Thursday, June 10, 2010

Men and Urine. Discuss

A couple of weeks ago my local leisure centre (my YMCA, run by the city) embarked upon some much-needed paint work. For some reason, while they were painting the ladies' changing room, they swapped us into the men's room. (Ben suspects it was because women might actually mind if we get paint on our clothes.) This was a little confusing for everyone, but we shuffled into each other's facilities and continued as usual.

This gave me an interesting opportunity to get a good whiff of the men's changing room.

It Smells Of Wee.

I went from changing-stall to changing-stall to try and find one that didn't smell like a diaper, but there wasn't one. They all smelled of stale urine. Cloyingly so. Thickly, disgustingly so. I didn't want to take my shoes off for fear I'd step in a puddle. It made my eyes red and my lunch try to escape.

I feel I should mention that the only unpleasant odour I tend to find in the ladies' room is mild dirty feet, but it is kept clean and people track pool water in there so it mostly smells of chlorine. The men's changing room backs onto the pool too, but any smell of pool chemicals is completely masked by the gag-inducing stench of piss.

I've had to use men's restrooms before, due to crowding, cleaning, plumbing, and my own impatience. I'm no stranger to the stink-wall, but I had no idea it extended to Every place reserved for exclusive use by men. This is a changing room. A big one--certainly a bigger floorspace than my entire house, with 20' ceilings and plenty of ventilation. It does have showers, and a restroom off to one side--with a clear separate entrance. There's no excuse for men to wee in the changing stalls.

The leisure centre's rules are pretty relaxed on boys changing in the ladies' room with their mothers. Boys under age 10 are generally let in, and most of the time I don't mind. They're noisy, but they're not nosy, and while they do hog the showers for hours on end they do not stink the place up. While I of course can't vouch for the behaviour of children who change with their fathers, boys in the girls' room aren't really a problem.


Except now that the changing rooms have swapped back, the ladies' room smells like pee. All of the stalls have a slight musk to them, as though a tramp slept in each one in turn a few months ago. While it's not nearly as bad as the gents', I'm disgusted and feel a bit violated.


Come On Males, it's the 21st century. There's no excuse to mark your territory like this any more--you do that with lease agreements and fiscal exchange. You stand erect and have a fairly smooth brow. I know you all can't help the body hair issue, but that is not an indication that you should behave like lemurs. Your woman will be attracted to you even if you don't scent your tail and wave it at her--indeed, she'll probably be More attracted to you if you don't. Is this like the "money shot" thing? Why do you need to demonstrate your dominance over people or ownership of things by coating them with your DNA? Why does this dominance always have something to do with penises?

It is time for men to evolutionarily catch up to women. Because frankly...eew.


Kim said...

Gross. I think pee is invisible to most men. Honestly, I have to point out the dried yellow splotches on the underside of the toilet seat...and even then, he doesn't really see them (he'll clean them, but miss a few).

Is it possible that they just don't notice?

Kristen said...

I think they just don't understand why we wouldn't want their pee to be on everything. "But...but I've marked it. Why are you removing my mark? It's the only way I can protect it from other males!"

The only thing I can guess is that they have a different pheromone receptor, and instead of realizing that it smells they just get really aggressive or territorial.