Couples are crossing all kinds of boundaries in quarantine with ‘toilet talks’ becoming a normal occurrence

According to a new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Natracare American couples are having six conversations per month from the toilet. (Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

The average American couple has six conversations each month while one of them is on the toilet, according to new research.

A new survey of 2,000 Americans, living with a partner since at least the start of quarantine, also probed the other toilet taboos that partners have broken during this time.

While 64% of respondents reported that moving in with their partner broke down many of the “bathroom boundaries” they’d had prior to cohabitating, the extra time spent at home together during lockdown may have all but eliminated them.

Commissioned by Natracare and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed that taking a bath in front of your partner (70%), peeing in front of your partner (30%) and pooping in front of them (25%) were among the things respondents had done for the first time during quarantine.

But the increase in intimacy hasn’t necessarily quelled all disagreements related to sharing the bathroom.

On the issue of “toilet talk,” for instance, 31% clarified that while they are comfortable talking on the toilet, their partner is not.

Couples were also likely to disagree about what should and shouldn’t be flushed, with nearly half (49%) saying they’ve gotten in a disagreement with their partner over this topic, and roughly the same proportion (50%) have squabbled over a resulting toilet clog or overflow.

Q-tips (14%), wet wipes (14%), intimate wipes (13%), condoms (13%) and dental floss (12%) were amongst the most divisive items in the flush-or-not-to-flush debate.

“Arguing over what to flush might seem a petty source of conflict between you and your partner,” said Susie Hewson, founder, and CEO of Natracare. “But flushing stuff down your pipes, that may seem to be OK to flush but truly ought not be flushed, can cause blockages, even fatbergs, which are sure to lead to bigger conflicts in the long run.”

Yet despite the possibility of disagreements, the process of sharing a bathroom also has its benefits.

While over six in 10 (61%) said the bathroom is the most difficult room in their home to share, 64% also agreed that figuring out how to set and modify bathroom boundaries with their partner has been an important step in their relationship.

An additional 60% averred that, though it was awkward at first, discussing taboo bathroom-related topics with their partner has strengthened their relationship.

Comfort levels with open communication of this did vary by topic, but not necessarily in the way one might expect.

While 51% were uncomfortable discussing bowel habits with their partner, a lower proportion (37%) felt the same about discussing menstrual habits.

One bathroom boundary partners do tend to agree on. When asked to weigh in on the internet’s debate of whether it’s better to wipe while sitting, as opposed to standing after pooping, respondents were most likely to say that both they and their partner prefer to wipe while sitting, with over a third answering this way.

“The results clearly show that sharing space with your partner can clearly help to bring you closer,” added Hewson. “And choosing products that are certified flushable can help take the flushing guesswork out of your bathroom routine, which is one less thing for couples to worry about right now.”


Taking a bath — 70%
Washing face — 68%
Showering — 68%
Peeing — 30%
Flossing — 29%
Brushing teeth — 28%
Pooping — 25%
Changing a tampon — 18%
Changing a pad — 15%
Wiping your butt — 3%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store