Fear of public toilets- its not just you

Kreg is afraid of public toilets and being the really good friend that I am, I decided to do a little bit of research and use some of the psychological prowess that I had built up in my several years at varisty (please hold back the jokes) to assist him and a plethora of others out there get over their fear. Lets start with the possible origins for the fear of the porcelain cave (toilet).

When we were all little whipper-snappers we were afraid of some pretty mundane things. For example I was afraid of clothes lindt because I was convinced that it had a vendetta against me and Donald Duck- dont ask. So why toilets in particular then? Well when I was younger, one of my playschool friends told me that a clown lived inside the depths of my bog, which was quite a terrifying thought considering that the movie IT scared the living crap out of me and just about every kid growing up in the 80’s. To make matters worse, when I was in Grade 7 (standard 5 for those of you who can remember normal schooling) there was this National Geographic episode that we had taped (on a VHS cassette- shock horror), that covered this story where a huge number of reptiles were “popping up” in peoples’ loo’s, proceeding to nip them in the butt (haha, i amuse myself). I mean is there anything more terrifying than a python nibbling your nuts because it thinks they look like a rabbit’s nose?!

Things really didnt get better for anyone with an inclination to be afraid of arbitrary things with a talk that we got from our health and PE teacher when I got to High School. Complete with flip charts and rather graphic pictures we were told about the dangers of contracting pubic lice and crabs while using the public loos at school- I mean seriously- did they ever want me to take a shit at school? I promptly shaved my pubes and labelled it under the guise of being metrosexual (thank the heavens for David Beckham).

Apart from all of that terrifying propaganda there’s the fact that public toilets (especially school & university ones for some mad reason) are often quite dirty. If the rather “interesting” smells of ass, skid marks and splashes aren’t enough, there’s that whole gap under the bottom thing and the fact that it is almost impossible to get things done without the odd funny noise. Oh and then there’s that toilet from Trainspotting that leads into the sea- please never let me gaze upon something so gastly!

There is obviously a major downside to a fear of public loos. We can get urine infections and constipation. Going regularly is what our body needs. So I’ve tried to compile a list of some facts to try and help all of you get over your fear, in the same way that I have (yes I can now crap anywhere…ANYWHERE).

1) Every single one of us makes farty, squeeky and splashy noises while on the loo. It’s natural. If you thinks its something to make fun of, then you’re the one with the problem.

2) The massive worry of finding a public loo that is in the same state as that one in Trainspotting. Granted that we might not want to eat our dinner off the bog seat, its not very likely that you will pick an infection from sitting on it (unless you bizarrely rub your cookie on it or something). However if you are any doubt, just squat and hover. (its great for your quads).

3) Like public highways, public loos also have rush hours. Do your best to avoid the jams and go do your business at a time when privacy and peace are possible.

Toilet phobia can simply be manifest as a mild distaste for public loos or can be rooted in more recognised afflictions like:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) linked to a fear of contamination 
  • Agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder commonly – and wrongly – linked to fear of open spaces, but which the National Phobics Society says is often manifest as a fear of feeling trapped, and a need to escape 
  • Paruresis (‘shy bladder’ syndrome) – the fear of urinating in the company of others 
  • Parcopresis (‘bashful bowel’ syndrome) – the inability to defecate in public toilets

I’ve just realised that I havent done much to help, I’ve probably made things worse… Uhm- if you’re still unable to bust a move in a public loo you might try cognitive behaviour therapy, which helps people to break the cycle of faulty thinking and a spot of hypnosis.

Sorry Kreg… You’ll just have to hold it in 😉

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Im a guy with a very particular view of life... im not quite sure what that view is just yet, but when I find out I'll be sure to let you know...


  1. Dude – I wipe the loo down with loo paper, then I pack little pieces of loo paper around the toilet seat…
    Then I use toilet paper to open the door handle, the tap, and once again to get out – I also never use the dryers!

    Sorry Kreg, but have you seen how many people DO NOT wash their hands?
    I’ve actually, for interest sake one day, stood and watched… PS; u might wanna wash ur hands for eating, touching ur face, touching anything that’s been handled by others – even the ATM!

    Koodies, gotta love them…

    1. Wait… so you just hung around in the bathrooms for a day? 🙂

      You’re right though, frequent handwashing ensures that you get sick less often…

      1. I was curious – didn’t spend the whole day there gross!

        Another thing people – when you flush your toilet at home – CLOSE the lid!
        You keep your toothbrush in that room, and when you flush, the germs fly! Why do you think it has a cover?

  2. As trance party goers, we are often faced with the dreadful task of using such cubicles, and since I personally have the same fear myself (although slowly fading away), we’ve have conducted a solution of sorts.

    (Not for the faint hearted).

    Battle – shits.

    You may have seen it in a movie once, you may have heard about it from a friend, but the concept sure does exist. Find 2-3 of your friends in a similar position of urgent defecation as you’re in, and make a game out of it. Having the cubicles near you filled with people you know and now wish to beat in this splendid game of ‘Battle-Shits’ substantially reduces your fear and anxiety of public toilets.

    Often you’d find that taking out your cellphones and playing background music in order to overwhelm the sounds of your victories tend to not only aid the process of defecation, but also create a peaceful environment.

    Do note, that should a stranger walk into the public toilets during an intense game of ‘Battle Shits’ between you and your friends, he will immediately be distraught by the flying toilet papers, cries of victory and cellphone ravetones, resulting in his immediate departure.

    It’s a win-win really.

    1. How do you win Battle Shits?? Im intrigued- never go to these bush raves 🙂

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