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Unisex bathrooms in restaurants

What do you guys think about unisex bathrooms in restaurants or a decent sized restaurant with only one bathroom.
I personally hate it when I see bathrooms with both signs of sexes written on the doors. The only place i don't mind sharing bathroom with men is my house(though If i were super rich, I'd love to have my OWN bathroom because I hate sharing bathrooms even with my husband).
I generally try not to go to any public bathroom(even at a fancy restaurant) so whenever I see an unisex bathroom, it's a huge turnoff for me...I really don't want to see yellow spots of urine on toilets in the middle of eating.
Also hate a decent sized restauarant that has only one bathroom.

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      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

        it's not even uncommon in Europe to have a single-sex public toilet -- there's a divider, with stalls one way and urinals the other.

        Other than a brief "oh shit, I walked in the men's" it's a non-issue for me.

        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

          Exactly what I was going to say. I found many places with individual toilet rooms for either gender and a common sink area, especially in older buildings. It was a bit uncomfortable to me, but as I thought about it, there was no real reason for it be be uncomfortable expect that it isn't how it is at home.

        2. I have no issues provided the mgt keeps it clean.

          Then again these days I rarely see restaurants in the states with only one.

          1. Single stall bathrooms that cause people to line up in the bar/ restaurant both me. But as a female, I don't think that our bathrooms are much cleaner than the male. The amount of urine, blood, feces, etc that I've seen on/ in public women only toilets is disguising (though restaurant bathrooms tend to be less disguisting). I do like the unisex bathrooms that have both a urinal and toilet.

            1. It doesn't bother me in the least. The only time I have found it slightly irritating is if the seat has been left up, and that is something I have very rarely encountered. As for urine spots, I've seen plenty of them on the seats of restrooms used only by women. If anything, I am slightly happy to see a unisex bathroom because it means my wait will be less as men tend to be much quicker in restrooms then women.

              1. Female.

                I'm fine with unisex bathrooms as long as 1. they are a "single" 2. have a (working) locking door and 3. are kept meticulously clean.

                In a larger restaurant a staff member should be assigned to keeping the restroom pristine.

                Oh, and I have my own bathroom at home. You are right---they are great!

                1. The unisex part doesn't bother me--I've been in single-gender one stall bathrooms that are pretty bad too, so men don't have the "yuck" market cornered.

                  The potential wait for the lav bothers me. Isn't # of bathrooms a building code issue? Once a restaurant reaches a certain number of seats, etc?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pinehurst

                    I agree, it's the fact that usually there is a wait that bothers me.

                  2. A fairly rare occurance. A number of "modern" bars seem to go for unisex and then there are the very small places that only have a single toilet.

                    Doesn't bother me at all. Although I wish women would remember to lift the seat once they've finished.

                    1. Don't care about unisex, but I think all public bathrooms should use this genius invention:


                      21 Replies
                      1. re: ferret

                        Great invention.

                        It often occurs to me - I pee, I wash my hands; then I have to touch the door handle to get out of the toilets; then I go back to eating, not knowing what germs I may have just picked up.

                        1. re: Harters

                          I use a paper towel to open the door and if they don't have a trash can next to the door I throw it on the floor. I have public restrooms at work and so many do not wash there hands doing more than peeing, then open the door.

                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            I do same if a place has paper towels but so few do these days - it's all warm air driers

                            1. re: Harters

                              ....then it's a handful of cheap toilet paper for me.

                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                Totally agree. Or, I'll use my elbow if possible.

                                Or wait for someone else to come in!

                            2. re: James Cristinian

                              You throw the paper towel on the floor, when it's probably small enough to just tuck into a pocket for later disposal. If everyone does as you do (throwing used paper towels on the floor), others have to wade through that mess. How lovely.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I throw it in the corner where most places have a trash can. The point of using a towel is so many people crap and don't wash their hands. The last thing I'm going to do is put a paper towel in my pocket with somebody's shit or piss from the door handle. It's in the corner and I'm not the only one doing it. Others do it so we don't have to put towels with bacteria in our pockets. The owners can pony up the 95 cents for a small trash can and have an employee check on it every hour, we do that where I work. If you're wading through piles of paper, complain to management. Again, I throw it in the corner out of the way,.

                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                  Do you also flush the toilet with your foot?

                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    No, I wash my hands afterward. I must edit, I use a towel to flush and then throw it in the trash. I used to use my foot but my hip became so bad I couldn't lift it.

                                    1. re: latindancer

                                      I always flush the toilet with my foot. Then wash my hands.Exit the bathroom using a paper towel to turn the knob. No I do not care about unisex bathrooms. Though I was really embarassed when I found myself in the womens bathroom in Austria at a nice restaurant.I looked at the name on the doors and forgot wich was for men and wich was for women.

                                      1. re: latindancer

                                        I use a piece of toilet paper to flush, then quickly throw it into the toilet before its done flushing. :)

                                        1. re: latindancer

                                          You weren't answering me, but yes, I flush the toilet with my foot. I do my best not to touch a thing in public restrooms, whether it's use my foot or elbow or a paper towel. Especially if I'm going to eat next. People are gross.

                                        2. re: James Cristinian

                                          Mr. Cristnian and all others in this thread I saw this earlier today and it made me think of your post here.


                                          I particularly agree with #10 on the list based on the amount of shit I see posted on these boards!!

                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                            James, I fully understand the purpose of using the paper towel to open a door that swings inward. I do it myself.

                                            However, your lack of regard for anyone else by choosing to drop the paper towel on the floor (you and "others", as you've said - which then leaves a pile of used paper towels on the floor) astonishes me. Just because you drop it in the corner makes ***absolutely no difference.*** Find a wastebasket at the hostess station, if you are in a restaurant.

                                            And a simple suggestion to management to put a small wastebasket just inside the door for the purpose of those used paper towels would alleviate the mess for the rest of us. Although I suspect you'll probably respond with "It's not my responsibility to tell them to put a wastebasket there - they should know."

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              They should know, after the first night of "business".

                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                            Yeah.....and then after these OCD types have littered the floor with all their discarded towels, I have to walk in, getting them stuck to the bottom of my shoe with GAWD knows what on them!!!!!!!!!!

                                            I think if I ever saw that, I'd discretely pick it up (perhaps with latex covered hands) then bring it over to the table and drop it with a "Oh my you must have dropped this in the Loo"

                                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                              No OCD but CDC says 5 percent of people wash their hands correctly, 10 percent not at all. Forgive me for being sensitive, but I had my hip replaced three weeks ago today, and my doctors told me any infections would delay surgery, fucking hip killing me, time off secured from work, bunches of calls to Drs and insurance companies.

                                              Forgive me for not wanting to be sick. You'd of thought I put a dog or child in diapers in a cart at the grocery store.


                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                James- I do the same thing unless the door opens out with no handle, which is a solution to the problem for me. More places should do that.

                                              2. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                LOL, this is one of the many reasons why I take my shoes off when I get home.

                                            2. re: James Cristinian

                                              Yeah, I must admit I throw it on the floor, too a lot of the times if there is no trash can. My exception to this is at work, where I do carry it around until I reach a trash can. If I'm doing this over the course of a night at bar, mine are usually the only ones I see the whole night, and I do throw them out of the way.

                                        3. I'm a woman and don't mind at all.

                                            1. Monica,
                                              I agree with you. BUT I don't like shaing rest rooms with women, I actually think they are messier than men.

                                              BTW, I don't share a bathroom with Mrs. B
                                              we each have our own

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                In a couple of my jobs while I was in school, cleaning bathrooms was part of my work, and I would say that roughly speaking, women are generally messier -- more random bits of TP on the floor, more likelihood of pee on the seats (presumably from hovering), etc. -- but that when men get messy in the washroom, they manage to create some truly godawful messes.

                                                I've occasionally read statistics that said that women get in more car accidents but that men get in much worse car accidents, and it always kind of reminds me of my days cleaning bathrooms.

                                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                    I was a "chambermaid" at a summer resort back in the 70's and was responsible for the lobby bathroom and common areas. l can attest to both those facts. On a daily basis the ladies need more cleaning-hair in the sinks, soiled TP that had been used to cover the toilet, sprinkles when they didn't, sanitary products not disposed of properly. However after a group of men, usually on bachelor trips? Holy hell that bathroom would be a nightmare. Often the main handyman would have to go in first before I could do my job. Blech.

                                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                      Woman here, don't care. I have seen gross women's washroom and gross men's washrooms.

                                                      I had to clean the men's washroom at my old office, once only. It was an office in an old house. The (3) guys used the washroom upstairs and the (2) women used the one in the basement. The guys somehow managed to spray drops of urine everywhere. Floor, walls. It was nasty. My boss (the other woman in the office) only made me do it once after she saw how gross it was. Funny, it was a cleaning company and the guys were all selling cleaning services to office clients.

                                                    2. re: bagelman01

                                                      Just curious. Did you buy a house(or apt) with two separate bathrooms in bedroom or did you customize?

                                                      1. re: Monica

                                                        Home purchased with first Mrs B had 2 separate bathrooms off the master suite. The previous owners were medical professionals who worked opposite shifts.

                                                        I moved into 2nd Mrs B's home when we married. She is a designer/builder/realtor. I expresses my desires before moving in. Minor modifications were made and we now have separate dressing rooms off each side of the master bedroom and each has its own Lavatory (WC) and sink/vanity and shower. There is a large bathing room off the bedroom that has linen closets a walk in shower room and a large soaking jacuzzi tub for 2. Along with a gas fireplace and a wine cooler.

                                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                                          Sounds like you should change your ID to caviarman1.

                                                          1. re: Monica

                                                            one doesn't forget one's roots...........
                                                            My first job after college was as the purchasing manager for a very large commercial frozen bakery here in CT.

                                                    3. Woman here - it doesn't phase me.

                                                      1. I actually think gender segregating bathrooms that are self-contained units with toilets and sinks is pointless and I'm honestly baffled why -- other than outdated building codes mandating separate facilies -- it still happens. I feel obligated by my rule-following Canadian nature to use the women's washroom, even if that means waiting while the probably identical men's washroom sits empty, and that makes it a silly waste of space.

                                                        I don't particularly liked non-segregated washrooms with stalls and shared sinks, which I've come across in a couple of trendy places, because sometimes you need to fix your appearance in front of the mirror in ways you don't particularly want to share with male strangers.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                          I don't like that either, especially when the sink area is in full view of the restaurant/bar.

                                                        2. that door swings both ways - I don't like to wait for women to fix their hair, do ,makeup, gossip and all the other mysteries that the fairer sex is up to in the lav when I *really* need to take a whiz at a bar.

                                                          as a very broad stereotype Men are in out and done - Women make a production of it. I would rather not wait.

                                                          Only one bathroom is a disaster - all you need is one person to have some sort of issue and then the whole thing is out of commission - there should be at least two holes in any decent sized establishment.

                                                          1. There was once a restaurant in San Francisco called Frisson. It's no longer around, but there is another restaurant in the same space. Frisson got lauded by a gentleman's magazine as having the best bathrooms in the US for having sex. The reason: It had a unisex bathroom with stalls that provided much more privacy than your average restaurant bathroom.

                                                            1. <<"..I really don't want to see yellow spots of urine on toilets in the middle of eating.">>
                                                              You eat in the restroom?
                                                              How about that I actually lift the seat to view drips of red under the seat...?
                                                              I am guilty of putting the seat back down again though...

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                yellow seems to be more common than red..at least from my experience.

                                                                1. re: Monica

                                                                  You may not be lifting the seat as often as I

                                                              2. I've seen some pretty gnarly women's bathrooms, so it's not a big issue for me.

                                                                1. Well, for what it's worth, if I see a long line outside a woman's washroom I'll use the men's.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                    there used to be a very popular live-music venue that I frequented -- the restrooms were heinously outnumbered by the number of people who attended if there was a good band.

                                                                    It was normal practice for the women to commandeer the stall in the men's -- the guys used the urinal, and the girls used the stall.

                                                                    Best wise-ass remark was the guy who stepped past all the ladies to an empty urinal and simply said "Ladies, this is what Sigmund Freud was referring to"

                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                      Early 80' Houston Astrodome and who comes strolling out of the men's exit but the then wife. My response was something like yawn, like another beer? The women's restrooms were hideously small before a later remodel. I was proud of her for not wasting 20 minutes waiting in line. The men's also had long trough where multiple guys could pony up, and during one game a dollar bill was in one of them. Came back several beers later and it was gone.

                                                                    2. Whenever I've seen them, they are single-user rooms - one person, either male or female. Therefore, no problem.

                                                                      1. How do you ever eat out in nyc?!?
                                                                        Seperate restroom are now the exception! IIR at Pastis everyone shared the same multi-stall restroom (doors do not continue to the floor) with a common hand washing and mirror area......

                                                                        If its clean unisex restroom vs not so clean seperate ones i'm all for the unisex. Otherwise i would rather they be seperate...

                                                                        1. When I went to restaurant school, the instructor made a point about the importance of clean bathrooms. He was an industry veteran and claimed that it was especially important for women's bathrooms. Maybe that was a sexist attitude, that men are pigs that don't care as much about clean bathrooms as women. Be that as it may, the point is that a dirty bathroom, unisex or not, can be a major turnoff. The kind of stuff the will make people say things like "I'll never go back there again." Not very smart for a restaurant.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: nocharge

                                                                            Happened to us recently with a place in Chinatown that we've been to a number of times. We both went to the toilet and found them in very poor condition - not an issue of the previous couple of hours but the result of non existant cleaning over several days. I take the view that, if a place is so unhygenic in the areas open to the public, what on earth is it like in the parts you can't see - like where they're making my dinner.

                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                              i read a great Chowhound reivew on a seafood restaurant in Chinatown..went there with a bf to have a nice of dungeness crabs. I normally don't go to bathrooms when eating out but since the crabs require eating with hands, I went to the bathroom in the basement to wash my hands before we made an order. Oh my god, the horror....i couldn't even look, dirty water all over the floor, there was a flood. I quickly came up and left the restaurant.

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                A friend of mine likes to tell me the story of the time he dined at a place in San Francisco's Chinatown where there was a large rat running around the dining room chased by the entire restaurant staff trying to swat it with brooms. Probably beats "lipstick in the bathroom" for bragging rights when it comes to "I won't go back there".

                                                                              2. re: nocharge

                                                                                that happened to me last fall -- we were at a tradeshow in Chicago, and were entertaining at a high-end steakplace.

                                                                                At the end of the evening, I went to powder my nose -- and the women's room was an absolute pigsty. I'm not typically fussed by bathrooms, but this was trash and puddes all over the floor, unflushed toilets, lipstick smeared on the sink, wet counters -- it was in worse condition than any fast-food hellhole I've ever been in.

                                                                                I complained to the manager -- but I won't set foot in that place again (and it's an old, revered establishment) -- there is absolutely no way you can justify a vile, disgusting restroom when you're raking in $100+ a head for dinner.

                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                  Maybe something wild happened just before your visit..listick stain...is a good proof..hehe

                                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                                    not like someone had been mauling the sink -- it looked more like someone had dropped the lipstick, it bounced around the sink, and someone made a halfassed attempt to wipe it...but it was just smeared all over.

                                                                                    Had the lipstick smear been the only wreckage, it probably wouldn't have even been a blip on my radar, but with everything else, it was a train wreck.

                                                                              3. In Europe, unisex bathrooms are common and...more than that. I recall a bar in Paris that had two lines for the restroom, one for men, one for women. The women's line terminated at a door into a restroom with toilets and sinks. The men's line terminated at a urinal that was right out in the public area and was surrounded by full-length mirrors. As I stood in the women's line I glanced over and saw my husband, who had reached the front of the men's line, peeing.

                                                                                49 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                                  I think I would get stage freight. I'm not "shy" by any means, I don't really care if there is a divider between urinals etc. It's not like I've got anything every other guy in there hasn't seen before......but public or semi public peeing? Yeah, not sure I could handle that.

                                                                                  There is nothing worse to me than the men's room trough urinal. Pretty much just a bath tub men stand around and pee into...........uggghhhhhhhh

                                                                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                      Seriously? Is there a mini urinal in there? I'm actually surprised from a public health standpoint that is allowed. What's to stop a child from running up and putting their hands in there? Uggghhhhhh I think I would just hold it.

                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                          This is an Americans vs. Europeans thing. I was in London for New Years eve a few years back which, as expected, was a drunken madhouse. They have these portable cloverleaf urinals where 4 people can go at once, sort of facing each other that were about shoulder-high. These were in the middle of the street and were in frequent use. Beats the alternative.

                                                                                        2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                          I've not seen these urinals in the UK but they've been very common in Amsterdam, going back years. The local council puts them out early evening and collects them again around dawn.

                                                                                          Extremely good idea for major cities, IMO - congratulations to the city of Bristol for adopting it. As ferret says, it beats the alternative. The city at the heart of my metro area hosted an important international football match a year or so back - there were thousands of supporters in the city centre, many of whom were continuing to drink whatever they'd been drinking while travelling. There were guys just peeing everywhere. Not what you want to be seeing when you've gone shopping.

                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                            I've seen them on occasion, and they are promptly removed after an event. More common are the "port-a-potty" .

                                                                                            Still, once upon a time there were public restrooms that were maintained by the city. They are long gone now and no public restrooms available. Society has made a mistake. In Amsterdam they may have a point with their sexual revolution...

                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                              "There were guys just peeing everywhere."
                                                                                              At least you Brits have such civilized ways of settling these matters:

                                                                                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                Those "Brits" in that You Tube video did not sound at all British. The humor wasn't really British, either...

                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                  True, Sir Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare spoke in an older English dialect that sounds a bit off to the modern ear. And though their older style of humor may seem obscure at times, when you don't get it it's relatively safe to assume that he's making a dick joke, as is so often the case with Shakespeare. That's the long and the short of it, anyway.

                                                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                    "Sir Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare spoke in an older English dialect that sounds a bit off to the modern ear."

                                                                                                    Probably not extremely far from how English is spoken in New England, which may also sound a little bit off to the modern ear. But the fact is that some of the major pronunciation differences between British and American English are due to changes in British pronunciation in the 1800s and the American version is the older one. That goes for words like "grass", "dance", "chance", etc.

                                                                                                    1. re: nocharge

                                                                                                      Well said.

                                                                                                      For a widely known example, you can catch a bit of this inflection in JFK's Massachusetts-bred speech. Coincidentally, like Shakespeare, JFK was also a fan of obscure but bawdy humor. Famously exemplified by his line "Ich bin ein Berliner" ('berliner,' of course, being a semi-obscure Gaelic term for one's... ahem... member). Or this example - see if you can catch the subtle word play:

                                                                                                      On the other hand, only the faintest of old English patterns can still be heard in Tankra's throaty warble, and it might be inadvisable to listen very closely.

                                                                                            2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                              I've always found the expectation for men to yank out their wieners in front of everyone (save for the times they *want* to do so) to do something fairly private - peeing - to be incredibly undignified.

                                                                                              Then again, given the many times I've seen men pee against trees, or walls, or just random places out in public, it would appear that most of youz don't seem to mind much.

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                I take bus into Manhattan from NJ to go to work. Once there was a massive traffic and a train of buses were standing still not moving an inch. Then I saw an older gentleman getting off from one of the buses and he started to pee in the little grass spot while everyone was watching him in horror. I felt really really bad for the guy. I am sure he was very very humiliated but when a guy's gotta go, he's gotta go.

                                                                                                1. re: Monica

                                                                                                  I got stuck once in a massive blizzard returning from a NYC trip. 20 miles away from home. Nothing moved.

                                                                                                  Eventually, I made my way through the snow banks and found a covered spot away from the road. It was that or my bladder 'sploding.

                                                                                                  That said, I would be appalled having to pee in front of other people on a regular basis.

                                                                                                  Well, unless the pay was great :-D

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    golden showers pay well in these parts. or so i hear....;-)

                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                      lingua, I know you've done a fair amount of traveling in France -- Nature Boy Peeing is a freaking competitive sport there, I swear.

                                                                                                      Any day of the year you can see some guy standing by the side of the road -- they don't even try to hide.

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                        Same in Germany. It's a European thing, I think.

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          <It's a European thing, I think>

                                                                                                          Having had this discussion with European, and a couple of German, acquaintances…

                                                                                                          It's definitely a boorish thing.

                                                                                                    2. re: Monica

                                                                                                      Three times, I've been caught in traffic jams and had to get out for a pee. Twice, there was a regular procession of folk walking into the area adjacent to the motorway. Once I was driving around Dublin and just had to pull off the road and sort of hide between the car doors.

                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                        I sometimes see folks doing that on the U.S. highways. Pulled to the side of the road, kids or guys stepping over the barrier, and into the trees alongside the highway. I beep the horn as I drive by, as do many others. :-)

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Why? Because somebody had to pee and opted to not pee in their seat in the car? At least they stepped into the trees in some attempt at being discreet.

                                                                                                          In Europe, the guys hang out right on the shoulder, not even behind a car door, letting the sun glint off the golden stream for all to "enjoy". O.o

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            It's just teasing them, that's all. :-)

                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                            Isn't that the key?

                                                                                                            You 'sort of hide'.
                                                                                                            In the woods people 'hide' behind a tree or rock. Most people I know cover it with dirt or rocks.
                                                                                                            Peeing in the middle of a street, for everyone to watch and then the stench of it all?
                                                                                                            In the US we have port-a-potties to rent for venues…concerts, marathons, etc.
                                                                                                            Brought in before the event and then taken away.
                                                                                                            The renter can pay to have them cleaned once a day or 10 times a day.

                                                                                                            1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                              thus the existence of the pissoir in European cities....there's not room in most European cities to have a fleet of portapotties...

                                                                                                              ....which then leads to the existence of the sanisette:


                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                a person who suffers from claustrophobia might be a bit more comfortable in a glass enclosure

                                                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                  is that an art installation/social experiment, or one of those enclosures that goes opaque with the flick of a switch?

                                                                                                                2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  Yeah, yeah….I've been in those in various cities, including Seattle and San Francisco.
                                                                                                                  They require maintenance and lots of it.
                                                                                                                  The ones I've been in Seattle (now defunct as I think they just gave up and sold them to someone else who knows how to take care of them and will). I think on ebay?
                                                                                                                  San Francisco has a problem with maintaining them too…the doors have rapidly broken on them so the person's standing there in full view and they end up smelling like sewer. Good idea though IF the city can maintain them.
                                                                                                                  Loved the idea of slipping in a quarter and having the doors close and on the way out the sanitizers clean the whole thing.

                                                                                                                  1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                    The ones in Paris are free (and have been for a long time now) -- but have been present for 30 years or more.

                                                                                                                    While there's always the odd exception that's not working (found only when you have a full bladder, of course) -- the track record of keeping them functioning 365 days a year for decades is commendable.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                        A big 'yay' to Paris.
                                                                                                                        They really do seem to know where to prioritize their funding…
                                                                                                                        Public restrooms, if we all really think about it, are a major necessity and I'm all for earmarking money for something so important.
                                                                                                                        It seems as though the cities who've had them in the US love to implement them and then forget about them…so it seems.

                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                          well, sort of...

                                                                                                                          They finally changed the sanisettes to free when the morning aroma in Paris was getting objectionable.

                                                                                                                          Sanisettes automatically lock at 10pm..which doesn't actually address the worst of the problem, at least on the weekends.

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                I do believe there is a "beer factor" that needs to be included in your theory. The amount of beer a man has had to drink directly affects the amount of time he has to find an acceptable location to pee. Also, once enough beer is consumed a tree becomes an acceptable location to pee.

                                                                                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                  If that's the case, I want to be in the same bus that gentleman was in.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                    In college us gals had a saying "don't break the seal". Our theory was once you gave in to that first pee you were doomed for the rest of the night.

                                                                                                                    One particular bar in early 1980's boston had a bathroom so bad we always wore heels to avoid the mess. Even so you would continuously hear the muttered cry of "Jesus, don't break the seal! The band hasn't even come on yet!"

                                                                                                                2. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                  oh, good heavens.

                                                                                                                  Go do a Google image search for "pissoir".

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    Hahahaha that's the craziest thing(s) I have ever seen!!!!

                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                      not crazy at all -- completely normal across a lot of the world.

                                                                                                                      Better than having it puddling in the corner.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                          LOLOL....notice he's distracted from the, um, task at hand....

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                            yeah. he's distracted by the plastic bottles on the ground that the people are ignoring rather than picking up and placing in the bin.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                in fact, it looks as if that passerby is about to drop another plastic bottle on the ground.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                  he's pretty fascinated by her bottles. Or some round, plastic protrusion.....

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                    those european women do know how to strut their stuff...

                                                                                                              2. It does not bother me. My Grandparents had a vacation home in the woods with an outhouse. Male, female and probably animal all used the same outhouse.

                                                                                                                1. Maybe I'm just frequenting nicer establishments then. I've found:
                                                                                                                  1) When there are only one or two unisex bathrooms that the restaurant staff are more meticulous in their upkeep.
                                                                                                                  2) People tend to be more respectful in their usage of it because if there's a line outside the door it's pretty obvious who the responsible party is vs. the anonymity of "Oh, no, I actually used that other stall."
                                                                                                                  3) If there are cleanliness issues, people are more likely to report it to the staff because it's the only option vs. "I'll just use another stall."

                                                                                                                  At work, we have a multiple stall mens and womens room at work and one unisex bathroom. Mostly men seem to use the unisex. The few times I've used the unisex, it's been WAY cleaner than the women's bathroom. I've encountered urine on the seats, unflushed toilets, and toilets stopped up with plastic tampon applicators in nearly every women's room. Never had those problems in a unisex bathroom.

                                                                                                                  1. Then you would hate the (hopefully) recent past (and that's "recent" as in my lifetime). Years ago on my fitst trip outside the USA, my flight passed through (landed for more passengers) at the KLM hub at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. There was a "slight" mechanical problem, so "through passengers" were given carte blanche vouchers for anything they wanted to eat or drink in the formal dining room. I was so elated to see bathroom doors on one side of the huge dining room. The doorways were at least 20' apart. "Hooray! Just like home!" I naievely thought. When I went through the women's door it was an immediate turn to the right in a 20 feet long hallway, and half way down the hallway was a left turn into... are you ready for this? ... a HUGE unisex bathroom! and of course, the other end of the original 20' long hallway was the door marked "Men" in the main dining room.

                                                                                                                    But at least the toilets were "water tank with toilet seat" type and not the then-more ubiquitous "bomb sights." It was a learning experience!

                                                                                                                    1. I do believe it was Schiphol....who must have reverted to single sex bathrooms...that installed urinals with the "fly" etched into the ceramic at the appropriate spot. It is said to cut down on cleaning by 30%

                                                                                                                      1. Hate it.

                                                                                                                        I can never find an open one because of all the women who hog the BRs screwing around with make up and texting and whatever.

                                                                                                                        Just get 'er done and get out.

                                                                                                                        1. In Europe I noted that many restaurants had unisex bathrooms, but their stalls are more like rooms with complete walls to the floor so you can't see in or under at all. The sink areas would be shared by both sexes.

                                                                                                                          Personally I don't have a problem with sharing the restroom as much as some people do. But I also tend to be less paranoid about cleanliness than most people. Now, I do wash my hands, probably more than most (I am, after all, a health professional, and usually wash my hands dozens of times a day). But I don't feel a need to use a seat cover when peeing (I'm female) - I'll wipe with a towel or more likely just go to another stall if the seat is at all wet or dirty. And I don't squat either. Nor do I EVER bother to use a paper towel to open the door after I've washed my hands. After all, germs are everywhere. I touch people every day that have them (I am an optometrist, so for the most part I don't deal with very sick folks...but you'd be surprised at how many people think its ok to get their eyes examined when they are coughing over everything in sight....and how many parents call and tell us "Little Susie is home from school today sick and needs an exam, can she get in this am?" My point is that if I worried about germs all the time I would go nuts, and that's not how I want to live my life. So I wash my hands when I can and don't worry about it the rest of the time. And btw, I haven't had a serious cold or flu in several years at least. Maybe longer. So maybe there is something to that immunity thing:-)

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                            >>> "Little Susie is home from school today sick and needs an exam, can she get in this am?" <<<

                                                                                                                            Obviously as a professional you could not say this, but I would be tempted to reply, "Yes, please bring little Susie in, but would you want to get face to face with me during an eye examination if I were sick and coughing sick germs into your face"?

                                                                                                                            1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                              I can't cite the source, but I am almost certain that there have been studies that show that seat covers actually spread germs more than prevent them: because most germs are spread via the hands, so when you put the seat cover down on the seat you are more likely to touch and then transfer whatever you touch, than by just sitting down. So assuming this is true, (and I operate under the assumption that it is), wiping off a seat with a towel is the worst thing you could do (better to go to another stall or just squat). But then, I don't worry too much about germs either, at least in the public bathroom context. Was it our mother's housekeeping? :-)

                                                                                                                              What I don't get in this discussion is the assumption that men would bring germs more than women. I don't believe the germs are in the urine as much as in feces, and women would be just as likely to leave that behind as men, wouldn't they? Then again, apparently urine may not be sterile, although the research I've seen only focuses on women's urine, not men: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/...

                                                                                                                              1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                the urine of a healthy human being is sterile when it leaves the body.

                                                                                                                                Urine was used to irrigate battlefield wounds, because it was cleaner than anything else around.

                                                                                                                                1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                                                                  As someone pointed out, healthy urine IS sterile. It may pick up germs if it has contact with other body parts on the way out.... Ask your nephew someday how that led him to an interesting diagnosis on a patient in New Orleans...or maybe don't ask him if you don't want a gross story:-)

                                                                                                                                  I wipe the seat if its wet not to get rid of germs (I know better) but rather because there is something less than aesthetically pleasing about sitting in wet you didn't produce.....

                                                                                                                                  And no, I don't think men are any more likely to be a germ source than women....

                                                                                                                                  1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                    let's be honest -- I'm not really all that gung-ho on sitting in wet, period -- I don't care if it came out of a bottle of sterile saline solution, I really don't want to sit in it, especially with my bare bum!

                                                                                                                                    (I'm not particularly fond of a wet, clothed bum, either...)

                                                                                                                              2. I was a regular user of the "bathrooms" at CBGB's and some other punk palaces that were even more primitive - so I am always grateful if there is a toilet at all.

                                                                                                                                Nobody has mentioned so far that the line is always longer in the women's room because women are always chaperoning the kids.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                                                                  "Nobody has mentioned so far that the line is always longer in the women's room because women are always chaperoning the kids."

                                                                                                                                  No,that's flawed reasoning, as the lines for the woman's facilities are longer than the men's in places where there are no children.

                                                                                                                                  Back when I was building new stores and offices, we did studies on rest room needs with our engineers. It all gets down to basic time study. If an adult is entering a rest room to urinate, it takes far less time for a male to approach a urinal, unzip his fly, urinate, flush, rezip and move to the sink, than for a female to enter a stall, turn around, lock the stall, lower clothing, sit, urinate, wipe, flush, stand, reclothe, unlock stall and move to the sink.
                                                                                                                                  PLUS, in the same square footage, more urinals can be installed than private stalls with commodes.

                                                                                                                                  We ended up building rest rooms for ladies with 4 stalls when we would build rest rooms for men with 2 stalls and 2 urinals and found that 30% more men could use the mens room than ladies using the ladies room on an average day.

                                                                                                                                  And this doesn't account for time needed by ladies to attend to non-toileting while in the stalls, or makeup time at the mirrors.

                                                                                                                                  BTW>>>in our stores we installed family rest rooms for either parent to see to the needs of a child in an oversized private space that included changing tables and supplies.

                                                                                                                                  But with all of that said, most restaurants cannot afford to spend the high sq foot rents on non-revenue producing area such as large rest rooms.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                    *thank you* -- I've never been a bathroom loiterer, nor have I ever been one of those women who can't visit the toilet on her own. I pretty much just go in, do what I need to do, wash my hands, and get out.

                                                                                                                                    Doesn't stop me from being razzed about wasting time in the restroom.

                                                                                                                                    Thanks for drawing the pictures.

                                                                                                                                2. I find women to sometimes be as bad if not even worse than men when it comes to bathroom use. (Particularly the squatters- ironically those who fear touching the toilet are the ones making it disgusting) Also, women are more likely to congregate and talk when there are multiple stalls despite how crowded the room is. Am I the only woman who doesn't want to talk while I'm in the stall? :) what bothers me is a place sans any bathroom; there is a fantastic bakery-cafe in my neighborhood but I will never eat in (sigh) as I have a weak bladder and would not be able to enjoy myself.

                                                                                                                                  35 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                    Worse than squatters are men who can't be bothered to lift the seat and pee all over it. Pisses me off, so to speak.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                      or drive really slow in the ultrafast lane....

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                        I think there'd be something weird about a man sitting down and peeing…

                                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                          I recently had surgery and the doctor won't allow me to lift anything heavy........................
                                                                                                                                          so I'll be seated when peeing for a while.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                            Well, some types of surgery preclude us from doing all sorts of things we're normally used to :).

                                                                                                                                            I'm all for being able to pee, period, after surgery…
                                                                                                                                            Standing OR sitting.
                                                                                                                                            Here's to you…speedy recovery.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                              I think the joke went over their heads, BM.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                Not mine, but I did just have a hip replaced and I now have a raised toilet with handles and am urged by my doctor not to sit unless releasing poop! I got the too heavy part.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                  Yikes. I cannot even imagine how painful hip replacement surgery would be. I hope your recovery goes well, James and in the end you are in less pain than you were suffering through before the surgery.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                    <I cannot even imagine how painful hip replacement surgery would be>

                                                                                                                                                    The day after and a few days later but after that it's really nothing….it's been replaced!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                      Yes the immediate pain lasts a couple of days, but extreme care must be taken in movements of the affected leg risking the ball from hopping out of the socket for weeks, so far, after it. The day of the surgery was pure bliss, starting with an epidural and increasing amounts of drugs til you pass out, and then more up to morphine. Being a 70's teen/college type and all that went along with that for some of us it was a throwback and I rather enjoyed it, sounds crazy I know. Then rehab next day 9 am, but each day is better.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                        <the ball from hopping out of the socket for weeks>


                                                                                                                                                        Never heard that one.
                                                                                                                                                        Everyone's body/experience is different.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                          I meant to say for weeks after the surgery, poor proof reading on my behalf. It is a very real possibility, that's why precautions have been drilled into my head by my surgeon and the physical therapists. I apologize for the misinformation.


                                                                                                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                            a very valid risk, James -- until the body manages to create enough solid connective and scar tissue around the implant, you risk popping the ball AND tearing all of their careful work.

                                                                                                                                                            glad you're feeling better.

                                                                                                                                                            Almost everyone I know who's gotten a new hip or new knee has wondered why they waited so long. Talked to a guy with two new knees the other day -- he's training for a half-marathon.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                              Thank-you very much sunshine. I've got a new knee on the horizon. I beat my body up playing lots of sports at a younger age, but I had a heck of a lot fun doing it and wouldn't change anything. Everyone's heard the saying, youth is wasted on the young, but I played hard and loved every bit, 57 for the record, and pee standing as long as I can.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                              No need to apologize :).

                                                                                                                                                              Everyone's experience is different. Everyone's pathology is different, everyone's pain threshold is different and everyone recovers differently.
                                                                                                                                                              I was just never warned about the 'ball hopping out'.
                                                                                                                                                              So glad you're doing well.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                                                                                                                Here are post op instructions in large and larger letters.

                                                                                                                                                                Do NOT lean forward when sitting

                                                                                                                                                                Do NOT cross your legs

                                                                                                                                                                Do NOT turn your knee/toes in

                                                                                                                                                                Then there are others for leg positioning while sleeping, getting in and out of bed, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                Plus, on topic sorta, a couple of hours ago I got a call from the raised toilet with handles company saying I owe 59 bucks because the insurance won't cover it. A side note, if I try peeing sitting down on this thing it would make a huge mess and since I'm still not supposed to bend over my wife would have to clean it all up. The poor, loving, and beautiful woman has suffered enough!!! Again, thanks latindancer.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                      You must have just had it done? Like in the few days after stage?

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                      I couldn't resist the opportunity, BUT the truth is I am recovering from surgery and am not allowed to reach down and lift anything, it pulls on the sutures,etc.

                                                                                                                                                      4th abdominal surgery in 10 years to correct the same recurring problem. This time they think they solved it.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                        Good luck, hope they got it. I had the hip, see above, can't bend over and now it's (dear sweet) wife, I dropped the remote, I need my left shoe and sock put on, need water, food, sponge bath, etc. She's great and in fact will be out of town this weekend, and it's been a month so I can spread my wings and fly, I mean limp.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                          when my mother went to live in the nursing home and we sorted through her things, the one thing I made sure to keep was the grabber. I now have one in my car, office and about 5 around the house................
                                                                                                                                                          Unfortunately there's not always someone around when I drop something

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                            I don't have a fancy grabber, but a looong shoehorn and backscratcher can pretty much get anything as one learns to adapt pretty quickly. I shopped for and fried up a mess of fish, lent, for my wifeacita 2 weeks post op, I really use her for an emergency, like the remote. Seriously, she's been a great trooper and has done hundreds of things for me. A bit on topic, I enjoyed my catheter for the two days they left it in at the hospital, lots of pain meds and copious amounts of water plus a bitch getting out of bed made it worthwhile.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                              That will probably be the ONLY time I ever read someone say they enjoyed their catheter. :-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                I never would have thunk it until it happened to me. The last day I stopped just short of begging until they took it. I was really filling that bag up, the weird thing is you don't even know it's happening.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                  For me, catheter removal was worse than the post-op pain.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                                                                                                                    I've heard that, mine fell out in the night and I guess I was so high I didn't feel it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                      If you were that "high" then I take back my sympathy post. :-)

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                                                                          That's good news. When will they know for sure?

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        I'm going to do it standing if there is a urinal available in a public restroom. If not I'm still going to do it standing to avoid sitting on a public seat unless absolutely necessary. I will lift the seat so as not to pee on it, using a piece of toilet paper so I don't have to touch it.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                          but there are places that are so nasty that dayum, them cooties can jump. So hovering rules. I do, however, check before I leave to make sure I haven't compounded the problem. Those are filed under "any port in a storm", right next to "squat toilets"

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy


                                                                                                                                                              I've never seen it done, actually, and I think if I saw a man do it I'd, um, think something was a little strange.
                                                                                                                                                              I've always thought men had the advantage over women...everywhere they go, doing whatever they're doing. Why would a man sit to pee?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                            I frankly couldn't give a rat's rump if somebody wants to stand on their head while they pee, as long as they don't leave a mess.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Hell no!!! Most guys can't piss straight to save there lives and I doubt they would all lift up the toilet seat to pee and put it back down afterwards. Plus I don't want my feet in pee splashes.

                                                                                                                                                          1. turkish toilets allow you to hover......................

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                              but oh, my hell...only in an emergency.