Photo: Stand Up
Public peeing for people with penises is generally no big deal. There’s no sitting involved, no squatting; no dirty toilet seats to deal with and no pulling one’s pants down to one’s ankles. It’s pretty unfair, when you think about it. Jeeeez thanks a lot, anatomy!
But if the Malcolm in the Middle theme song taught us anything, it’s that life is unfaaaair. So, in an attempt to even out the
playing peeing field for vagina-owners, a company called Stand Up has invented some nifty little contraptions that allow women to piddle without sitting — or, as Stand Up puts it, “boycott the squat” and “join the urination.” So clever.
The Stand Up system is a subscription service, meaning you pay monthly for however many packs you choose to be sent to you directly. (You can also choose a one-time purchase option.) Six dollars a month gets you a pack of six, which come in a triangular pink box resembling something you might use to transport a single slice of pizza big enough to feed one medium-sized bunny. Once you’re done using each Stand Up, you simply throw it away.
I had to try this.
When my box arrived earlier this week, I scrutinized its packaging and the note attached. “Just remember to connect the entire brim of the Stand Up with your skin and push your hips forward until the Stand Up is almost vertical and pointing towards your target,” it read. “You’ll be peeing like a pro in no time!” I wasn’t so sure. It sounded… complex. Risky. Like I might end up peeing all over the floor… ugh.
But I was anxious to test it out. When the time came, I walked into my office bathroom (yes, I do this kind of thing at work) nervously clutching the Stand Up box, when it occurred to me that I might be better off using the handicap stall. I had no clue how much space this situation was about to take up.
I closed the stall door, rested the box of Stand Ups on the toilet paper holder, stood facing the toilet, and dropped trou — just as another woman walked into the bathroom. Suddenly super self conscious, I turned around so my feet were pointed towards the door as they normally would when a girl’s using the toilet. I started hating myself a little for how invested I was, but I couldn’t back out now.
Photo: Stand Up
As soon as she’d closed her own door, I turned back around and prepared for pee-time. I opened the box to find a thin, flat, cardboard funnel, reminiscent of those resourceful origami cups you learn to make in elementary school. Inside the large opening is a an arrow next to the words PEE HERE. It’s pretty hard to mess up, unless you’re like me and almost forget to lift the toilet seat up. (Speaking of which, doing so is disgusting. I might even feel a little sorry for men for like, the first time ever. Who knows what’s gonna be underneath there??). Thankfully, I rectified the situation just in time.
Hands down, the hardest part of using the Stand Up is fear. I half thought I was going to end up with soaked hands, like when you have to pee in a cup at the doctor’s. (Is this TMI? probs.)
But once I got going… it was SO. COOL. To my surprise and delight, there was no leakage or spillage, and after I was finished, I kind of shook off the end of the device. JUST LIKE A BOY. And, since Stand Ups are biodegradable, I didn’t feel guilty at all about throwing it away right after using it. I just discarded it in the little tampon disposal thing in the stall, and walked out of there with a huge goofy grin on my face. I was a changed woman.
Would I be willing to commit to relieving myself with Stand Ups full-time? I don’t think so. The one thing I missed while using it was that moment of solitude you get from sitting in the (relative) silence and privacy of a toilet stall in the middle of a crazy work day. But they’re definitely a product I’ll be keeping on hand whenever I go somewhere that’s bound to have nasty toilets — like a seedy bar, a festival, or anywhere with porta-potties — or no toilets at all, like on a hike or in a campground.
The best part of it all is having options. The option to sit, squat, or stand. The option to pee into a cardboard funnel. The option to point my feet towards the toilet because hey, why the hell not? (Also, my female friend and I have already discussed having Stand Up sword fights. So many fun possibilities!)
Now, we can take a stand against squatting over dirty, urine-splattered toilet seats and getting our hands dirty outside. Now… we can stand up.