Tired of having to hover six inches above a urine-spotted toilet seat in order to pee? Sick of having to squat behind bushes to urinate when hiking? Desperate to win a pissing contest with an obnoxious, I-can-write-my-name-in-the-snow, male? Suffer no longer!

It may sound like a joke commercial for a fake product, but like most things, if you can imagine it, someone else has probably already put it into a brightly colored box and marketed it. Thus, we have the Whizzy and the TravelMate.

The delightfully-named Whizzy is simplicity itself; perhaps it is even suspiciously simple. Inventor Janis Wagner describes it as a folded piece of manila paper which is held between the legs and unfolded so that it forms a trough. A hole in the paper allows the whole thing to act as a funnel, enabling users to aim their stream and achieve a trajectory of up to eight inches, which ought to be more than enough for most yellow snow calligraphy.

It does sound remarkably like pissing into a hastily modified envelope though, and therefore less than impressive. Perhaps that's just because I'm male, and as such am stereotypically impressed by equipment. Conversely, Wagner was less than impressed by the more hardware-oriented solutions already on the market, which is why she set about designing her own. Then came the important step of naming it. Some of her early ideas for names were Urine Luck, Piss With This, Stand & Deliver, and E-Z-P. I have to say, I think Whizzy is a great name, but Urine Luck is pure genius.

Wagner was particularly dismissive of one of her competitors' devices which included a hose, remarking that it was obvious that a man had inverted it. The device she was referring to is almost certainly the TravelMate, and I have to say, from my own point of view it seems a much more robust alternative, though I can easily see why a woman might object to it, since it's basically a poorly designed penis with only one of the functions, none of the pleasure, and very little of the convenience.

The TravelMate consists of a six-inch long plastic tube with a trough at one end which 'conforms to the female anatomy' and a rectangular hole at the other end, designed to prevent trickle-back. Where it does definitely score over the penis is in the accessories department: there is an additional length of rubber hose which can be attached to lengthen the reach of the device, plus a choice of denim or tapestry custom carry pouches lined with 'water'-resistant nylon, featuring easy-access velcro compartments and a belt loop.

As if that wasn't enough, the web site claims that TravelMate can even eliminate the need for toilet-paper. "After use, most women find they can pull the TravelMate forward - the cradle tip 'wipes' off residual urine". Then I suppose they just shake off the drips and slip it back into its handy belt-mounted tapestry holster.

For women who find the idea of all this equipment a little off-putting but who would still like to be able to pee standing up, the TravelMate web site has generously shared details of the 'Finger-Assisted' method, which requires no hardware at all. I have excerpted the essential points below:

Using either hand, make a "V" with your first and second finger and spread the inside of your labia minora. (the INNER lips) Beginners may want to try using the fingers from both hands for better control.

Lift to the desired angle, then pee. (If you don't spread and lift, it could run down your leg.)

Apparently it is possible to become very adept at this method. The web site records many womens' experiences, along with handy hints and tips, and they certainly make it sound like fun. There's also a touching picture of a man and a woman standing side by side at twin urinals, her smiling, him staring down at her accomplishment, clearly astonished at her dexterity and handiwork. The phrase 'pissing contest' comes to mind again. And let's face it, no-one likes to lose one of those.

  • The full instructions for the Finger-Assisted method and the pissing contest photo are at http://www.restrooms.org/device-free.html
  • There is an interview with Janis Wagner, the inventor of the Whizzy, at http://www.utne.com/bBody.tmpl?command=search&db=dArticle.db&eqheadlinedata=Gotta%20Go%3F
  • The main TravelMate page, complete with pictures, is at http://www.travelmateinfo.com/introduction.html

    SEE ALSO : standing up while peeing and pee shooter

Is that a TravelMate hanging from your belt, or are you just pleased to see me?