I realized too late that I should have sent Hanky Panky CEO, Lida Orzeck, with some P-Mates™ for her humanitarian trip to Rwanda with the International Organization for Women and Development. Through my travels around the world, I have found P-Mates™ and similar devices to be essential tools in my backpack.
A P-Mate™ is bendable cardboard gadget that starts out flat and then pops open to something that resembles an open-toed shoe. As noted on their website’s “How to Use” section, you “move your underwear aside, and place the cupped opening against your body under the flow area between your legs… tilt your hips downward [to make sure your pee flows forward]… relax, and pee.” P-Mates™ are made of cardboard and are easily disposable.
There are similarly transportable devices that help women urinate while standing up to avoid public toilets, to go even when there are no toilets, and when clothing could be complicated to take off (like winter trekking gear). The GoGirl™ which is silicone and reusable; the pStyle is made of rigid #2 plastic, is shaped much like the P-Mate; and the Whiz® which is another reusable, flexible, non-latex plastic pee-tool.
When I first used my P-Mate, I was on a road trip and stopped at a not so clean rest-stop and couldn’t believe how liberating it was to be able to pee standing up. To pee without touching a darn thing in the bathroom! To not wipe down the seat! To not put a toilet seat cover on! To not care what’s caked onto the toilet!