TRAVEL TIPS: 5 Techniques to Avoid Sitting on a Toilet Seats
As a long-term world traveler I’m constantly using different toilets. Some are more private like the toilets in my hotel, guest house or home stay rooms- for my sole use while I’m there. Others are communal toilets in hostels or other budget accommodation. Many are public toilets – at bus stations, airports, markets, museums, parks and restaurants.
I don’t mind a bit. As long as I have a place to do ‘my business’ I’m a happy camper.
But I have met a lot of travelers who are just loathe to use public toilets, especially men for some odd reason. (maybe they just prefer to pee outside? Lol) It seems to be a big ordeal for a many people. I presume they’re mainly concerned about cleanliness and sanitation.
Even I have to admit that I come across a lot of western-style toilet seats that I do not want to sit directly on. That’s especially true in Asia, where the vast majority of locals don’t seem to have embraced the concept of sitting on a toilet seat. They often stand on the seat and squat, leaving dirty foot prints or else spray all over the seat. Eewwhh!
So I’ve come up with several different techniques to avoid actually sitting on the seat. They all work splendidly in various toilet situations. Try them out!
*note- I always prepare my toilet paper beforehand, so it’s in my hand and ready to use when I need it.
1. Sumo Squat
‘Squat in mid air and support yourself by pressing your hands on your thighs’
Take a wide stance with your legs on either side of the toilet. Squat down in mid-air with your fanny over the toilet bowl. (Second position for any ballet buffs out there) Support yourself by pressing your arms on your thighs.
This squat does take some leg muscle, but using your arms for support relieves most of the leg work. You’ll need to take pressure off your legs in order to relax enough down there to ‘do your business’.
When it’s time to wipe, you’ll have to support yourself with one arm momentarily, which does require more leg power.
The good thing about this technique is that you get a small extra leg work-out and can practice muscle control. :))
2. Wall Press Squat
‘Squat in mid air and support yourself with one arm on a nearby wall behind you or the back of the toilet’
This works the same as the Sumo Squat except that you support yourself with the wall or back of the toilet instead of with your own muscle power. This style is much easier on the legs and thus much easier to relax for ‘your business’.
3. One Foot On Seat Squat
Either lift the toilet seat or stand directly on the seat. Put one foot on the toilet bowl rim or seat and squat. Easy. No muscle power required.
It’s easier to balance on the toilet seat than the bowl rim, and potentially cleaner. But standing on the seat itself puts a lot of dirt and grime on it. If the seat doesn’t already have foot prints and otherwise looks clean, I opt for the more polite style and stand on the bowl rim.
4. Two Foot Seat Squat
Here we have the Asian technique for using a western toilet- stand on the seat and squat! They just can’t seem to get past their traditional squat toilet habits. Lol
Like the one-foot squat, either lift the toilet seat and stand on the toilet bowl rim or just stand directly on the seat and squat. And again, if the seat looks footprint-free and relatively clean, I lift it up and squat on the bowl rim.
It’s a bit hard to balance on the bowl rim so be careful. Don’t end up with your foot in the toilet!
5. Standing Piss
Men stand to pee all the time, of course.
But did you ladies know you can do it relatively easily too?
Yep, you just need to lift up one leg, place your foot on the toilet bowl rim (or seat), and swing that leg out to the side a bit while standing directly over the toilet bowl. Easy!
Obviously only use this technique for peeing. :))
Two other tactics to avoid directly sitting on a toilet seat:
Place paper on the seat first.
Sometimes I do sit on public toilet seats. If they’re in upscale malls, hotels, museums and so on, and they look clean, I figure they’re clean enough and I plunk right down. Other times I make sure. First I wipe the seat off with a big wad of toilet paper. Then I place sheets of paper on the seat before I sit down.
Use a different kind of toilet
Western-style sitting toilets aren’t the only ones found in the world. If you have other options where you’re traveling, you can just skip the seat toilets and use other ones.
In Asia, use a squat toilet instead. When I’m in Asia, if I have the choice, I usually opt for the squat toilet. That way I don’t have to deal with dirty toilet seats and straining leg muscles or toilet rim balancing acts. Personally, I find squat toilets very easy to use and sensible, too.
Have you used any of these techniques?
Do you have any other tactics that work? Share your methods!
You might also find my 8 Strategies for Avoiding Mosquitoes While Sleeping useful.