Why do so many guys flush the urinal before they use it?
July 29, 2008 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Why do so many guys flush the urinal before they use it? Honestly, I've wondered this forever. Is it a "visually stimulating" thing? Or do you just want to close your eyes and picture yourself in front of a waterfall? Or do you need to hear/see water flowing to actually go yourself? Seriously... Something like half the people around me at the urinal walls do this. Why?
posted by namewithhe1d to Society & Culture (39 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I do the same with toilets and I know it's a waste of water but there's some monkey part of my brain that wants to keep in a river all the time...I can't explain it but there's some bizarre lure of nature there
posted by evilelvis at 11:21 AM on July 29, 2008


err pee not keep
posted by evilelvis at 11:21 AM on July 29, 2008


I assumed it's because mens don't like disturbing stinky, un-flushed pee.
posted by low affect at 11:25 AM on July 29, 2008


I always thought they were doing that because the person before didn't flush.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:25 AM on July 29, 2008


Splashback (assuming the guy before you didn't flush).
posted by JaredSeth at 11:25 AM on July 29, 2008


I hate peeing on someone else's pee but I do not think that is the reason why the majority do it.
posted by doorsfan at 11:26 AM on July 29, 2008


Because I don't want to risk up splattering any more of someone else's urine on myself than absolutely necessary. I don't miss flushing before pissing on those newer water-efficient urinals.
posted by Good Brain at 11:26 AM on July 29, 2008


Cause I pee so hard that whatever is sitting there is impacted like a meteor and tiny drops of it spray up and hit me in the clothes and I would rather get hit with urinal water than some other dude's pee. I pee damn hard.
posted by ND¢ at 11:26 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


My .2 is with low affect. I personally don't do this, but I also assumed it was some "unclean" toilet or germaphobe thing whenever I noticed this phenomenon.
posted by Debaser626 at 11:27 AM on July 29, 2008


The sound of flushing water helps me pee.
posted by greenie2600 at 11:28 AM on July 29, 2008


This is fascinating
posted by namewithhe1d at 11:30 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think that a large percentage of those pre-flushers do it for the same reason as greenie2600. Especially if you work in an office with lots of older men with potential prostrate issues.

Personally, I only pre-flush if there's already pee in there AND it's not a urinal I am familiar with.
posted by Grither at 11:33 AM on July 29, 2008


I'm a sync-flusher. I try to time both the flush and the pee to end at exactly the same time.
posted by Teira at 11:34 AM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's the same reason you don't spray lighter fluid onto an already flaming grill -- God knows what will travel upstream and cause you to explode!
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:37 AM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Are you serious? I do this too! I call it Beat the Clock.
posted by ND¢ at 11:38 AM on July 29, 2008


Are you serious? I do this too! I call it Beat the Clock.

Your typo makes it even funnier.
posted by rokusan at 11:43 AM on July 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


If this flushing behaviour disturbs you, namewithhe1d, come to the UK - our urinals flush themselves on a timer, whether they need it or not. None of your fancypants American freedom of flushing choice here.
posted by jack_mo at 11:54 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If this flushing behaviour disturbs you, namewithhe1d, come to the UK - our urinals flush themselves on a timer, whether they need it or not. None of your fancypants American freedom of flushing choice here.

We have them here, too. What's disturbing about them in the UK is the cadres of would-be trainspotters who have shifted downmarket.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 12:02 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do it if it hasn't been flushed by the slob before me; I sometimes synchro-flush, too, usually when in a hurry.
posted by TedW at 12:20 PM on July 29, 2008


I'm usually a post-pee flusher (unless there's standing 'water'), but a former job moved into a new office building, where the 'auto flush' sensors weren't completely dialed-in. I'd sometimes get 4-5-6 flushes during one session. That was disturbing.
posted by pupdog at 12:26 PM on July 29, 2008


I'm a stall man myself.
posted by fixedgear at 1:11 PM on July 29, 2008


The pre-pee flush to avoid splash back is reasonable behavior.

The pre-pee behavior I don't understand is spitting into the urinal before letting fly.
posted by notyou at 1:12 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The urinals at my office emit considerable mist while they flush. If you walked up to it and flushed it while standing in pee position, your entire front would get the aerosol treatment. Not pleasant, especially if you've got your junk out.
posted by daveleck at 1:19 PM on July 29, 2008


Just chiming in with the crowd that would rather get splashed by diluted droplets of their own urine than splashed with concentrated droplets of someone else's.

Also, when your stream hits the falling water from the flush, rather than just impacting at the back of the urinal, I find it tends to splash you less (again with the "less pee gets on you" response).
posted by mysterious1der at 1:52 PM on July 29, 2008


In addition to the little game, I do it to make sure the stuff actually goes away. I've gone to use some urinals that I know the person before me flushed (waiting and heard them do it), but there was still pee in there.

Maybe they lost and didn't clean up there mess. But I'm not taking any chances.

And there's also shaking out the last bits. Can't forget about that.
posted by theichibun at 2:00 PM on July 29, 2008


I also want to know why people insist on flushing public toilets/urinals by kicking the handle as hard as they can.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:03 PM on July 29, 2008


I always assumed the early flush was to mask the noise of the last couple of wimpy-sounding squirts that guys try to squeeze out at the very end.
posted by klarck at 2:16 PM on July 29, 2008


Oops, re-read the question. Never mind. Sorry.
posted by klarck at 2:17 PM on July 29, 2008


I've never done this, as a little urine splash doesn't bother me. I mean, it's not that dirty, right?

I also want to know why people insist on flushing public toilets/urinals by kicking the handle as hard as they can.

I assume the kick is to avoid the previous dudes bacteria on the handle. As for the strength...well, it's a helluva lot more fun to kick something hard than it is to tap it lightly.
posted by mesh gear fox at 2:52 PM on July 29, 2008


I also want to know why people insist on flushing public toilets/urinals by kicking the handle as hard as they can.

So they don't have to touch the nasty handle with their hands.
posted by TedW at 2:53 PM on July 29, 2008


the kick is to avoid the previous dudes bacteria

errr...dude's or dudes'
posted by mesh gear fox at 2:56 PM on July 29, 2008


I've found that it correlates with other germophobe/self-centered behaviors like opening the door with a paper towel.
posted by gjc at 3:19 PM on July 29, 2008


Why would there be more bacteria on a steel urinal handle than, say, on elevator buttons or a keyboard? Do they push the elevator buttons with their feet?
posted by Justinian at 3:29 PM on July 29, 2008


Because the usual sequence is pee, flush, then wash. Anyway, it is not necessarily rational, just the reason commonly given.
posted by TedW at 4:28 PM on July 29, 2008


I like to think of it as a race. Personally I'd like to know why so many guys find it necessary to SPIT into the urinal before or during urination!!?? This just freaks me out.
posted by Thrillhouse at 4:53 PM on July 29, 2008


I like to think of it as a race. Personally I'd like to know why so many guys find it necessary to SPIT into the urinal before or during urination!!?? This just freaks me out.

Probably because it's the first opportunity a person has to spit for awhile. Rather than go outside or spit into their garbage can/water fountain, the urinal is a convenient place to hock out that phlegm that was building up all day.
posted by mesh gear fox at 5:03 PM on July 29, 2008


Thrillhouse: previously re spitting
posted by misterbrandt at 9:38 PM on July 29, 2008


I can't say I've ever seen anyone do this, certainly not often enough to think it a regular thing.
posted by tomble at 12:42 AM on July 30, 2008


Yeah, I just knew it ... after reading this, I gotta pee. I'll probably flush before, too.
posted by dwbrant at 7:36 AM on July 30, 2008


« Older Highlighting Tokyo   |   f-f-freezing doesn't count Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.