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Exposed Outdoors

Men, what do you think … would you take care of business in one of these?

Chinese Outdoor Public Urinal

China appears to be the first country to install outdoor public urinals that are actually intended for daytime usage. At least they were polite enough to provide some coverage for those men who still utilize the pants-at-the-knees technique.

Not known for their shyness, the Dutch have installed wide open 4-man urinals that are dropped off around Amsterdam’s busy clubs and pubs in the late afternoon, then carted away in the morning:

Amsterdam Outdoor Urinal

They even conceived of a quick, yet somewhat private, outdoor toilet for women:

Amsterdam Outdoor Urinal for Women

Private? Slightly. Embarrassing? Infinitely. The lack of a seat base would be my first hint that something isn’t quite right about this toilet, and it gets worse.

According to the anonymous reader who sent me these pictures from Amsterdam, the idea is to pee in a tube that is emptied directly into the canal, and then any other business is performed on the ground. As you may have noticed, the city was nice enough to leave a pooper scooper for you to clean up after yourself. How horrifying!

Finally, for men who long to get back to their woodland roots, yet spend their days in the concrete jungle of the city, Joa Herrenknecht has created the pee tree:

The Pee Tree - Urinal Shaped like a Tree

Men’s bathrooms could presumably be converted into porcelain forests, with the chirping of recorded birds complementing the relaxing sound of water flowing down each tree trunk. OK, but do men really want to worry about who is going to peek over or around the tree? Aren’t urinals already too close for comfort?

Chinese urinal pic via Oddly Enough, Pee-tree via the PeePee project.

34 Responses to “Exposed Outdoors”

  1. on 12 Mar 2007 at 4:12 pm Rhea

    How relaxed of them!

  2. on 12 Mar 2007 at 6:46 pm Antik

    I find it as a flat joke, how dared they to commit it…hm

  3. on 12 Mar 2007 at 7:11 pm Cassie

    That’s possibly one of the most degrading things I’ve ever seen. But I guess it’s better than just peeing right on the street…

  4. on 12 Mar 2007 at 7:34 pm Sprague Dawley

    Paris has had public pissoirs forever:

    Vewwy vewwy Fwench. First time I used one I felt just like I was peeing in public. Which I… was.

    BTW, congrats on the Bloggie win.

  5. on 12 Mar 2007 at 8:20 pm johnsadowski

    sober? no way. drunk? ok.

    but that amsterdam’s women’s public stall is really freakkys.

  6. on 12 Mar 2007 at 9:10 pm Debra Hamel

    The horror…. But I’m not quite envisioning clearly how the outdoor toilet for women is intended to be used. No seat? Is one to strip? To always appear out of doors Britney-bare?

  7. on 12 Mar 2007 at 11:28 pm Alex

    These have been in place in Spain for ages…

  8. on 12 Mar 2007 at 11:57 pm Bunk

    I’m not admitting anything, but it beats peeing in John Melkin’s tuba. I didn’t write this either.

  9. on 13 Mar 2007 at 10:27 am Anthony

    I don’t know about the public ones, but I’m sure digging the primal instincts that porcelin tree raises up in me 😛

    Journey Through Divorce

  10. on 13 Mar 2007 at 11:55 am Dan

    Come on! How uptight can you be about taking a p…?

    These urinals are absolutely everywhere at festivals all over the world, where beerchucking youths would otherwise use a bush or tree…

    If you’re that sensitive you really need to stay at indoors at all times – and you probably do…

  11. on 13 Mar 2007 at 12:36 pm jan

    I live in Groningen, also in the Netherlands. We have the same things as in Amsterdam but ours pop out of the ground in the evening and go back in to it in the morning. Using these pissoirs is better then using the pub or a church. :)

  12. on 13 Mar 2007 at 1:01 pm Robin

    I’m afraid.

  13. on 13 Mar 2007 at 1:44 pm Drum

    These are all infinitely preferable to the arrangements that were available in West Africa (Nigeria) when I was working there in 1980.

    Open culverts along the side ov the street served the local population – men and women alike. The long robes that were common to both sexes afforded some measure of privacy, however there was no mistaking the business that they were attending to.

  14. on 13 Mar 2007 at 2:02 pm Oriole Magic!

    The porcelin forest bathroom thing has to tbe the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.


    If I wanted to pee in a forest I’d go outside. I came INSIDE because I wanted a urinal.

  15. on 13 Mar 2007 at 6:11 pm Matthew

    I actually have experience using these. in Bristol, England, where i live on Friday and Saturday nights they have these delivered to the centre to stop men from urinating in the street, which if i am correct results in a £80 on the spot fine if caught. Easy to use, somewhat embarassing even when slightly intoxicated. Still better than an £80 fine.

  16. on 14 Mar 2007 at 3:17 pm Storm

    These actually provide more cover than your average indoor urinal where people are standing next to each other, chatting.

    I have never in my life reached a level of intoxication high enough to successfully use any kind of public convenience where there isn’t a lock on a stall door and the walls go all the way up to the ceiling.

    Which of course is a shame because I really cannot travel very freely.

  17. on 15 Mar 2007 at 6:54 am Rogier

    Newsflash from Amsterdam!

    We’ve had the grey one’s for a pretty long time now, and they’re great!

    You’re wrong about the “women’s” version though… it’s for dudes, not chicks!

    We call it a “Krul”, due to it’s curvy shape.


    ps: congrats on the bloggies award!

  18. on 15 Mar 2007 at 11:39 am

    The Coziest Urinal in Vancouver…

    I was reading about urinals over on Say No to Crack this morning, and was reminded of the curious, old-school urinal at Heritage Hall. I used to produce plays in the tiny basement theatre there, and that’s also where we held the Thursday night di…

  19. on 15 Mar 2007 at 2:22 pm Hammer

    Sure beats the hell out of Porta Potties that sit in the hot sun and smell so foul you can’t stay in them any longer than you can hold your breath.

  20. on 15 Mar 2007 at 7:02 pm Gruntwilligar T. Honkenoffski

    I might consider having my way with a Penguin in one of these contraptions but I would never use them for waste disposal.


  21. on 15 Mar 2007 at 11:44 pm Dave

    I can attest to what Drum described above; spent some time in Cameroon and saw many, many people using the great outdoors to do their bidness. Didn’t matter much if there were people around or not. “All of Cameroon is a toilet!” is how one of our local guides responded when asked about the lack of bathroom facilities.

    One of the funniest things I saw was a guy standing on the boulevard in the middle of a busy street peeing on a signpost, aiming high to see how far up he could get.

  22. on 18 Mar 2007 at 9:51 am Joxxon

    Thes urinals are perfect they have them at a music-festival in Denmark and its easy to use but also you can roll in them when its windy… The wind does not reach you standing there busy rolling.

  23. on 18 Mar 2007 at 4:22 pm bobby duct tape

    erm.. i currently reside in amsterdam, and those metal green things are not intended for women.

  24. on 19 Mar 2007 at 5:43 am Ryan

    As a man, I can confidently say that as long as I’ve got somewhere to aim, I’m comfortable with wherever the urinal wants to be, and whatever shape it wants to take.

  25. on 20 Mar 2007 at 8:42 pm Haha

    HAHAHAHAHA, that is probably one of the most funny things, and embarrassing things i’ve ever heard of!

  26. on 20 Mar 2007 at 9:52 pm RadgieGadgie

    The Amsterdam ones are great! The problem arises when the bloke on the opposite side to you is a drunken German, who thinks it’s funny to push it over on top of you whilst you’re using it! He ended up in the canal!

  27. on 22 Mar 2007 at 6:23 pm Tahanet

    After spending all day watching autistic kids pee in the playground woodchips and then eat them, this doesn’t really upset me…

  28. on 29 Mar 2007 at 3:22 pm blondie

    My sister said when she lived in Europe people urinate outside streets, parks all the time, I think she probably misses that here in America…LOL poor her.

  29. on 15 Apr 2007 at 5:08 pm mbrehmer

    I like my privacy (as well as time) when relieving myself of fecal matter, but the public/outdoor urinals just seem really convenient to me. It may also prevent certain people from peeing on the walls of buildings (just maybe).

  30. on 29 May 2007 at 1:53 am frank

    I’d like to see them take America by storm. I’d use them anytime any place. When you have to go, you have to go.

  31. on 01 Jul 2007 at 9:00 am william

    The older I get the less I’m concerned with privacy. I used to work in a nursing home and the old gents there would stand in the window and pee. They obviously thought they were in the great outdoors.

  32. on 05 May 2010 at 2:21 pm X

    I can’t believe people are commenting with “how horrifying” or “how degrading”….its PEE. How is taking a piss, which everyone does, degrading or horrifying? For a country who claims they are forward thinking, American’s are so uptight.

  33. on 29 Dec 2010 at 2:42 am Mike

    X you’re an idiot. I don’t think any Americans are complaining, except you. We already have these at festivals and other events here in America. I bet most would gladly welcome this.

    But we already have enough restrooms since our cities are newer and every restaurant and building is required to have a restroom.

    BTW, most Europeans are very uptight about sex and nudity. I guess that explains why 8 countries in Europe have laws banning porn (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Malta, Iceland, Bosnia and Lithuania). Not to mention that Turkey and Poland attempted to ban porn too. Most women in Europe don’t even swim topless anymore. Europe is a joke going backwards.

  34. on 13 Mar 2011 at 11:47 am Frank

    Update from my May 2007 post above:
    The portable urinals are now in use in Southern California. Men adapted to them right away and find them to be very convenient. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to use one, but I look forward to it. The design of the unit provides sufficient privacy, so no one can see anything but your back. Perfect for 10K runs, cycling events, street fairs, and construction sites. Sure beats peeing behind a trash dumpster.

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