10 Important Urinal Etiquette Rules

Most men have used a urinal before, we’ve seen the urinal partitions that separate us from the guy next to us that felt the empty urinal next to you was the best urinal to use, despite the empty urinal on the other side of him. There is also that guy who stands about 3+ feet from the urinal and basically ” sprays and prays “, requiring the restroom owner to buy urinal mats or think of turning the whole room into a wetroom. Often we feel these things are common sense kind of rules of the urinal, however we still approach friends and co-workers with these interestingly weird stories. So we decided we could add to the bathroom etiquette scene with our take on urinal etiquette.

While there are no actual ” Rules of the Urinal ” book, these are more so unspoken understandings between guys.

    • Rule 1: If you can help it, don’t use the urinal right next to someone.
      men standing far apart at a urinal
    • Now if the bathroom is full or it’s game day at Camden Yards of course you’re going to use that urinal. However if it’s a Friday afternoon at work and you stroll on over and use the urinal right next to someone while there is an empty urinal next to you, you better believe that guy you stood next to is going to feel a bit uneasy about you being so close.
    • Rule 2: Always use the urinal on the far side first.
      This is an extension of rule 1, but also points out to not take up urinals in the middle first, always use the urinal on the sides before using the ones in the middle to prevent awkward situations.
    • Rule 3: Don’t stand feet away from the urinal.
      Why? one word ” splashback “. Not to mention it’s also a bit weird and you’re exposing yourself. No one wants to feel the spray, this isn’t the ocean. This is also why urinal mats were invented, some are very cleverly designed that will stop splashback and pooling underneath which also leads to odors.
    • Rule 4: Don’t try talking to the guy next to you while using the urinal.
      Don't try talking to the guy next to you
    • Just because you can see them, doesn’t mean they’re your conversation partner. Most guys are in there for one reason, and the others who aren’t are in there to avoid other people. Save the casual chit chat for the metro or that telemarketer who likes to call you at work.
    • Rule 5: Don’t take your selfies next to people using the urinals or even in the bathroom for that matter.
      Nobody needs this, we don’t want to photobomb you when we didn’t even mean to. Plus what they’re doing doesn’t require flash photography, and let’s face it, it’s a bathroom, no one is going to be impressed of a picture of you inside a bathroom, we’re not at the golden toilet in the Guggenheim.
    • Rule 6: Only liquids go in the urinals.
      This one is so simple yet more adults do it than kids, the urinal is not a trashcan, it’s not a toilet, it’s only meant for liquid. When others throw gum, paper, or worse it normally ends up bothering everyone else and is just rude to the janitorial staff.
    • Rule 7: Go in with a purpose, otherwise go in a stall.
      Go in with a purpose
    • It’s understandable sometimes people need to get out of the office for a moment. Many turn to the bathroom and will just hangout in there. While it’s not a crime, it’s pretty weird to have a guy hanging around behind you for an extended period of time, it just makes people nervous.
    • Rule 8: Pee in the urinal not on the floor.
      This one is common sense, but you still have either that guy in a hurry or the one too busy talking on the phone to realize they aren’t aiming in the right place. Some people put their hands on these things and there is also the smell. Not to mention, you end up creating a puddle underneath, perfect situation for odors to occur, hope you’re going to supply that business with antimicrobial urinal mat when you visit next time.
    • Rule 9: Remember to zip up before you slip up.
       zip up before you slip upNo one wants to see too much of you, especially right next to you or at the mirrors. Plus it helps prevent the issue of walking out of the bathroom with your fly down, striking up a casual conversation only to be interrupted with ” you’re fly is down “.

Rule 10: Eyes on your own space, don’t wander.
This is a big one for many, as it makes people uncomfortable to notice there is someone in the corner of your line of sight staring or even doing a double take in your direction. Even if it’s to look at a cool logo or saying on a shirt, keep your eyes forward.

    • So there you have it, now let’s face it, none of these issues are really going to harm anyone, but it’s a matter of respect and good hygiene. You don’t go into your parent’s home and pee on their floor or walls so why anywhere else? It’s just dirty and in regards to personal space, there are much easier ways to create awkward moments that don’t result in physical harm or even a restraining order. It just boils down to ” treat others how you would want to be treated “
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