A Lady’s Guide to Pooping in Public

Greetings, all, and welcome to the LGPP, arguably one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the summer.

Before you get too excited, this is not a guide to hunkering down and going Numero Dos right in the middle of a busy highway or your child’s preschool. You are a beautiful, empowered woman and all that, but I still don’t advocate using the world as your crapper. It is generally frowned upon in our society.

Especially thus attired.

Especially thus attired.

I’m referring, rather, to any poo you do that happens to occur outside the comfort of your own home.

These kind of dumps happen every now and then. They are a bigger deal to some of us than others. I know people, specifically women who will hold it all day, sphincter clenched so tightly you could put a sand castle in there and get a pane of glass out, rather than shit in a public bathroom. They knew they shouldn’t have had that flax seed and kale smoothie this morning, but they did it anyway, and now they must suffer the consequences.

Also known as "The Widowmaker."

Also known as “The Widowmaker.”

They are practically crowning all day, wondering every time a fart slips out whether or not they’ve ruined a perfectly good pair of underwear, and that sense of instant weight loss upon their arrival at their domecile and the opportunity to relieve themselves is hardly worth the agony of a day of “turtle heading.”

So why do we women engage in such masochistic behavior? Why do we tend to have such an aversion to committing a Code Brown in the bathroom at work or school? Just what is it about public defecation that puts us off? There is a certain level of shame in pooping at work or in our daily walks of life even when one is alone, especially if said poo is the source of a lingering odor. Plus, no one I know likes to be stuck in the grimy bus station bathroom or whatever without decent reading material.

But if there are other people around, the problem is magnified tenfold. There is such a stigma to being The Girl Who Laid A Huge Brick in the Downstairs Ladies Room Today that we will undergo grievous bodily harm in order to avoid it. Your heart sinks when you walk into the bathroom to take a load off and there are a couple of idiots loitering around the sink, needlessly reapplying cheap lip gloss and chattering to each other like gibbons in heat, as though your life doesn’t depend upon your voiding your bowels in the next two and a half minutes. Your rage upon seeing their presence is rivaled only by that of comic book villains who have been foiled for the last time. You wish you could scream at them, “Can’t you vapid bitches see I need to clear some colon space?!” But that is against Girl Code. You would be an outcast to do such a thing, a leper, a tainted vessel of unholy revulsion. So you saunter over to the sink as though your day hasn’t just taken a turn for the disastrous and you rinse your hands aimlessly for a few minutes, trying to keep your expression casual.

Nothing to see here, just some lady washing her hands like her mother taught her, no need to stay and watch.

“Nothing to see here, just some lady washing her hands like her mama taught her, no need to fucking stand and watch.”

But they still haven’t left. They’re now babbling about how their latest juice cleanses are going. Instead of bashing their heads together and defecating with gusto into their open, unconscious mouths like you want to, you creep into the farthest stall. Maybe if you pretend to be changing a tampon or meditating, they will remember they’re late for spin class and go about their inane business. The clock ticks the second away. Your need is becoming more and more immediate, and these dumb twats still haven’t left.

Eventually, you cannot hold it any more. You have suffered enough, and now your resolve has fled cravenly in the manner of a startled forest animal. You reluctantly drop trou and get to work. Sweat pooling at your hairline, you pray to whatever God you’ve spent the last five minute silently cursing that it will be a quiet one. God laughs cruelly and crushes your hope in His mighty fist like a paper crane. It’s not a quiet one. In fact, it sounds like someone is white-water rafting. You moan softly and hold your head in your hands. Blonde #1 and Blonde #2 have the first lull in conversation either of them have ever experienced in their narcissistic existences. You can sense them out there, listening to your efforts. You imagine them snorting to each other behind their cupped hands, pointing to your stall derisively as though nothing as pedestrian as a shit would ever dare to exit their sparkling virgin buttholes. You can never wear these shoes again. You might be recognized.

Maybe that's why she goes through so many pairs.

Maybe that’s why she goes through so many pairs.

Finally, the ordeal is over, and you exit the stall at the speed of light, head tucked into your chest and eyes on the floor. You wash your hands as deliberately as possible, perhaps humming a tune to yourself to show how completely and utterly untraumatized you are by having your privacy torn to bloodied shreds, and then you flee the bathroom without making eye contact, your face aflame with humiliation.

Well, those days are behind you now, because I’m here to tell you one thing: Get over it.

It’s just shit. Everyone does it, even well-moisturized, French-manicured little bathroom trolls. If you didn’t do it, you would be a genetic aberration to be studied in a laboratory. It’s like the children’s book says: everybody poops. Sure, it’s not the sexiest thing you could possibly do. But when life gives you a giant log up your ass, I say you make lemonade. (Figuratively speaking.) If there are people in the bathroom while you’re dropping the kids off at the pool, what better way to show them who’s the boss of this bathroom? Even if your actual boss is in there with you, they aren’t the boss of your digestive tract; they have no power over you in this realm. Plop yourself down and give a huge, audible sigh of enjoyment as the deed commences. When you finish, swagger out of the stall like you own the place, banging the door behind you as though you just walked into a Western saloon. As you begin to slowly wash your hands, maintain uncomfortably long eye contact with anyone who dares to glance your way. Don’t break it until they do. Wink if necessary. Then bump their shoulder ever so slightly as you exit, and don’t you dare apologize. You just executed a serious loaf in public airspace like a true lady, and you should be proud of yourself.

"Carpe diem, motherfuckers."

“Carpe diem, motherfuckers.”

Now, shitting at a date’s house, also known as the mother of all awkward social situations, must be handled slightly more delicately. Assuming you’re talking about a person who you have feelings for and want to continue to spend time with, it’s understandable if you don’t want their first impression of you to be Shitter Extraordinaire. You can do all the ordinary tricks to keep your shit from becoming ostentatious: if your dump is huge, break it up before flushing. If it stinks, turn on the bathroom fan before exiting. If their dining room where their entire immediately family is currently having Thanksgiving is right next to the bathroom, pour just a little extra water into the toilet so the poo has less distance to fall and will make less noise. But most importantly, know this: if you stay in a relationship with this person, they will eventually hear you shit. They will not care. They may even feel relieved that you are not an evil robot sent from the government to destroy their operation from the inside out. My boyfriend has not only heard me shit, but has shared a bathroom with me while I had violent food poisoning, and he still loves me (I assume) despite his knowledge of the sheer horror my body is capable of producing. There are good people out there, and they will stick around.

So relax. Shit in peace. Life will go on, and no matter what happens, at least you will not be the girl who shit herself in an ambulance. I already took that title, and I’m not sharing.



  1. […] searching for images for this post, I came across this hilarious piece entitled A lady’s guide to pooping in public. I highly recommend you give it a read – perhaps when next you’re spending 5 minutes in […]

    1. Thanks for the trackback! I appreciate the publicity. Glad I could provide a laugh!

  2. Honestly this made me feel better cause I’m currently in a program for the summer and I felt like I vowed to hold all horses in forever until the third day when my stomach felt terrible and I started to eat less and less.

    Its a medical program too so I was trying to tell myself that we will all be doctors and see as well as be part of weird things.

    I typed it in and found your post, laughed a lot and actually felt inspired.

    I threw my phone on my desk and said to myself, LET’S DO THIS!

    It honestly felt so scary when I got to the ladies room but I didnt turn back. I certainly think I would’ve if I didnt read your post. So I thank you so very much

    1. I’m so glad you’re feeling more confident. NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER SURRENDER.

  3. la luna · · Reply

    Oh my gosh I am so glad I found this, I was paranoid as hell doing this. I recently moved into my dorm a couple of days ago, and this is one thing I DREADED. I have a community bathroom and shower so I was like… I don’t wanna hold it in but…. so I waited until like the rooms were clear. But idk exactly when it’s clear all the time so it’d be hard. But from now on I’m pooping with pride!

    1. Poop away, noble warrior!

  4. Merveilles · · Reply

    I had to unfortunately use the loo at work today, and yes produce a gift from the gods. I was grateful that I was able to as I had been experiencing quite bad pain for most of the past two days needing more than usual pain meds. Sadly I have an autoimmune condition which messes up my body clock so I don’t have the luxury of “having the decency of holding it” in as some young would be students so delightfully put it as they loudly commented passive aggressively outside my cubicle. I yelled “I’m sorry, is my Crohn’s disease bothering you? Because it really bothers me every single day!” Stunned silence, whispering and a whimpered “sorry, didn’t know…”

  5. Reblogged this on My Messy Mind Blog and commented:
    This is an awesome post! Def recommend a read!

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