Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Don't know squat

I read an article in the news today about organizers for the Olympics in Beijing are refitting toilets in some of the main venues. They are removing the squat toilets and replacing them with the sit down version.


Squat toilets?


I can figure out just by the name what kind of a toilet that is. It's a hole in the ground that you squat over to do your bidness.

OK...gotcha...but I'm having some "logistic problems" with this concept.

Confession time - I sit when I pee.

Even when I'm in a public restroom. I will use a whole roll of toilet paper to cover the seat with if it's really disgusting, but I never mastered the "hovering" method of peeing. Maybe if I used the handicapped stall which has bars that I could hold on to I may be able to hover, but then the toilets in those stalls are usually higher than normal and my legs are short...there is NO way I can hover over that.

For some reason every time I've tried to hover over the toilet to pee, let's just say...I make a mess.

Most of it on myself unfortunately.

I also have "shy kidneys" when it comes to public bathrooms. I need to sit and relax and concentrate on what I am doing. The thought of hovering or squatting will put me in a horrible state of anxiety and I will not be able to "go".

Here is a lovely illustration on how to squat properly:

How are you supposed to get down that low to the ground?

My knees do not bend like that anymore. Actually, I don't think my knees ever bent like that in my lifetime. I am not a flexible person.

If you were wearing a skirt or a dress, this may not be too much of a problem, but what about if you are wearing pants? They are going to touch the ground and some of the pictures I've seen of these squat toilets do not look too lean.

How do you not pee on your pants?

In many other parts of the world this kind of toilet is used frequently. There are even websites promoting the many health benefits for the natural squatting position.

Here are 7 advantages of the squat:

1. Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent "fecal stagnation," a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

2. Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.

3. Securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.

4. Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.

5. Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.

6. A highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.

7. For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.

Uh huh...sure.

They have to be making that shit up! (pun intended)

This kind of puts the kibosh on the men's sitting on the throne with the morning paper for hours. (I don't get that anyway...but that's a story for another time)

I don't think I'll be planning any trips to Beijing anytime least not until I know they have good ol' fashioned sit down toilets there.


The Village Carpenter said...

I never knew that sitting on a toilet could be so dangerous!

Question: how would old people be able to use the squat method? That can't be too easy for them.

mcCutcheon said...

if you go interrail (travel europe by train - which almost everyone does here, usually between high school and uni) then you know those toilets from france, spain, etc. and they're actually not that bad. one doesn't squat that low (that way wouldn't you be getting all the germs just the same?) and if you find a clean place to hold on too it's fine. In the end it doesn't really make a difference whether its sit down or squat - if it's gross it's gross, and train station toilets ARE usually gross.

by the way my personal favourite way of peeing (hehe) is the Lady P (lady pissoir), unfortunately the only place that had one of those here in Vienna apparently got rid of it). But they're sooooo practical! :)

mcCutcheon said...

lady p:

the only daughter said...

I grew up hovering. I can remember my mother holding me over public toilets from a very early age. She drummed into not sit. ever.

Of course, I do now, mostly. But, I can still hover. Squat. No. (not nearly that low anyway.

The lady p? nope, not for me.

Shazza said...

VC I am older..that is probably why this scares me! knees are older at least.

McC, when I was younger, I probably would not have given it a second thought; but now...I can't even imagine it.

I'm with thanks to the Lady P.

Sharkb said...

Most edifying!

dive said...

It's much more natural (writes Mister European), except that at my age my knees are much like yours, which isn't so much a problem getting down there as getting back up again.