I’ve always felt that if I could change one thing about myself, I’d have a bigger bladder installed. My main reason would be because of driving — I hate having to stop to pee while driving. So, the idea of being able to drive and pee without using to diapers — popular among jealous astronauts — has long been a dream.
Driving while you have to pee sucks. It’s even a bit dangerous, since the decisions you make when your brain is urine-saturated tend to be pretty terrible ones. So what I’m attempting to do here is for science, and for the good of all mankind.
The mechanics of a basic, easy-to-make urine management system really aren’t all that complex: you essentially just need an air-tight urine storage reservoir, some tubing to convey the urine into the reservoir, and some sort of urethra-tube interface.
So, sure the basics are simple, but the details and specifics are very, very important. Take the urethra-tubing interface, for example. Technically, the most secure and reliable method would involve a catheter, but I can’t imagine anybody who would willingly shove a tube up their meatus just for the convenience of car-peeing. Yeeeeeesh.
Now, the system I’m designing and testing is designed for men only at this point, so, sorry ladies, I’m sure you’re heartbroken. If you want to drive and pee, I felt that relying on something that required your hands and any sort of visual aiming just wouldn’t work, so I settled on a condom-catheter system.
A condom catheter is just what it sounds like: a condom-like sheath that covers the penis and connects to a tube. I didn’t have an official, medical-grade condom catheter handy, and I didn’t want to detour off my trip to hunt down a medical supply store, so I settled on getting some condoms from a Wal-Mart off the highway.
Excited by the idea of expensing a pack of rubbers, I purchased the rest of my supplies: a gallon water jug, five feet of rubber tubing, and a roll of duct tape that I had brought with me. Oh, and a bottle of Diet Coke which I’d turn into urine via a method I’ve developed called “drinking.” I can do it at parties, too, where everyone gets a kick out of my “Jesus turning wine into urine” impression.
I put the system together by cutting off the reservoir tip of the condom, and wrapping the hole around the rubber hose opening, inserting the tube about an inch into the condom. I used duct tape to make a tight seal connecting the tube and condom. I was worried that the condom’s lubrication would affect the adhesion, but that turned out to not be the case.
On the reservoir end, I emptied the water bottle of all but about an inch of water — I thought maybe keeping a bit of diluting water in there might be good for odor management. I made sure to slip the other end of the tube a few inches down into the bottle to be absolutely sure there would be no leakage. I sealed the tube into the bottle with a little boot of more duct tape.
So, the system itself looked pretty decent — no obvious leaks, no real way for the miserable scent of urine to escape. I “installed” it in the car by placing the reservoir in the rear footwell, and running the hose along the side of the seat, and in position for the driver. In the picture, the condom side is looped through the steering wheel, but that’s just to hold it in place for the picture. That would be a bad idea.
As soon as I sat down and began to connect myself and my urine output mechanism (also known as a “penis”) into the system, I realized the first issue. Those of you familiar with condoms have probably only put them on for, well, recreational purposes. That has always been my experience. And, as you penis owner operators probably know, the condition of a penis when preparing for recreational use is very different from the condition of a penis when sitting alone behind a Wal-Mart thinking about how not to splash pee all over the inside of a car.
So, to get on the condom, you may have to get, oh, about 25 percent aroused or something. I’m not saying you need to start wanking it, but you’ll need to picture something maybe at least mildly arousing to get some blood flowing there and make this process easier. Something like a mildly lurid cartoon of Daphne from Scooby-Doo or a torn page from a Victoria’s Secret catalog’s thong page — nothing too crazy.
Once the condom is on, it stays pretty snug even when you’re, you know, um, flaccid. The seal seemed tight and leak-free, and wasn’t too uncomfortable. Managing the tube through your open pants is a little weird and tricky, but I eventually found a comfortable setup.
All strapped in and equipped, I got back on the road to test the system. One good side-effect of the Urine Management System is that it makes you into a more careful, alert driver, because the idea of getting pulled by a cop while wearing a tube connected to your dick is just too awful to contemplate. It’s the kind of shit we’d write about and then speculate if the driver was from Florida.
I drank the Coke as quickly as I could, but soon realized that I didn’t want to be driving, start to pee, and realize there was a major leak issue. So, I found a quiet area to pull off (a place where they store road salt) and gave the system a short test-pee while stopped so I could confirm its leak-tolerance, baby wipes at the ready. It worked! No leaks!
Now, I did realize that, with a gravity-feed system, the angle of the tube is key. The force of the urine stream itself can get past a couple inches of incline, but very soon after you want that tube to have a constant downward slope, to ferry that urine to the reservoir. I repositioned some parts and got a pretty decent flow. I just peed a small amount to test, but it seemed okay.
Now confident in the system, I got on the road. I got up to highway speeds, waited for a nice lull in traffic, and decided to give it a go. But there was one big problem: it’s really fucking hard to relax enough to pee while driving a car at 80 MPH or so.
I wasn’t quite expecting this, but I should have. I sometimes have trouble starting to pee at those open trough urinals if there’s guys really close on either side of me; if things feel a little weird, sometimes that valve just won’t open.
I was connected into the urine system for a couple of hours, about 120-140 miles or so. I think a 2/3rds of those mile I was just wearing it, not trying to pee, and the rest of the time was spent desperately trying to pee, with only a brief period of eventual success.
Having cruise control on did help, since I could reposition my legs into a position to make the tube angle better, and relax a bit more. But the mental effort to just let go enough to pee while driving I found to be considerable. Some of you may be different, and I envy you, but for me, this was tricky.
When I finally did manage to let go and let God (open my bladder), I encountered another issue — for a longer-duration pee, the condom fills with a thin layer of urine before it gets shunted down the tube that effectively soaks your dick. Gross. It eventually almost all drained into the tubing, but there was still a little urine film inside the condom.
After the full-motion test of the system, I pulled off at the next exit to disconnect, liberally clean myself with the baby wipes, and reflect on the test. I think it was a partial success — the system does basically work, but it’s not really super-comfortable to wear or use, and the penile-urine-soaking issue isn’t ideal at all.
I was thinking that a negative pressure situation in the tube and reservoir might help, to pull the urine down the tube into the reservoir. I was wondering about goldfish tank pumps, when our own Mike Ballaban reminded me of the existence of penis pumps. From what I can tell, those look like an ideal solution — a large, all-encompassing input tube that has an integrated pump system that could be employed to pull urine down into the tube — maybe this sort of thing is just what I need!
Now I need to see how Gawker feels about expensing a penis pump.
When I arrived in Austin to pick Patrick Geroge up for the second half of this grand journey, he made me throw out my prototype rig. He said something about not wanting to drive around with a jug of urine in the car, but I think the real reason is that he hates science and the progress of mankind.
And yet as I typed this in the passenger seat while Patrick drove through a vast, empty section of Texas, I realized that all this urine writing and the beverage from lunch conspired to make me really have to pee, and then Patrick saw the need for my system.
One day, my children, we’ll live in a glorious world where all cars have a reservoir of tepid urine, and our lives will be complete.