Anna Piccoli

The toilet is the origin of our sexuality

A Piss Manifest by Mischa Badasyan

A typology of public toilet visitors? It exists. It is the work of the Berlin-based artist Mischa Badasyan. For two years he observed and classified users of public toilets in different countries. The result is his Piss Manifest, listing 38 categories of male pee-goers.

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Grimmzentrum, Humboldt Universitaet Berlin by Johann Stemmler - A picture of a German public toilet. The toilet can be regarded as a space to fulfill a physical need, but it can also be considered as a sexually connoted place.

Some are alone, some others go with a friend or two. Some prefer to mind their own business, some others look around and comment. Some do it as quickly as they can, some others try to enjoy the relieving process. Some shame themselves, some others are more confident and do not see anything embarrassing in executing the action. Some are more hygienic than others. Some are more concentrated than others. Some are less serious than others. Some are less noisy than others. And yet, they all do the same: urinate in public toilets.

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Piss Manifesto - The fighter: this is the 14th category of Mischa Badasyan's Piss Manifesto (2015). It describes the practice of urinating while standing with the legs with open.

Between 2013 and 2015 Mischa Badasyan took note of all small behavioural differences as well as of more evident ones. The final product of his observations is a manifesto that serves to classify 38 types of gents' visitors. Actually, the categories are not mutually excluding and it is easy to imagine that some of them do indeed often occur at the same time or in sequence, embodied by the same person. As a man, it is probable that you will recognise yourself in one or more of the types presented in Badasyan's short book. As a woman, you still have to wait for an equivalent manifesto. Or you can dare to produce one on your own.

 

It is worth noticing that Badasyan regards the toilet as more than just a place to take a leak. In the artist's view, the toilet and the bathroom are the origin of our sexuality since they are central for the denudation of the body. He describes the toilet as “the beginning of our desires and our shame”, “a safe place where we learn for the first time that we also give”. If you look at the world from this perspective, even reading through pissing behaviours can tell you more than you thought about people (and about yourself).

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Pisse debout by Ivo Hofsté - One of the images for Mischa Badasyan's manifesto, showing the initial moments of male urination, which could also be the beginning of the sexual act.