Author: has written 10 posts for this blog.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

49 Responses

  1. groggette
    groggette September 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm |

    …. I might just have to get one of these before the next time I go camping / half to take a piss in an alley off 6th street.

    Nona, do you think some sort of tubing could help with the whip-it-out factor?

  2. groggette
    groggette September 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm |

    There’s something else I wanted to point out but I’m having trouble wording it right, maybe if other people are seeing the same thing I am they can say it better then me, but your anecdote about the old woman seems a bit belittling of trans people. You can laugh off her asking “What kind of parts do you have?” but bathroom politics is real and dangerous for many trans people, specifically women.

  3. FilthyGrandeur
    FilthyGrandeur September 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm |

    i appreciate this review. it was informative, and entertaining! the old lady story made me spit coffee. why did i picture her as my grandmother? frankly, it was none of her business what “parts” you had.

    it also reminded me of my conversation with my mother when i told her i stopped using tampons because i bought a diva cup. it looked like her brain was doing somersaults. so fun!

  4. Sarah Dillon
    Sarah Dillon September 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm |

    Hi Nona-

    Thank you so much for the review! I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it and got to use it in several situations. A couple clarification:

    -You’re exactly right: GoGirl is not the first FUD on the market, but we are the newest and we tried to do things right that our competitors did wrong (we have one of the lowest prices and it is small enough to be discreetly portable, etc.) and we are the first to try to break into the mainstream, U.S. market. You have a keen marketing eye :)

    -Practice makes perfect for undressing. The more comfortable you are with GoGirl, the less skin you will have to show- and shimmying your pants down is a lot better than the full monty of yesteryears!

    -If you’re not somewhere you can rinse out GoGirl right away (say in a porta-potty), the product comes with a biodegradable plastic bag- so once you’re done, simply place the GoGirl in the bag and throw the bag in your purse or backpack and then you can transport GoGirl to somewhere you feel comfortable rinsing it out.

    -We have been hearing more and more about the FTM market, and although it’s not the market we originally designed the product for, we have been hearing many suggestions for making the product work better for this market. Keep them coming!

    Thanks again and keep in touch! If you have any questions, contact me via email (sarah@go-girl.com)or on Twitter (http://twitter.com/Go_Girls)!

    Sarah

  5. SnowdropExplodes
    SnowdropExplodes September 23, 2009 at 1:18 pm |

    * Second let-down: it’s kind of hard to use this thing while drunk.

    Definitely stumbled a couple times, and got a few drops of pee on my leg. Could have been worse…but also not great for the beginning of the night.

    Heh – welcome to what we men have to live with all our lives thanks to what biology gave us!

  6. helen
    helen September 23, 2009 at 1:27 pm |

    I have a urination cup but finally just decided I was most comfortable peeing free. Spread the inner and outer labia and pee backwards standing up. Just fold up the toilet seat first. It works fine, you can aim, and you don’t have to sit down or really even wipe afterward.

  7. Will
    Will September 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm |

    Regarding hard to use while drunk: it might be comforting or discomforting to know that Male Urination Devices have the same problem. And not just with urination…

  8. Lexica
    Lexica September 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm |

    This is a sore subject for me. I think the lack of publicly-available restrooms is a real problem. Especially for people who are homeless or who can’t afford to buy something they don’t really need just so they can use the “customers only” restrooms. However, that doesn’t make walking past puddles of urine in public any more appealing.

    “Nobody yells at a man” for urinating in public, true. For me, that’s at least in part because if a guy has so little concern for the commonly-accepted standards of public behavior that he sees no trouble with pissing on the side of a building, I have no confidence that he’ll abide by other commonly-accepted standards of public behavior like “don’t attack strangers even if they’re criticizing your behavior”.

    Please, if you have to use something like this in public, choose a spot where the negative effects will be minimized. Find a bush or a tree, so the urine soaks into the soil. Maybe a storm drain, so it’ll go straight down into the sewer. But for the sake of basic sanitation and everybody around you, please don’t do it in the doorway of a building, or on the wall in a public park, or anything like that.

    One of the most common smells here in downtown Oakland is stale urine from people pissing in doorways and on the sidewalk. I hate it. I see men standing facing a wall with their arms in that distinctively-akimbo position, a puddle forming at their feet, and I have to bite my tongue to keep from yelling “We see you and we know what you’re doing there, jerk! Who the hell do you think is going to clean that up?” Many small businesses downtown have to pay the extra expense of hiring a service to have their doorways and sidewalks hosed down regularly and steam-cleaned occasionally.

    If you’re camping or are somewhere that it won’t make a smelly, unsanitary mess, go for it. But if the only place available is the wall of an alley, please find somewhere else to relieve yourself. Don’t be one of those “the world is my urinal!” people.

  9. Will
    Will September 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm |

    your penises are free. :)
    True.

    Then again, think of all the other products that are inadvisable to use while drunk, no matter how convenient…like, say, cars. Or cell phones.

  10. groggette
    groggette September 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm |

    Thanks for the response Nona. Like fg I actually pictured my grandma saying that and started giggling, but something about it just wasn’t sitting right for me.

    Lexica, in defense of my alley peeing, my friend and I actually tried to go into a bar but got turned away from quite a handful before we decided behind a dumpster was our best option. After closing time in Austin is definitely not the best time to have a full bladder :(

  11. Nentuaby
    Nentuaby September 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm |

    (Mods: Please delete my previous incomplete post)

    Judybrowni:

    Yeah, putting the signs on single-occupant rooms is pretty weird.

    Though I do have an anecdote on it:

    I go to a festival (Strawberry Music Festival) every year. It’s held in a rented campground, with ~3500 people living in tents and using temporary facilities (porta-potties) for 5 days. Naturally, there are long lines right around sunrise and during the between-set stampedes to the row of potties closest to the concert area.

    The potties used to be unisex. About six years ago now, though, signs appeared on them- “Women” and “Men/Women.” Right, predictably, men groused about this Injustice! constantly for the next couple of festivals. Gradually, though, we realized that the lines were effectively gone. Because women take longer on average, this turned out to actually be the most efficient way to run things 98% of the time. And, if you end up in that 2% and there’re a line of men w/ no women waiting, you can always poach. They’re just single-occupancy.

  12. Butch Fatale
    Butch Fatale September 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm |

    The fact that you’re not trans means it’s safer for you to address trans issues in those scenarios than it would be for a trans person.* You may not be the best person to do a full scale education of some person, but you’re a great candidate for saying “You don’t have a right to know “what parts” I have.” Maybe the moment wasn’t right for saying something about trans issues for another reason, but the fact that you’re not trans isn’t necessarily one of them. How much does it suck when men don’t say anything about sexist jokes because they’re not women? If only oppressed people educated privileged people, oppressed people won’t have enough time in the day to do anything else.

    *(the space is helpful in clarifying that “trans” modifies “man” or “woman” rather than being an inherent aspect of gender. The alloneword version implies that trans men and women are “other” kinds of men and women, or not really men and women at all)

  13. thetroubleis
    thetroubleis September 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm |

    I free pee as well. I’m cis and all I had to do was build up my kegels. I find it very convenient.

  14. Danny
    Danny September 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |

    About six years ago now, though, signs appeared on them- “Women” and “Men/Women.” Right, predictably, men groused about this Injustice! constantly for the next couple of festivals.
    You almost sound like they should not have said anything.

  15. Comrade PhysioProf
    Comrade PhysioProf September 23, 2009 at 4:41 pm |

    The relief of just whipping it out and whizzing on a tree when you are drunk off your ass and out of doors is exquisite. Anything that can allow women to share this experience is an unalloyed good.

  16. another constellation
    another constellation September 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm |

    I live next to a bar. Please do not pee in the streets– my roommate is constantly awakened by the sound of urine waterfalls. It is gross.

    If you’re interested, you might Google STP or Stand-to-Pee, the common term used among transmen for devices and techniques that make it easier for people without penises to pee standing up. I use a Travelmate and I’m able to work it with fitted jeans at a urinal.

  17. Nentuaby
    Nentuaby September 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm |

    Danny:

    Well, as it turns out, we shouldn’t have. It worked out as to our benefit as the women’s. That was sort of the point of the story.

  18. Nentuaby
    Nentuaby September 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm |

    Should have read:

    “It worked out *as much to* our benefit[…]”

  19. Danny
    Danny September 23, 2009 at 5:59 pm |

    Nentuaby:
    The reason I asked was because it sounds like (and I think this is unintentional) they should have just accepted it comfort levels be damned but I noticed the single occupancy part. Which is why I was wondering and said “almost” before going off about it.

  20. gudbuytjane
    gudbuytjane September 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm |

    Oh, for ****’s sake hold it until you can find a bathroom. Having lived and worked in neighbourhoods not deemed socially important enough for regular street cleaning, yet edgy enough for people to come drink in to slum with the bad people (and, yes, for radicool dudes playing tourist pissing on buildings and in alleys people sleep in), we don’t need more urine in public. Every time I see a guy peeing openly in public against buildings or the sidewalk I think “What an asshole.” This isn’t feminism, it’s about classism and consumerism, and there’s nothing empowering in pissing on people’s homes.

    As far as the trans stuff, well, I just tend to tune cis people out now when they start talking about it.

  21. shah8
    shah8 September 23, 2009 at 6:37 pm |

    You know, it’s a bit wierd to hear about all the don’t piss in the alleys talk. An awful lot of that pee comes from people who got no place to pee anyhows.

  22. Jonah Horowitz
    Jonah Horowitz September 23, 2009 at 7:07 pm |

    At Burning Man there is a camp that hands out a homemade version of these for use in the porta potties – they have a website, but it’s not particularly insightful: http://www.peefunnelcamp.org/

  23. Renee
    Renee September 23, 2009 at 7:10 pm |

    @shah8
    I was just thinking that. So many homeless are denied access to bathrooms. In my small city alone there are signs up stating that bathrooms are for customers only. Where are people supposed to use the bathroom but an alley?

  24. Just Some Trans Guy
    Just Some Trans Guy September 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm |

    Um, yeah. I’m with a few other commentators on feeling not-so-okay about how you relayed that incident with the older woman who asked about your genitals. What’s a “hilarious moment” for you is infuriating, humiliating, invasive, othering, etc., for us.

    And this …

    ” But I laughed because of the woman’s conservative chastising, not because I think transpeople and transphobia are funny. She didn’t ask it in a genuinely curious way, more like ‘Ew! WTF?’ I wasn’t going to launch into the whole trans issue with her in the middle of the street, especially because I’m not trans.”

    … doesn’t really make it better. No, you didn’t laugh at the transphobia itself. But you likely did laugh at least partly because you’re cis–because such a question isn’t a regular reality for you and doesn’t hurt you the way it hurts trans people. Because you didn’t internalize that “Ew! WTF?”, whereas trans people live with the knowledge that large segments of the population consider our bodies freakish, bad, ugly, etc.

    I’ve been asked on more than one occasion what my genitals look like. So has my partner, who is trans female spectrum. We don’t laugh about those incidents; they’re not funny to us, they’re painful.

  25. Just Some Trans Guy
    Just Some Trans Guy September 23, 2009 at 7:22 pm |

    All that being said, I really did appreciate the review. I hadn’t heard of this particular product, and I’m in the market for a reasonably priced urination device. So thanks for giving your thoughts.

  26. cacophonies
    cacophonies September 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm |

    All I want to do after reading that is laugh. I mean, good idea, I suppose, but… it nearly speaks to us like we’re supposed to feel more “empowered” because can “pee like men.”

    I’ve never had a problem popping a squat at the campground, or just… not often finding myself in situations where there was no toilet, but there was a place to pee, but that place could not accommodate my squatting. How often would a situation arise where you were actually grateful for the thing, where you couldn’t have just as easily snuck into the nearest fast food place where they wouldn’t do anything, even if they did notice?

    (obviously, I’m out situations where someone has nowhere else to pee on a permanent basis, like homeless people. I think we’ve already established that this product is not marketed toward homeless people.)

  27. cacophonies
    cacophonies September 23, 2009 at 7:42 pm |

    “(obviously, I’m out situations where someone has nowhere else to pee”

    Er, sorry, slow browser. That should read “I’m not talking about situations where someone has nowhere else to pee”

  28. one jewish dyke
    one jewish dyke September 23, 2009 at 8:51 pm |

    I’m a fan of the pStyle. From the video I can’t tell how they compare in size to the Go Girl, but you can buy a little canvas or denim bag that allows you to carry it and not get everything else dirty if you don’t have water. With some practice you can use it just with unzipping your fly and pulling your underwear to the side. It wasn’t cheap – $20 for the pStyle and bag combo – but I’ve used it camping and in portapotties and wished I’d had it with me in more than one public restroom.

  29. brightred
    brightred September 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm |

    I have to just echo the other commenters who were uncomfortable with how the encounter with the older woman was portrayed here–even if you were caught off guard in the moment (I mean, who hasn’t had that experience), a lot more self-consciousness could have gone into how the incident was relayed in this blog post. It is truly not ok or funny that anyone feels entitled to ask about another person’s genitals. But whatever, I’m not trying to belabor a point that’s already been raised.

    On a different note, I am a little confused about using the nomenclature “FUD” in the feminist blogosphere (feministing also referred to it as such recently, am I right?). I understand that that’s how it’s marketed, but why not call it a STP (stand to pee) device? The reality is that these devices are used by tons of people who don’t identify as female–in fact, it is for these communities that these devices are most significant: while cis women may find it inconvenient or uncomfortable to have to squat, for trans men, the difference between sitting and standing can be a matter of outing oneself or not–it’s an issue that is imbued with the risk of great violence. My point is that calling it an FUD seems first of all, really needlessly essentializing (we all know that everyone who sits to pee is not female) and secondly it erases the significance that these products have for the trans community specifically.

  30. A.W.
    A.W. September 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm |

    First, I’m used to the abbreviation being STP. FUD doesn’t make much sense to me, for the reasons Brightred stated. That and I’ve mostly seen them discussed in trans forums, not anywhere near a new acronym. This is, however, the first time I’ve (that I remember) heard of FUD. I Googled it and apparently FUD’s a seldom-used acronym, (I’m a sucker for language matters). The first three pages of Google has it pretty much only used in reference to GoGirl, along with three sites having to explain what it’s an acronym of. Nothing quite like reading about a device and having it renamed by marketing so it’ll feel more cis oriented, what with attaching it to assumptions of gender instead of …just what the device is used for.

    The hard to use while drunk, well – Everything is hard to use while wasted, including plopping your ass on the seat when in a hurry while making sure pants/skirt is, indeed, out of the way. Ah, memories. I don’t find someone asking what I have hilarious, in any form. It’s just…not funny. What can be funny is when you tell ‘em that it isn’t any of their damn business unless they’re fucking you, but only if you’re surrounded by other people going about their benign business in a very public setting. Crude language does wonders to get them to – go away – when there’s a crowd, they often dislike being the center of attention when it looks like someone else is right pissed at ‘em. The pissy rejoinder also works in other areas, like if someone’s making snide comments about you due to disability. If you can make ‘em feel like a heel really quick from shock value, they usually just leave. (this does not work with teenagers or drunks, ime, so forwarned), and I dunno how well it’d work in a metro area where everyone ignores everyone else, either).

    Also don’t agree with pissing on the sides of buildings, but I don’t live in a metro area. Most laundromats, libraries and gas stations (at least here) have restrooms they’ll let you use, even if you don’t want to buy something. On the off chance that there isn’t one, a tree or bush acceptable.

    I disagree that no one yells at a guy for urinating in public spaces, though. The handful of times I’ve seen guys doing that (in public), there’s more often than not someone else asking what the fuck they were doing, usually accompanied by a disgusted look (the scolder is also often guy). There’s more than enough bushes/trees here that people don’t like you urinating in public spots when there’s a bathroomish area a block or two away. S’just …most people here don’t piss in public. Prolly different if all you’re surrounded by is buildings.

  31. A.W.
    A.W. September 23, 2009 at 11:00 pm |

    Cacophonies,

    “How often would a situation arise where you were actually grateful for the thing, where you couldn’t have just as easily snuck into the nearest fast food place where they wouldn’t do anything, even if they did notice?”

    Weeeeeeeeellllllllllllllll, there’s quite a few swamp areas and forests here with, ah, high, itchy vegetation, and the footing often …isn’t so good. I’ve lost shoes just trying to walk before, standing still and settling in on all your weight is a bad idea, you’ll never get your shoes free without getting extremely filthy once you let the ground claim ‘em. Can’t exactly squat in quite a few places when hiking unless you want to stomp down an area first.

  32. Bonn
    Bonn September 23, 2009 at 11:05 pm |

    I’m going to echo the sentiment of “oh my god, hold it.”

    It’s not about homeless people at all. There was an alley/side street near my old place that just always, consistently smelled like pee. I wondered why. I called it “P Street” because it stank so bad. And then I found out later that taxi drivers would pull in there to pee on the wall.

    Homeless people, on the other hand, tend to use the public restrooms in parks. They’re always open, even in the middle of the night.

    If someone is homeless and can’t find a restroom, I’m not going to be nearly as annoyed as if a person has options and chooses not to use them. Parking lots should not have to have signs that state “no peeing” and show a map of the public restrooms in the area. Women can hold it and wait for a restroom. Men can too. Their urethras are longer, even. Somehow we manage.

  33. A.W.
    A.W. September 24, 2009 at 12:17 am |

    …And good god, are there a lot of diff. kinds of devices. TravelMate, PStyle, Freshette, Pee-Zee, Whiz. Granted, most of the ones on the market are advertized to women, but at least you can’t tell by the blasted name of the product, let alone the acronym. A few of the sites are actually neutral, which is always pleasantly surprising. Although sticking ftm’s in the category of physical (for the pstyle) was a bit odd, s’not -quite- the same as a broken knee.

  34. A.W.
    A.W. September 24, 2009 at 12:36 am |

    The edit button dislikes me, apparently.

    Nona,

    (or anyone else, I suppose), if you type in “review of gogirl stp” on Google, The third link down is a utube video describing some easy modifications (and how to do them) of the product to make it simpler to hold on to and use. That is, if you prefer the GoGirl.

  35. B
    B September 24, 2009 at 1:02 am |

    Hi Nona,
    While I can see some uses for this device, I just wanted to clarify something about you said about squatting. Fully squatting to relieve your self actually empties your bladder more than sitting and is actually better for you. Squatting is how people have been relieving themselves for millennia, and still do in probably about 90% of the world. Also, public squat toilets are FAR more sanitary than sit-down ones, as at no point does anything besides the soles of your shoes come into contact with the toilet. Hovering over the toilet seat, however, as you mentioned, is very hard on your bladder as it doesn’t let you empty the bladder completely, and if done regularly can lead to bladder issues.

  36. Drakyn
    Drakyn September 24, 2009 at 2:56 am |

    Uh, yeah, STP devices definitely aren’t new… I’ve been reading about STPs since I first started researching trans* stuff 6 years ago & they weren’t new then. From what I recall, most folks just make their own or modify a medicine spoon (I’m sure google would show a bunch of how-to’s).
    I don’t get why Feministe, a site that’s trying not to exclude trans* people, is supporting a cissexist device. And yeah, assuming that all folks who want/need this device is a [cis] ‘girl’ and/or marketing only to cissexual women is damn cissexist; doesn’t matter if malice was *~*~intended~*~* or not, btw.
    I also ~love~ the cissexist comments here: the ones that assume that all women need a STP to actually stand to pee and that no men might need one.

  37. Knitting Clio
    Knitting Clio September 24, 2009 at 7:38 am |

    Just wanted to point out that public urination is a misdemeanor in some places. So, be careful where you use this, you might get arrested or fined.

  38. AP
    AP September 24, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    sounds like they should also come with biodegradable liners so you don’t have to carry around pee residue

  39. fleabag
    fleabag September 24, 2009 at 8:59 am |

    de-lurking for a minute to speak as a homeless person; no, public restrooms are not always unlocked, nor are they always readily available. if you wake up at 4am in a park, you’re probably not going to have time to run 10 blocks to the nearest usable bathroom.

    i make my own pee-funnels out of washed out pop/water bottles. once you get the hang of them, they work great – even drunk – and make peeing in bushes or wherever else, a helluva lot more discreet.

  40. Jovan1984
    Jovan1984 September 24, 2009 at 11:37 am |

    I am so glad that women and girls have this product! This makes them be able to pee standing up.

    Oh and BTW, I sometimes pee sitting down on the toilet.

  41. Jackie
    Jackie September 25, 2009 at 12:55 am |

    Man, I would’ve told that woman to mind her own business. What does it matter to her what parts you have. I mean, do I need to bring up Lady Gaga and the whole hermaphrodite rumor as a point to this?

  42. Azalea
    Azalea September 25, 2009 at 7:58 am |

    As much as I hate having to squat I’d much rather do that than risk getting urine on my leg or clothes trying to stand. It just seems like a lot of work just to relieve yourself, you’d have to whip it out, place it correctly, rinse it, wipe yourself, wipe the funnel and maybe even th toilet seat if your aim isn’t good just yet. Just too much work lol.

    As for the old woman I woud have called her a pervert for asking me about my genitals.

  43. Azalea
    Azalea September 25, 2009 at 8:10 am |

    Considering the device in question is marketed to ciswomen I made my comment around ciswomen. I think a transman would want to use something 1) a little more discreet and 2) a lttle less purple-pink.

    As you’ve said, these devices have been around for a long timeand transmen obviously aren’t the only people to use them.

    I on’t see how something on your genitals that says in HUGE letters “GO GIRL” would do anything other than totally out you in a public restroom. Even ciswomen who use it, as the author has atested to, risk a run-in with self righteous prejudice and perversion of other people’s invading their privacy.

  44. rozele
    rozele October 2, 2009 at 10:57 am |

    i think it’s striking that this latecomer to the market (1) comes only in hot pink, and (2) comes in an entirely unnecessary canister. as compared to, for instance, the pStyle (http://www.kristascups.com/pages/pstyle)’s wide color range and low-packaging approach.

    this looks a lot like a case of Clarke’s Law of Girl-Toys to me, or perhaps an outbreak of the Pink Toolkit strain of liberation marketing bullshit, combined with ‘if it’s for women, wrap it in excess packaging’ syndrome.

    there are other choices for pissing devices out there – why reward (or publicize on a feminist blog) a company that buys into the condescending overpackaged, pink-only sexist model of retailing to women?

  45. Karen Diamond
    Karen Diamond October 8, 2009 at 11:29 am |

    The P-Mate is the best one out there. You don’t have to undress, it does not leak, and it folds to slip easily into a pocket or purse. Check it out!

Comments are closed.

The commenting period has expired for this post. If you wish to re-open the discussion, please do so in the latest Open Thread.