Reading on the Can?


My new live in boyfriend is always  bringing some reading material into the bathroom with him. He loves to linger and hang out. Is this normal? It’s a little strange and kind of gross.

S    (Rest of name withheld. Understandably so!)

Dear S,

Too funny! The answer is yes, this is totally normal for GUYS. So no worries. Of course, we can’t answer the real question for you. Is it turning you off?

We love reading on the can. It’s our way of multi-tasking, but also relaxing. Newspapers, magazines, books, anything. It’s one of the few times of the day, where we can just sit, uninterrupted. We take our time and we enjoy it. So rest assured, your boyfriend is “ONE of THE GUYS!”

But there is a bonus for you too. You can use this as ammunition the next time your guy says he can’t put away the dishes because he’s watching the game. You say, “If you can read and use the toilet at the same time, you can watch the TV in the kitchen and put the dishes away.” And he will mutter to himself. “Damn…busted.”

However, one note. It isn’t sound practice to read for too long on the toilet. It’s definitely not good for the bowels in general. Have your boyfriend check out these sites for more info on health and etiquette.


Esquire: Answer Fellah

Also some funny toilet pictures.

Funny Toilet Pictures

Funny Toilet Gallery

We hope some of our women readers will chime in and give you some more input. And finally we’re wondering, do any of our women readers partake?


17 Comments on Reading on the Can?

  1. Sometimes it’s the only peace and quiet we get all day. So if there’s nothing engaging to look at in there, we bring reading material.

    Or sometimes, due to an inexplicably poor decision in bathroom design, the mirror is directly opposite the toilet. Suffice to say, that is NOT a sight we care to see, sitting there like The Thinker. In that case, we read just to block out the view.

  2. I like to read while I poop. I didn’t know it was exclusively a guy thing, but I do remember my dad ass deep on the toilet reading Field & Stream. Good times.

  3. Woman partake for about 60 seconds. I have a stack of magazines in my bathroom, but I can only read about a paragraph. LOL!!! The men seem to use it as a lounge. An odd thing to us women folk….

  4. I can definitely say that reading material is always a plus while visiting the bathroom, or my personal favorite is crossword puzzles.

  5. Hahaha, this is hilarious. I think that’s so true, it’s an escape for men. It is their domain. There is a great episode of Coupling about this very subject. His girlfriend takes the lock off the door of the bathroom, and he freaks out to his buddies. “That’s the one place that’s mine!” 🙂

  6. I love the comeback about multi tasking. Very funny. I don’t keep any reading materials in the bathroom, so this isn’t an issue at my house. It’s just something I find gross so it’s kind of a house rule that there is no lingering in the bathroom.

  7. OMG I don’t even know what to say except we see it or I mean hear about even in our office and we see the ones…(that is those who leave our office with a newspaper of magazine under their arms…) and return looking relaxed.

    Dorothy from grammology

  8. It’s normal for some women, too. That used to be the only way my mom would ever have time for herself to read a book. I always told her the next house she got needed to have a built in bookcase next to the toilet. (I wouldn’t mind one of those as well.) My grandmother reads the entire newspaper in hers. I have a basket full of magazines and books in mine. I think the only person who doesn’t read in there is my sister, but I’m still not sure if she knows how to read. She does, however, browse Victoria’s Secret so I guess looking at pictures count.

    And now I think I told you entirely too much about my family’s bathroom habits.

  9. Believe it or not, Henry Miller actually devoted an entire essay to this subject. He thought it was indicative of a larger problem, Western man’s rejection of the body.

    I wrote an aphorism about it: “Reading on the toilet is substituting a minor pleasure for a major one.”

  10. Hahahaha…Love it! Too funny.

  11. Hmm… I too read while involved in my daily constitution. Am I a GUY? When I checked this morning I still had my original equipment.

    I wonder if for some women this is the equivalent of taking hours in the bath tub. We ladies listen to music, drink wine, light candles, read whole chapters of novels, heck we’re so good at relaxing in the tub we can reheat the water by turning the fawcets on/off with our feet. lol

    My two cents, let the poor man have his potty time, just make sure he washes his hands.

  12. Some women definitely also read whilst on the commode. Some even bring wireless laptops into the bathroom and surf the web on the throne.

    I’m just sayin’…

  13. last time out i tried reading porn whilst doing a number 2 needless say it did not go down well with people in the bathroom sales showroom

  14. Having 5 brothers and a few gentlemen friends…I definitely can attest to this as being a definite GUY thing.

    It is very good practice to use their habits or quirks to our advantage instead of trying to question or analyze them:)

  15. Gee, I thought everyone read in the John, it helps relax the bowel…which is precisely the reason I NEVER borrow books! ha!

  16. Soo hey guys, here’s the thing. I’m a teenager(15) and I’m pretty much cunfused about this relationship. my boyfriend just broke up with me, because he said he liked another girl, he’s also 15. When he said that to me, I felt my whole world was falling down. But I didn”t show it. I have to say I held my feelings and just told him that its okay if he likes another girl.And we could stay friends if that what he wants. The next day he came to talk to me, at school, he was sad and down. I was really confused, i mean you left me. i’m the one that’s supposed to be sad. Not you.But even though i felt terrible about it, i heard the whole story why he was sad about. when he finished I tried to give him advice and to act happy and smile-ish. but then I had to leave. So something really weird happened. He hugged me and told me. that I was the best thing that could happen to him. What? like are you kidding me? You just broke up with me for another girl and now you tell me i’m the best thing that happen to you? Does that make any sense? i don’t think he meaned it. Maybe he just wanted to make me feel “better”. but then the next day, he was talking with one of my bestfriends. he told her that the way I acted yesterday, happy and smile-ish like there’s nothing wrong, has hurted him. Because he feels like I dont care. So what’s that supposed to mean? Next week we had a party, he was also invited, but he didnt show. He said any of his friends were going. after 2 weeks of vacation we didn’t talk in any way. but now that school has started I’m starting to feel bad, because I see him now with the other girl walking around and it feels horrible. My friend tells me that in every single class they sit next to each other and talk and talk…. It sucks pretty much alot. But does he really has forgotten me? I miss him. is he going to come back? are we still friends? I dont know whats going on..

  17. @Vannessa…….We know this is really hard. We’re sorry. He was feeling sad because he was feeling guilty and didn’t want you to feel sad. After talking with him, and being a supportive friend, he felt better because he thought you were doing okay. That’s why he said what he said. Is he coming back? Possibly, but unlikely. Even if he did, it’s unlikely he’d be back for good. Our advice: Try your best to move on, and avoid him and his new girlfriend as much as possible. We also don’t think it’s a good idea to even be friends with him. That’s not going to help you romantically with him. It’s only going to make you miss him more. Hope this helps a little. Hang in there. ps. We hope you’ll share our site with all of your friends. Thanks.

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