To Pee in Silence

Q: “Why can’t you hear a Pterodactyl go to the Bathroom?

A: “Because the P is Silent!

That’s a funny joke that I heard the other day, and it really made me think. It hit home! It holds so much truth for Paruretics

For before I started Recovery, I would Pee in the Public Bathrooms Quietly (or attempt to).

In fact, I would lock myself in a stall and try to become invisible. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was in the Bathroom, trying to Piss.

Usually I would stand there, frozen in terror until the Bathroom was totally empty. And then it would still take me a couple of minutes of standing there, scared and alone, before my anxiety would calm down enough for me to start a weak timid stream.

And at that time, I would also be hyper-sensitive, listening to every single sound, creak, footstep, noise in the hall… Just waiting, knowing that any second the door would bang open, startle me, and lock my bladder up again


And whether there was a guy or two in the bathroom, or even if I was by myself, I always did the same thing…

I Peed on the side of the toilet!

I Peed on the side so it wouldn’t make any noise. My Pee was SILENT! Like it never happened at all.

Anybody in the Bathroom would have no idea I was there (and probably be startled when I flushed), hiding, ashamed, and embarrassed by the sound of my own Urination.

I hated it!

I couldn’t understand how it didn’t bother other guys. They would Piss LOUDLY in the Urinals or toilet. They didn’t care who saw them, or heard them. They would talk, laugh, groan, or even FART

Things that would mortify me.

For I was Chicken, and no one could know that I was trying to Pee.

No one!

Even when I was home, and there were people in the next room or hall way. I would Pee on the side of the toilet so it wouldn’t make a sound.

It frightened me.

For a Paruretic, the P really is silent!


You see, 2 1/2 years ago (way before my REAL Recovery began with a Pee Buddy), I did one thing that started my whole Desensitization

I started to make NOISE!

(Read about that Life-Altering Act Here!)

For I knew that the whole act of Peeing was the PHOBIA. And until I proved to myself that Peeing is Normal and Natural and the Sound of someone Pissing is NOT Embarrassing, THAT is where it all began! THAT is what opened my mind. THAT gave me BACKBONE!

For I started Peeing in the center of the toilet. Splashing LOUDLY in the water for all to hear.

To Pee in Silence

It was difficult at first. I cringed just hearing it. And it even took me quite a while to re-train my Bad Peeing Habits. After all, I had 45 years of Peeing in Silence… So Forcing myself to Pee differently, Loudly, where people KNEW I was Peeing, was NOT an easy task. I had to constantly REDIRECT my stream back into the center!!! Because I would start to Pee quietly like normal, and then catch myself, and AIM into the water instead! (fighting my screaming mind the entire time)

But It worked!

That was my first REAL step towards Recovery (which is still a work in progress).

That was a HUGE undertaking that I still continue to this day (and LOVE it).

No matter where I am. No matter who’s listening, or watching… I MAKE myself Pee Loud and Proud.

I Pee in Urinals so it’s Noisy. I Pee in the toilet at home so all can hear. I even Peed in a busy bathroom stall, with the door wide open, loudly in the center of the bowl…


It really is exhilarating!

Just to hear myself Pee is Awesome. Just to hear the sound echo around the bathroom. To know that everyone else KNOWS that I’m Peeing, just like them, and that THEY DON’T CARE!!!

It’s a huge relief.

To them, I’m normal.

I’m a Man, and I’m just doing what needs to be done.

So DON’T Pee in Silence!

Silence is a KILLER!

For you will NEVER Recover…

Until you are HEARD!

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7 Responses to To Pee in Silence

  1. Hopeful says:

    Hi Richard. Firstly I would like to say THANK YOU for your blog. I have spent the best part of the last couple of weeks reading every one of your posts. I love your writing style and enjoyed following your road to recovery. I have learned a lot from you. I see you’re not writing as much now – I know that you are wrote this for yourself and it’s probably a good thing that you are not needing to write as much.
    I can relate to you in so many ways. I’m 46 and think I have a similar degree of paruresis as you used to have. Unlike you I can’t relate it to a traumatic childhood or a specific event. Oddly the first time I remembered having trouble was in kindergarten. The have memories of a group of us boys standing around the toilet – everyone was peeing and I couldn’t. I don’t ever remember peeing much in grade school – very odd but I guess I was good at holding it until I got home. It was probably in high school when I realized that this was an issue – my best friend at the time could pee at the drop of the hat while I would awkwardly wait outside the bathroom door for him to finish.

    I think us paruretics are masters of deception. We secretly hold our fluids, pee several times before leaving the house and wash our hands in public bathrooms even though we didn’t pee. I’ve never told anyone about this – Until today!! I’m sure my wife knows there is some kind of problem although I have no trouble peeing at home but generally with the door completely closed. Actually a few years ago when we were on a road trip in California I was having a particularly tough time and I told her I have a hard time peeing in public bathrooms. I think she thought I was joking and then I went along with it and it was sort of brushed off. I’ve been reluctant to bring it up since.

    I just don’t understand why I have it. I’m successful in most other areas of my life. I’m happily married with 2 kids, have a great career and by outward appearances most people would not dream I’d have this type of problem – I JUST CAN’T PEE WITH SOMEONE ELSE AROUND! I’m frustrated.

    About 2 years ago I decided that I should try and do something about it – didn’t really read much about it on the internet but on my own decided that I should just go into public bathrooms at any opportunity and either try to go or at least stand at a urinal. Kids also have gone a long way to help. Anyone that has little kids knows you end up spending a lot of time in public bathrooms – probably this was my first “desensitization” without actually knowing I was desensitizing. My pee buddy is actually my young son (although he doesn’t know it) and I think it’s with him that I’ve made the most headway.
    Now I don’t have quite as active of a social life as you do (I’m actually envious – New Years resolution – more date nights!!) so there are fewer opportunities so my progress has been slow and now has stalled. I’ve gone basically from never going into public bathrooms to using a stall successfully most of the time (sitting) to being able to use a urinal if there is no one else in the bathroom. Two times I fluid loaded and was able to go with other people there in a larger airport type bathroom. However I can’t seem to progress beyond this. If I’m at the urinal and someone comes in (or I’m worried about someone coming in) I just can’t pee. It’s the bizzarest thing. I lock up and NOTHING is going to happen. How I envy someone who can just walk up and start peeing in 2 seconds flat! Similar to you the worst situations for me involve time pressure and airplanes. I’ve gone on many 7-10 hour flights to Europe or Hawaii (also my favorite holiday destination – going in Feb !) where I’ve held in in sheer agony. I’ve tried to go on the plane but it just doesn’t happen. Anyone with paruresis can probably relate to the terror one feels when it’s boarding time for your 7 hour flight and you haven’t been able to pee before you board.
    After reading your blog I feel I have some hope in improving my situation. I believe the problem for me to be purely “mental” and since I’ve seen some improvement I think it’s possible to improve further. I don’t think I will be “cured”. When I lock up it seems so out of my control that I see no way out. As far as breath hold goes – been trying it. What I’ve learned is I seem to panic at about 30 seconds and it makes me lock up worse – however when I gasp and then deep breath this seems to relax me and then I’ll go (this is at home not in public).

    Sorry this is rambling a bit but it’s felt great to articulate this which I’ve never done before – but I basically wanted to thank you and let you know that you’ve given me some hope to improve myself and I hope you will continue to write in your blog from time to time. I think I’ll join the IPA and learn more….

  2. Richard says:

    Hi Hopeful. You are very Hopeful and Helpful. It does do good to articulate and get it off your chest. I know when I got a Pee Buddy and was finally able to express how I feel inside and what was happening, it’s like the whole world lifted off my shoulders. I no longer had to worry about him waiting for me to use the bathroom. He got it. He knew it would take me a while and didn’t pressure me. It was a night and day difference. I’m with you, I don’t know if I’ll ever be cured, doubt it, but if I can stay at 75%+ success rate, then I’m a happy camper. Especially since I know now that failure, or miss-fires, are bound to happen, and will, and I just need to keep trying until I can go. Because I know I can, it’s just waiting it out. :) I too am going back to Hawaii in February… I’m excited! I know I’ve been lax in this blog… Not that I want to be, it’s just that I’ve been very busy working on other projects that are consuming my every ounce of energy. HA! I actually have about 12 posts that I’ve written, I just haven’t found the time to put them online. I’m only about 2 months back logged. HA! It’s good to hear you have a handle on your situation and are using your son as desensitization. That’s cool! Keep it up. Keep practicing. It will, and does, get better! :) Thanks again for the comment. I’ll put up another blog Soon… :) -Richard

  3. Hopeful says:

    Hi Richard. Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I wanted to reply sooner but have been really busy. Cool that you’ll also be in Hawaii in Feb! I wanted to give you an update on my progress and pick your brain.
    I was at Hope Depot on Friday. Before I left I fluid loaded a bit – a couple of cups of coffee and some water; didn’t pee before I left. By the time I got there I had a moderate to high urgency. I thought I’d check out the bathrooms. They were pretty standard with three urinals and 2 stalls. No one was in there however the bathroom had no door so it seemed people that were walking in the hallway were right in the bathroom. However I was pretty confident I could go. I straddled up to the furthest urinal which was next to the stalls – stood there and nothing happened – I was LOCKED UP! Urggg! I’m not sure why. Frustrating as I’ve been able to go in similar circumstances – what’s different here? I didn’t try breath hold as this doesn’t seem to do anything for me at home (although I’m still working on it). Anyway I was using some distractions and a few dribbles came followed by a weak stream that stopped and started a couple of times. After what seemed like an eternity (probably actually 2 minutes) some guy came in and went into the furthest stall and sat down. I decided to end it with a partially empty bladder. I guess this was a partial success and I’ll take it although I was pretty disappointed afterwards.
    Saturday I was at the mall with my son at the Lego Store – he was picking up a couple of sets with Christmas money. Pretty cool store. I fluid loaded before we left. I had a real high urgency. Made up my mind I would try again. Picked the bathrooms by the food court – might as well go all the way! They were really busy. There were about 6 urinals – guys were coming and going. There were dividers and the bathroom was really nice. I had to pee REALLY BAD! My son didn’t have to go so he was loitering behind me. I thought I would be able to go instantly – anyway nothing happened at first. Then I decided to ask my son a question and the instant words came out of my mouth I started to pee!! What a great feeling! I peed long and hard. Guys continued to come and go (although no one directly beside me). This is only the third time I’ve peed with other guys in the bathroom at a urinal.
    I think the problem with me is that this thing gets worse when I over-analyze or think about it too much. I become hyper-vigilant about my surroundings wondering what’s making every little noise. When it comes right down to it peeing is a pretty basic human function that really shouldn’t require any thought. However we paruretics HAVE to think about it or we won’t get better. That’s the irony. How do you stop thinking about it?
    The fluid loading strategy is interesting and seems to work but what I don’t get is why I get an urgency from fluid loading but not much of one if I hold it over several hours (like on a flight) without loading. It’s a mystery to me. Maybe it’s the rate of bladder filling, fast vs slow??? I think if I could just have a very high urgency I could go anytime but it doesn’t happen.
    Anyway thanks again. Your blog is AWESOME!! I guess I’ll try to keep practicing so that it seems NORMAL to be in the bathroom with others there and maybe – just maybe I’ll lick this thing! …Hopeful

  4. Richard says:

    Hi Hopeful. I think you’ve got it figured out, because I’ve often wondered that too. Why Fluid Loading works, but letting it build up in public doesn’t. And it probably is the fact that you’re drinking so much so fast, versus letting your bladder slowly fill and stretch… That’s got to be it. And you talking to your son to distract you is probably the same thing me using my phone and texting distracts me. Takes the mind away from thinking about every little noise, what’s happening around me and so forth. Whatever works, right? Keep fluid loading and trying. Keep going into every bathroom you can. Desensitize everywhere. Pretty soon you won’t be so nervous walking into a bathroom, and your guard will be half down. It may take years to finally remain calm enough where we won’t need to fluid load or breath hold to do it, but one day. One day. :) I’m going to the Big Island. Leaving here Feb. 19th. for ten days. You?

  5. Hopeful says:

    Big Island…very nice. Would love to go some day. We’re in Maui leaving Feb 7 for 10 days. Would have been neat to talk!

  6. Chris R says:

    Hey, its been a while since you made a post on your blog… Hope all it well.. I always looked forward to reading your progress that you were making. Its inspiration for us fellow shy bladders.

  7. Richard says:

    Yeah, I keep thinking one day I should post again. I have like 14 posts written out… HA! :) I’m just so busy with other things right now… Still practicing and fluid loading… It’s still working. Most of the time! :) -Richard

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