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public bathroom culture

JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
edited June 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
why is it that men's rooms are no eye contact, no talking zones, whereas women's rooms are (from what i hear) social break rooms? where does this difference come from? do men and women truly use bathrooms for different things?

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  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Men's bathrooms are no eye contact, no talking zones? They weren't at any of my schools.

    Mahnmut on
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  • SpoonySpoony Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I suspect that it's mostly from homophobia and the fear of being presumed to be gay. The "eyes forward at the urinal" rule is pretty much there to show "Hey, I'm not checking out your cock because I'm not a fag."

    And the no talking thing isn't limited to everywhere. I had some epic conversations while taking a dump in the Army.

    Spoony on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I just don't trust other guys, so I can't really relax enough to "unleash my fury" on the porcelain when they're yammering at me.

    Incenjucar on
  • jclastjclast Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I always thought of it as a respect thing. I'm there to whip it out, take a leak, and get back to work. I assume other men in the restroom have better things to do than talk to me as well.

    That being said, if a coworker and I are both on our way to the bathroom, I have no problem continuing an existing conversation.

    jclast on
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  • LRGLRG Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I don't know, I'll get into a convo with a stranger while we're both washing our hands. Shaken hands with guys right after too.


    The only rule in the men's john that is universal is the urinal one, but every now and then there is that one motherfucker....

    I'm bladder shy, though, so I'm usually heading straight to a stall.


    Why is it that women's bathroom at work have two diffrent kinds of lotions and it took us a week to get some gotdamned paper towels and I had to be the one to put them there?

    LRG on
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I don't know what your washrooms are like, but mine have no comfortable benches to sit on, a bad stench, and a constant flow of people coming in to shit and leave again. If you want to talk to me, I'm sure we can find a better place.

    Richy on
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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited June 2007
    I imagine it has something to do with the fact that typical male bathroom visits, you just unzip, and go. You're on your feet the entire time and the whole process is quick. For the ladies, it always involves removing your pants, sitting down, etc etc, thus more time is taken, thus there's more of a desire to fill the time with actually doing something, like chatting.

    Vis a vis ipso facto etc etc

    Aroduc on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    There's also the whole "Help me with my hair" or "Help me with my makeup" thing.

    Incenjucar on
  • BlackDog85BlackDog85 Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Girls simply take longer in the bathroom, I suppose that leaves more time for things like conversation. Men are pretty business like about it, since we're mostly "get in-whip it out-wash up-leave".

    That said, when my little brother and his friends were in high school, they treated the bathrooms like fucking playgrounds. The tales I've heard...oh, the tales I've heard...

    BlackDog85 on
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  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007
    Women go to the bathroom together to:

    - take a break from constantly being hit on
    - lend each other make-up equipment
    - talk about and decide who gets to sleep with which guy

    etc.

    Men go to the bathroom alone because they are there to empty the tank and that's it.

    ege02 on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    The Cat on
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  • JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    well i was talking to some normal girls lately (and i mean that in the sense that they were... preppy? Generican?) and this is what the conversation turned to

    Jinnigan on
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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    About the urinal thing: one club I went to had a trough-style urinal that didn't just run along one wall, but branched out into the bathroom itself, like ___|___
    This meant that you could be pissing opposite somebody - I of course, sussed this out right away and stood directly opposite my friend even though there was plenty of space, just to see whether he would carry on the conversation. Then again, we'd been living on the same corridor for a couple of months, and trying to weird each other out was part of the whole dynamic of our friendship group.

    For anybody else, and as this was a club there would be lots of strangers ending up facing each other, I imagine that it would be fairly weird, as the eyes-front rule just meant that you were staring at another guy who also had his junk out. Eyes down, and you were focusing on what would be, if it were not for the urinal, another man's tallywhacker. Quite a surreal position to be in, especially when drunk.

    Rhesus Positive on
    [Muffled sounds of gorilla violence]
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Richy wrote: »
    I don't know what your washrooms are like, but mine have no comfortable benches to sit on, a bad stench, and a constant flow of people coming in to shit and leave again. If you want to talk to me, I'm sure we can find a better place.

    The stench more or less depends on where you are, but yeah. The only difference between men's and women's rooms are that guys have urinals and women get 1 or more extra lavatories, the whole couch thing is either a media reinforced stereotype or a stupid owner.

    moniker on
  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited June 2007
    ...tallywhacker?

    Echo on
  • JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    there was definitely a couch in the girls rooms at my high school.

    there were, of course, none in the men's, though what we would do with it is beyond me anyways.

    Jinnigan on
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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Echo wrote: »
    ...tallywhacker?

    Might be regional, might have picked it up from some random literature - either way, I like the Edwardian pomp it gives to the one-eyed trouser snake.

    Rhesus Positive on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    I don't know what your washrooms are like, but mine have no comfortable benches to sit on, a bad stench, and a constant flow of people coming in to shit and leave again. If you want to talk to me, I'm sure we can find a better place.

    The stench more or less depends on where you are, but yeah. The only difference between men's and women's rooms are that guys have urinals and women get 1 or more extra lavatories, the whole couch thing is either a media reinforced stereotype or a stupid owner.

    The couches do happen.

    They may not be universal, but there are couches.

    Also sometimes more decorations and furniture, or makeup counters.

    Incenjucar on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    More often than in the men's room, generally. I try to give the gals a couple extra stalls to prevent a line from being formed, or at least prolonging its existence. Then again, I've mainly done municipal type projects recently where large groups would congregate at one time and then nobody'd be there for hours.

    moniker on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Jinnigan wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    well i was talking to some normal girls lately (and i mean that in the sense that they were... preppy? Generican?) and this is what the conversation turned to

    I mean to say that some of you have some funny ideas

    nobody makes eye contact in the Ladies at Central Station or in the local mall, srsly. The only time you'll see women having a chatty-chat in the loos is if they were already in a group when they went in, there's no chatting with strangers. Or hanging out for any longer than one has to, because its a toilet! Ege is mostly right, about nightclub bathrooms at least, but most of the time if you wind up in group heading towards the bathroom, its mostly a case of "oh well, may as well go while I've got the chance, or at least check mah hair".

    The Cat on
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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    More often than in the men's room, generally. I try to give the gals a couple extra stalls to prevent a line from being formed, or at least prolonging its existence. Then again, I've mainly done municipal type projects recently where large groups would congregate at one time and then nobody'd be there for hours.

    You're an architect?

    <3 for the design considerations!

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Jinnigan wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    well i was talking to some normal girls lately (and i mean that in the sense that they were... preppy? Generican?) and this is what the conversation turned to

    I mean to say that some of you have some funny ideas

    nobody makes eye contact in the Ladies at Central Station or in the local mall, srsly. The only time you'll see women having a chatty-chat in the loos is if they were already in a group when they went in, there's no chatting with strangers. Or hanging out for any longer than one has to, because its a toilet! Ege is mostly right, about nightclub bathrooms at least, but most of the time if you wind up in group heading towards the bathroom, its mostly a case of "oh well, may as well go while I've got the chance, or at least check mah hair".

    well, yes, but this basically never happens with guys and i'm wondering why that is

    like, why don't guys go to the bathroom in groups to have a chat and check their hair?

    this may simply be because we no longer have hair like this:

    grease.gif

    but i think there is more to it than that

    Jinnigan on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    More often than in the men's room, generally. I try to give the gals a couple extra stalls to prevent a line from being formed, or at least prolonging its existence. Then again, I've mainly done municipal type projects recently where large groups would congregate at one time and then nobody'd be there for hours.

    You're an architect?

    <3 for the design considerations!

    Actually, I'm unemployed. :P
    Gotta love that 'oh shit' feeling after graduation sinks in, but for all the non-residential projects I did back in school I generally went over the plumbing code requirements.

    moniker on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    I don't know what your washrooms are like, but mine have no comfortable benches to sit on, a bad stench, and a constant flow of people coming in to shit and leave again. If you want to talk to me, I'm sure we can find a better place.

    The stench more or less depends on where you are, but yeah. The only difference between men's and women's rooms are that guys have urinals and women get 1 or more extra lavatories, the whole couch thing is either a media reinforced stereotype or a stupid owner.

    The couches do happen.

    They may not be universal, but there are couches.

    Also sometimes more decorations and furniture, or makeup counters.

    But is the couch there because it's wanted/needed or because the owner heard that women's rooms have couches and therefore his women's room will have a couch, repeating the stereotype.

    And Jinn, guys did go to the bathroom to chat and fix their hair way back when. I forget the documentary that I saw it in, but it was meant to show how narcissitic the 50's were.

    moniker on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Jinnigan wrote: »
    well, yes, but this basically never happens with guys and i'm wondering why that is

    like, why don't guys go to the bathroom in groups to have a chat and check their hair?

    Yeah, reckon I'd go with homophobia. Plus, just about every comedy film ever seems to have a scene involving urinal-embarrassment which I'd say reinforces the omgdon'tlook thing.

    Maybe if urinals weren't a feature it wouldn't be so much like that? I can't imagine being in the mood for a chat with anyone if I had to pee in front of strangers...

    The Cat on
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  • mogdemonmogdemon Kansas, USRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Girls visit the bathroom in groups because it's convenient, you know. Usually everyone's having a good time chatting and you don't wanna feel left out, so you either ask if anyone wants to come with you, or you follow everyone else if that's where they're going. More fun than being alone. Plus, if everyone goes at one time except you, nobody's gonna feel the need to go back with you when you have an emergency an hour later.

    Also, this.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Jinnigan wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Jinnigan wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    well i was talking to some normal girls lately (and i mean that in the sense that they were... preppy? Generican?) and this is what the conversation turned to

    I mean to say that some of you have some funny ideas

    nobody makes eye contact in the Ladies at Central Station or in the local mall, srsly. The only time you'll see women having a chatty-chat in the loos is if they were already in a group when they went in, there's no chatting with strangers. Or hanging out for any longer than one has to, because its a toilet! Ege is mostly right, about nightclub bathrooms at least, but most of the time if you wind up in group heading towards the bathroom, its mostly a case of "oh well, may as well go while I've got the chance, or at least check mah hair".

    well, yes, but this basically never happens with guys and i'm wondering why that is

    like, why don't guys go to the bathroom in groups to have a chat and check their hair?

    this may simply be because we no longer have hair like this:

    grease.gif

    but i think there is more to it than that

    I wish we still did though. Mmm greasy.

    The social psychology portion of the course I did this semester mentioned an experiment where people had trouble going when someone is looking at them at a urinal stall. (the study has since been banned :D ) Just throwing that out there.

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  • fjafjanfjafjan Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Exactly how much time have you lads been spending in the Ladies' lately?

    More often than in the men's room, generally. I try to give the gals a couple extra stalls to prevent a line from being formed, or at least prolonging its existence. Then again, I've mainly done municipal type projects recently where large groups would congregate at one time and then nobody'd be there for hours.

    You're an architect?

    The name is Vandelay ... Art Vandelay

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    But is the couch there because it's wanted/needed or because the owner heard that women's rooms have couches and therefore his women's room will have a couch, repeating the stereotype.

    I'm not sure it's a meaningful distinction at this point.

    Incenjucar on
  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Okay, some people here are saying it's an issue of homophobia. So here's a question for any guys reading this thread who might happen to be gay: Do the same "rules" apply in gay clubs and bars that apply to more general settings like the OP was talking about? I'm being serious - if men's room behavior in gay clubs is similar to women's room behavior in more general settings, that would seem to confirm the "homophobia" thing to some extent. Anyone have any anecdotal evidence one way or the other?

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    But is the couch there because it's wanted/needed or because the owner heard that women's rooms have couches and therefore his women's room will have a couch, repeating the stereotype.

    I'm not sure it's a meaningful distinction at this point.

    I'm pretty sure the health codes around here restrict what kind of seats you can put in a bathroom. I've only ever seen one couch, and that's at a concert venue in town. All the others have none, or maybe a couple of ordinary chairs for oldies to wait on in the nicer places.

    The Cat on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    But is the couch there because it's wanted/needed or because the owner heard that women's rooms have couches and therefore his women's room will have a couch, repeating the stereotype.

    I'm not sure it's a meaningful distinction at this point.

    I'd say that it is because it's become a self-perpetuating stereotype that doesn't seem to have any meaning or purpose outside of sitcoms.

    moniker on
  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Surely the couches and chairs outside of the restroom would be preferable.

    Hooraydiation on
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    I'd say that it is because it's become a self-perpetuating stereotype that doesn't seem to have any meaning or purpose outside of sitcoms.

    I really couldn't say.

    I don't really trust the average person's sense of sanitation enough to want to share a bathroom couch with them, or let a kid do it while waiting for an adult.

    Incenjucar on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007
    Actually, girls who are in groups going to the bathroom together is part of a sort of "pack mentality".

    Girls who are in groups tend to be much more attuned to each others feelings/moods than guys. If a guy is hitting on a girl and the girl's female friends don't like the guy, the guy has close to zero chance. On the other hand, if the guy gets along with her friends well and wins them over, he's much more likely to be successful and attract the girl. Similarly in dating situations, girls put way more importance than guys do into whether or not the guy gets along well with her female friends.

    Or think about the ways girls always look after each other. Like, if a member of the female group disappears, or leaves the venue, the other girls go "oh my gosh i wonder why she left! is she OK?!" And all kinds of gossiping and text-messaging and calling takes place.

    With guys you don't have these sorts of things. When a guy leaves the group, most don't even notice. When they do, the conversation goes like this:

    "where is dave"
    "dunno. he just left."
    "oh."

    ege02 on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    This is why nobody at the club bothers making a move towards the girls who show up arm-in-arm six at a time.

    Incenjucar on
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2007
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    This is why nobody at the club bothers making a move towards the girls who show up arm-in-arm six at a time.

    And you can think of that as sort of a "screening" routine: only the most confident guys will go in and interact with the group.

    ege02 on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    And you can think of that as sort of a "screening" routine: only the most drunk guys will go in and interact with the group.

    Anyways. Guys do get pretty comradey sometimes. Last night at the club these guys kept slapping each other's legs and asses like they were in a football locker room. It just doesn't usually extend to the bathroom. And when it does it's fricking disturbing.

    I don't know. Maybe it's the simple fact that you have your penis in your hand and someone is trying to chat with you.

    Or maybe a morbid fear of being distracted and missing the mark. D:

    Incenjucar on
  • JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Actually, girls who are in groups going to the bathroom together is part of a sort of "pack mentality".

    Girls who are in groups tend to be much more attuned to each others feelings/moods than guys. If a guy is hitting on a girl and the girl's female friends don't like the guy, the guy has close to zero chance. On the other hand, if the guy gets along with her friends well and wins them over, he's much more likely to be successful and attract the girl. Similarly in dating situations, girls put way more importance than guys do into whether or not the guy gets along well with her female friends.

    Or think about the ways girls always look after each other. Like, if a member of the female group disappears, or leaves the venue, the other girls go "oh my gosh i wonder why she left! is she OK?!" And all kinds of gossiping and text-messaging and calling takes place.

    With guys you don't have these sorts of things. When a guy leaves the group, most don't even notice. When they do, the conversation goes like this:

    "where is dave"
    "dunno. he just left."
    "oh."

    this sounds sexist but i'm pretty sure it's true

    Jinnigan on
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  • ShamusShamus Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Jinnigan wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    Actually, girls who are in groups going to the bathroom together is part of a sort of "pack mentality".

    Girls who are in groups tend to be much more attuned to each others feelings/moods than guys. If a guy is hitting on a girl and the girl's female friends don't like the guy, the guy has close to zero chance. On the other hand, if the guy gets along with her friends well and wins them over, he's much more likely to be successful and attract the girl. Similarly in dating situations, girls put way more importance than guys do into whether or not the guy gets along well with her female friends.

    Or think about the ways girls always look after each other. Like, if a member of the female group disappears, or leaves the venue, the other girls go "oh my gosh i wonder why she left! is she OK?!" And all kinds of gossiping and text-messaging and calling takes place.

    With guys you don't have these sorts of things. When a guy leaves the group, most don't even notice. When they do, the conversation goes like this:

    "where is dave"
    "dunno. he just left."
    "oh."

    this sounds sexist but i'm pretty sure it's true

    Doesn't seem to sexist, maybe the part about "pack mentality" but it is sort of true. Girls feel better in a group, and are a bit more perceptive to each other's feelings.

    I agree tho', don't talk to me when I'm taking a piss. Afterwards, yeah. But not during.

    Shamus on
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