The instant I found out about the newly rebranded female urination device (FUD), Go-Girl, I jumped for joy. The news segment I saw on it (above) made it look great, and the website paints it even better: like a statement of one’s bad-ass independence and sassiness. “Don’t take life sitting down,” the tagline proudly proclaims. “The world is your urinal.” Plus, I have the smallest bladder in the world and always find myself in a desperate peeing situation. So I bought two reuseable Go-Girls (not badly priced at $6.99).
When I posted about this purchase on Facebook (yes, I was that excited), my guy friend from the UK glibly wrote, “She-pee has been at UK festivals for a few years now. It is odd seeing girls in the urinals. Enjoy freaking guys out.” Others also pointed out that the idea of this device was not new, especially for transmen and European women (although this seems to be the first FUD to try to go mainstream in the U.S. Also the first avidly Twittering FUD company, and apparently the first one made out of silicone).
I received the Go-Girls two Fridays ago—it’s purply-pink of course [eye roll]. I’ve used it three times since then. Some points of interest:
- First let-down: it’s not a suction cup.
Not even close. Contrary to the instructions, you really have to get half undressed for it, rather than just unzip your fly, to avoid any spillage, which is not ideal for a quick whip-it-out. That said, once I got the thing in place, I didn’t drip at all, although it’s harder to aim than you might think.
- 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. This is a genuine concern, since I predict 7 times out of 10 that a dirty toilet will be at a bar. May take some practice.
- Awkward moment: Getting walked in on
The bathroom at the bar I peed in had a broken lock, and a blow-dried blond walked in on me and was rendered speechless. At first I decided not to explain myself and let her imagination run wild, but then I realized she might want to be in on the concept of FUDs. After my spiel, I initially got the same look I get when I describe using tea tree oil suppositories for yeast infections–”You’ve spend more than .2 seconds touching and/or thinking about your vagina? Okay, weirdo.” Sigh. But she did seem to be intrigued and laughed politely.
- Hilarious moment: Getting scolded by an elderly woman
The next weekend, I dredged up the courage to pee outside in semi-plain view. Afterward, I got a couple laughs of approval from friendly hipsters (guys and girls). But then I got tapped on the shoulder by a 70-something woman with a flabbergasted look on her face. “What did you just do back there?” she asked, scandalized. “What kind of parts do you have?” I laughed. “A vagina. I just used a female urination device.” “I’m not even going to ask,” she said. “All we need is more urine on the streets. Disgusting.” She does have a point–the idea of the Yankee parade smelling twice as strongly of urine every year is an unsavory thought. But in desperate situations, no one yells at a man.
The interesting thing is that no guy seems to have had a weirded-out reaction so far (although they weren’t in the girls’ bathroom the second time, I admit). So far, the Go-Girl reminds me of the diaphragm: good idea in theory, but requires foresight, preparation–and ideally, access to a sink. (Otherwise, you’re just carrying around a pee-soaked silicone funnel all night.) It seems to have potential for transcending gender expectations, though the bubbly magenta packaging brings us back to square one. It also cultivates some awareness of ones body, which is never a bad thing. All in all, a good device to bring camping, sailing, or outdoor concert-ing, but might take some practice in more spontaneous, urban settings.
What do you all think? Have any Feministe readers tried these?
- The Super Bowl and Madison Avenue Misogyny by Jill February 8, 2010
- Bikinis and Bridesmaids and Blubber, Oh My! by s.e. smith June 17, 2010
- Message to the Guys: Donating Your Organs is Almost Like Sex by Cara November 14, 2008
- Aging Is (Not) Unnatural by Laurie Toby Edison August 19, 2009
- Objectification in Advertising — Vintage Style! by Cara April 25, 2009