My friend Paula, in a recent e-mail, asked me to talk about my experience with bathrooms while out. Happy to (although it took me a few months to do so)!

First of all, I have no idea what Ohio law is regarding the use of bathrooms and could not care less. When I am dressed, I am a woman and I use the ladies room. Here are a few common sense rules I follow.

  1. Minimize the use of the bathroom when out. I know I use the restroom less frequently when I am out dressed for a number of reasons. I am aware of it so I consume less liquid. And I’ll be delicate here, when tucked, I cannot operate as easily as I would otherwise. So I am able to hold things longer than usual.
  2. Be smart about it. Get in and out. Don’t linger. We all like to touch up our lipstick or fix our hair before leaving the restroom, getting that female experience. The restroom is not the place to take risks. If it’s crowded, just wash up and leave. Get a feel for the others there. I have had other ladies engage me in conversations, I have even had a conversation with a young lady while she changed her dress in front of me. But I never assume anything. I act like I belong, but do what I need to do and leave.
  3. When I am in a public restroom and young children enter, I stay put. If I happen to be in a stall, I stay until they children leave. If I see them entering before me, I wait. If they enter while I am washing up, I quickly finish and leave. It’s all about being smart here as well. Nothing good can happen in this situation with children involved, it will only be nothing or something negative.
  4. I always carry Purell in my purse, which allows me to skip the hand washing process when needed. Depending on the situation, I apply my Purell in the stall and simply exit when finished.
  5. Focus on what you need to do, not who is in there with you. When using the mirror, I tend to my business and leave. I’m not in there trying to make friends or watch what someone else is doing. There is a big wide world out there to do that.
  6. Walk in, lock the stall, do your business and get out in an appropriate fashion.
  7. I spend quite a bit of time at the art museum. I know a ladies room in a corner of the building that is not often used due to its location. I’ve probably been alone in there at least 20 times. That is my bathroom as I know the odds of an issue are minimal. Use the more isolated facility.
  8. For goodness sake, do not take selfies in the ladies room. Do I need to explain?
  9. Act like a woman, look like a woman. Women, shall we say, make noise when they pee. They use toilet paper. You get the point. Keep your feet pointed straight and together as many women have their panties and/or hose down around their legs forcing this stance. And NEVER stand to pee.
  10. Pay attention to where you are. Read the room. There are establishments where I might be hesitant. There are other places where I am just one of the girls. For example in a volunteer situation, I have already been accepted as a woman, so I am more comfortable. At a play in an upscale theater, I’d be more careful. That is more of a general public situation, caution is advised in those situations.
  11. Using the ladies room is not a bucket list item. It is part of being a human being. Treat it accordingly.

This all really boils down to simple common sense. Act like you belong and the odds are pretty good that no one will pay you any attention. For me, it’s no different than my rules for going out in general, be smart, appropriate and confident. Just remember, everyone is in the restroom for a reason. Take care of your business and get out of there.

One editorial comment. We all want to get to that place where out attire is not an issue. Behaving in the ladies room is the first and biggest step to that day.

9 thoughts on “Bathrooms

  1. These are all wonderful guidelines for using a public bathroom, I’ll only add that if there is a single-use bathroom, I will head there. I will say that I am very good at holding it in for a while, so I don’t have to worry much when I am out dressed.


  2. All excellent points and many are my rules of thumb as well.
    I’ve never considered what I would do if clocked in a ladies room but I suspect as long as I’m just being normal and looking like a lady they won’t say a word knowing full well there is no way I’m going to the men’s room dressed as such.
    I even limited my times I went to the public ladies room on my recent cruise.
    Although I must say those were great stalls.
    Top to bottom walls and quite private still I was careful
    Thanks Kandi great advice
    Now off to get my pedicure


  3. Thanks for the post! I’ve only gone to the ladies room at church where I am accepted. I actually reached out to a few genitic women and asked them if they had a problem with me using the ladies room. They didn’t. One actually said that if someone causes a fuss to let her know. Made me feel good! Eventually, I’ll cross the threshold at other locations, but will remember your advise.


  4. I agree with your points.

    As Tina notes, I will try to find a unisex bathroom. The Nordstrom I visit most frequently has one and I use it whenever it’s not occupied.

    Restrooms with locks (like at a gas station) are also good, as you are the only person in the restroom.

    I generally just try to act like I belong and I get in and get out.

    However, I do have two stories to tell.

    The very first time I needed to use the restroom (about 6 months after I started going out on a regular basis) I was at a Nordstrom (not the one with the unisex bathroom). Walk in, no one. So far, so good. Finish my business, step out. Two women, one coming out of the stall next to me. Ok, Dee, deal with it.

    The woman five feet to my right says, “that’s a beautiful dress”. Definitely not what I was expecting (it is beautiful and my favorite dress). I said thanks, washed my hands, and walked out with a bounce to my step.

    Last Saturday night I went to dinner with a GG friend. After a nice dinner, we both went to the ladies (strength in numbers). Karla is talking to me stall to stall. I’m not answering. After we are outside, I told Karla I don’t like talking in the restroom because my voice gives me away. She is just so used to me as Dee she thinks of me as a woman.


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