I just got back from a super fun camping trip, and it reminded me how much I love peeing outside. I’m the opposite of pee shy. I will pee anywhere (within socially acceptable limits) - on the side of the road next to the car, next to a trail while on skis, I will most definitely opt to jump behind a building rather than wait in a long restroom line, and yes….I’ve even successfully peed in a bottle WHILE DRIVING. Peeing without a nearby restroom has never been an issue for me. I spent my childhood taking long hiking trips and have spent periods of my life living in a tent. I’ve traveled in many different areas of the world, where the expectations for restrooms vary greatly - often nothing more than a whole in the ground. I think my favorite bathroom I ever frequented was while doing fieldwork in Madagascar and our camp had a path leading to a very large hole in the ground covered by logs with approximately a 12” gap open in the middle. This was only intimidating during rain when the logs would be especially slick.
Because none of these options for relieving myself have ever seemed unacceptable to me, I sort of scoffed at the idea of female urination devices. Then I remembered one horrible day many years ago when I was spending the day rock climbing, several hours into a full day’s climb and suddenly while dangling off a cliff, all harnessed up - I had to pee. I eventually reached a spot safe enough to relieve myself, but in that moment, a FUD would certainly have been a welcomed friend.
I listened to a great episode on FUDs on the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast. They brought up some great topics of situations in which I had never considered an FUD to be beneficial. Such as women working in construction or farm work, where I’m sure many already feel targeted in a largely male workplace. Most people are not as pee-confident as I am, so I see huge benefits of a device in those settings. They also discussed that there is an entirely separate large market of more realistic FUDs for trans men.
There are a LOT of different designs out there, but essentially, they are all variations on a funnel. I checked out a Backpacker review of several devices. There is a big range of malleability and size to choose from. As an expert urinator, I think it primarily comes down to knowing your anatomy well. For any viewers of Orange Is The New Black, we know that unfortunately, not everyone is aware that there is “a whole other hole”. This is a pretty necessary bit of knowledge I think to be a successful, tidy, alternative pee-er. However, I don’t think we can expect FUDs making an appearance in modern western restrooms anytime soon. I think our culture has made a pretty big impact on how we view our bodily functions. Check out this BuzzFeed video of woman trying to pee standing up for the first time.
In a way I think it’s great that this device is available as an option for women, but I wish we instead could just be living in a world where it is safe and acceptable for a woman to pop a squat in any situation in which a man could turn his back and relieve himself.