The Psychology Of Pooping, Ctd

A reader pinches her nose at the popular thread:

The proper receptacle for some substances is a white porcelain bowl, not a public forum. Not interesting to most of us over the age of five.

Well, our readership seems to consist of the under-5s then, given the dozens of emails still piling up. A final push to get it all out of our system:

Since you’re on the subject, this Craigslist story one of my all-time favorites. I don’t know what it says about me that I think this is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. I guess I’m a child.


In York, England, there’s a Viking museum whose featured display is a 7-inch petrified “log” known as the “Lloyds Bank Coprolite“. Money quote:

In 1991, paleoscatologist Andrew Jones made international news with his appraisal of the item for insurance purposes: “This is the most exciting piece of excrement I’ve ever seen. In its own way, it’s as valuable as the Crown Jewels.”


I know your thread is about the Psychology of Pooping, but you may want to share this link on the Mechanics of Pooping. In short, you’re doing it wrong: grab your ankles. I took this advice, and I’ve shared it with friends, and we agree it’s the shit.


There’s an interesting cross-cultural comparison to be made, as well. When I visited Germany, I noticed that many toilets had a curious design. At the back of the bowl was a sort of shelf just at or above the waterline. After I asked the first German why they were like that, I absolutely had to ask several others, independently of each other. They each gave exactly the same response: “So you can inspect what came out.”


While growing up, I went to sleep-away summer camp for nine years. For me, camp was a stressful experience, mainly due to my pooping anxiety.  I used to never poop outside my house, so going to sleep-away camp for the summer posed many problems.  I had chronic stomach aches and I was constantly nervous about how I was going to be able to poop.  This issue continued with me in college, but I scouted out “secret bathrooms” and I would go to these areas at times when no one else was around.  

Then I studied abroad in West Africa, where desperate times called for desperate measures.  The food and water did strange things to my stomach, so I had to gain the flexibility of when and where I was willing to poop.  This was the most liberating experience.  Though I learned a lot when I was abroad, the ability to poop in many different settings changed my life.

And another:

I’ve been following your thread on pooping with interest, because you’re missing an opportunity to address one of the great pooping issues of all time while simultaneously reaching out to female readers, who we all know are underrepresented on your blog. That question is, of course, the following: why do men take so much longer to take a shit than do women?

Women are in and out.  Unless they have dysentery, they take care of business and get on with the rest of their day.  Men, on the other hand …

So what is it?  Does it physically take longer for men to excrete poop?  Or do they consider this a reprieve from their lives, a meditative interlude, a spa break?  Or is it something else altogether?

I work in the heart of venture capital – Sand Hill Road – and I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my office complex, which is filled with august venture firms, which remain almost entirely male (a topic for another thread).  The men’s restroom and the women’s restroom are next to one another, and so I see this trend, up close in all its horror.  I see men – grown men! rich men!  – TAKING THEIR IPADS INTO THE RESTROOM, without a second thought, without even a hint of abashment.

iPads are today’s newspapers.  Never borrow a man’s iPad.

Or an iPhone:

iPoo, a social-networking app that connects people sitting on toilets, sounds like a joke, but it exists. More than 200,000 people have paid $1 apiece to download iPoo since it launched two years ago, say the app’s creators, enough to help put one of them through Harvard Business School. And tens of thousands use it every day, they say. “In hindsight it was a great idea, but we weren’t expecting it to be anything more than a joke amongst ourselves,” says Amit Khanna, a 30-year-old accountant in Toronto. He says one of his fellow iPoo co-creators is ashamed to be associated with it.

A website that pushes even us to our limit:

If you are going to introduce your friend’s story of the water-breaker, you need to include a link to [NSFW], where there is an entire universe of people pretty well obsessed with their own waste. I am generally only able to go about four clicks deep before I simply have to turn away, a reaction I do not have to diaper changes. Some years back, my sister and I shared that site with our parents, trying to gross them out. They spent like half-hour clicking, giggling and gasping – transfixed. I was mortified.

Some readers don’t need a site:

My group of close male friends are obsessed with our dumps.  We send each other pictures of remarkable ones, along with notes detailing our diet over the past 24-36 hours, length of time we were sitting on the can, the smelliness of the excrement, and our level of satisfaction post-dump, on a scale of 1-10. 

But the most important detail is where the dump took place.  Was it in the office building’s restroom with high traffic, where everyone was left wondering who was stinking up the place?  Was it in the church bathroom next to the office with poor sound insulation, where the absurdly proper and delicate church secretary could hear the sound of your poo hitting the water, and your overblown sighs of relief?  And did she make eye contact with you on the way out?

In our own dictionary, the single long one that breaks the surface of the water is called “Nessie”. My most notable contribution – bloody stool mixed with vomit from a food poisoning incident during a post-disaster relief operation – is called “The Death Star”.

One more email:

Not sure how this is going to make it through your spam filter, but: For my money nothing beats a “potato gun”.  You know, a nice compact poop that shoots out cleanly and doesn’t even require a wipe (of course, I do a couple safety wipes anyway).  Shits of this nature will often be accompanied by a mid-level whooshing sound which is the reason for the name.

Is this thread an all-time low or all-time high for The Dish?  I can’t decide.

My secret: Yerba Prima Daily Fiber Caps. Seriously changed my life. They come out like large, clean, perfectly formed rabbit poops, leaving nothing but white on your toilet paper. Heaven.