Saturday, February 23, 2013

Is it Okay to Pee in the Sea?

A lively debate was sparked in our staffroom at lunch the other day about whether it was okay to pee in the sea (or other places like the shower or bath tub).  While we didn't create a frequency table or bar graph, my overall take of the situation was:

  • Peeing in the ocean is okay by most of us; pooping in the ocean is not.
  • Peeing in the shower is frowned upon, but not taboo.
  • Peeing in the tub is gross unless you're two years old and you get hosed down afterward with bleach and scalding water.
  • Dictators seem to like to drink their own pee.

I digress; back to the topic of peeing in the ocean: we are a family with young children who live in Asia within close proximity to world-class beaches that are within our teachers' salary budgets.  The beach vacation is usually our go-to holiday of choice: no Disney crowds, no ticks in the forests, no road trips with kids whining, "Are we there yet?"  We are content with a humble little hut on the sea full of ants and the occasional cockroach, mostly fresh seafood with the only occasional bout of food poisoning, slow service, sun-screened, teary eyes, permanently tangled hair from the lack of hot water and the conditioner we forgot at home, and a never-ending procession of cuts from coral and shells.

When my kids are frolicking in the sea and say, "Mommy, I need to go to the bathroom," my first question is always, "Number one or number two?"

If the answer is "number one," there is no way I am going to heave my lobster-tinged body out of its torporous state from under the sun umbrella to accompany my children across scalding sand, dangerously pebbled walkways and then onto a slippery bathroom floor where they could slip and fall and crack their cute little heads open.  Furthermore, they will no-doubt be walking sans shoes attracting lord-knows-what kind of bacteria that will weasel their ways into the soles of their feet giving them parasites for years to come, only to then slip and slide on a nasty toilet seat and still end up with a wet sticky bum that will go straight back into the sea.

After various misadventures in filthy facilities by the seaside, my response has become, "Why are you telling me?  You know what to do!"

My husband, of course, vigorously disagrees with my peeing-in-the-ocean philosophy, and will trudge a half mile up the beach to accompany one of my daughters to a porta-potty or some other hell-on-earth lavatory only to return to have the other gal let him know that she too is "busting."

Tom-foolery is what I call this indulgence of his.  He has always spoiled our daughters more than me, the militaristic mama.   In his defense, he does like to exercise and he's not one for lying in the sun so maybe it's just his way of taking a break from the mundane long days on the ocean that are my version of paradise and his version of intense, cancer-causing boredom.  Who knows...

All I know is give me my book (okay, my Kindle in its waterproof prophylactic cover), my umbrella and my umbrella cocktail, and I will stay planted on the beach chair come hell or high water.  (Actually, high water will prompt my evacuation.)

According to my iffy Internet research, peeing in the ocean is fine because it's already so polluted that what's a little bit more bodily fluid going to do?  There are some Internet gurus, however, who would argue with the safety of peeing in the ocean, citing that sharks are attracted by more than just the bodily fluid of blood.  This "fact" actually gives cause for further investigation, though I'm pretty sure I don't believe it.

Since I am a believer in the sea-pee, especially for children, I found a site with tips on how to urinate without attracting attention to yourself.  I will pass them on to you and give credit where credit is due:

  • Urine is sterile, but be considerate of those in your presence, and navigate away from them. No one wants to swim in your pee.
  • Make it quick and non-chalant. That way, no one will guess or even consider that you could be urinating.
  • Do not remove swim-trunks, shorts or bikini-bottoms, as that is indecent exposure. You can urinate with them on because the ocean water will naturally wash away any leftover urine.
  • This is best, and most quickly done on a very full bladder.
  • Standing in water that is lower than crotch deep could reveal your actions, and offend bystanders.
  • This option can be utilized by men, women and children of all ages.
As for peeing in a pool, I have no comment as of yet.  I'll have to do my research.  (Chlorine is a pretty good disinfectant, though, isn't it?)


  1. Hi Leah
    Read this while at the beach. Too funny! A quick poll of the 4 of us in the family revealed everyone had peed in the sea that morning.
    Happy days.

  2. I love it! Honestly, those who say they don't are just lying!
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  3. But should you really pee in the ocean? Find out why yes and why no: