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May 21, 2018 | by  | in Features |
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The Majestic Shewee

I recently got an outdoor job that didn’t have a loo.

“Why?” I asked a coworker. He shrugged, and told me that they’d been trying to get a port-a-potty sorted for years, but the port-o-potty industry were dragging their feet about it.

“Ok, but, then, how do I… you know, go?”

“We have bushes outside.”

Damn.

I am the first to admit that I’m not a prude. I’m a card-carrying feminist who strongly believes that bodily functions should not get in the way of anyone’s work ethic or destiny. But the idea of popping a squat in some greenery beside a busy road made my urinary tract shrivel up in protest. Plus, I’d had too many bad experiences on school camps where I ended up with pee everywhere, to want to give squatting a try at work. Urine soaked leggings do not incite customer satisfaction. So my solution was to not drink anything, and hold all pee in until I was back in my own bathroom, safe at last.

It was a solid plan, at first. I got through my shift and ran like hell to get home, barely making it to the loo in time. But what I didn’t realise was that long hours with no water, combined with lifting heavy equipment, had resulted in severe dehydration. After working both Saturday and Sunday, I ended up in bed on Monday with a headache, and the hint of a UTI. I moaned to my boyfriend about it, who was sympathetic, but really couldn’t relate due to his incredibly handy penis.

That’s when I made the best decision of my life — I invested in a Shewee.

In 1999, an budding entrepreneur named Samantha Fountain was given an assignment for a university course — find a way make public toilets more hygienic. Her solution was to create a device that would allow women to pee standing up like men, and thus avoid the horrors of the public toilet seat. The first ever Shewee was built out of plywood, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today’s version is best likened to a curved plastic funnel, that sits flush against your vagina and urethral opening. The back ends in a point, just sharp enough so you can feel it and know exactly where everything is, but not enough that it’s uncomfortable. They come in a range of colours, with the added upgrade of a tube and case. “Stand Up and Take Control” the website told me. I couldn’t find a stockist fast enough.

Buying a Shewee was a bit odd. The middle-aged man behind the counter looked uncomfortable when I slammed the bright pink device triumphantly down on the counter, and we avoided eye contact. But I was too excited to let anyone get in between me and freedom. I drove home like a madwoman, sprinted up the stairs, jumped into the bathroom, put the pointy bit between my legs, and gave my new Shewee a whiz.

It was very hard to get going. Not because the Shewee itself was at fault, but because decades of habit was telling me that I was supposed to be seated at this point. Peeing against all instinct was surprisingly more difficult than I thought it would be. Cursing my body for giving in to the Patriarchy, I reshuffled the tube a little, leaned back, and tried again. The pee flowed through the funnel, into the extension tube, before dripping neatly into the bath. Not a drop of it touched my skin. I almost started laughing — I couldn’t believe how well it worked. It was like my first orgasm. It was like the first time I tried waffles. I’d never been more ecstatic about my own urine. I had a plastic penis, and I never had to worry about public toilets ever again.

From that moment on, I embarked on a one-woman crusade, telling everyone about the magic of the Shewee. Friends, strangers, some lady who worked at the lingerie store who helped me buy a bra, my dog (who was very impressed), my partner (less impressed), coworkers, coworker’s spouses, my mum, my aunts, my 80-year-old grandma who didn’t understand what it was I was shouting about. I wanted every woman to feel as empowered as I felt, to take control of their destinies and their bladders and live life free from the fear of port-o-potties. What I didn’t expect was the pushback.

Ladies of all ages, of all sizes, from all walks of life, told me that they just weren’t comfortable with the idea of sticking a tube between their legs. While some got on my Shewee bandwagon, others laughed when I started describing its usefulness, or immediately protested their modesty. Surprised, I turned to Google. Results there were equally unpromising — while most people raved about the Shewee, review after review avoided using the words “pee”, “urethra”, and “vagina”. Instead, they featured a million synonyms that were presumably more ladylike. No one seemed keen to talk about exactly where the Shewee was supposed to go. Even the Shewee packaging featured minimal instructions, and no diagrams (which was terribly unhelpful, and not reassuring). Despite what seemed like an obvious fix to a real problem, people didn’t want to talk about urinating women.

The only solution I could find was to tackle this taboo head on. I decided to really test the limits of my Shewee, and share my results in the hope that convenience would outweigh uncomfortableness. I took my Shewee to work, tried to use it in a moving car on a road trip, and got drunk in town on a Friday to see just how handy it was to tinkle like a dude. I was hopeful that success would put the fire back into my revolution. So I peed where I’d never dared pee before.

AT WORK
The whole point of my whizzing adventures was to find a solution to dehydration. On my next shift, I filled my water bottle right up, and kept chugging away throughout the day. After the last customer had left, I excused myself to my coworker (who shot me a knowing look and giggled), took my Shewee out back, tried very hard to avoid the electric fence, and let fly. Against the majestic backdrop of hills, fields, sheep, and sunset, I proudly stood and took one small piss for woman, one giant whiz for womankind. It all went off without a hitch. I didn’t even have to take off my leggings. My humiliating days of grass tickling my butt while I squatted were over. The best bit was, it all took about thirty seconds, and I didn’t have to dig a hole like my old male P.E. teacher had said we did. As I put away my wonderous whiz device, I pondered whether or not he’d ever tried to wield a trowel while busting.

IN THE CAR
My boyfriend was not pleased when I told him he had to drive around while I peed, in the name of journalism. He begrudgingly agreed, I promised him he wouldn’t see a thing, grabbed an empty Pump bottle, and off we went. This was a test I was really hoping the Shewee would pass, although I was slightly doubtful it would. Time in a bus on a family trip to India had taught me the unfairness of biology: all the boy cousins had gone for gold on the side of the road, while all the girl cousins had to cross their legs for fear of snakes and perverts. Being able to pee in a moving vehicle would revolutionise the road trip as we all knew it, and I was determined to succeed.

To be completely honest, it was the toughest pee I’ve ever done. Scooching onto my knees, holding the bottle between my legs, and shielding everything from my boyfriend for the sake of our relationship, I tried my best to go as per usual. The speed bumps didn’t help. Every time we hit one, my head would hit the ceiling and the bottle would threaten to spill. We should have probably also avoided going past that preschool, where the kids were all in the playground for lunch and could see us whizzing by. But the worst bit was the absolute mental struggle to get my body to pee in my car. Every instinct was screaming at me to stop before I drenched the passenger seat. It took a full five minutes to manage a hesitant tinkle — but this flowed perfectly through, into the bottle. No mess, no fuss. I had to stop before I was done so my body and brain wouldn’t have a collective meltdown, but decided this whiz was a success nonetheless. If my courage had only flowed through to my urethra, peeing in a car would have been piss easy.

IN TOWN
In the interest of accuracy, I actually got a friend to take a video of me in town, which I intend to release after I win the Pulitzer, as a testament to my dedication to journalism. It was painful to watch myself pee. Drunk me couldn’t stop giggling as she pulled her dress up, her panties down, and inserted the Shewee into what she hoped was the right position. Both she and friend shrieked their amazement as the Shewee worked perfectly — no mess, no fuss, no sitting on the goddamned disgusting toilet seat.

“This is amazing!” drunk Preya laughed over and over, “I can’t believe this!”

“I need this in my life!” bathroom buddy exclaimed.

“And now, we just rinse!”

Later that night, we took a surprise trip to the Waikanae suburbs, and ended up going for a pee again. Drunk Preya stood and went with ease, while drunk friend squatted — and fell over.

“Are you alright?!” drunk Preya yelled.

“This is why I need one of those!” friend called back. She went out and got herself one the very next day. My first convert. And, hopefully, not my last.

Ladies, sisters, everyone with a vagina — buy this product. Seriously, please, believe in yourselves, let go of all fear and modesty and social conditioning, and just buy one. I am not joking when I say that my Shewee has changed my life. I went from avoiding water due to uncertainty around loos, to taking every opportunity to pee just so I can whip it out. I went from planning nights out around available public toilets, to accidentally peeing on someone’s front lawn in the middle of Waikanae (sorry). I laugh in the face of terrible gas station bathrooms, and pee round the back instead. I am so empowered that I have never spent so much time discussing my toilet habits with other women in my life as I do now. This device, this modest looking, funnel-adjacent, bright pink tube, can free you from the shackles of the public loo and release you into the wild — fearless and ready to write your name on nearby trees. Join the ranks of athletes, soldiers, and drunk women everywhere, and pee like you’ve never peed before. The Shewee is waiting. Comrades, join the revolution. Stand Up and Take Control.

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