Sitzpinkler: Do German Men Sit Down to Pee?

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In this article, we will reveal the secret of how German men pee. It is a strange but interesting topic. This article will also talk about the advantages for men to sit down to pee.

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Don’t all men stand up to pee in the bathroom?

As a woman, this is a topic that I have never really thought about before. Only until recently, I heard about this interesting German culture that nobody is really talking about. I found it so interesting that I have to write a blog post about it.

It is about how men pee in Germany. I mean, if they sit down or stand up to pee in the bathroom. In the past, I always supposed that men stood up to pee. I mean, how could I know? I am normally not in the bathroom when a man pees.

The fight about the toilet lid

I did hear before that some German men sit down to pee when they are at home. I have always thought that it was because of the debate about the toilet lid. So, some men open the toilet lid and pee standing up. And they are too lazy to put the lid back down afterward. This irritates other women in the house as they always have to put the lid back down when they use the toilet.

I thought that was it. Sitting down to pee was all about the lid. Isn’t it?

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Sitting down to pee keeps the bathroom clean

Oh well, it is probably one of the reasons why German men sit down to pee. But there is another (even more) important reason: Sitting down to pee keeps the bathroom clean!

As a woman, I never knew that standing up to pee will make a mess in the bathroom. Maybe I am lucky as I never had a mess to deal with. Recently, I just learned something new. When a man pees standing up, the pee can be splashing everywhere. Around the toilet, on the wall or on the floor. 

Yuck! Now that sounds disguising to me. Even though one may not see it, the small pee droplets are splashing everywhere when a man pees standing up. And they accumulate. At some point in time (if they don’t get cleaned up), the pee stains will be seen everywhere around the toilet, and may even become smelly.

Read also: Why are German people naked in the sauna?

In some bathrooms in Germany, men are required to pee sitting down

To keep the bathroom clean and thus be nice to the person who needs to clean it, you will find a sign in many German bathrooms, requiring you to sit down to pee. You can find some funny signs here.

This is especially common at home or in a living community like a shared flat, because someone who lives there will need to clean up the mess afterward. At home, it is most likely the mother who requires all the men to sit down to pee in the bathroom. In a shared flat, the cleaning task is usually shared among those who live there. Especially when women are living in the flat as well, there is usually a rule that everyone should sit down to pee in the bathroom.

And actually, many German men are raised by their mothers to sit down to pee at home. Therefore, sometimes it goes without saying that you should sit down to pee at other people’s homes. So, as a courtesy, remember to sit down to pee next time when you visit your German friends. 

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A “toilet ghost” that reminds you to sit down to pee

To remind those who still stand up to pee, you may find an interesting device in Germany called “WC-Geist”. Literally, it means “toilet ghost”. It is a device attached to the toilet seat where an alarm will go off if the toilet lid is lifted. For example, this toilet ghost imitates the voice of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, asking you to sit down to pee.

A book about how German men pee…

If that is not crazy enough, do you know that there is even a book that talks about how German men pee? The name of the book is German Men Sit Down to Pee and Other Insights into German Culture. This is a great book that explains many dark secrets of German culture. It is funny and informative, and you will learn a lot of things that people normally don’t talk about.

I don’t understand why it is so difficult for men to sit down to pee

To me, the hygiene part sounds like a perfect reason for men to sit down to pee. Then, why do some men find it so difficult to do so? 

Well, I heard that it has something to do with the fact that women sit down to pee. Therefore, sitting down to pee can be considered unmanly or weak for a man.

Then, I don’t understand: If you are in a bathroom and lock the door, who knows if you stand up or sit down to pee? Who can think that you are unmanly if they don’t know about it? This leads me to think that it is mostly psychological, meaning that some men just can’t because for them, sitting down to pee goes against the grain.

Read also: Dating in Germany – Dating a German Guy

There is a German word for men who sit down to pee

I always believe that there is a German word for everything. The German word “Stehpinkler” refers to a man who stands up to pee. On the other hand, “Sitzpinkler” is a negative word that describes men who sit down to pee. It somehow implies that the man is not manly. 

To me, it is a bit confusing. On one hand, many bathrooms have signs that require men to sit down to pee. On the other hand, a man who sits down to pee is called “Sitzpinkler” which means that he is not manly. Uh?

A lawsuit: Standing up vs. sitting down to pee

Not only are there German words for how you pee, but there was also a lawsuit about how men should pee!

In 2015, there was a lawsuit in Düsseldorf, Germany. A landlord claimed that his marble floor in the bathroom was damaged by piss stains as his tenant urinated while standing up. He demanded his tenant to pay for the damage.

The result? The judge ruled in favor of the tenant’s right to pee while standing up! The tenant did not have to pay for the damages resulting from uric acid splashing onto the bathroom’s floor. The rationale behind was that standing up to pee was still a common practice and thus men could not be held responsible for the damage.

In short, German men have the legal right to pee standing up!

Read also: Legal Insurance Germany – Expat Guide (+ 3 Best Offers)

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Why should men sit down to pee?

Ok, now we have learned about the small secret of German men in the bathroom. What about you? Are you going to follow the German culture and sit down to pee too? 

In case you are not convinced, here are some more reasons why men should sit down to pee:

Sitting down to pee keeps the bathrooms clean

If you live in Germany, you have probably seen the traditional German toilet which is called the “shelf shitter”. There is a “shelf” in the toilet where your poop will stay on. I heard that this toilet design allows you to examine your poop for health reasons before flushing it away.

Now, let’s imagine you stand and pee into this toilet, on this flat shelf surface. Your pee will shoot everywhere in the bathroom for sure.

Personally, I have seen this kind of toilet many times in Germany, especially in old buildings. However, I think modern toilets do not contain this shelf anymore. 

Even so, men should sit down to pee as there are always some small pee droplets splashing outside the toilet. They can be on the toilet lid, or even on the wall or on the floor. So, either sit down to pee or clean up the mess afterward. Your choice.

Sitting down to pee may have some health benefits

According to a study, sitting down to pee is a better option for men with prostate problems such as lower urinary tract symptoms. These men can pee faster, at a greater pressure, and have less urine left behind in their bladders when sitting down to pee. 

When men sit, their pelvic and hip muscles are relaxed. And this helps them to pee easier. So, sitting down to pee is good for men with prostate problems or for those who cannot stand up for a long time. For some men, sitting down is the only option that they can feel like getting all their pee out.

When men age, they have a higher risk to have prostate problems. That is why sitting down to pee is especially beneficial for older men. Among healthy men though, there is no health difference if they stand or sit down to pee.

However, men are sometimes too embarrassed to pee as they are afraid that they may take a poop or fart, especially while standing up in a public toilet. So, they may try to hold it back and this action activates their pelvic and hip muscles, which makes it more difficult to empty their bladders fully.

Sitting down to pee gives you a break

Life is already stressful enough. Sitting down to pee allows men to relax. It is a break during a busy day. You can even have a quick scroll through Facebook and Instagram.

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Sitting down to pee is quieter

It is making less noise when men sit down to pee. This is especially beneficial in the middle of the night as it is less disturbing for others.

Sitting down to pee allows men to switch to their big business easily

It is more convenient for men to sit down to pee because they do not need to change their position again if they change their minds and decide to take a poop.

Read also: 20 Ideas to Make Money from Home – Anyone Can Do

Men have the advantage to stand up to pee

Don’t get me wrong. I think it is a great gift for men that they can choose to stand up to pee. I am always jealous of it. And it is a great advantage to pee standing up if there is a tree, a urinal, or a disgusting public toilet.

For private bathrooms, sitting down to pee is clean, considerate, and relaxing. It is a courtesy for the others and they will thank you for that. There is no need to pick up and put down the toilet seats anymore, which eliminates toilet battles in households. 

Pin it for later:

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What is your experience with German toilets? Do you have household debates about standing up or sitting down to pee? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

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Originally from Hong Kong, Sindy spent 13 years in Germany before moving to the US. Her blog is your ultimate resource for navigating Germany, offering pro tips on bureaucracy, job hunting, education, culture, family life, and more.

With a "been there, done that" attitude, Sindy, a certified public accountant, draws on her extensive finance and accounting background to provide professional insights with a friendly touch.

Having navigated German life with her German husband and raising two kids there, Sindy brings a personal touch to her advice. Let this blog help fellow expats like you navigate the ins and outs of life in Germany!

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21 Replies to “Sitzpinkler: Do German Men Sit Down to Pee?”

  1. Haha… exactly what’s happening in our household. My hubby doesn’t allow my son to pee standing in the house…. Now after reading your article, I kind of understand why now…

  2. Another long diatribe telling men how to behave by insisting that they conform their bathroom habits to women’s desire for full equality even in the toilet.

  3. My jap bf pees sitting down too. It’s more of keeping the toilet clean. He appreciates it more because he cleans the toilet too. In Asia, such tasks are done by the women. Conclusion, Asian men shud pick up a fair share of the cleaning.

  4. This is absolutely ridicolous. So I can pee in an urinal standing up, the same marble thing on the wall, but not the toilet? I have to take my whole pants down just to pee? Don’t you realise how much slower it makes the whole process?
    I refuse to believe what only 2% of men try to reduce the splashes. This German rule is to help keep public toilets clean, and apart from regular cleaning, – nothing will help with that. Jesus, most men still think toilet brush in the cabin is for the toilet cleaner, not the man. Why don’t they start with that?

          1. Wie vorhin schon erwähnt ist es der Mehrheit (inklusive Frauen) hier egal, ob wir uns setzen oder im Stehen pinkeln.
            Das weiß ich von Unterhaltungen mit Personen aus verschiedenen Bundesländern.

            As mentioned before; the majority around here (including women) doesn’t really care if we sit or stand while doing number 1.
            Just something I know from conversations with people from different parts of Germany.
            No, I did not ask them directly.
            Someone (a not sober person) started asking about peeing with NPT in the morning – and that’s how we got there.

  5. As a German who has lived his entire life in Germany, I got to say that I have never heard any of this before. No bathroom I ever went to had signs saying that you had to sit down to pee, nor did I ever hear any voice when lifting up a toilet seat. I do know some people who sit down to pee in their own homes, even though they are definitely not the majority and they would never ever do that in a public bathroom. I would love to know in what city you experienced all of this, since there’s none of it here in munic as far as I know.

    1. That is interesting to know! I used to live in Berlin and now in the Munich area. From my experience, many men do sit down to pee at home and when they visit their friends’ homes. I guess, in the end, it depends on the person. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Those splashes are just the large drops. There are many more fine droplets that become airborne, so you had best hold your breath if you are a Stehpinkler. Or wear an N95 mask.

  7. The true consequences of pee splashing couldn’t have been better depicted than in season 7 episode 6 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” titled ‘The Bare Midriff’.

  8. I’m always surprised how people can be so naively categorical and stereotype an entire nation. This is bs. No, German man don’t all sit down, you won’t find any more agreement on this topic amongst German man than in any other culture. Same as not all Americans eat burger 3 times per day and not all Brits carry their umbrella and teacup around at all times. Your job as a blogger should be to educate and not to promote fallacious teaching drawn from your own subjective and narrow perspective.

    1. Neo,

      Thanks for your comment.
      For sure everyone is individual and different even when they are from the same country.
      No two people are the same.
      You may have a different perspective, depending on who you know and talk with.

      Thanks and best regards,

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