Toilet seats

A brief rant – out of character, I think/hope….

And first, a preamble: I close the toilet seat in my house after each use. The toilets in my house uniformly are closed – seat and cover down – when not in use. I was raised to close the toilet cover after each use, and that’s just how it is chez moi. Not because I ever insisted on it – it’s just how it is.

But I confess, I’ve never understood those women who speak authoritatively about the “correct-ness” of men’s putting the toilet seat down after each use. The argument they offer – “It’s just so awful to sit on the rim in the middle of the night and feel the chill porcelain as an unwelcome surprise” – has just always struck me as remarkably lazy. Whence the right to sit without checking? No man would ever do that or, if he did, wouldn’t think to blame anyone other than himself. Given that approximately 50% of the population pees standing up, with the seat up, it seems only reasonable that everyone ought to have the instinct to check to see if the toilet is configured as you’d like it to be prior to using it. Just sayin’.


  1. I have never really made an issue with men leaving the seat up at my house. The bf leaves it up constantly and I’ve never complained about it, or even asked him to put it down. however I do feel that it is common courtesy that men put the seat down. There are a couple reasons I figure it is a courtesy:
    1) because I don’t think it’s polite to oblige women to handle the toilet seat. And I’m not just talking about myself, I’m talking mostly about guests who happen to stop by. When I go to other people’s houses I don’t particularly want to have to touch their toilet seats. It’s got to do with being a “gentleman” and it’s probably outdated but hey, I can still dream right?
    2) Men are the only ones who need it up. Men also use it down. So when they pee, I feel like they should put it back down to the position that everyone uses it in. It’s just mathematically logical to me.

    And yes, I always check first.

    1. It’s true that men are the only ones who need it up. But “the position that everyone uses it in” fails to engage with the fact that men DON’T use it in that position far more often than they do. And, your argument could equally well be restated: Women are the only ones who never need it up. So when they pee, I feel like they should check to see that it’s in the position they need it in. It’s just mathematically logical.

  2. I agree with cande. I don’t want to have to touch the seat necessarily. At work I have occasion to use the men’s room. It is the same set-up other than the sign on the door. If the seat is up, I grab it with a paper towel to lower it. I also agree that it is a gentlemanly thing to lower it in a unisex bathroom.

    1. I suppose the question is the definition of “necessarily.” It’s a little baffling to a man to imagine that the seat is in some way “optional” when it comes to touching. And, this is why we wash our hands, no? But I do understand your squeamishness. I’m just not sure I think it deserves the status of an entitlement.

  3. I guess I’m not that fussy; I figure often the door handle I just opened, or the sink faucet I’ll touch next are just as filthy as the toilet seat. This is what makes me scour my hands afterwards. You can always lower it with a foot if you’re that nervous (I went through a germaphobe stage during chemo). I always look, but only because I once made the mistake of going all over the closed lid in a sleepy overnight trip to the bathroom.

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