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Why is poo taboo?

by Vee (follow)
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Personal (177)      Body (69)      Etiquette (55)      Culture (37)      Decency (7)      Taboo (4)      Attitude (4)     


Toilet
Image by Fiq Shafiq, sourced from Wikimedia Commons


Talking to a friend of mine who is to be married in several months, I was surprised to learn she’s fretting about having to do a number two when her husband-to-be is at home. “I don’t want that kind of intimacy”, were here exact words. I laughed and said she had better get over it because, when you’re married, there is very little you can keep from your partner. And if you’re lucky, he won’t come into the bathroom and stare at you for a couple of minutes, exit laughing and turn on the fan – like mine – it was her turn to laugh.

Why do we feel uncomfortable ‘taking a dump’ in front of others, or even in public toilet cubicles? Why is poo taboo? After all, it is a normal bodily function and we all do it.


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I think it's a mammal instinct. Taking a poo is a moment when you're vulnerable, which way back when you were doing it in the woods outside your cave meant you might get eaten by a saber toothed cat or something. Some of that instinctive sense of vulnerability has stayed with us.

Having been married ten years we definitely don't poo in front of each other (though I've had to in front of the kids plenty of times, toddlers have no concept of privacy). The only time that has happened is when I was in labour and could not have cared less. While the other person is home, sure but you don't stand outside and listen.
My hubby has no problem pooping in front of me (which I personally could do without) but I won't go in front of him. We have been together 14 years and I don't care if we have been together for 40 years, it's just not something that I think needs to be a part of our relationship. I don't mind pooping in front of my cat though :D
Haha, your cat. Wow, everybody's responses are making me feel like freak. Haha. I mean, I too could do without all that, but it's not a huge deal for us.
by Vee
I don't think anybody wants that kind of intimacy. Her husband will probably just leave her to it. It's when kids come along. Like Jennifer said, little ones have no concept of privacy at all.
I don't think you have to take a poo in front of your husband as that's an intimacy I don't reckon many would actually encourage, but if they're in the house then I think it's natural every day business. I think when I first dated my hubby, I was a lot more secretive about my toilet habits, however, a trip backpacking where we both got the 'runs' put paid to any secrets about bodily functions and we had to share our suffering (and a toilet). Now that kids are involved, it's rare I get the toilet to myself....'What are you up to Mummy'....oh the joys.
I guess it depends on the relationship and how long a couple have been together. When someone is new in a relationship (especially a romantic relationship), a bit of mystery is part of the magic of being ''in love". However, real love (or commitment) is about seeing beyond the makeup and carefully-constructed profile, to the real us...'warts and all'. Pooing...like farting, burping, throwing up and other gross bodily functions aren't exactly a turn-on, so I think it's fair to say many people don't feel safe doing them in front of a significant other unless they feel very safe in that relationship.
She can fix this problem easy.
I understand it, and for me I avoid it when out.
Tell her that she must always lock the bathroom door when in there....that will give her peace of mind.
There are very good products on the market now, one that has been on the Internet, so just Google it.It is something that some people feel bad about.
I am one of them.
Help is at hand tell her...
I'll pass that on jonaj, thanks. Unfortunately, a lock doesn't stand in the way of my husband.
by Vee
:( men...lol
by jonaj
I know, right?!
by Vee
I have been married for 43 years and I have never intruded into the toilet area when my husband is in there and vice versa. It isn't an unwritten law - I laid down that law when we were married and my husband accepted and understood the rules (he wanted the same rule for himself). Same goes for the shower/bath. We have one daughter, and I instructed her that, no matter how fascinated the was with what was happening on the other side of the toilet door, she simply was not permitted. As she grew older from toddler to child, I always reiterated that that was the rule and, that nobody was interested in holding a conversation from the other side of the door either.
The law remains in place in my home today and, now that my daughter has a child and informs me that my rules were silly, she also forgets herself occasionally and says that she wishes she could get some privacy in the toilet from her little son.
I don't think my rules are silly. Even cats get embarrassed when they are going "about their business".
I didn't and still don't find it one of the most attractive of my husband's assets.
And since it is absolutely UNnecessary to share the entire procedure with kids (once they are toilet trained and can expect their privacy respected too) or spouse, then I won't be looking to change the rules in my house any time soon.
It all starts at home (or at the time you are married or enter into a relationship) just like all good behaviour and manners.
by fran.
I don't know what it is but I will do anything to avoid going in a public place!

It is the noise and perhaps smell that would embarrass me however I know it is natural and everyone, even the Queen has to do it, though doubt if she would do it in a public toilet.
by Finy
Me too. I couldn't even go at school, meanwhile I hear the boys were doing 'Mr Whippys' on the floor in their toilets.
by Vee
Mr Whippys!! another one I havent heard -which state r u?
I came from Sydney -0didnt hear all these expressions but guess it was a different era where if you said the word F -well, actually you didnt say it, unlike now.
by Finy
I don't like going anywhere but home (obviously when travelling it is different.
I have a friend who lives literally 5 minutes away from my home. She was coming around to help with gardening (which I really, really appreciate). However, she was no sooner in the door when she excused herself and spent 5 minutes in the toilet. I couldn't believe it, couldn't believe that she didn't get the chore out of the way before she left her place. No worrying about everything being perfect when she walked out. I sulked for the whole afternoon (quietly and to myself) and in fact, I was in a bad mood even when she left. I would much rather stay at my place for the 5 minutes extra and not "inconvenience" my friend.
Do other commenters think I am unreasonable ?
by fran.
Your 'attitude' to your 'friend' is incomprehensible to me! Some people can 'crap' to order, most can't, & cannot 'control' when body decides 'it's time'! There're so many things that you haven't taken into account with this 'function', that I wonder how much you actually KNOW about the workings' of the human body!
The lady could have a chronic illness of which you're unaware! How the body's 'evacuation system' works is based on many factors'.

Why on earth would you be upset/get depressed by this situation?
It maybe a good idea to speak with your GP about how the bodily system works, & also your 'aversion' to the scenario of which you speak. It's quite concerning, actually.
by donjo
I welcome people pooping at my house so long as they clean up after themselves. We had a roommate earlier this year and were very clear that we don't clean up other people's poop marks. Other than that, I've no issues with it.
by Vee
Sadly, poo is so taboo that people would soooner be ill than go to a doctor. I had to have that test where you poop into a rigged toilet in the middle of a room, in the presence of a specialist and a radiographer, after being pumped with oatmeal and barium. We were in hysterics the whole time and the specialist said she wished everybody could deal with it so well. Oh, to make it worse, the danged thing was elevated. . ! Humour is my defence against everything so I just sat on the "throne" and got on with it. At home . . . no, no, no! Private. Very private.
by Rice
Oh my gosh, Rice Paper. I could not imagine that. Good for you for going about it the way you did. Fortunately or not, I too use laughter as a mechanism to protect against "awkwardness". Much to the amusement of my doctor, I laughed during my last pap.
by Vee
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