Our topic for today is that of peeing while standing up. Tactical micturition can be problematic for anyone while they’re all jocked up — all the more so for females. Whether you have a gunbelt on and you’re patrolling out in the ass end of the county or rolling with convoy, it just ain’t easy. But there is a solution!
Tactical Tinkle Tubes: A Complete Guide
Mara Geirsodd – originally published Monday, January 5th, 2015
I’m here to talk about a serious issue — a congenital physical disability which, though not life-threatening, nevertheless affects countless individuals, many of whom believe they have no recourse but to suffer their handicap in shame and silence.
But there’s hope! You’re not alone, and with the expedient of a simple prosthesis, you, too, can pee standing up.
Before you read on, here’s a simple flowchart to help you decide whether a urination device is right for YOU.
If you’re the kind of ladyperson who does a lot of hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities, a she-wee is probably going to be a great convenience — but in my opinion, if you’re active duty military, it’s a goddamn necessity. Taking off all your gear and body armor to pee is not only time-consuming; during deployment, it’s also frequently impossible. Dismounted patrols in areas rife with IEDs often means staying in safe lanes. Mounted patrols and convoys don’t stop just because you need a potty break. Depending on your MOS, you may also find yourself spending hours in sangars or guard towers, or living in shitty bases or outposts with no running water.
See that PVC pipe in the far corner? That’s for peeing in. With the right equipment, it’s a unisex bathroom, and YOU TOO can know the joy of urinating into a crusty piss tube while holding your breath.
Back when I was a wee nipper in Basic, I relied on a combined strategy of not drinking very much water and really really holding it in during field days. You can’t hold it forever though, and drinking less is a terrible option in an environment where dehydration will make you a burden to your squad. So I set out to find a solution that didn’t involve invasive surgery (penis envy notwithstanding), and fired up the ol’ search engine with “Women peeing standing up.” Note: Google at your own discretion. Or not. Try “blue waffle” too, while you’re at it.
I discovered a LOT of female urination devices out there, but never fear. I’ll be your guide on this journey of diuretic discovery.
They’re available in an exciting variety of shapes and sizes, usually in delicate pastels, with adorable names like “She-wee” or “Go Girl.” By God, I’ve tried them all — my hoo-ha gets around. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a favorite, though. There are many like it, but this one is mine:
You can’t spell “urine funnel” without FUN!
… not my ACTUAL sheenis, ew. That’s a picture off the internet. The TravelMate’s been my trusty companion through seven years of soldiering, though, including three tours to places with terrible restrooms.
Our bathroom during my last deployment. (Don’t dookie in the urinal, mkay.)
Unfortunately, the TravelMate™ is no longer available commercially, but I’ve got the Pibella lined up as a replacement for when my current she-cock wears out. If you’re looking for a tactical tinkle tube, I would advise you to opt for something of a similar construction: a slim, rigid plastic tube, preferably with a spoon-shaped genital interface system.
The advantage of a rigid tube is that you can insert it through the fly of your pants and hold it in place, even with all your kit and body armor on, which is a difficult and time-consuming feat with soft silicone devices. (That’s what she said! No, really. That’s what I just said.) The benefit of devices with a large cup is, of course, that they’re more foolproof to use, but they also take up more pocket space. Additionally, if a device is overly flexible, the urine flow may be hampered by any bends or kinks caused by the position of your pants; at worst, you may be forced to undo your belt and pull your pants down a ways. That’s probably not the end of the world if you’re out cycling or camping or whatever, but for military purposes, it’s unnecessarily time-consuming. A device with a small “spoon” has a slightly steeper learning curve, but once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s quicker and less fiddly to use. At the end of the day, you’re looking for a device to help you accomplish something more quickly and easily — why go for the slower and less convenient option?
Case in point: this device’s large cup makes it easier to achieve a watertight seal, but it’s also harder to squeeze through the fly of your pants. Also, the short spout makes it useless with body armor.
Urination devices usually come with illustrated instructions for use, so I won’t go into excruciating detail, but basically, you unzip your fly, pull aside the crotch of your underpants, and try to achieve a watertight seal with your shee-wee. (If that’s not detailed enough, imagine feeding a carrot to a horse.)
Once you have everything arranged to your satisfaction, you’ll most likely experience a brief moment of existential dread during the split second between letting go, and discovering whether the pee’s going to run through the tube or down your leg. (You may want to practice in the shower a few times before moving on to field tests.) Once you’ve finished, scrape away the last few drops, shake your pee pipe like a polaroid picture, and put it away again. Ain’t nobody wanna see that shit.
[Steaming hot cup of lemon tea.]
Some urination devices come with storage options, but I’ve always kept mine in a ziploc bag in my thigh pocket; we get zipper bags in our field rations, so I always have a steady supply. Alternatively, the hot beverage bags or dairy shake packages from MREs work fine, too. Mix your dairy shake in a water bottle like the good Lord intended.
“But doesn’t that get … gross?”, you ask. Well, yes. So gross. Depending on the delicacy of your ladyflower, you might want to wash your device as frequently as possible, and replace the bag you keep it in. You’re probably not going to die if you forget, though. I’ll admit to maybe going on a two-week exercise without doing either, and I’ve never had a UTI in my life. (I won’t go so far as admitting the longest amount of time I’ve gone without washing my device, because I’m a disgusting human being and the internet is forever.) Just clean your cooch, you foul wildebeest.
The Pibella, available in tactical green — your very own Green Weenie.
It’s not a perfect system, but nothing is. You’ll get pee on your fingers at some point. You’ll probably get some on your pants and boots, too, until you eventually figure out stuff like aim and wind direction. Practice makes perfect.
I’m not going to lie: some guys are going to be freaked out by it. You’re going to have to learn the etiquette of upright urination: no talking, no eye contact, and no standing right next to each other (a very large MP once broke all three rules in Kosovo, before realizing I wasn’t a short dude taking a leak by the side of the road, but that’s a different story; MPs, this is why nobody likes you). You don’t have to hide in the bushes, but you don’t have to whip it out at the drop of a hat, either. If in doubt, ask yourself: would this be appropriate with a penis? (C’mon, just the tip. Just to see how it feels.) You don’t have to be a dick just because you have one now.
Obviously, if you’re a shy piddler, upright urination might not be for you — but if that’s the case, then soldiering probably isn’t either. And for fuck’s sake, have fun with it. I have fond memories of using a urinal in FOB Sanford’s dust bowl, and accidentally locking eyes with a British soldier who happened to be strolling by. His horrified expression is something I treasure to this day.
It’s not going to happen overnight, but once you have the proper equipment and technique, the possibilities are virtually endless. I’ve pissed in bottles in moving trucks and APCs, on guard duty, or because I couldn’t be bothered to put my boots on. I’ve tinkled off the top of armored vehicles and against vehicle tracks. I’ve gone number one kneeling in ditches, or lying down in temporary firing positions where standing up wasn’t an option. I’ve spent an entire deployment in a patrol base with no running water, micturating into piss tubes and jury-rigged urinals and going number two in rubber bags. I’ve known the thrill of spelling my name in snow. There’s a big bright world out there, and it’s yours for the taking.
A word of warning, though: once the world’s your urinal, you will never stop wanting to pee on everything. You might even leave the toilet seat up.
Rød grød med fløde, pikfjæs!
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About the Author: Mara Geirsodd is female combat veteran of the Danish infantry (yes, it seems counterintuitive, but it’s true) assigned to a mechanized infantry unit. She’s been a rifleman, Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle gunner and team leader, which is roughly equivalent to a U.S. fireteam leader but with three soldiers instead of four. She’s deployed a few times, including with KFOR in Kosovo and to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, twice so far. An inveterate smartass who is surprisingly savvy about the ongoing ‘women in the military’ argument, she’ll hopefully be writing for us until the Taliban or a bear smells her while she’s on her period and kills her.
You can read more about the Geirsodd here.