I absolutely love my female friends. They are fierce and unashamedly fearful. They are big and small. They overflow with curves and skin and sex and sweetness. They are each in their own right, woman warriors. I absolutely love my female friends.

I learned recently, after hearing the same word being repeated often, the meaning of the (I assume) homemade word, Poo-Shy. Ever since the beginning of time I have enjoyed my toilet-time. Anyone who knows me well will be able to tell you way too many stories of my toilet-time and how much it is a part of being my friend.

I was brought up in a home that had no bathroom door. Ok fine, it had a door we just never used it. Maybe that’s disgusting, maybe it’s inappropriate, but it is now a part of my threading, my chemical make-up and bone structure. The door is always open. It is how you know I love you and feel safe in your space.

I once had gastric flu. The really bad kind where your body feels like a hosepipe that sprays from both ends. I was on grade 9 camp. It was cold and dark outside and I forced a friend of mine to come with me to the bathroom. We laugh at the story now but at the time I was almost in tears and her eyes were definitely watering, not from sadness but from the effort of trying to stay alive in my toilet cubicle. We are still best friends to this day. There is a bond that can not be broken between us.

When I hear stories about women who have gone on dinner dates and then stayed the night with their man/woman or lover and have held in their urge to poo, I feel physically sick. My body can feel their discomfort as they tell me the story. “We ate and drank and then had a sleep over. I was so full and really needed to go, but didn’t.” One of my friends went on a 4 day camping trip and held it in for the full duration of the romantic experience. How on earth do women do this and why?

I am blessed or maybe cursed with a fast metabolism and a gut that bloats whenever I eat anything that I love. No cake, no fresh bread, no koeksisters, no pies, no custard slices, no pasta. I am cursed. Gluten kills me. Sometimes I worry after a delicious cheat-meal that shit might happen a-top my lover. Literal shit. That is how well my tummy works. So how do my friends do it?

Recently I had 3 weeks away with 2 wonderful women. We got to learn each others patterns well – really well. I noticed that their poo-time was as long as my wee-time and that they often thought that I had fallen asleep in the bathroom when I went in for my poo-time. They were like superheros, they had superhuman poo speed.

At dinner one night I asked how they do it. They both said that they hated being in the bathroom and would do absolutely anything to make sure that they were in and out and flushed as soon as possible. It was with them that I learned methods like . . . flushing the first piece first because this is the smelliest one. Methods like . . . flushing before you wipe. Methods like . . . going even if you don’t feel you need to go.

Wow. I had no idea that pooing was such a mission for some women. Maybe I should create a toilet workshop for women. I believe whole heartedly that both the going-in and the coming-out of food should be equally enjoyed. Goodness.

So now you have heard it all. Poo-shy: the act of being  too shy to poo with or near others and the possible stress that it causes. I have not Googled the word. I have concluded its meaning purely from hearing it being used and asking what each user means as they use it.

For those of you who I have not yet met and plan to become my friend, let me reassure you and tell you that  as I have aged I now warn my friends before they walk into the open bathroom that I am in. I now at least let them know what is happening. With age I have come to understand that not everyone is as happy to poo as I am. But still, my door is always open.


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