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24 Surprisingly Divisive Pooping Habits

A BuzzFeed News investigation reveals that the sit vs. stand to wipe debate is tearing this nation apart.

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During one of the dreadful late-night conversations that freshmen in college have, my roommate casually mentioned something about the annoyance of taking off her shirt before pooping.

Wait, what?

"Um, you mean you DON'T take off all your clothes to poop? Isn't that gross?" She was completely shocked that other people didn't do this. To her, getting fully nude to poop was the normal way, and it had never occurred to her that people actually pooped with their shirts on.

Our bathroom habits, especially about going No. 2, are formed around ages 3–5, and after that we rarely actually see another human actually pooping. So we have no idea if these little habits we've been doing since preschool are "normal" or not.

To find out what's really going on the bathroom, BuzzFeed created a poll — Are Your Bathroom Habits Weird? — that ran over the weekend. Over 300,000 readers voted on their habits for 24 questions ranging from crumple or fold to texting while pooping.

As is typical of any article on the internet, not everyone finished it: 386K readers voted on the first question, but only 306K stuck around to vote on the second to last. Certain questions didn't apply to everyone (i.e., tampons policy or urinal etiquette), so those had about half as many replies. Still, this is a HUGE amount of responses. This may be the largest survey in existence of pooping and peeing habits out there. This is basically the Margaret Mead of poop.

Here are the results to the Great BuzzFeed Bathroom Investigation.

2.

I was surprised by this; I expected "only rarely" to be the winner. This question was inspired by an unnamed female BuzzFeed editor who insisted that everyone pees in the shower all the time, and it was weird not to. Turns out, she's right.

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3.

This makes sense, as about 10% of the general population is left-handed. And then there are people like me, who genuinely had trouble remembering which hand they used and say at their desk pantomiming it both ways to see which felt natural, but still couldn't actually figure it out.

4.

This is the most evenly split question — a dead heat. A bit of explanation to non-tampon using humans: It seems the most common reasons people always change is that the act of pooping often pushes out the tampon anyway, or sanitary issues with the string.

Jezebel posted this question to its readers, and got explanations from readers in each camp. "I always tuck the string and only change when it's needed - to be honest, it's impossible for me to get the tampon out without it being ready. Pulling out a dry tampon = torture," says one reader. Or, "Yes, but mostly because my muscles down there are apparently so strong I basically shoot the tampon out while pooping. I'm not really given much choice. After-the-fact TMI Alert" from an always-changer.

6.

Discussing these results with male colleagues made me realize that this question was flawed in its construction. It was unclear how far down "part of the way" meant. Was that just doing the fly and pulling down the just the front opening of the waist, or pulling the pants down below the buttocks?

I meant "pull them down part of the way" to mean dropping trou to the knees or lower, but I see now that might not have been clear. I am not satisfied by the precision of these results. I failed you all and I'm sorry.

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8.

I'm really sorry, Mom and Dad, but you two are the only people who call me for long enough that I have to go while we're talking. I wait till I'm off to flush, and apparently I'm not alone with my sneaky method.

If you combine the first two "yes" versions, that's 61% of people admit to talking on the phone [NOTE: you may notice that these three numbers add up to 101%, that's due to a rounding quirk in our polling widget.]

9.

Now, this doesn't specifiy if people are also taking their pants off all the way for a fully clothes-free poop, but I have a feeling most of these 9% are. Yes, this means that almost 1 out of 10 people are nude poopers.

10.

This debate seemed to rage quite fiercely, with people on each side being unable to even conceive of how the other side was possibly getting a clean hole. While sitting is definitely the majority, the standers are not in as small a minority as I might have guessed.

Here's a great example of how doody habits are formed early on and people are often unaware of how others do it.

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12.

I was a former sufferer of CPABH. I made my first public bathroom poop during spring break of my sophomore year of college. It was in the bathroom of one of those giant cigarette discount warehouses in North Carolina off the side of 95, and I'll never forget it. Now I still tend to mostly go at home, but in a pinch I can pinch a loaf in a public restroom.

I feel I should mention that the acronym CPABH I took from an interview with the actress who was, like, the third lead on V.I.P., a terrible '90s show where Pamela Anderson was part of hot-babes detective agency. The actress said that she and Pam both joked about having CPABH and made up the acronym for it. I read this once in like 1997 and it's always stuck with me.

13.

GUYS. Look, I can understand the 39% who sometimes skip it at home if it was just pee and you didn't like...touch anything, but you 7% of "meh"-ers better clean up your act before flu season starts.

14.

As a wet-first soaper, I've watched people dry-soap and been like "huh." WELL WELL WELL it looks like you dry soap freaks are not alone.

Not sure if this actually affects how effective the soap is against germs, but at least you're washing them.

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15.

It was brought to my attention later that "zero hands" should've been an answer. I can't lie, as a non-penis-haver, I really don't know how this works. As a toilet owner who shares it with a man, I can say that I endorse whatever it takes to make as little splatter as possible.

16.

This was a shock to me: I thought it was much more common to use some form of anti-stink technology. Perhaps I made a mistake by not including air freshener spray as an option. All I know is that it's only 4% likely that Jen from Appleton is selling candles for anti-poop stink.

17.

This question came as a suggestion from a male colleague, and it appears to be a bit of a nail biter. Several men told me that they only do this if there's something cool to aim at, like a urinal cake or other item. The question doesn't clarify if it happens ALL the time or just SOMETIMES. Again, I failed you all with a bad question.

18.

I have a lot of strong feelings about why you should just sit right on the seat. First of all, there's no DISEASE you can get on the back of your thighs from touching a toilet seat. It's not like you're putting your vagina right on there, it's literally just leg. No one has ever actually "caught" anything from a toilet.

The downside is that sometimes there's pee splatter on the seat. But you know why? BECAUSE THE PERSON BEFORE YOU WAS SQUATTING.

Ladies, if we all agree to just sit, there won't be any more splatter and it'll all work out.

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19.

There are some very strong feelings around this, though I don't particularly care. I did see some people online mentioning that their cat is more likely to destroy the roll if the paper comes from the top, however.

22.

I know this sounds like six of one, a half-dozen of another, but I think there's a real difference. "Just a minute" is more pleading and appeasing. "Someone's in here!" is more assertive. You're taking your sweet time, you answer to no one. I always think it's sort of hard to decide what to say.

23.

The folks at Charmin would be probably happy to hear of their market penetration (or maybe this is less than they expect? I don't know!). But the popularity of wet wipes is bad news for the sewage systems of America, according to a New York Magazine article from last year.

24.

The majority of BuzzFeed's readers are American, which probably explains the anti-bidet sentiment. FWIW, our new Australian-born business editor told me last week that he believes that in 10 years people will view using toilet paper only with the same degree of disgust as we view cigarette smoking indoors now.