I’m Pee Shy

I’m Richard. I have a huge secret to admit. I’m Pee Shy! (Paruresis)

Being Pee Shy (or Bladder Shyness as many call it) can be very terrifying at times.

Terrifying as in I get frozen up and can’t pee like a normal guy.

I stand there at the toilet for minutes on end and nothing comes out. I can be so full of liquids and dying to go, but I can’t.

I just stand there frozen as other guys come and go in the john while I’m locked in place, unable to relax enough to let the stream flow.

I stand quiet, trying to be invisible, hoping they won’t see my feet under the stall (always the stall), or see me through the crack in the door…

Standing there for what seems like hours thinking I’m a freak and can’t urinate.

How Abnormal Am I?

It does make me feel like such a freak.

I dread going to the bathroom in public. I loathe it. I do everything I can to avoid it.

I hold my urine for 6-8 hours sometimes so I don’t have to face the humiliation of being labeled a freak.

I hate it. I hate it with a passion. Sometimes I want to scream and cry. I try to force my pee out. It doesn’t work. It only makes matters worse. My anxiety levels sky rocket and makes it much harder to pee.

I try deep breathing. I try to relax and think about something else. I even try counting or multiplication (I read somewhere that works). But then the bathroom door busts open and I tighten up again. If by chance I had begun to pee, it freezes up. Everything stops in terror. I stand there like an idiot unable to go.

I think my friends must be wondering what’s taking me so long.

“He’s been gone for hours!”

I wonder what the people sitting close to the bathroom think “He’s been in there an awfully long time…

I’m sure people think I’m taking a dump or jacking off… Why else would he be in there for 45 minutes?

It makes me think everyone is thinking about me peeing and why I’m just standing in the stall unable to move.

Who’s ever heard of someone not peeing?

I listen to guys come in and stand at the urinal. I listen to their pants unzip. I listen to them peeing and not caring.

Pee Shyness

They don’t care how loud they are. They don’t care about their sighs of relief. They don’t even care if they fart while they go…

I couldn’t do that if my life depended on it.

I think only once in the past 10 years have I ever even stood at a urinal. And that was just because the stall was broken. It’s almost uncomprehendable to me. ONE TIME!!!

What a nightmare. All the time I stood there I kept thinking “Someone’s gonna walk in on me” Any minute now… right as I start to pee it’ll happen…

This thinking of course just keeps me from going in the first place.

I can’t even imagine standing there with my dick in my hand as a total stranger rambles up next to me and starts peeing just feet away. I would just as soon crawl in a corner and die.

I couldn’t bear it.

And yes, that one time, I couldn’t pee. As soon as someone came in, I pretended to finish up, washed and left with a full bladder that was killing me. I left the bathroom with all eyes on me knowing the truth. It was written all over my face.

I can’t pee in public

I even feel like my walking is awkward. It’s obvious something is wrong… I’m on exhibition.

It’s just a Bathroom!

If the bathroom is noisy and guys are coming and going, I may, if given enough time and coaxing, be able to quietly pee as long as no one hears me.

But if the bathroom is quiet, with no music playing, no noise, not even a mouse, my anxiety level is heightened.

The silence is killer!

And all the time, my bladder is full, most of the times painfully full because I’ve put off peeing so long.

When it gets to the point where it’s that bad, and I HAVE to try to pee in public, I already know I’m beyond any relief.

It’s highly uncomfortable. After all, I’ve been worrying about it for hours. I’ve been eyeing the bathroom door and already watching people entering and exiting. I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to make my move. I hope and I pray that no one will follow me in, or have to go when I do.

I’m hoping they won’t see me bolt into the stall instead of standing at the urinal like a man does.

It’s all because I’m scared. I’m doing something I dread to do. I’m forcing myself into a horrible situation. But then again, if I’ve been worrying about it for hours, the whole night is probably ruined anyways.

I hate going out. I’m a homebody and feel at ease there. Being pee shy has taken over my thoughts and my actions and my life.

I make excuses why I want to leave my group of friends “I’m Tired” “I’m Full” “I have work to do”…

When in reality, it’s this:


I have to pee and I want to pee at home in peace.

It disables me. It preoccupies my thoughts and behaviors. I feel handicapped by this stupid social disorder of mine.

I don’t know one other person who has this. Not one!

I would give anything to rid myself of this ongoing nightmare. It’s followed me from childhood, as early as I can remember, and as I get older (I’m now 45), it gets worse and worse. I know it. I feel it.

Concerts are the Worst!

If I’m going out to a concert, from the day I buy the tickets I start worrying. Even if it’s months in advance. I worry about that day. Crowds at Concerts are the worst of my phobias. I worry I won’t be able to use the bathroom and my anxiety starts. As the event gets closer and closer, it’s like a snowball rolling down a hill, it gets bigger and bigger and gains momentum.

I hope I’ll be able to enjoy the evening instead of trying to sit comfortably holding in my pee. That day I’ll do my best to avoid any liquids or drinks. Everyone else is buying beer and pop and I’m like “No, I’m fine, thanks!”

I hate it!

Heaven forbid I drink enough to pee once in an event like that… let alone twice. Once is enough!

Once is a huge step and a daunting undertaking. Half the time my attempts end in failure which just leaves me in agony and disappointment. Everyone else is laughing and having a good time, and I’m ready to leave and cry and bash my head into a wall…

Peeing at a Concert, Sporting Event, or the Theater is pretty much on equal par. They paralyze me to the point of self hate. I hate feeling this way. I hate myself for feeling this way. It’s frustrating to no end.

Why I can’t Pee?

There are many reasons why I can’t pee:

  • The Bathroom is too Busy
  • The Bathroom is too Quiet
  • A Guy goes into the Stall next to me
  • There’s a line at the door
  • There’s a large gap in the Stall Door
  • The Stall Door won’t Lock

If the stall door won’t lock, I feel extremely vulnerable. It’s almost panic mode. I try to lock the door, without making too much noise in the fuss. If I can’t quickly and quietly lock it, I most of the time just leave. Sometimes I’ll hold the door closed with one hand and try to pee with the other. This awful position just makes matters worse.

The result is always failure!

I already know this, which is why I usually just give up and leave.

I Scope out the Bathroom in Seconds

Just walking into a bathroom I’ll know instantly if I can pee or not. Usually!

I eye it up in seconds. I first look to see if the bathroom has stalls. I see if any of the stalls are full. I try to look under the stall doors for legs, but I don’t want to be too obvious that I’m looking, so I’ll walk by the doors and sometimes push on them to see if they open… I always try for the last stall against the wall. That way only one side of me is vulnerable to attack!

I see if the bathroom is quiet. I HATE QUIET BATHROOMS! Please people, put some music in the bathrooms, the louder the better!!!

I see if people are coming in behind me…

First Time Bathrooms are Scary!

I hate experimenting with new bathrooms. You never know what to expect. It’s a tough enough situation to begin with, let alone not even knowing if they have stalls and if there’s one open.

I feel like I’m being watched as I enter and go into a stall. I feel like guys are saying “He’s going into a stall to pee?” “What a weirdo!”

It’s even worse if there’s someone in the bathroom I know. They’ll want to pee and chat… Not good! None of my friends knows I’m pee shy. I would never be able to go. I’ve gone in, washed my hands before and bolted… Fucking bathrooms!

I hang my head in shame. Many many times I’ll take one step into a bathroom and instantly turn around and exit. I can’t go!

Instead, I decide to suffer the painful condition and hold it in until the night is over. However many more agonizing hours that may be.

And then, when it finally is time to say my goodbyes and drive home, I still have the long drive, probably another 1/2 hour or so… It never ends.

Can my Bladder last that long?

I wonder if my bladder will explode. Will it kill me? Will urine leak out and poison my body?

I worry about these things. I drive distracted and in pain. I hit every red light home and hit every pot hole…

This is my life. This is what I go through. This is my blog. This is where my therapy begins!

I’m hoping that by sharing my thoughts, actions and paralyzing fears and phobias with you that it will help me, and at the same time, help you as well.

If you have the same pee shy or bladder shyness as me, maybe we can support each other and get over this fear of public bathrooms?

This secret condition I call hell!

I’ve wasted a good portion of my life to this crippling disorder. I’ve canceled plans, night outs, movies, Football games… And I hate it!

I’m taking Action Today!

That’s right, I’m taking action NOW! I’m letting the World know that after a lifetime of pain and suffering, I’m ready for a cure.

This blog and website will help me find the way.

Join me, will you? :)

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13 Responses to I’m Pee Shy

  1. Mike says:

    Richard, I could have written that post myself. Every single thing you describe is exactly what I go through every day, especially at larger public events. It’s awful and it’s shocking that so many men deal with this, and yet each one of us thinks we’re alone. It sucks.

  2. Richard says:

    Hi Mike. It’s amazing how many of us are out there, and yet, we always feel alone. :)

  3. Joseph Day says:

    You’re not alone my friend..I have the same exact symptom myself and its killing me for the last 13 years and im 33:(..putting off trips and having fun outdoors..I have to stay at home because of this..I’m afraid to go somewhere where I feel my bladder will be full and it would be impossible for me to release it…its frustrating…and I’m embarassed to tell my family ..they’ll think my symptom is odd and I shouldn’t have to worry..its all in the head type deal…no its more than that… my anxiety is ruining me..hhhb

  4. Richard says:

    Hi Joseph. Thanks for the comment on my blog. I appreciate it. It does feel like I’m alone with this sometimes since I don’t know anyone else with the problem. It’s been over a year since I’ve updated my site and nothing has changed with me. Sucks! I don’t know what to do about it, I keep thinking I need a pee buddy, but I don’t know where to begin. I keep saying to myself, I need to just do it, but my anxiety makes it tough to take that step. One day I’ll begin… if I’m not dead by then. :) -Richard

  5. Jessica says:

    I’m a girl and I have the exact same problem! I hate it because my friends always ask me to go to the bathroom with them. It’s always pure hell because I am bursting to pee inside, but I can’t. I am still in high school, so I have to spend an entire day without going to the bathroom. I often have to stay after school for musical practice, which lasts til 9:30 an night!!!!! From 6 in the morning til 9:30 at night is a long time to hold pee!!! Sometimes I try going, but I always freeze. Another fear is that my friends will see me go to the bathroom and follow me! I can’t even go to the bathroom in my own house! I have to use the one upstairs because the other one is right beside the family room, so people might hear me. I just want to be able to peeeeeee!

  6. Richard says:

    Hi Jessica. I feel for you. I pretty much blocked out high school, I don’t remember much of it. I don’t even remember ever using the bathroom once while in school. It makes me wonder if I ever did. I would try practicing Breath Hold, even though I’ve heard that it’s more effective on men. A good set of instructions is found on Max’s website: Zen and the Art of Reality – Breath Hold Instructions. Hopefully that will help you. I’m working on it myself. It seems to be doing some good. That and opening up to a friend and getting a pee buddy. It all helps to desensitize. Good luck. Let me know if you make any progress. My heart goes out to you. :)

  7. pig says:

    Hey just read this blog and laughed my ass off. Its the first description I have found, that accurately describes the hell I live. SShoot me plz I cant do it myself. Does anyone ever get over a severe case? Anyway~ thanks for the chat brother~ im gonna make my girlfriend read this in the morning~ wish me luck and may God help us all :-) :-(

  8. Richard says:

    Hi Pig. Never thought I would get that reaction from someone, but I fully understand. It seems like such a basic, simple, natural bodily function, that one would never in a million years guess that your mind can over ride the thoughtless effort to pee. It really doesn’t make any sense. But, at least there is hope! I have been doing desensitization techniques over the past 5 1/2 months (since Oct. 2013) that have given me huge success. I’m now able to, about 80% of the time, pee in public bathrooms, next to other guys, and not have to leave the restroom with a full bladder and my tail between my legs. My first steps recovering were telling my best friend and talking him into being my pee buddy. Then I would desensitize by going into bathrooms and just standing there at the urinals to squash my fears. Then I started Fluid Loading at home this year, leaving the house having to pee really badly, and forcing myself to pee in public. I had no choice! And let me tell you, IT WORKS!!! It’s the scariest shit in the world, but it works and I’m now peeing in public plenty of times a week. I love it! So don’t get discouraged. It’s a lot of work, but there is a way out of this living hell. Buy the Shy Bladder books and read, read, read. That’s what I did to begin. It will open you eyes for sure. Good luck, let me know how it goes, Richard!

  9. Matt says:


    Thanks for putting this in writing. I’m currently 23 and have been suffering with this condition for years. I have finally decided that enough is enough, and I need to conquer this if I want to have a normal life. It’s funny how this condition can affect people differently though. I’m the opposite regarding noise in the bathroom. I hate music playing. I need silence. And the louder the music, the worse it is. The blaring noise in a club bathroom drives my anxiety sky-high. It’s the same if there’s anybody making any noise whatsoever. I’m fine with other people in the bathroom, as long as they are COMPLETELY silent. Any shuffling, grunting, hand-washing, or (the absolute worst) talking will lock my bladder down tighter than Fort Knox.

    Anyway, this turned into a bit of a ramble, but I just want to sincerely thank you for putting your story out there. I look forward to taking the time to read through the rest of your blog.

  10. Mike says:

    I’ve been P shy as long as I can remember. I’m 61 years old. I’m not sure how much longer I can go on and deal with this problem. It’s just too depressing. It’s such a ridiculous phobia to have. I have some ideas of what may have caused it, but I don’t want to deal with them.

  11. Richard says:

    I hear ya. The only thing that helped me more than anything, was knowing I wasn’t alone. There are thousands of people just like you and I… Some even worse. And hearing other’s experiences, how they managed, coped, and succeeded, has helped me tremendously. Always keep practicing. Forcing yourself! For Paruresis likes to take the back seat. Get lazy. Don’t let it… Tackle it head on. Make yourself do the practicing, the hard stuff, the things you don’t want to do, for that’s the only way you’ll progress and move forward. :) And don’t ever give up! -Richard

  12. Markus says:

    Thanks for this info, your description is basically the same that I would give! I’m 25 years old, and been dealing with this approximately 10 years. I’m now in that point, that I really need to start doing something about it, because it’s getting worse and worse.

    I admit that I have been lazy and naive, and thinking it will just go away, and that I can manage the phopia, but naah.. It creeps upon me, and the negative self talk sometimes ruining days. I need to take control of my life again. This phopia doesn’t make any sense to me, haven’t become any smarter from the day I experienced it, but it just is a part of me, that i want to get rid of. Before I could pee when there was noise or some music, but now it ain’t so easy even with some music. Years of negative self talk and shame has probably taken it toll it seems.

    Anyhow, I will try some methods, that hopefully will get some ease to this, and yeah, probably going for a chat with a psychiatrist.

    Having headphones with music on, has worked once with great success, maybe going to try that method too..

  13. Richard says:

    Good luck, I have a feeling that a psychiatrist won’t help much (just take your money). It’s difficult for people that don’t have Paruresis to understand or even comprehend. You’re better off to talk with other shy bladder people, or go to the ipa forums for help and advice. :) Good luck! -Richard

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