Do men enjoy crapping because it stimulates their prostate gland?
June 7, 2006 5:29 PM   Subscribe

My friend and I were just talking about how much more men seem to enjoy taking a crap compared to women and were wondering... Do men enjoying voiding their bowels because it massages the prostate slightly?

I mean, I know I sure love going number 2.
posted by Malachi Constant to Science & Nature (61 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Men enjoy taking a crap? This is news to me.
posted by IronLizard at 5:33 PM on June 7, 2006

I think most people enjoy a good BM, it's just that it's more socially acceptable for men to talk about it. Except in my circle of girlfriends, our conversations inevitably turn to "poop talk."
posted by lannanh at 5:36 PM on June 7, 2006

I've a female friend who's noted that she enjoys pooping. I certainly do (I'm male), but it's got to be big enough so as not to be painful. My physiology text describes a bunch of stuff going on in there involving parasympathetic defecation reflexes. I'm going to bet that it's the stimulation of rectal nerves that's pleasurable, which makes for more defecation, which stimulates more defecation. Wait, would that make it a positive feedback loop? The more you poop, the more you want to poop, until there is no more... Hmmm...

Wait, this is going to show up in my posting history, isn't it? Oh well...
posted by Mister Cheese at 5:42 PM on June 7, 2006

My friend and I were just talking about how much more men seem to enjoy taking a crap compared to women and were wondering

Could you share some snippets of this conversation? Thank you in advance.

Wait, would that make it a positive feedback loop?

Don't you mean a positive feedback poop?
posted by iconomy at 5:45 PM on June 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

i hate pooping. i have male friends who hate pooping (yes, we've discussed pooping).

uhh, and to answer your At least, not for me. I hate the entire thing. The only benefit is that I get to catch up on my Entertainment Weekly magazine.

And yes, conversation snippets please. ;)
posted by freudianslipper at 5:51 PM on June 7, 2006

I'm going to say that this is one of those things that might depend on the temperament of the pooper, the kind of poop being pooped, the social stigmas attached to pooping, as well as straight up biological function. Searching for "poop" and "prostate" didn't turn up much. Will this mystery ever be solved?
posted by Mister Cheese at 6:02 PM on June 7, 2006

Come on, I'm serious!
posted by Malachi Constant at 6:02 PM on June 7, 2006

It think that's the problem, though, asking for serious... Google searches render articles on poop that are mainly written with lots of humor. It's one of those things people aren't entirely comfortable talking about. My biology knowledge does nothing. The best you're probably going to get right now is anectdotal stuff. My anectdote: it feels good to release it if it has been building up. My theory is that this is because it's stimulating the defecation reflexes. I stand by this until someone with more knowledge refutes me.
posted by Mister Cheese at 6:12 PM on June 7, 2006

I may regret this later, but here it is: I'm a girl, and I like to poop.

I have an alternate theory about the pleasures of poop. I don't think it has anything to do with the physical stimulation, although possibly that's just because I lack a prostate. In my experience, it's enjoyable just out of sheer satisfaction. It's tension, tension, tension... and then sweet, sweet release (which doesn't have to be sexually motivated to be pleasurable).

I get the same sense of satisfaction from popping a ripe zit or peeling a sunburn. It's gross, sometimes it's painful, but damn it feels good when the act is sucessfully consumated. It's cathartic.
posted by miagaille at 6:14 PM on June 7, 2006

I'm not sure I buy the underlying assumption, because from my conversations, it seems that women (who do not typically suffer from gastric distress) like pooping just fine.


1. Women take longer to digest food than men.

They are much more likely to develop bowel problems such as constipation and other intestinal disorders.

2. "When I started my practice in the early 1980’s, I was amazed by the number of women suffering from constipation, diarrhea, increased gas, bloating after eating, fatigue and the many other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress."

3. Women are roughly three times more likely than men to have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes chronic stomach problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

4. See, also.

In other words, women suffer in greater numbers from things that make pooping a less pleasurable experience. This may account for the perceived womanly hatred of the deuce.

I enjoy it just fine, but I do not believe that it's because of the putative prostate massage.
posted by kosem at 6:18 PM on June 7, 2006

My theory has always been that men are obsessed with shit because they can't give birth, but it's something that they make that comes out of their body so they'll make do.

OK, typed those last few words without thinking...
posted by occhiblu at 6:19 PM on June 7, 2006 [2 favorites]

Unless there's someone here that's experienced bowel movements as a fully anatomical man and a fully anatomical woman, we don't know that men enjoy crapping more than women do. And while there are mefites who've had gender reassignment surgery (IIRC), I don't think anyone here has been fully nanotechnologically resculpted at the cellular or molecular level.

All we know is that men discuss enjoyment of their crapulatory activities more than women do. Which might just be a difference in what it's culturally acceptable for men and women to admit enjoying.

And what kosem said. But mostly I deny that men actually enjoy it more.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:25 PM on June 7, 2006

Iconomy, when we rename the band that, you'll get credit.

Or maybe it would be a good mefi handle.

Maybe men have a difffernt attitude toward relief of pressures and discomfort. We do scratch more after all.
posted by Phred182 at 6:33 PM on June 7, 2006

All I know is, a large percentage of men I know/have known take FOREVER in there.... must be something good going on.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:41 PM on June 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

Dunno re my prostate pleasure, but I do enjoy being able to have a read when I go.
posted by everichon at 6:45 PM on June 7, 2006

I enjoy the quiet time to read my Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. I know that nobody's going to walk in when they know I'm dropping the kids off at the pool.
posted by Merdryn at 6:47 PM on June 7, 2006

Actually pooping is mildly analogous to childbirth. The baby presses on the same nerves that one's poop does.

Don't most of us have a sense of relief at relieving either bladder or bowel pressure?
posted by konolia at 6:48 PM on June 7, 2006

Related, though not gender-specific.
posted by everichon at 6:49 PM on June 7, 2006

posted by jimmy0x52 at 6:53 PM on June 7, 2006

It's "Me Time"..

I like the solidarity, read my book, or just think.. nobody will disturb you generally, except the boy likes to crash the party. Guess he should be toilet trained.

.. slight side note, when he's filling his nappy, he goes away somewhere, under the table, or behind the bed and wants to be alone. He'll be quite vocal if you hang around, so whatever it is, it starts early :)
posted by lundman at 6:56 PM on June 7, 2006

I find pooping an annoying waste of time. I'm climbing the walls to get it over with so I can get on with life.
posted by chef_boyardee at 7:00 PM on June 7, 2006

Also for your notes I'm male.
posted by chef_boyardee at 7:01 PM on June 7, 2006

Jesus, can we just cut the poop shit and call it shit? What are we, all 4 years old??

I think guys are just less self-concious about talking about it, and about the actual shitting itself - makes them seem like they like it more because they're often not as embarassed by it as women seem to be. It's not ladylike to shit, you know, so pretend you don't!
posted by tristeza at 7:01 PM on June 7, 2006

I have noticed that guys take freakin' forever when it's time to go take a dump.
posted by limeonaire at 7:11 PM on June 7, 2006

Every now and then a crap comes with a certain frisson that may well be prostate-related. But I don't do anything else with my prostate, so I can't really say.
posted by cortex at 7:14 PM on June 7, 2006

This is news to me. I go in, take a dump, wipe, leave. Maybe there's something wrong with my prostate? The faster I can get out of there the better.
posted by dmd at 7:23 PM on June 7, 2006

I'm pretty sure the pleasure of pooping is entirely dependent on the quality of it. I can't think of anyone with colitis who enjoys the experience. Can't imagine people who are chronically constipated enjoy it.

High fiber and lots of water, folks, that's the key to happy pooping.

Pooping. Pooping poopy pooping poop. By god that turns out to be a fun word to say! Poop-ity-poop!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:31 PM on June 7, 2006

From turtle head to dropping the kids at the pool....A good BM is always enjoyable.
posted by UncleHornHead at 7:39 PM on June 7, 2006

As someone who enjoyes the pleasures of the prostate and who also appreciates a good dump, I can definitively say that the two are unrelated.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:40 PM on June 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

Why I enjoy pooping:

First of all I believe I poop more than the average person, we're talking about 4-5 times a day. Most of these are medium size dumps, and those aren't that enjoyable. With these I poop, wipe, and leave. It's the big ones that are the best. It's the same kind of pleasure as taking a long piss, one you've been holding in for awhile. You're like "aw shit aw shit. I gotta go" then it's POW relief. All the muscles relax and you sit there in a state of bliss.
posted by philcliff at 7:50 PM on June 7, 2006

Here's a better place to find an answer.

The fact that it exists should not surprise you by now.
posted by 517 at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2006

this thread reminds me of the State skit where they took some play with a lot of foul language and replaced it all with "poop" style lite versions of the obscentites.

"oh poopy poop poop poop! fudge!"
posted by joeblough at 8:03 PM on June 7, 2006

Based on anatomy, the prostate can easily be pressed up against (depending on the consistency and absolute size of the mass) during the defecation process.

However, as the anus has many nerves that when stimulated produce pleasurable sensations it's probably more these little guys that are responsible.

I'm liking Mr. Cheese's explanation.
posted by porpoise at 8:12 PM on June 7, 2006

I have never understood the desire to read while on the john. I never read in the bathroom and can't possibly imagine doing so. When I'm in there I do my business and get on with things; if I want to read I have a perfectly good armchair that is much more comfortable.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:13 PM on June 7, 2006

FWIW, I once observed a dog who, um, got an erection every time he pooped. I always assumed it had something to do with prostate stimulation, or whatever it is that makes anal sex pleasurable to those (uh, humans) who find it thus.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:18 PM on June 7, 2006

I always figured guys had a special relationship with pooping because they don't always sit on the toilet. I don't know any women that make a big deal of sitting on the toilet for half an hour with a magazine, and plenty of guys that do. I figure, if you're always having to sit, you don't make such a production out of it.
posted by ch1x0r at 8:23 PM on June 7, 2006

Me poor sainted mother, gone these many years, once told me as a wee lad:

"Of course it feels good to take a shit!"

It fills me eyes to think of it. . .
posted by megatherium at 8:33 PM on June 7, 2006

I believe it was Dave Eggers (although I may be wrong) who noted that a good shit was better than bad sex.

And yes, release. Nothing like taking a good crap (I'm female).
posted by gaspode at 8:37 PM on June 7, 2006

There are guys at work we call the "paper carriers." These can be found heading toward the bathroom like clockwork each workday, newspaper tucked under the arm. They emerge a quite a bit later than the average john-goer.

[Said papers are often later found lying around the lunchroom, a fact that I find somewhat gross.]

I guess it's a habit you get into. My guy is a camper. He's been known to stay in for over half an hour. And he can only "go" at home, which is another fact I can't understand.

Is home-turf preference another male trait? I could care less where it is, as long as it's is a reasonable state of cleanliness.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:43 PM on June 7, 2006

Pooping is the only time you can get some alone time. I usually bring my guitar in. I've played some good songs on the crapper. My songs are complete crap.

So maybe it's not the pooping itself, but the activity around the pooping that men love.
posted by quadog at 8:58 PM on June 7, 2006

Only marginally related:

There's a saying in Naval Air that the best things in life are a safe landing, an orgasm, and a good bowel movement -- in night carrier operations, you get all three at the same time.

posted by forrest at 9:03 PM on June 7, 2006

Well, for what it's worth, I enjoy a good crap and don't enjoy the bad ones. There's a definite spectrum. A rectum spectrum.

Yeesh, I knew I shouldn't have posted...
posted by hoborg at 9:06 PM on June 7, 2006

is the only thing that turns up in google search of enkephalines + defecation. I swear I read in a Scientific American article or equivalent that fecal buildup binds enkephalines to the rectum and lower colon and they are released in a flood into the bloodstream when you take a dump, causing a natural opiate response in the central nervous system.

Way back when I asked a couple (male) doctors and they told me they didn't know but it sounded plausible.

So it could be more that than any prostrate stimulation thing going on.

Reading on the shitter is fucking weird.
posted by bukvich at 9:09 PM on June 7, 2006

Hiding in the bathroom gives me a great opportunity to read some of the many catalogs that I get in the mail.

Has nothing to do with my prostate at all.. more like "I can appease the shopping gene" by browsing catalogs while sitting on the can. :)
posted by drstein at 9:12 PM on June 7, 2006

forrest, thank you, I laughed out loud. Fortunately my wife was in taking a dump so I didn't have to explain why. And she was reading.

Like philcliff, I seem to do it more often than is probably average. However, I always take reading material. Sometimes it takes time, and I hate just s(h)itting, doing nothing...

And I live in a relatively small apartment with a wife and two kids. Sometimes I just need somewhere to get away.

Dunno about the prostate, but I do love a good poop.
posted by lhauser at 9:49 PM on June 7, 2006

The home-turf question.. naturally your own toilet, (or bed for sleeping) etc is always nicer. Since at work, if it's stalls, you might not get privacy but have to hear/smell others which distracts and pulls you into the real world :)

Nowadays, I prefer to go on company time, since my time is limited :)

All rooms are wired at home, so I could be typing this on the can right now!
posted by lundman at 10:35 PM on June 7, 2006

I declare this thread void(ed).
posted by rob511 at 11:58 PM on June 7, 2006

I love a good dump in work time. I have today's Guardian here and can go and read through it in privacy knowing no-one will bother me and no phone will ring. Plus there'll be that cleaned-out, empty bowel feeling. What could be better?

I'm going out now, I may be some time.
posted by biffa at 1:30 AM on June 8, 2006

posted by biffa at 1:50 AM on June 8, 2006

I have a general theory that covers this...

biological organisms are "steered" toward survival by a "tension and release" sets of stimuli. Human beings have very complicated tension and release reenforcement systems, referred to as Pleasure and Pain, but really, at the core, this is just a physical tension and release contrast that is obviously valuable and consequently competitively selected.
posted by ewkpates at 3:47 AM on June 8, 2006

all this talk of dumping and childbirth leads in one direction: tenacious d's butt baby (youtube + it should be noted that it's rather long and the payoff isn't until the very end but if you have the guts, stay with it and be horrified in horrific amusement horrification).

also: butt baby.

posted by Hat Maui at 3:49 AM on June 8, 2006

Nice reference, Biffa.
posted by theora55 at 6:24 AM on June 8, 2006

Pooping is the shit.
posted by xanthippe at 6:24 AM on June 8, 2006

I think the distinction here is that guys tend to be more talkative about their output. Speaking for myself, I immensely enjoy aggravating my more squeamish friends with post-crap reports like, "Damn, I think I just made my weight-loss goal for next week!" or "Felt like I just gave birth in there!" One of my favorite moments was when I reported that the pigment that colors red bell peppers apparently does not break down during the digestive process (I had eaten two whole red peppers earlier that week).

I also enjoy a proper BM - a good solid evacuation is very cathartic and can put a shine on the day. I am reaching that age when such things cannot be counted on, so I appreciate each day that my fundaments are working smoothly.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 6:30 AM on June 8, 2006

is anybody reading down this far? "pooping is the shit" that's great. i like to poop because.... wait for it.... all the junk in my body is removed and i feel 10 pounds lighter. and i get to refill it.
posted by fumbducker at 6:32 AM on June 8, 2006

Unless there's someone here that's experienced bowel movements as a fully anatomical man and a fully anatomical woman...

Tiresias said it was better as a woman.
posted by languagehat at 8:00 AM on June 8, 2006

Ya, well, he would have been better off if he kept that shit to himself
posted by rosswald at 8:59 AM on June 8, 2006

All we know is that men discuss enjoyment of their crapulatory activities more than women do.

Not all of us "know" this. In my experience, certain people (and I've known them of either sex) talk about it. The rest of us would rather not. But that doesn't mean we don't all enjoy taking a dump. Voiding is pleasurable for a reason: so we'll do it. The smelly aspects are a turn-off to many, however. But Freud said we all go through an anal stage (and I think the people who enjoy talking about #2 are still there, to some degree).
posted by Rash at 10:13 AM on June 8, 2006

It's really not a good idea to sit on the crapper any longer than is necessary. The lack of proper support puts a fair strain on the ol' sphincter, increases blood pressure, etc.

Western toilets are a great way to get hemarroids (sp!).
posted by five fresh fish at 6:59 PM on June 8, 2006

What lack of support? Is there any less than on a stool (heh)?
posted by biffa at 5:12 AM on June 9, 2006

Provided you sit on chairs and stools that have a big hole under your hip bones, I suppose there's no difference.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:02 AM on June 9, 2006

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