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The Toilet Seat: Sit On It!

Updated on May 13, 2010

Toilet seat wars

Ah, the toilet seat. Such an issue of controversy between men and women. One gender likes it up, the other down. Makes sense if you consider it's usage. However, the problem of up and down continues to plague relationships between the sexes, especially those who co-habitate.

I, for one, don't care. If I find a toilet seat up, I lower it as needed. I see that my partner does the same. If he finds it down, he raises it. There has never been a conversation about what condition the other leaves the toilet seat in. In this house, there is never an argument for or against the position of the toilet seat. This is great because once you leave the house, you must contend with the public toilet seat. And there lies a problem.

Public Toilets

The public restroom (or washroom for those of us in Canada) is where the issue sits. American restrooms in particular.

In the ladies room, we find paper liners for the toilet seat. "Provided by the management for your protection" the cardboard dispenser reads. The idea is to take the liner, place it on the seat and provide a physical barrier to what ever germs might be lurking on the surface of the seat. Sounds simple enough, and I have been known to use those liners in my life. When they weren't available, I would carefully line the rim of the toilet seat with toilet paper, lest my delicate and healthy skin touch any kind of nasty germs the last lady left behind.

Fast forward.

I moved to a small town in Canada, along the Sunshine Coast. Here, public toilets are without paper liners for the seats. That's right! Every woman places her bare bottom on the actual plastic seat and sits to do her business. The thought of placing toilet paper down never occurred to me. The fact of the matter is, the toilets in Canada are seemingly very clean.

In America, it appears to be a common practice for women to squat over the toilet to avoid sitting on the seat. This action promotes the wetting of the seat as it is nearly impossible for a woman to guide her urine stream. Why does this happen? Time and time again, I have entered a restroom stall to find the near oval seat dribbled on, sprayed or completed soiled. At that time, it is a decision whether to wipe the seat off with toilet paper then line it three times with the complementary paper liners, or just walk into the next stall (and breath hold since one never knows what they might find!)

In Canada, I've never seen urine on the seat. There are no paper liners, nothing to indicate the toilet seat is unsanitary. Women just sit, waste goes into the toilet bowl, and voila! A clean seat.

Stop the paper waste and sit your butt down!

I have come to the conclusion that the paper liners that are provided for "our" protection are convincing women that toilet seats are dirty and promote illness. I believe that the box of liners in the toilet stall make women think about what they can do to completely remove the chance of contamination. Hence, squat above the seat and make zero contact. The reality is, there is little evidence that disease is transferred by toilet seat. Conditions would have to be perfect; that is, the last person would have had to leave infectious material on the seat through an open wound or sore, and you would have to also have an open wound or sore to pick it up. Chances are slim that it could happen in a time frame that allows the pathogen to live long enough for you to pick it up.

You have a better chance of getting sick from touching the door handle. The best defense against illness is washing your hands thoroughly after using the restroom. Especially after touching the flusher!

Save the paper, sit your butt down and wash your hands after using the toilet. If we all sit perhaps the next time you enter a toilet stall, you'll find the seat pleasantly dry.

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    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      6 years ago from America

      I don't like squatters. I can't squat it just doesn't work for me. Most women won't wipe the toilet seats after they have peed all over it. I take along a wipe and wipe the seat making sure my hands don't touch. What I hate is women who don't wash their hands after.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      6 years ago from USA

      Interesting comparison of US and Canadian restrooms. I have to agree that most US public restrooms are pretty terrible because of the habit of squatting above rather than sitting. But once one person messes up the seat, then no one else will sit on it! Sit on it? You. No, You. Who will go first and start a new trend? :)

    • boyfromsweden profile image

      boyfromsweden 

      7 years ago

      like this hub and the funny comments :)

    • Rose Ella Morton profile image

      Rose Ella Morton 

      8 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

      I say if you are going to squat why not lift the seat up like a man. Or if you squat, why not wipe it up for the next person. People can say a lot of things but all bets are off once they enter the stall.

    • Jennifer D. profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer D. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, Beth!

      Glad you liked it. I think our paranoia is getting to us in the States.

      I love living in Canada, too. And not just for the clean restrooms. :)

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I am so happy to live in Canada!! I experienced the same when I lived in the States, and it was just utterly disgusting. I always held it in until I reached home....not exactly the healthiest, but the sight and smell made me sick when I walked into the restrooms. W5 did a report on gas station bathrooms in the States and Canada and did a comparison. Mind you, it was many years ago, but Canada came out on top! Funny and great reading!

    • Jennifer D. profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer D. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Thank you, Londonlady! Happy that you enjoyed it!

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 

      8 years ago

      hahaha, I LOVE this hub! so true!

    • Jennifer D. profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer D. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for your comment, pink umbrella!

      I thought about this one at length, and did a bit of research.

      If someone has a "bum pimple" or open sore on their arse or upper thighs, it would have to make contact with the seat and YOUR bum or thighs would also have to make contact with that same spot. If a pathogen was to be left behind (pardon the pun) it would not survive long on the cold, slick surface outside of the human body.

      I understand that germs are icky to you, but in all seriousness hand washing it the best way to prevent disease.

      It is my belief that paper liners make people paranoid and so they squat and ultimately pee on the toilet seat. That is gross.

    • the pink umbrella profile image

      the pink umbrella 

      8 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

      no no no icky yucky. What if someone has a big open sore? a bum pimple, anything. No No i do not trust the germs of my gross fellow americans.

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