Kizz & Tell is a combination of item #17 on my Life List (Develop an erotic fiction web site) and a continuation of the G-spot column I used to write at The Women's Colony. From fantasies to frank discussion I'm just trying to re-create a really great conversation with your friends. I hope you'll join in!

Monday, September 27, 2010

In Or Out?

@ToMotherNature wrote to me the other day, "I was talking with a friend the other day and we got to wondering: what are the privacy boundaries between couples? By that I mean: do you close the bathroom door, or do you leave it open no matter what you are doing? She and her husband have no boundaries; my husband and I do. We always close the bathroom door."

It's so interesting that this came up at this point. I recently read The Help where bathroom usage and shared bathroom usage plays an enormous part. It's not at all romantic in the novel but it's crucial. 

I live alone with extremely needy animals so, frankly, my door is always open. If I were to choose to close it I know it wouldn't stay that way for even the length of a quick pee. As a matter of fact I actually test the door to make sure it closes properly before company comes. I always (always!) put the lid down when I'm done but never close the door at home. I have close friends who I'm totally comfortable peeing in front of. Too many houses full of people with only one or two toilets, if I've got to pee and you're showering or drying your hair and we both need to leave in 15 minutes then we're going to have to get over it. Hell, we've even shared stalls in public bathrooms if we've felt that we needed a little company.

I do have my lines, though. I don't generally pee in front of anyone else when I have my period because I use pads and there's a level of showing off all that blood that makes me feel weird and I won't poop in front of anyone. For years if there was someone else in a public rest room while I was "dropping the kids off at the pool" I'd have to plug my ears because if I couldn't hear it then I could pretend it wasn't happening...or something. I don't know, welcome to my brain, there is no map so you might want to sprinkle some bread crumbs while you walk.

Whenever this topic comes up I remember the first time a guy took a dump in front of me. We were flirtily hanging out and probably planning to have sex. I think he'd been at work so he decided to take a shower and I was talking to him, sitting on the bathroom counter in the fancy Soho loft where he stayed. Mid conversation he pops out of the tub, sits down and drops one while we chatted. I won't say I was horrified, because I wasn't, but I was damn well surprised, I'll tell you that.

I think it's nice to have the option of your closed bathroom door and to have it respected. For my money, I'd like to know that we can close the door and it will stay that when then one day if the bathroom user feels so comfy that s/he leaves the door open then that's a choice to be made from that side of the doorknob. In other words, don't walk in on me in the bathroom, it won't end well. I keep sharp objects and dangerous chemicals in there and I don't like surprises. Knock, ask, it doesn't cost anything to be polite. Or cautious.

Where are your boundaries on the subject of toileting? More interesting than that why are they?


  1. Chris and I have to share a bathroom so there's always the chance one of us needs to pee while the other is in the shower or brushing their teeth. We do not poop in front of each other. That's a line that we just don't cross.

  2. Thanks Kizz for posting this. I think my husband and I are probably not "the norm" when it comes to bathroom habits. Any of the friends I have ever talked with do not have a problem doing anything in front of their husbands, including when they have their periods.

    My husband and I are comfortable with almost everything about each other, but we don't even pee with the door open. I guess we have always had enough bathrooms and so it has never been a huge issue.

    We opted out of buying a house a number of years ago, solely because the gas fireplace in the master bedroom was shared with the bathroom (you could see through it)!

    Personally I think I can blame a lot of my hangups on my first husband, who didn't have any problem doing anything in front of me. The things that came out of that man, I would not wish on anyone!

  3. I should probably also add that I have a hangup about public restrooms: I *hate* using them. I remember places based on how clean/private the restrooms were. So yeah. Maybe it's just me :)

  4. no one enters the bathroom during my poop time...not even the cats.

  5. Bathroom time is private time, thankyouverymuch. I can tolerate an emergency pee during a shower but that's about it. I recently moved into an apartment with two bathrooms and I am beyond thrilled that I will not have to share with guests.

    Why? Mainly because I do not want to hear and/or smell anyone else's elimination nor do I want them privy (heh heh) to mine.

    Also, there is a wee (I crack me up) old-fashioned part of me that wants my man to believe that I am a delicate flower, a gentle lady who shouldn't be exposed to such coarse things, as well as being the red-hot-sexiest girl on the planet. IMO, "pinching off a loaf" in front of him surely shatters both of those illusions.

    Living alone, I never close the bathroom door but ALWAYS put down the lid. I always close drawers and cabinet doors, too.

  6. We used to do bathroom things in front of each other but gradually I got more disgusted with so much togetherness (over 30 years) and now I cherish my privacy.

  7. Joy, I don't know that you're as off norm as you might think. At least you both agree on the choices, that's what's important I think.

    Falnfenix, how do you keep the cats out? Not possible here, no matter how fervently it's wished.

    Violet, your commitment to the punny is commendable!

    smalltownmom, I love your proof of relationship evolution. Thank you! I'm always terribly fearful that precedents set are unchangeable.

  8. I dont poop in front of anyone...but peeing is fine.

  9. i honestly believe that this may be one of the reasons i'm not married anymore. i could care less about shutting the door. for any reason. my ex-husband was HORRIFIED by this. and he absolutely could not STAND IT if i happened to wander into our only bathroom while he was using it. the door was CLOSED, but i just never learned to truly respect that a closed door meant i wasn't supposed to enter. and i admit that is very RUDE OF ME.

    i went to boarding school where we had gang showers and bathrooms because it was a BOYS school converted to girls school, but without any updates to the facilities. i got very comfortable with doing anything with anyone present. i just did. i still am.

    but i realize that not everyone is and it is perfectly acceptable to not share bathroom habits, even with your significant other. i get that now. now that i'm single.