Big problems in the smallest room

In this special report The Bug’s resident sex expert, Dr Dick, looks at a uniquely male practice that some women find difficult to accept.


It was not long after I began practising and counselling, many years ago now, that I discovered a lot of women expressed concern when they discovered their husband, boyfriend or current partner was heading off to the toilet armed with the latest issue of Playboy, Penthouse or some other highbrow gentlemen’s periodical.

For some reason, some women found it odd that their man often did not re-emerge from the smallest room in the house for up to an hour.

These days the printed page has been replaced with digital varieties, but mobile devices still make it possible for men of any age to lock themselves away and consume whatever reading material they find desirable.

My many years of studying this behaviour suggest their partners should learn to relax – this type of male behaviour is quite normal.

I have found that what causes women’s concerns, and lets their imagination run away with them, is the subject matter of their menfolk’s chosen part-time companion.

Research shows that when it comes to ablutions, most people (64%) are like wartime bomber pilots – they just get over the target zone, drop their load and get out of there as fast as they can.

I happen to fall into this category. Besides, I just hate the sound of screaming and the sight of blood.

Psychologists differ, as usual, over such behaviour, but apparently – like the inbuilt mechanism that tells men to go to sleep immediately after sex – it goes back to the survival of the fittest in prehistoric times.

Hop down to any park and spend an hour watching dogs doing their business. If you don’t get arrested, you’ll see what I mean.

They get into a real panic when it’s time to say goodbye to an old Pal or Chum. Their hesitancy has nothing to do with finding a secluded spot or any embarrassment over soiling a public place contrary to council by-law 236 (a) (viii).

They know that while they are in the process of dropping a rancid coil, they’re dead meat for any predator. Once it’s over it’s all frisky goose-stepping stuff, as if to say: “Hey, I’ve survived and I don’t give a shit.”

I rather fancy I’d have been a survivor in the wild. Do the business, and back to the wall painting and the safety of the cave.

Some people on the other hand should never have evolved. In prehistoric times, such foolhardy folk would have just loved to squat there blissfully for an hour or so.

Any large-fanged beast could take a flying leap as far as they were concerned. Were they simply daredevils? Or was it arrogance, and they didn’t think their shit stank?

And so it is in modern times with these longer-term dunny dwellers (36%).

Even though in the minority, they still come in two main categories.

The first gets by without any artificial means of stimulation. They just think things over – mull and void, if you like.

Then there are those who must resort to the written word. “Gosh, I’ve gotta go – anyone got a paper?”

I used to think that people who couldn’t go to the water closet without some reading material had simply had a bad experience where they’d been caught sans papiere le dunniere.

Some like to keep their reading to a minimum. They take only a small amount of reading – a small leaflet out of the pile of junk mail, a telephone message, or a list of Harrison Ford’s facial expressions.

Others choose a weightier tome like War and Peace, the Macquarie Dictionary, or Volume 11 of the Encyclopaedia Britannica when words are not enough.

So, what does entering a toilet with digital or hard-copy material mean? Nothing, most likely.

Is anyone seen entering a cubicle with Tony Abbott’s Battlelines necessarily constipated?

Does being armed with a Nigella Lawson cookbook mean you’ve baked things for too long? I suggest not.

Women should accept that the logical explanation for their partners’ WC activities – and I really think they deserve the benefit of the doubt – is that they may simply be among those people who can’t defecate unless they are totally relaxed.

The only danger in this is that, over time, it can become a reflex action.

The time and place: very late one night in the marital bed.

The question: “If you can’t get to sleep, dear, why not read for a while?”

The reply: “Oh yeah, sure. You know what happened last time.”