Home // Discussion // Should men put the toilet seat down? An analysis

Should men put the toilet seat down? An analysis

Toad with a load

Should men put the toilet seat down?  It’s a horrible question that we have all struggled with, in our families and relationships.  Here are some points to consider:


  1. For women, and men too, there is a risk of sitting down upon the cold, damp, seat-less toilet, if the seat is left up and they do not notice.
  2. Some men tend to urinate, standing, if they find the seat in the down position, without lifting the seat, often causing a messy seat.
  3. Urinating standing up often leads to splashing, which can be a particular problem when the floor is carpeted.  Men often splash their own trousers, also.  However, splashing can also occur in the seated position.  It has been suggested that men should always sit.
  4. Touching the seat is unpleasant.  There is a risk of germs, or even of getting defecate on one’s fingers or clothes.  However, a few germs can be good for the immune system.
  5. It is usually possible to use a sheet of toilet paper when moving the toilet seat.
  6. Closing the lid before flushing can help avoid getting defecate and urine particles in the air.
  7. If there are more men than women using the toilet, perhaps the default position would usually be up, because that makes it easier for the majority.
  8. Closing the lid can help avoid having rats or spiders crawling up from inside, or hiding out in the bowl.
  9. The feminine argument that men leave the seat in the wrong position holds no water, per se, unless there is a particular reason that leaving it down is somehow better than leaving it up – in the interests of equality, there is superficially no particular reason why women should get their own way rather than men.
  10. However, points 1 and 3 suggest that it might indeed be better, fundamentally, to leave the seat down.
  11. If everybody left the seat and lid down at the end, then this might be fair.  But it would not necessarily be optimal.  If everyone voluntarily chopped off their left hand, this would be fair.  Pure fairness does not indicate the best approach.  Arguably, putting the seat and lid down is unnecessary effort and stress for men and women alike.
  12. Furthermore, in the scenario in point 11, women only have to touch the lid, while men must touch the lid and the seat, which is absolutely not fair, considering in particular that the seat is often much dirtier.
  13. It has been suggested that the only reason that women leave the seat and lid down is to provide backup for their argument that men should do the same.  The fallacy in the woman’s argument is that because she does something, the man should do it too; her argument appears solid (everyone should put the lid down to prevent aerosol germs), but her real reason is revealed here.  If anyone can find a name for this fallacy, please let me know!  I have been searching unsuccessfully on this detailed list of fallacies.

What are your thoughts?  Leave comments and I will do my best to reply to them!

Posted in Discussion, Philosophical posts


  • Ironically, I think I’ve been trained by stand-up comics from the 90s to always put the seat down.

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      October 19, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Can you tell us who you mean? I am expecting it to be Jasper Carrott but I’m not sure. I will have to do a youtube search. Many thanks for your comment!

  • Go for a healthy compromise! Both parties put both the seat AND the lid down! It stops animals drinking from the toilet, stops water spraying everywhere when you flush, and looks nicer!

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      October 25, 2015 at 12:54 am

      Hmm as a man I find that idea quite stressful, I admit. But it certainly does look nicer. Thank you very much for the comment.

  • I’ll say that the lid should be up, not down, that way, women will not have to sit on the splashes that men make on the seat

  • Men put the seat down to be polite. The whole reason why it’s an issue is because it’s about manners. When a women sees that her husband or significant other didn’t put the seat back down, she’s thinking that he didn’t think about her enough to be courteous to her.

  • I always leave out the seat and lid down after I’m finished using the bathroom. I think it is pretty fair. I have to put the seat and lid up in one motion to use urinate. My wife has to lift the lid up with one motion as well. I tell myself I’m not being petty. I’m being fair. It has been working well so far.

  • I feel I must weigh in on this issue.
    My husband and I do, in fact, hold this long-standing debate *however* we happen to stand on opposite sides of the norm. I believe that him putting the seat down for my use is completely absurd (must he really be thinking about me peeing while he’s peeing? Isn’t that a little much?) and he believes that after using the toilet everyone should put both seat *and* lid down.

    His base argument is your bullet number 6; cleaner air as it were. I suppose I can see the value, but isn’t it just a bit outweighed by the whole touching-a-toilet-seat part of things?

    Purely for the sake of argument,I’d like to mention is this:

    You bring up, often, in your points above the unfortunate matter, if a man must put down the seat afterwards, of collecting germs and possibly fecal matter on the hands. What about us ladies? If men leave the seat up, then certainly I, too, must touch the potentially-foul toilet seat in order to do my business, no?

    In turn, doesn’t that mean that the man had to touch it to put it up *and then* the woman had to touch it to put it down, thus DOUBLING the amount of people contaminated with whatever grossness may have occurred?

    On this premise, perhaps it’s best left to one sex or the other to do the dirty business of handling the foul toilet lid — not based on need, in fact, but instead cleanliness.

    Since, statistically speaking, women are more likely to wash their hands, perhaps it should fall to them

    My how the tables have turned.

    • The Most Ordinary Man Ever

      November 12, 2015 at 4:07 am

      I think some of your arguments depend on the nature of the situation. In a busy unisex toilet (they do exist!) there tend to be men who are lazy and just pee all over the seat. Whereas there are neat and tidy households where there is only perhaps one male and a number of females living together as a family. At the end of the day, it’s best to just be considerate. My main problem is bogus arguments used as justification. It’s fine if you are angry in my opinion, but using nonsense logical arguments is just going to frustrate the people you are trying to convince, and that was what I was trying to analyse. I’ll be honest I didn’t understand some of your arguments. But for me, I am happy to respect the requests of other people as long as they don’t use nonsense logic to tell me I’m in the wrong! Thanks very much for your comment, I appreciate it.

  • In my house it’s just not an issue and probably never will be. If I go to use the toilet and I didn’t look 1st and fall in, well the joke is on me but I will be hiding behind the shower curtain next time to get my revenge. It’s easier to enjoy life with my husband and kiddos if we aren’t all consumed with ” did I put the toilet seat down”? The real problem is “who took the time to get a new roll of paper from the cabinet but not take 5 seconds to put it on the dispenser”???

  • I like you, you’re not afraid to ask the real questions! Haha.
    As a woman, I think that it’s better to close the lead, especially when the lavatory is in the bathroom. That way the gross particles won’t fly all over the toothbrushes. Not to mention that I really would hate to see a rat jump out while I was taking a bath. It would be a nightmare come true!
    So, you see, I’m not doing this in order to keep arguing with you guys.

    PS I really love the photo that you’ve chosen. The frog is so adorable! I don’t get people who hate frogs.

  • Well shouldn’t both genders choose to what they’d prefer? I mean yes in some way it looks nicer and is more sanitary, but the way people have been doing it for ages having the toilet lid up and how they wouldn’t like to change that.

  • This was a very indepth look into this social phenomena. I’d say, with personal experience and the points you listed, that it is probably better to just leave the lid and seat up (at least in my current situation, which is a household with 3 men and 1 woman. Fun. This is also good for public (Unisex or not) restrooms, as some men are really really lazy and don’t even really look where they’re releasing???)

  • as the mum of a toddler, my husband and I must always put both seat and lid down with clampy/incontinence inducing wotsit on side. (fists to the heavens) Also, point #4 = spot on. (no pun)

  • Well sir, why not if it makes our ladies happy.
    I sure do enjoy these types of topics.

  • I think putting the seat down is safer for everyone. In fact I would add that on top of putting the seat down men should also consider seating, if not cleaning the splash after themselves. No one likes to go into a toilet and find urine splashed everywhere. This is basic human courtesy. Even if you stand up, you would like to find a clean toilet. You should strive to do the same.

  • They are made to close it. So, you really have to close it.

  • LefthandSuzuki

    July 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    There’s no reason why you can’t lift the seat before you pee, than put it back down when you’re done. Frankly it’s ridiculous that there’s even such a hot debate about this subject.

    It’s a matter of courtesy, and refusing to put it down is just lazy and rude.

  • I have been trained
    I always put the seat down.
    I say it is because I am a courteous partner but the real reason is I am sick of the moaning and arguing lol

  • Everything has it’s purpose and i think the cover is for hygienic reasons. It might be not for men, but it’s wise to make use of it just for the sake of “it’s the right thing to do”. After all it’s not that hard…

  • Toilet seat are generally use when we are banking (you know what i meat) to minimize water splash from are butt. But when urinating it is more advisable to lift the set and put it down when were finish. When using the toilet we must think for those who will be using the toilet that what they call good manner.

  • I think that we should leave it the way how it was when we entered the CR.
    For me, no matter what state it is in, the most important thing is that we keep the toilet seat clean.
    It’s not the biggest issue, the issue here should be on how we use the toilet in terms of sanitation.
    We must always be mindful of other people who will also be using it. Aside from making the seat clean, take some consideration as well on other items, like toilet papers. Make sure that we throw our thrash properly on the bin.

  • In our house, it is a must to put the toilet seat up when you urinate. We always remind each other. And people who have a common should know this. I mean it’s understandable that you need to put the sit up when you urinate because if someone will poop they will put the toilet sit down. But every time I get to use the toilet outside I always bring wet wipes with me to use it on the toilet seat. Even if they did not urinate on it bacteria multiply fast and can still go to the toilet seat.

  • There’s no worse feeling than sitting on a toilet when the toilet seat is up. I just leave it down after I’m done and put it up when I need to. Doing this, seat stays always clean, not a big problem to be honest.

  • Its better to cover it because that was how it made. Being responsible to what is better must be done.

  • Say whatever you like in your analysis. The very first year of our marriage. Actually the very first week, I trained my husband to lift the toilet seat. He learned very quickly how to keep the peace. LOL.

  • Should men put the toilet seat down? Yes. After peeing. I trained myself to put the toilet seat up when I pee and put it down after I pee. It’s for the female members of the household. I wouldn’t want them to seat on splashes of my pee and conversely, I don’t want to seat on splashes of the male members of the household when I go number 2. I think people are just afraid of touching the toilet seat. I use the toes of my feet to gently raise it up or let it fall down.

  • It’s a different thing with my family and parents which include my mom, dad, and brother. They’d rather have the lid up and if I put it down, they’d tell me to put it up. I think it really depends on the person’s point of view and not on the theory that for the sake of winning the argument or that women are far better than men and the latter must always oblige to a woman’s requests and orders.

  • Much better if they will put the seat down so if their are some sprinkles left, it would not be messy to watch and will maintain the sanity.

  • Honestly I think both the seat and lid should go down before flushing but if someone chooses to not do it, I don’t make a big fuss about it. Mostly the toilet I used, the only other 2 using it are my partner and our 3 year old son. With a 3 year old boy, at this point it honestly doesn’t matter what my bf does because 3 year olds don’t always have the best aim and sometimes are in a rush to go.

  • Late to the party here… I once knew a classmate who fell into the toilet while trying to go #2. Woke up feeling groggy & didn’t realize the seat was up. All the more reason to make a habit of leaving it down, wouldn’t you agree?

    For those curious, no it wasn’t me 😉

  • Hygiene. Using the toilet in the public area is actually dangerous in the long run. Bacteria grow and can spread everywhere in your body. You might not notice the effect on your body but there are still effects. It’s just that it’s hard to notice it.

  • Rona Leana Alvarez

    August 8, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    This might undermine their manliness since it seems like “seat up” is manlier, but I prefer them down. It only really ever matters in an emergency, and while some emergencies can use either seat-down or set-up, the worst emergencies all need the seat down, and those extra seconds might make a big difference.:)

  • This might undermine their manliness since it seems like “seat up” is manlier, but I prefer them down. It only really ever matters in an emergency, and while some emergencies can use either seat-down or set-up, the worst emergencies all need the seat down, and those extra seconds might make a big difference.:)

  • I think for me, men should put the toilet seat down as a courtesy to the next user. Men tend to urinate seat up so there will be splashes of urine on the toilet bowl. I was also taught to always put the seat down before using.

  • Hygienically speaking as a Man, putting the seat is a must if you are urinating standing on a toilet bowl. But in some countries, Man do urinate seating down, because of their customs and traditions with regards to their clothing preferences. And some of countries also have specialized from of toilet bowl.
    As for other WC or Comfort Rooms, toilet bowls lacks seat cover and lids, so if you are responsible you can clean it with the best possible available cleaning method if, there will be one in the certain Comfort room, with respect and courtesy to the next user of that said toilet. Also, it is a must to clean the toilet if, it is a unisex toilet. So toilet courtesy will be implemented.

  • DEFINITELY YES. men need to put the toilet seat down after they use the toilet. We should always remember that we are not the only one using the toilet especially public toilet or in your home unless your living alone.

  • calliopedoesnotexist

    August 13, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    No one really can force someone else to pee the way they pee, but when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness some standards should be kept. If a man finds that he is not so capable of aiming correctly then it’d be better for him to sit, if not he can continue without creating a mess around. As for lowering to top seat that is traditionally meant for women, well they can do that themselves perfectly, the same way that men lift it when they want to urinate standing. For clean purposes only, however, sitting is the tried and tested technique.

  • I actually want the seats to always be up. I personally can’t rely on my husband and my kids on toilet cleanliness issue. To avoid any conflict on this very small issue, I just tell them to always put the seat up, and I just put it down whenever I am using the toilet and then put it up again when I’m done. We ladies, have trained ourselves to be more conscious with our surroundings, we just don’t seat and do our things in the toilet, we inspect first, right? This is the reason why this kind of topic is not a really big issue in our household.

    • Seats should always be up for me, like for you, it avoids conflicts. Every time you use a toilet make sure the seats are up because that is our neutral toilet orientation here in our house. If you will be needing the seat down, put it down. Just always leave it up, no fuss, no stress, no messy seats. Sometimes we just need to have a clear understanding of one another and set aside the gender issues. It’s just a toilet seat right? We can have a harmonious toilet seat relationship if we would do our part.

  • Men should let the toilet seat down or whatever position it is in when you arrive. For us ladies, I think it is unsanitary to directly sit on it since I’m sure there are splashes of urine beforehand and I guess not all are good enough to clean and disinfect it before leaving.

  • I definitely believed that men should ALWAYS put the toilet seat down because of some common reason. My first reason is because of hygienic purposes. There are many bacteria lingering in our toilet bowl. Putting down the toilet seat will prevent the bacteria from spreading in any part of the house.Second reason, putting the toilet seat down is a sign of respect to the next user. My last reason is to prevent the bad odor after pooping. These reasons are just my opinion it still depend on the house rule of your own household.

  • Men has the rights too. They should let the toilet seat down if they need to seat on. We all know that the guys cannot control sometimes to aim inside the bowl their urine and accidentally splashes everywhere the toilet. So I just have simple rule for my husband and son, if they need to pee, let the toilet seat up, if the nature is calling them let the toilet seat down. But if they still don’t get it, I let them finished their business then make sure they cleaned it right away. Simple.

  • For sanitary & etiquette purposes, I believe it’s a must for every man to put down the toilet seat. Just like washing their hands after urinating. Let’s always remember that Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

  • This is quite a funny yet interesting question! Anyway, I do believe that men “must” put down the toilet seat for sanitary purposes, etiquette & courtesy to women. I personally do this especially at home ‘coz I’m living with women. I even pour water around the areas after I urinate. I know it’s quite a bit of work for us men but it can save women getting infections like UTI etc. I’m not bothered with the risks of germs as I always wash my hands with antibacterial soap every time I get out of the restroom & spray some rubbing alcohol after. I may sound vain but that’s just me.

  • I believe men should not put the toilet seat down when urinating. Most men are not cautious with the splashing effect caused by their urine. To give respect to the next user, we must always ensure the toilet is clean as well as the toilet seat.

  • This article is quite amusing!

    I may be biased (because I’m a guy), but I’ve always believed that it’s more hygienic to keep the toilet seat up. In that way, whatever splashing liquids or floating dirt there may be won’t settle on the toilet seat. And yes, you can use a piece of toilet paper to touch the seat if it needs to be moved.

    But either way, the effort of pulling the toilet seat up or down requires very minimal physical activity, so it shouldn’t be a big deal! As long everyone using the toilet does their part in keeping the toilet clean, then there’s no reason why we can’t all live in harmony.

  • My wife wants the lid and seat cover down. When your avoiding arguments its better to obey your partner. There is so much risk if you do it the other way around and Im guilty of neglecting hygiene practices sometimes.

  • Hygiene wise, it must be lid and seat down. For hussle – free, I would rather have the seat up. Personally, I always have the seat up since I’m living with three boys. I understand how inconvenient it is for them to have it up every time they use the toilet especially if they’re in the urge to urinate. But as much as I wanted to, I want everything down. I’m using the toilet too, you know.

  • There is nothing more irritating to a woman than a toilet seat left up. It tells her all she does not want to know about the man who left it there. Actually, the lid should be down before you flush but very few people know this.

  • On the whole, There is nothing more irritating to a woman than a toilet seat left up. It tells her all she does not want to know about the man who left it there. Actually, the lid should be down before you flush but very few people know this.

  • I think putting the seat down is just a sign of men being considered as gentlemen, and putting the lid and seat cover closed would definitely be better to avoid insects from getting in during night time when no one would use it for few hours.
    I got your idea and you really have a point.

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