Philosophy of the Men’s Restroom

imageIf wisdom comes with experience, then we should all have something to say about etiquette in public restrooms.

Following are ten do’s and dont’s in public men’s restrooms:


  1. Use the urinal furthest from the door — no one wants to be forced to walk past every guy reliving himself.
  2. Zip up before turning away from the urinal. If you pivot and then zip up, you run the risk of committing the crime of indecent exposure. Such is not a legal offense–this is a crime against the psyche.
  3. Flush. You might be proud of your work, but I’m certainly not.
  4. Wash. Your. Damn. Hands. There should be no need to justify this. You don’t wash your hands for you; you wash your hands for other people.
  5. Dry your hands. A wet door handle sets off a host of alarms in my brain. Also, at least three times after walking out the bathroom I’ve run into someone who wanted to shake my hand. A wet handshake is embarrassing and gross for everyone.


  1. Use the middle of three urinals. This is like sitting in the middle of a public bench. Be considerate. Using the middle urinal forces the next guy to slide uncomfortably close, right next to you.
  2. Move you head left or right of center. And don’t look anyone in the eye. Who cares who just walked in after you–do you think a hot chic somehow stumbled into the wrong bathroom? You stare straight ahead or look down to make necessary adjustments. The guy next to you doesn’t exist. Admittedly, I’ve broken this rule once. Never again. Never. Again.
  3. Strike up a conversation while in the bathroom. Especially with a stranger. Even if you know the guy, wait ’til you get outside. It feels like you are in the stall with someone whose talking–even if it’s on their phone to someone else. A professor once caught me on my way out of a bathroom and proceeded to praise me for my performing well during the semester. It was uncomfortable. I recently saw a different professor in the same bathroom as me. He noticed me; I noticed him. No words were exchanged. It was beautiful. It felt right.
  4. Put your belongings on the floor–or on the urinal. This is not a social offense, but a personal one. The bathroom floor is disgusting–keep your belongings clean. In the mirror while washing up I happened to notice a guy walk into the bathroom and slam his Monster energy drink smack on top of the urinal and then do his business.
  5. Groan or moan. Really? Yes, this happens all too often. It makes me wonder if that’s how you sound during sex. I do not want to think about someone stranger’s sexual activities while in a public restroom.

Using the bathroom should be a private matter. Public restrooms are a necessary evil. As an aside, porta-potties are lawless lands where anything is possible and everything is permissible. You can let your creative side run wild in there.