"Wow. How do you do that?" Jude shouted as I stood in my skirt, peeing in some High Park bushes.
"It's easy," I said. "I'll teach you."
Over the next few weeks we found many learning opportunities: some neighbourhood hedges after too much café au lait, on the University of Toronto grounds after a late night at the bar and behind a mall when we were too stupid to use the bathrooms before it closed.
We even cast our sprays off the shores of Lake Ontario after an island picnic. Jude is now a model stand-up pee-er. You can be, too.
Let's face it, men are blessed with the perfect equipment. Women have a different experience. Even squatting over a hole we manage to get our socks wet. It's like we need a manual to go with our equipment. But don't worry - whether you're a woman with soggy socks or the friend who hangs those socks on the line, these eight foolproof guidelines can help even the most wayward spritzer keep her ankles dry.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS When you're out and about this summer, wear clothes that facilitate easy peeing. Wide-leg or stretchy shorts are great if you plan to stand and pee. A skirt is even better. Thong underwear is specially designed for outdoor relief.
STAND IN PEE POSE Stand at ease, with your feet one and a half feet apart. Pull one leg of your shorts up and yank it, along with your underwear crotch, toward the opposite thigh. With a flat hand, press this bundle of fabric firmly against that thigh. Congratulations, you're in Pee Pose.
BREATHE A calm mind means a steady stream. The most centred people follow a simple breathing rhythm. Try it and you'll feel relaxed immediately. Breathe in while counting to four. Hold the breath in as you count to seven. Slowly release your breath while you count to eight. This breathing pattern facilitates a steady, controlled stream. No more messy splatter from hurrying.
SET YOUR TARGET AND GO FOR IT Do you envy men as they write their name in the sand? Now you can, too. Just stand in Pee Pose and breathe. Grab the upper part of your pelvic mound with one hand and pull up. This raises your pee hole. Now move your hips in the direction you'd like to spray and treat your pelvic mound like it's a special hose attachment. Release. Try practising in the shower or outdoors and you'll be signing your name in no time.
PRACTISE CREATIVE VISUALIZATION Whatever the mind of woman can conceive, believe me, she will achieve. Try this visualization before you go on your next outdoor adventures. Imagine your favourite place in nature. See the trees, hear the birds, smell the fresh air. Breathe. Imagine yourself in Pee Pose as you expertly write your name in the sand. Enjoy the warm sun on your dry ankles. Smile with a sense of accomplishment.
KEEP YOUR EXPECTATIONS REALISTIC Expect a wide margin of error as you hone the craft. Earth and short grass help direct pee away from you. Conversely, large rhubarb leaves or skunk lettuce will send pee in every direction. Getting real means accepting that peeing on cement or rocks guarantees triple-force splashback, and even a seasoned expert may get some in her eye.
CULTIVATE THE ART OF DISTRACTION Sometimes you'll find a secluded place to pee, say, in a quiet parking lot behind a truck or some park bushes, and suddenly people will appear out of nowhere. In such instances, remain calm and keep your head up. Then, look up and point. Attention will be directed toward the sky and away from your thigh. If you want to test this distraction technique, just try it on a busy street.
STAY CONFIDENT You can do it. Women have peed successfully outdoors throughout time, in either split britches (pioneer undergarments with a large functional opening) or nothing at all. Even today, millions of women around the world have learned to pee outdoors while maintaining silky dry ankles. You can, too! Once you master this skill, it's with you for life.