You know how sometimes you get into the shower and the gentle sound of running water suddenly makes you feel like your bladder is about to burst? What do you do?
Turning off the water, drying off and walking over to the toilet sometimes seems like too much trouble, especially with all that free-flowing water around, so do you hold it or just let loose? According to a recent survey, one in two Japanese adults don’t see the point of moving.
Westerners who have encountered this problem have it a little easier than the Japanese, as their toilets are usually in the same room as the shower or bath tub. In Japan, however, the toilet is usually in a room all by itself, while the shower/bath and sink occupy another room. So if you did want to use the toilet mid-shower, it would involve drying off, putting clothes on and heading as far away as down the hall to the toilet room – and in the winter there’s a good chance that neither the hallway nor toilet room are heated. Now, that just sounds unpleasant.
▼”A visitor! Thank goodness, I’ve been terribly lonely in here!”
So, what would you do? A study of 100 Japanese people shows that one in two adults have peed in the shower at some point. When the participants were asked how often they pee while bathing, they answered in the following way:
Always: 4 people
Frequently: 7 people
From time to time: 17 people
At least once : 27 people
Never ever: 45 people
So, that makes 45% of the people asked pee-holders, leaving the majority as those who have peed or consistently pee in the shower.
So, why do people urinate in the shower? Well, many of the people surveyed described fluke incidents when they suddenly had to go, but getting to the toilet would be too much of a hassle and they wouldn’t be able to relax in the bath if they got in already needing to pee (note: in Japan, bathing is usually a two-step process, with the bather washing in the shower area before hopping in the tub to soak).
▼The standard shower/bath room in Japan, notice the separation between the washing area (front) and the bathtub.
More environmentally conscious bathers argued that, since the toilet water and the shower water end up in the same place anyway, they might as well not waste water by flushing a toilet. And yet another respondent boldly asked, “Since I’m in the shower room, no one would know if I peed there, so why does it matter?”
Many of the firm “never-ever-pee-in-the-shower” people were more concerned about the cleanliness factor, seeing urine as a filthy substance that makes the shower room dirty, despite it being washed away so quickly. Others said they have just never thought about it: “I don’t remember ever doing it as a kid either. I was always told that you pee in the toilet, so it never even crossed my mind.” A number of other non-peers, meanwhile, are apparently in the habit of always peeing before they take a shower, so the situation has never come up for them.
We realize that one hundred people is not a lot for a thorough survey, but the numbers were so even, I think it’s safe to say that about half of Japanese adults do not hold in their pee in the shower. What about you? Which category do you find yourself in?
▼ Some people think everyone pees in the shower…