Regarding the letter from "Behind Closed Doors," who prefers her privacy over sharing the bathroom with her boyfriend (Mr. Right, 11/23/07): I've been married three times and lived with someone for several months, so I feel I've got some credibility on this matter. Husband #1 felt that sharing the bathroom meant sharing it at all times. I would discreetly leave the room and shut the door whenever he sat down. Sharing "everything" always bothered me immensely, but this man even liked to discuss his bowel movements and the state of his digestive system. I was young and assumed this was a sign of intimacy, although it wasn't quite the intimacy I'd pictured.
After that, I drew a line with all my live-ins before we got to the stage of our relationship where it might be an issue. Being intimate with someone's bodily waste turns me off sexually. I don't even like to watch my loves pee, no matter how proud they might be of their abilities. My standard line is, "If you want me to put it in my mouth, I don't want to see anything else come out of it." I've found that works wonders!
Money Where My Mouth Is
I think "Behind Closed Doors" doesn't realize that her boyfriend sees the matter in a very different way than she does. She thinks these "dirty" functions should be performed in private, but he has a much more romantic and loving view. He loves showing off his body and feeling that she admires his body and accepts it. He's also stimulated by her being willing to share her body with him. This works especially well for him during casual times like showering, brushing teeth, etc. It's being naked together that he likes.
The Naked Truth
When I reached the age of 50, I gave up any effort to save the world, passing that chore along to the younger generation. I did not, however, give up my right to hand out advice. Tell the bathroom boor to display a shred of dignity and CLOSE THE DOOR! ALONE! Unless you're in prison or an army barracks, you're given the option to move one small step up the evolutionary ladder.
Good day, sir.
Older, Wiser Wisenheimer
You're not a freak, "Behind Closed Doors." You're a product of societal conditioning. Women, in particular, have been taught to be ashamed of their bodily functions. Men, to a certain extent, have more freedom to enjoy theirs. Fart jokes and potty humor seem almost exclusively "a guy thing." My wife is a bit more squeamish than I am, but the closed-door solution works for us. If the door's closed, respect the occupant's privacy. If the door's open, come on in.
In my house, a family of four, it doesn't really matter whether you leave the door closed, because within 10 seconds the dog opens it to come in for a visit, followed five seconds later by one of the cats. It never fails.
I don't think "Behind Closed Doors" is weird at all. It's natural to want privacy in the bathroom. Her boyfriend simply has a different comfort level than she does. Myself, I close the door. It's nice to get a few minutes of privacy whenever I can. And when doing a Number Two, my partner and I (we're gay) opt for total privacy and a closed door. Number One is a different matter, however. When one of us has to pee, he'll say to the other, "Wanna race?" I don't know how this got started, but we'll race to see who finishes first. Strange? Yes, but it does save on water, less flushing.
Off to the Races
If you just don't give a crap, write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, 101 KING ST., MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR EMAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.