Urinal etiquette may sound like an oxymoron, but you would be surprised that there is a very strict, unwritten code of what to do. That is the point of the headline above. The wrong perception in the bathroom is a tough one to be labeled with.
So, this whole page will help us men use the urinal the right way without making the wrong impression.
The single biggest aspect of using the urinal with proper manners has to do with where you stand when using the urinal. Let's say that there is a wall of five urinals. Where do you stand if one of them is occupied? Where do you go if all of them are open?
Let's start with the simple rules and then move to the less obvious. The simple rule is that as often as possible, the optimal situation is to have a buffer of an empty stall between you and another person using the urinals. This is primarily just to have a space of personal comfort and not giving off that feeling of invading someone else's personal space.
If the urinals are completely empty when you get there, then the optimal spot is either of the end urinals. This is the best way to send a message that says you want your privacy and you are leaving plenty of room for the person that comes in after you to pick a stall with plenty of space.
Those two rules are things that people instinctively know and follow. Okay, most people follow those rules of urinal etiquette. From there, it gets a little more difficult.
Let's say you have six urinals and stalls 2, 3, and 6 are occupied. Where do you go? The best place to relieve yourself would be stall 1 or 4. Stall 1 would give you privacy on one side. Stall four would also be acceptable because if you were to go to stall five, it would appear that you are pairing off with the person in stall six. Peeing partners is a scary thought and concept! It is one to be avoided at all costs.
What about if you have people in stalls 1, 2, 5, and 6? Well, the best thing to do is to wait. Yep, comb your hair or simply just wait for another stall to open. This is not the time or place to invade personal space. If you REALLY, REALLY have to go, then use one of the toilet stalls.
There are some other pieces of information that are important for your urinal manners.
This is not the time and place to carry on a conversation with the person next to you. You will notice that bathrooms are quite silent (well, when it comes to conversation). Guys just want to take care of business in the bathroom. Leave the conversation outside.
If for some odd reason you have a person in the urinal stall next to you, do not look over at them. Even though you may have good intentions, the perception is that you are trying to check out their junk. This is a quick way to have people avoid you like the plague.
I also highly discourage any singing or whistling. I have experience people doing that at the urinal and it was highly awkward and disturbing to everyone else in the bathroom.
These tips should help your urinal etiquette be respected by others. Although some of these rules may seem silly (especially to women), guys know and appreciate them!