In a women's bathroom near you, a growing army of ladies are pissing all over one of the world's last glass ceilings: peeing while standing. Pants on. No devices. No drips.
Women know the problem well — public restroom and Porta-Potti seat tops are nasty. Crouching on the side of trails and roads is awkward. Standing in the endless line for the women's bathroom is a time-waster.
So the postcards recently wedged in the newspaper stands at 18th and Castro streets presented a subversively sweet solution: Stand2Pee.com. Fittingly, the company that teaches this act of independence is in the Bay Area. It was started by, of all people, a man.
Rich is a South Bay–based guy (he doesn't reveal his last name) who first saw a female friend pee while standing at a beach. He soon started offering workshops for $300 to $3,500 a pop, depending on how far he had to travel to give the class, and has taught thousands of women across the globe.
Stacy Kwan, a UC Berkeley economics major, enrolled four years ago to master the art for camping trips. "We learned this skill within a day, and I was so surprised," she recalls. "I didn't know women could do this." She has since signed on as the company's "chief evangelist." (She tells her parents in Southern California that she works for "a website.")
This summer, Kwan recorded an instructional DVD — downloadable for $16.95, or $19.95 by mail — with a cover that features a crossed-out squatting woman. In the video, she instructs two students on the au naturel technique, reciting lines like "Blast that pee out of there!" and "Let's knock this out!" in a detached and professional tone. She tells the women the secret: holding your skin aside so as to not break the pee stream, spreading and locking your knees, and abruptly starting and stopping the stream like a man to prevent drizzling. The students start pantless in the shower, and graduate to streaming with pants on, zipper down, into a toilet and, lastly, a urinal.
At the end, Kwan tells her pupils, "I truly think you're pioneers," and all three proclaim: "Real women stand, too!" Believe it or not, real women can also get distance — she says most can shoot up to three feet.