by Chris Bodenner

A reader presumes wrong:

I highly doubt this post will become a thread, as so many other weighty topics have done. But I am willing to admit that I have never – in my 60 years of life – ever successfully deployed a paper toilet-seat cover! Either I’m in way too much of a hurry to bother, or the stupid thing tears coming out of the dispenser or while I’m trying to gently unfold it and ease out the center “hole” section. Or I do get it properly placed and then, just as I lower myself down, half of it slips into the toilet. I long ago gave up f-ing with the covers at all. Glad to know I’m not really taking my life in my hands!

Another sees an opening:

I greatly enjoy your blog, but this is the first time I’ve been inspired to write. This thread reminds me of one of my family’s favorite stories.

First, some background: my grandmother was a long-time public advocate for comprehensive sex education and reproductive health, partly during her work for the California’s women’s correctional programs. She was also not known for blunting her speech when a direct approach would do. One day, following a speech on sex education, a nun in the audience stood up to ask if someone could “catch an STD from a toilet seat?”

“Only if you fuck it while it’s still warm, Sister.”

Another conveys the ick factor felt by many readers:

I don’t use toilet-seat covers because I fear STIs; it’s because of icky, dirty seats. Unisex bathrooms where guys with bad aim don’t put the seat up beforehand. Little kids sliding off the seat after a poop. That well-soaked tampon whacking the seat during removal. And don’t even get me started on the vomit. Eew.

Another raises a much bigger issue:

It should be noted that the notion of contracting an STI from public toilets was developed as a means to explain venereal diseases in children before medical professionals and others were willing to entertain the idea that the children were being sexually assaulted by family members or other adults. It’s important to remember that these things happen, are happening and that our historical impulse has been to refuse to listen to the victims and survivors.