-zero splatter; the stream was supposed to just slide. However, that diagram assumes an idealized stream (~1/8" diameter). Using a more realistic conical stream model (1-1.5" diameter on impact) it's clear that most of the stream will be striking the porcelain. If the stream descending vertically strikes the nearside at 40° from perpendicular (my toilet), splatter will escape. Apparently quite a lot of it does.

Leaning back to get the angle of incidence further from perpendicular does not help (on my toilet) because that brings the stream closer to the rim. even if the AoI is fine, the penumbra will not be contained.

Therefore, if your toilet is not unusual in the right sort of way (sides which slope steeply down into the pan water, a wide mouth), there may be no safe place to aim along the sides of the bowl.

I'm still not sure the center of the bowl is safe either. There is a lot of splatter (I don't have a model as to how much). It must be diluted, but to what degree? If even the center is messy, then there is no sanitary way to urinate from a standing position. The evidence shows that the sitting position is unhygenic. What's left?

Two options:

kjell: Pee on one knee. All the advantages of standing and sitting. Together at last. Rather, this avoids the disadvantages of both. At that lower altitude the east side of the bowl would become a much more viable target, and it avoids dangling your genitals right into the splash zone. Kneeling or lunging might make you feel pretty silly but it's likely to work.

AlliKat75: What if you put some toilet paper in the water and then aimed for that? It seems to me that this would reduce noise and splash back. That might work. I don't know how to test the idea but it's plausible.

More study and testing would be needed to be done to nail down the optimal urination method for men, but I am seriously done with writing in my own thread.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:44 AM on June 23, 2011

I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I took this discussion to the Giants game last night. One guy had a suggestion that I have not read here: flush the toilet, and then chase the flush. He said this masks the noise (obviously) and eliminates splash back.
posted by AlliKat75 at 10:40 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

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