Can Everyone Stop Freaking Out Over Which Bathroom Transgender People Use?
There’s a crazy right wing conspiracy against transgender people and it’s just turned ugly.
Conservatives are trying to deny transgender students the right to use the bathroom. Just to put this into context, in Britain trans people use whichever bathroom they feel most comfortable in. As a British gal, it both surprises and depresses me that trans restroom rights is even an issue in the States. It doesn’t have to be a big deal unless you, um, you know, want it to be. There’s a major political battle over California’s School Success and Opportunity Act right now that makes trans rights the focus of a national culture war between religious right and liberal left. Republicans are using human rights for trans students as pawns to discredit Democrats. Just like gay marriage, restroom rights have become a political football.
It’s an imaginary debate. You’ve probably already been in a public restroom with a transgender person and not even realized. Last time I checked, trans people are included in “everyone.” So yeah we’re in that line in the bathroom, trying to get a line in the bathroom.
Cry-Baby of the Week
Cry-Baby #1: Portland
Oregon Live via Reddit / Image via
The incident: A guy pissed in a reservoir.
The appropriate response: Nothing.
The actual response: The city of Portland dumped out about 8 million gallons of water from the reservoir, costing thousands of dollars.
Earlier this week, police were called to the Mt. Tabor reservoir in Portland, OR after surveillance cameras captured an unidentified 21-year-old man urinating by the water’s edge.
The man was not arrested or charged, but city officials made the decision to dump out almost 8 million gallons of drinking water from the reservoir, at a cost of $36,000.
In an interview with Oregon Live, David Shaff, administrator for the Portland Water Bureau admitted that they often find dead animals inside the reservoir, but do not dump the water out in those instances.
In fact, he said, the decision to drain millions of gallons of water due to about half a pint of urine was not based on any kind of actual logic, “Do you want to drink pee?” he asked.
"It has nothing to do with scientifically" he went on, "Most people are gonna be pretty damn squeamish about that." Presumably David is unaware that the many critters, birds, and fish that live/die in and around the reservoir also pee.
If You Stick Things in Your Pee Hole, Bad Things Will Happen
Male readers of the internet crossed their legs and let out a unified grimace of pain yesterday when a story made the rounds about a 70-year-old Australian man who got a fork lodged in his dong. While plenty of people who read the report (or even worse, saw the pictures) had no idea why a person would try to shove anything—especially a rouge piece of cutlery—up his pee slit, those of us who frequent the kinkier side of life know this is a fairly common practice known as “sounding.”
If you really want an education, search for the term on XTube (NSFW, idiot), and revel in a variety of videos featuring guys putting all sorts of junk into their junk. Yeah, it’s not really my bag, either. But not everyone is going around putting forks or pencils or other household items up there all willy nilly. You can get a surgical urethral sounding kit for about $60 delivered right to your front door for your own perverted enjoyment. These kits include the same smooth metal cylinders, sometimes curved, that are used in doctors’ offices. That seems a bit safer than a fork, but I wanted to find out if there was a surefire way to have fun with your personal geyser hole without ending up in the ER, so I called Dr. Frank Spinelli, a Manhattan internist and author, to talk about the practice of sounding and its dangers.
VICE: Hello, Doctor. I’d like to talk about the pros and cons of sticking stuff up your pee hole, otherwise known as “sounding.” What is the surgical purpose of sounds?
Spinelli: You have a urethra, which is what carries urine and semen out of your penis. For some people that might be small or narrow, just anatomically speaking. A urologist can dilate your urethra by using various sized sounds. They probe to increase the diameter, and they can locate an obstruction.
How far should you go down?
That depends on how big the sound is, but you don’t want to go too far. It’s used as an instrumentation. They use catheters in the same way, to get into the bladder so you can relive someone of their urine when they’re in surgery. These are all done under heavy medical guidance by people who have been trained.
The DOs & DON’Ts of Coachella
At 5:00 AM on Monday, I jerked myself awake and looked down at my body to find I’d fallen asleep nude in a large hotel bathtub under a steady stream of scalding hot water. My contacts were dried out and suctioned to my eyeballs, and a ring of black dirt outlined my frame. Half of my hair was knotted up into one massive dreadlock so gnarly it would’ve put the bass players in nü metal bands to shame. Yet despite my broken body and haggard appearance, I was overcome with pride: I’d successfully survived the first half of the two-weekend-long adult spring break known as the Coachella Music Festival. Coachella is the annual desert-music event held in Indio, California, which happens to be one of the most physically grueling places this side of the equator. This was my third time attending, so by now, I’ve seen it all: from Rave Dad to a technologicallyreincarnated Tupac Shakur. For those of you who are going for the first time next week, or are just insane and attending for a second time, here are some tips to making it out of Palm Desert in one piece.
DO BUY VIP
Music-festival passes are extremely overpriced. However, if you’re baller enough to blow half a month’s rent to see a bunch of bands you could watch live on a laptop from the comfort of your own home in the sweltering hot desert, it only makes sense to shell out a couple more duckets to obtain VIP status. There is little to no cell reception at Coachella, so your phone battery is guaranteed to die. But VIPs have multiple charging stations. It’s hot as Satan’s taint in the desert, but VIPs have shaded areas, misting fans, and an air-conditioned bar. When you’re in GA, you can’t drink alcohol on the fairground. But the VIPs have more than one bar spread out in a closed-off section where they can easily watch bands and get plastered. And let’s not forget that parking is a bitch, but VIPs get to park closer to the entrance, so you don’t have to walk a mile to your car in the dark and possibly get stalked by bros in tacky tie-dye T-shirts. Plus as a VIP, you have a better chance of conning your way backstage into the artist areas if you keep yourself from breaking character when lying to security guards about how you’re part of the Earl Sweatshirt entourage, when really you’re just trying to creep on guys with guitars and the topless girls who are having them sign their tits.
DON’T WEAR INAPPROPRIATE FOOTWEAR
Considering that everything is far away, and you’re constantly walking around in circles in a bunch of dirt, your footwear choices will really make or break your entire festival experience. Unless you’re there with the sole purpose of having a bunch of sleazy “blog photographers” snap photos of you for obscure fashion sites that no one has ever heard of, dressed in a bunch of weird outfits you’d never actually wear at home, don’t bother sporting high heels. It’s already bad enough having to trip over the blacked-out idiots laying on the ground in the middle of the crowds at the main stage, but it’s even worse when you sprain your ankle and have to sit in a hot medical tent with a bunch of kids who ate too many brownies and are screaming to EMS workers that they think they’re going to die. Even more retarded are the people who wear sandals or choose to walk around in bare feet, as there are no proper bathrooms; you have to pee in Porta Potties. Between that and all the cop-horse manure you have to walk through, you’re setting yourself up for a pretty shitty experience.
Pissing into a funnel is not as easy as they make it sound. Not to brag, but I’ve urinated in public places many times in my life and it is far easier than trying to scoop my disgusting snatch into this little purple cone. For the first time in my life I had what is referred to as a “shy bladder,” which momentarily ruined my sense of pride.
Regardless, I found a way to ease my mind into letting me pee. I also refused to take my pants off. You see, peeing out your fly is one of the key attributes of male urination—and of the male gender in general—and something that I have always envied. I’ve pissed on my own clothes so many times in the past that I now have a pretty solid technique when it comes to squatting down and letting my urethra go. My system has been established through much trial and error, and when something as revolutionary as a female urination device is introduced to this system, I need to be able to take the liberty of wearing pants. Otherwise, these technological advances are just playing catch up to the tricks I’ve already taught my vagina.
Great. So here I am pissing beneath the crucifix at the heart of Montreal’s Mount Royal. Why, you ask? Because, as you may have noticed, if you ask any girl who’s worth her weight in tits “What would you do if you were a boy for a day?” she will ALWAYS says, “Pee on _____.” That is what I looked forward to doing most. I have to admit, I see this as a great accomplishment: wearing pants and peeing at the center of a giant crucifix. However, this is still only a small fraction of greatness compared to my dream of being entirely naked and taking a shit at the center of the Vatican.
Anyway, I journeyed on to find a second pissing destination that would really bring out my feverishly repressed internal male ego.
When was the last time you pissed yourself? Oh, when you were eight? When you went camping that time and got scared by the noises outside? Bullshit. Get real, friend; it was last weekend and we all know about it. We also all know you’re going to do it this weekend, too—starting tonight and carrying on in a consistent, free-flowing Amazon river of urine, until your whole mattress is saturated with your own golden nectar. Now that you’re all ashamed, here are some stories about other people who pissed themselves to cheer you up.
Illustrations by Sam Taylor. Follow him on Twitter @sptsam or visit his website atsamtaylorillustrator.com.
THE SEXY SHOWER
I was at this party when I was 16 and ended up in the make out room with a girl. There were a few other couples nestled away in the corners in various states of embrace, but I was blind-drunk so I didn’t really care. I was just fixated on getting some boob. I was also dying to piss, but I thought it might kill the mood if I darted off to take a leak and left her there waiting for me. Anyway, we were kissing and groping for a bit, then she unbuttoned my pants and started sucking me off. That was great, obviously, and I started to really relax.
In retrospect, that was a bad idea, because as I relaxed, my drunkenness took over and I was in that weird middle-ground between the waking world and complete unconsciousness. Seemingly out of nowhere, she put her elbow on my bladder and, in my drunk, blissed-out haze, I start peeing. Everywhere. It felt great for about three seconds, then I snapped back to reality and realized what I was doing. To make it worse, I still had a boner, so the stream was uncontrollable; hitting my face, splashing the girl’s hair, and leaving a mucky, little puddle pooled on my grey jumper. That was one of the worst nights of my life. People have called me Stuart “The Shower” ever since.
What Ladies Need to Know About Peeing Outside
When we were offered press passes to yet another outdoor festival, we seriously weighed the pros and cons. These whole day long summer music blowouts are always a commitment and a dice roll: while seeing a band you like with 10,000 other dirty, sweaty, disgusting people is not everyone’s cup of tea, sometimes they’re actually fun. If you’re lucky, you discover a new band that doesn’t suck, you get a little lightheaded from being drunk and mildly dehydrated, and if you’re reeeeally lucky you get a beejer (or fingerblasted, if you’re a lady) behind a mist tent sponsored by some tragic soda company. If you’re unlucky, the stage will fall down and kill you, or the whole thing will become a hellish burning rape-fest.
Of course one thing you can always count on is that going to the bathroom is always a terrible, nightmarish experience, especially for girls. Everyone knows the problem with girls and peeing in public—people talk about it all the time and not just at concerts—is that the line up to the girls’ washroom is always impossibly fucking long.
It’s sad that something as natural and beautiful as the act of urination becomes an inconvenience to females, especially someplace where everyone is drinking a lot and that shit’s inevitable. But what many of you might not know is that confident women have been secretly squatting to piss in the woods for ages, and ladies, it’s about time that we expose ourselves to the free pissing world. Consider the following.
PORTA POTTY IS BEST
First of all, I’m not advocating pee anarchy. When a Porta Potty presents itself, make good use out of it. Pee like there’s no tomorrow–heck, pee blood, empty your Diva Cup, adjust the socks in your bra, finger yourself, rub your vulva against the toilet seat, whatever, use the privacy when you can get it and just be thankful you’re not in the middle of a mud-caked crowd who only know half the words to that Gotye song but still insist on trying to sing every excruciating one.
PEEING OUTSIDE IS OK
Women as a whole, and especially women born and bred in urban spaces, have a lot to learn about learning how to pee properly in the wild. And by “the wild” I mostly just mean parking lots, alleyways, ditches, bus stops, banks, and pretty much every place where guys are frequent to release. The myth that girls can’t pee outside is obviously false. So here is the truth: for a girl to pee outside she requires nothing other than a vagina and legs and a private little nook that ideally features a downward gradient and pretty foliage to stare at while you “shake the dew off your lily.” There is nothing biologically disabling about female urinary anatomy when it comes to the art of pissing outside. Girls and boys just do it differently.
While searching for your secret spot, walk with purpose and don’t dally. Look for well-protected areas that aren’t too far off the beaten path. Shrubs are ideal because you can get low and hide while you do your thing and allow you to re-emerge into the broad collective quickly, elegantly, and safely. Three walls of protection are best, but two will do just fine. Remember you can also use your clothes as a barrier, sometimes so effectively that you can become your very own bathroom stall. Skirts work especially well for this, but so will your shorts or purse. Or if you’re cool, scratch everything I said, maybe just wear a skirt and go commando.
I have been minorly obsessed with urinals for some time now. There are many questions I have pondered for years. Such as: How is it that the males of the species just stand together in groups, with penis in hand, peeing? Is it not awkward to find yourself at the urinal at the same time as your boss or your dad? What is it that men at the urinal talk about? The whole idea of a urinal, especially in a workplace, is just bizarre to me. Are high-level corporate deals being cemented at the urinal, the last place where girls are not allowed? And I’m a little worried that the urinal is the glass ceiling. If so, can we, in fact, blame the entire financial crisis on the urinal?
Read: Men & Urinals: A Lady Investigates How Guys Pee In Public