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Ask Men's Fitness: What Is Proper Urinal Etiquette?

The great restroom debate.
Proper bathroom behavior

Q: What is proper urinal etiquette?

—Keith J., Atlanta, GA

MF: First of all, don’t stand next to me when there are six other urinals to pee in. It’s called a “buffer zone.” Give me some space to do my business, and I’ll give you yours. Also, if you feel the urge to have a conversation, stifle it. Urinals are a no conversation zone. When a guy hits the john, it’s a two-minute respite from the outside world. The last thing I want to do is talk about the weather. And do not flush the toilet with your foot. Are you kidding me with that? I get it: You don’t want to touch the damn lever. But your feet are dirtier than your fucking hands. There’s a sink five feet away, so you can wash your hands. Or you can use your elbow or forearm.

Also, I don’t think that a guy should talk on the phone while using the restroom. I understand that there may be some calls too important to wait—maybe something about a hospital, jail, or something—but I’ve never overheard such conversations in any public bathroom. So it’s just rude to make others listen to it. Finally, don’t stand three feet back and go for a rainbow arc, don’t keep shaking as you’re walking away, and don’t forget to zip up at the urinal. This is not the wilderness. Just do what you need to do, leave me alone, wash your fucking hands, and we’ll be fine.

Shorty Maniace is the proprietor of J.P. Kempt Barber & Social in San Francisco. Send your questions to askshorty

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