Women, it seems, go into a stall to piss. Sometimes I go into a stall too, when I piss; usually when there is someone standing next to me. Being piss shy is about inhabiting a zen koan:
try not to think
about pissing
so that
you may piss.

Sometimes I fake it, and pretend I have done my business, and flush the urinal. Of late, I have been more bold about just zipping up and moving away to find a toilet stall. Who the fuck cares what people think?
In my own head, there's all this undercurrent of thought: This is not foolish; this is not about who's alpha urinator. It's just some stupid little valve that won't open!
But as everyone knows, there's no reasoning with a dick.
Strange thing is, I remember the exact day I became piss shy. It was in China, in 1988, in a stupid little roofless piss-shelter under a bridge by a river in Chendu. And this older man, in his fifties, who was standing next to me, finished up and smiled at me with a knowing smile and said, "I'll be gone in a sec," and it was like some stupid minidrama about the revenge of age upon youth. Or something.

For males that have not yet reached the ages for prostate problems, this is generally an "all in your head" type problem, known as psychogenic urinary disorder, and occurs in both males and females, though I'd guess more males have to deal with it because of the lack of privacy of a public urinal (see Male Bathroom Etiquette). It's also apparently quite common, and doesn't solely apply to the unination half of the equation.

I acquired it in my college days, probably from all the community bathroom use. It has since gone away. My prefered method of distraction is multiplying the digits of phone numbers together! :)

As well as the alternative names above, this is also known as paruretics and bashful kidney syndrome (at least according to one noder). I've suffered on and off for about ten years, and although about 7% of the general population suffer, my theory is that it is more common among us nerds.

If you also suffer, make damn sure it's not a prostate problem, which aren't remotely psychological.

Here are some things I've noticed:

This is easily distinguished from kidney problems, because it only happens in public bathrooms, usually when others are around. You walk up to the urinal, unzip, pull it out, and wait. You try flexing every muscle down there, but the one that you were born knowing how to use just won't budge. I am sure that this happens to everyone occasionally. I thought I had conquered this problem and could whiz anywhere at any time until I tried to whiz at a truck stop. Another gentleman walked in behind me, stood at the urinal right next to me and proeeded to stare at my package. That will do it to ANYBODY.

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