Bodily dysfunction

At what point does "Cute! We're comfortable!" cross the line?

I would prefer that the men I date think of me as a nice-smelling robot—incapable of peeing, farting, burping, menstruating, sweating or, yeah, number two. And honestly, I’d be quite content to think the same of them.

It’s not that I’m against bodily functions, per se. They have their purposes—toxin excretion, gas discharge, uterine housecleaning—they just don’t have a place in the judgmental world of dating.

But eventually, there comes a time in a relationship when the reality of being an animal becomes difficult to avoid—particularly since most NYC apartments lack extra bathrooms and soundproof walls.

“I don’t know if there’s a time frame at which point something becomes acceptable,” says Nick, 24, a banker. “Like, pooping in front of your boyfriend doesn’t become acceptable after six months every time. It depends upon the girl. Mostly it grosses me out.” As it should. If a guy pooped in front of me, I would dump him.

And sometimes, just an awareness that it might be happening someplace nearby is enough to ruin the mood...forever. “For guys,” says Ned, 41, a magazine writer, “nothing kills it faster than seeing, hearing or even imagining anything involving women and excrement.”

“I will go to my grave not pooping,” Maureen, 28, an editor, explains. “Pee is totally different—I can talk to a guy while peeing. My threshold is shit.”

A college boyfriend of mine regularly peed in front of me, but scuttled back to his dormitory to do anything more, ah, serious. Another boyfriend used to go down to the lobby of any hotel we were staying at to “get the paper”—which was, of course, code for “I have to take a giant…”I like speaking in code.

I’m also a big fan of the camouflage-pee-sounds-with-running-water trick, a widespread coping mechanism during the first few months of dating. But some guys find peeing…hot? “There’s a big difference between girl-peeing and guy-peeing,” says Ned. “Girls can actually make it seem sexy. They’re seated, it’s quiet, and there’s the whole dangling-panties thing. Guys pee like donkeys.”

“Depending on how much I like him, it’s a few weeks until I turn the water off,” says Madeline, 25, a designer. “Poop is tougher. My mom has actually not pooped for weeks while on vacation—with her husbands.”

“Bottom line,” she says, “when I get married, my dream is to have my own toilet.”

Dare to dream, Madeline. Dare to dream.

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