Reclaiming the narrative: Peeing outdoors as a woman

Rachel Husband, Just go if you have to

Pissing outdoors is a primordial joy that I had not experienced until the pandemic began. Before that point, I was stoically holding my bladder, living in a constant state of discomfort due to my  insatiable love for water. The mental energy I expended just trying not to pee my pants every day was absolutely immense.

Illustration by Kiara Paninos.

Going hiking was cumbersome, and so was camping. The nasty pit toilets filled with spiders haunted my dreams. Porta-Potties (not sponsored) were hell. I tried to avoid drinking any liquids at all, which left me feeling bitchy — and I still had to pee. 

Regardless of my own personal issues surrounding peeing, I feel the need to set the record straight for womankind. It’s really hard to pee outside, especially as a woman, not only because of the physical positions required to successfully pee but also because of the general societal expectations that we shouldn’t be pissing everywhere. For so long, I was nervous that if I tried to pee outside it would go catastrophically wrong: I’d end up peeing down my leg or onto my shoes, someone would see me, a bug would somehow find its way into my hairy nether regions and stay trapped there. Many women I’ve talked to about this issue have shared similar worries. Although generally less specific, the fear of peeing outside is fairly common amongst women.

And then, suddenly, in March of 2020, I actually realized germs existed, and I was really not going into a Porta-Potty. But Mother Nature calls and one day I found myself in dire straits, with a full bladder stranded on some hiking trails with no hope of making it to safety. 

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, I chose not to pee my pants and instead to submit myself to the possible humiliation of squatting with my ass out for all the world to see. I pulled my pants down, unsure of how far down I should bring them, squatted as low as my joints would allow and peed on a leafy bush like a grown-ass woman.

In that moment, as I was peeing onto that bush, liquid dribbling onto my shoe just like a little bit, I knew that I had to spread the word about how wonderful, joyous and freeing this new experience was. It was better than any drug, any roller coaster, more freeing than anything else I’d ever experienced. Golden light spilled from the sky and I felt enlightened: to piss was to be free.

And so, thanks to the pandemic, I’ve learned this one thing. There’s no point in living your life in discomfort, no point in holding your bladder. Just find a good tree to duck behind, drop your pants and pee away ladies.