Community Conversation > Youth talk

Will I ever get over my fear of the men's room? (FTM)

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Paul Muad-Dib:
As long as you don't go in looking noticeably feminine, and the room isn't crammed with people waiting (not likely) and therefore paying more attention to the people in it than to taking a leak, the chances are you will be of no interest to anyone in there. Guys are in there to pee, not to study other guys, generally speaking. The less attention paid to anyone else in there the better, is the usual rule.

But I would still make an effort to be masculine in appearance before going in.

I'd be wary of groups of teenage boys or young men. If you see such a group, take cover or leave.

AMAB, lived as a cis male for over 50 years.  Maybe this will help:

Lots of cis men are anxious about the men's room.  They can't start peeing, they are afraid someone will checkout their equipment, or they are just plain afraid, whatever.  Sometimes they are so anxious they don't actually pee, they just stand there.

Because of this and other stuff, the vast majority of men just want to use the john and get out.  They do not want to talk.  They do not want to see anyone really or be seen.  You just look at the wall ahead of you or look down.  If a guy is anxious about peeing he can always wait until a stall with a door opens up.  Nobody's damn business!

There are exceptions.  If guys know each other, they might talk.  If a guy is acting weird or aggressive, then do whatever you would do when you meet someone like that.  If a guy I didn't know kept talking to me in the john (not sure this has ever happened, btw) I'd just say something like "hey buddy, I'm just here to take a leak" kind of gruffly.


Janes Groove:
My advice:  Start learning self-defense and martial arts.   Once you get good at that you will walk into the men's room projecting an air of confidence and nobody will mess with you.  Learning how to fight is a right of passage for young men whether that's politically correct to say or not.

Interestingly, my first suggestion would be the same thing Janes said. As a skinny, somewhat androgynous young guy in junior college I started taking jujitsu and generally lost any fear I might have had about physical assault (though I've never been in a situation that required it).

However, a certain amount of fear may be useful when you're an emerging transman venturing out. Where you go and when you go there makes a bit difference. Minimizing time in taverns and potentially rough places, especially at night would be wise, but I think that's a good idea for anybody.

The best anecdote for fear, though, I believe, is passion. The more you concentrate your life on the things that excite and interest you the less fear will dominate you.


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