How Alcohol Affects Paruresis

I often wonder, if I drank, how different my life would be.

I never drink as a young adult, I didn’t drink at all in my 20’s. I may have had one small sip of champagne at New Year’s, but that’s about it.

I always contributed it to the fact that my dad was an alcoholic and used to beat me. I swore I never wanted to be like him. Hence I stayed away from alcohol as much as possible.

But that of course is not entirely the truth!

That’s what I used to tell people.

Paruresis also had a lot to do with it.

For the more I drank in public the more I would need to pee…

And that frightened me!

So when I would go out to the bars or events I wouldn’t drink. I literally drank nothing. I would dehydrate myself all night.

But I often wonder if that was the right thing to do?

As one reader of this blog and a fellow Paruretic pointed out (college kid), that alcohol actually helped him overcome his pee shyness. He said it lowered his inhibitions and allowed him more success at peeing in urinals around other guys. He went on to say:

Drinking helps you pee, and is good even after you mess up, because it helps you come across stronger… After like 5 beers, any man can pee anywhere is what I am saying.

So yes, I do think about it a lot!

Would my life have been different if I drink like my friends?

How Alcohol Affects Paruresis?

They would down beer after beer and everything else, and have such a great time whooping and hollering. But not me. I would just stand there and watch them get drunk, and it always made me feel out of place, like I didn’t belong. If I drank back then, would it have allowed me to pee in public? Loosen me up enough where it didn’t bother me? Who knows?

But I do remember some of those bathrooms…

I remember being scared to death of them.

There were always young people everywhere, talking, laughing, drinking… Macho Guys, Beautiful Girls… and here I am like a deer in headlights, walking in with my tail between my legs.

I hated those days!

For it took a lot for me to venture into those bathrooms as it was. I had to be so desperate to pee that I had no choice. I had to walk in and at least make an attempt, it was that bad. But it got worse… Most of the men’s bathrooms were nothing but a wall of urinals. And when I would walk into those bathrooms I felt like I would just die. I would stand there and pretend to pee, and of course I couldn’t. I would have to leave the bar and drive the 45 minutes home just to finally be able to urinate in a safe bathroom.

That’s why I hated the bar scene, hated socializing, and of course, hated drinking.

Over the years my Paruresis got worse!

I told no one, I hid it, kept it bottled up for 45 years.

Even my best friend for 15 years had no idea I was Pee Shy.

Over the last few years, as I get older, I have started drinking a little. If you could call it drinking.

My drinking consist of a glass of Moscato D’Asti (Sweet Wine) maybe once or twice a month. And every now and then I’ll also have a Mike’s Hard Lemonade (Cranberry), or a Strawberry Daiquiri. I know, wimpy drinks, but that’s me. Drinks that taste more like Kool-Aid than anything.

I don’t drink anything else!

No beer, no hard alcohol, nothing.

But my friend sure do.

They know how to party!

And when I’m around them and they’re drinking like crazy, I still feel out of place. I never feel like I fit in. I never have. Every now and then I think “maybe I should just get drunk like everyone else”?

For that’s something that I’ve never been:


(although all my friends vow one day to get me drunk!)

It’s just one of those things that I ponder. Did I make the right choice? I tend to believe I did because I’m not an alcoholic like my father.

But in the back of my mind, I still think, what if?

What if?

My whole life could have been different.

Maybe I could have cured Paruresis with a Cocktail???

Would that have been enough? Would have lowered my guard?

Enabled me to Pee in Public?

It’s something I’ll never know.

But if I was young, and I knew what I did today, I think I probably would try…

Because after 47 years of living in hell, I’d try just about anything!

What about you?


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6 Responses to How Alcohol Affects Paruresis

  1. college kid says:

    Oh hey rich, I this is the first time in a while Ive been on the site. Tomorrow is my 20th birthday so yeah… Being younger than all my friends was always tough so I just dropped out of school so I can make more money, but Ill definitely reenroll next year as a junior.

    Oh and on a side note, my dad is an alcoholic as well, I recently found out he drinks about 8 or 9 beers a day on average. However, I read on the internet (funny thing btw) that it actually takes 8 beers a day to actually tax the liver to the point where it becomes a serious problem. Another study found that older people who drink 1-3 drinks a day (or 7-21 a week) live significantly longer than people who abstain, and people who drink more than that live slightly longer as well. This seems to confirm the first thing about how even 8 beers a day won’t kill you.

    I have my “ways” as of late to obtain this magical drink, and I wish I had found it earlier. This last year of college for me was extremely depressing because it was that fall that the BH stopped working for me (because I stopped doing it the whole summer) and I couldn’t get it to work again for some reason. I also had it faster than what you say you had (came in 10 seconds) because I had it working great for 2 years until it quit on me, and the let off thingy I mentioned also. The year before, the BH was working great and I was pretty happy. But it wasn’t until this summer that I realized that alcoholism may not be the worst vice after all.

    I have recently confirmed that in my case at least, 4-5 beers will pretty much allow me to pee anywhere. If I increased that to 8, I would be off my arse for basically an entire day, which would mean I could pee anywhere anytime. I have had up to 12 beers in about 2 hours and I remember everything, didn’t black out (this was a year or 2 ago). Also, I have read that once you get over the age of 30, you start losing a lot of tolerance for alcohol. So what 12 beers would do to you may be a lot stronger, you know? ;)

    Anyway, I have kept my drinking in check, and didn’t have any at all yesterday or today. Its always good to take at least a day off here and there, and I have kept my consumption at 2 a day, so thats fine. And I feel great. Better than before I had started. So, just know that you’re really missing out! I hope you will reach for a beer the next time one floats your way, I don’t see why not ;)


  2. Richard says:

    Hi Jordan, Nice to see you back. Happy Birthday!!! Too bad they don’t make a drug that will do the same thing as alcohol, lower the inhibitions. It would be great to pee anywhere, anytime, and never have a care! Sigh! After a life of not drinking (anything other than koolaid drinks), I highly doubt I’d start now. With the way I obsess over everything, I fear I would become addicted and have even worse problems to deal with.

    It’s weird that BH stopped working for you, and that you can’t get it back. So what is it you’re doing now to pee in public? Just drinking lots of beer? Do tell! :)

  3. college kid says:

    Thats the plan… I guess Im at the age where all my friends have been out partying for the past 2 years and I have felt really insecure so.. maybe Im just overreacting but Ive had it really hard, and Ive had a taste of regret so big in college (of all places) that its hard not to feel passionate about what seems to be this miracle cure. But yeah, I plan on probably carrying a hip flask for those stadium troughs (lol) just a few shots and you know its no thing… honestly at least I have an excuse to binge drink ;) but all will be well I think, the biggest issue will be transportation, but one thing I’ve learned is that everyone loves a drunk; I’m sure I can get a ride with people I meet or just hitchhike..

    One thing that I’m feeling for the first time since recently discovering this lifestyle was actually possible is the sense that paruresis isn’t this depressing roadblock to anything and everything I would ever want to go out and do in life. I know that I can get in my “zone” without threatening my health, stay there as long as need be, pee with no problems, and actually enjoy the process. Again, maybe I’m just young but I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to try this sometime, but to each his own.

    That’s another thing, before I go to bed, I guess you’re older than me and sort of more stubborn and set in ur ways but I still gotta give you that respect.. I mean I guess youv gone through a lot so do whatever makes you feel best ;)

  4. Richard says:

    Hi Jordan, lol Stubborn, YES! But that also gives me the backbone to persist and never give up, for I feel like I can overcome this, and I will. I’m doing things I never imagined a year ago, so I see a ton of hope. The bottom line is, do whatever it takes to tackle this beast. It’s a bitch! :) For everyone, it’s a different method or tactic. If it works, it works! Now if only I was 20 again… :) -Richard

  5. Markus says:

    I have been a heavy drinker when I was 18-20 years old, I one time lowered the consumption, and increased it again after I was 20. Can’t say that alcohol has worked any better for me with my shy bladder, but I guess it could work for someone.

    Staying away from drinking alcohol, is always justifiable imo. It’s different if you just want to sip a wine glass, or drink that 1-2 beers watching football or whatever, but in my case, I was drinking to get drunk. There is good memories to be remembered, but also quite bad memories, when you have been an asshole to your loved ones, behaved like a pig etc. Before I quit heavy drinking, there was mornings when you thought you had done something bad, even if you didn’t.

    You did the right thing by staying away from alcohol. It’s one of those drugs that society doesn’t classify as drugs.

  6. Richard says:

    I agree, but I know so many people that use the bottle for everything. :) -Richard

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