Helen Fisher, PhD

Why do women go to the bathroom together and men don’t talk to each other in the bathroom?

Men have far more intimate conversations with their wives and lovers than do women with their spouses or partners.  Why?   Because women have their intimate conversations with their female friends.  And there’s no better place than the “Ladies Room.”    No men in there.   You can even shout between stalls.   Indeed, I’ve overheard some colorful conversations in the “john.”   We like to go in flocks too; the more the merrier: everyone can gossip about “him” or “them” in utter safety.    And if you think women aren’t doing business too, you’re wrong.   I’ve broached several business issues in the privacy of the loo.  Men, on the other hand, say nothing in the Men’s Room.  I know from personal experience.  Recently, while in the Dallas airport, I absent-mindedly dashed into the Men’s room.  I was entirely absorbed in my thoughts.  And as there was no one in there but me, I felt comfortable—until I emerged from a stall.  Then, to my horror, I saw six men lined up along the urinals, all standing in utter silence, stone-faced, staring forward.   And as I fled past them, not a single one smiled, frowned, uttered a word or even turned his head toward me.   Men don’t go to the bathroom to socialize.  They trade secretes on the golf course, in the dugout or in the bar or lunchroom.   And they never linger.  Or look around.   Most are afraid of being regarded as “gay.”   No; for men, the bathroom is a business trip.  The ones I saw were robots—luckily for me.