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Mixed sex toilets

87 replies

Wichit · 04/10/2022 01:15

I work for an organisation that employs about 250 people. We have high staff turnover and a lot of us work hybrid.

A few months ago all our toilets at work got changed to mixed sex. They are self contained individual cubicles. We didn't get consulted or anything, just got to work on Monday and every toilet had a joint man and woman sign.

About a month ago I went to use the loo, opened the door and there was a bloke already in there with his back to me. He turned around when I opened the door. He was semi undressed and I could clearly see his lad etc.

Lots of apologies, swift door close etc. I hadn't actually met him previously due to hybrid and high turnover.

It made me feel uncomfortable. I don't know the guy.

I raised with my line manager that this new toilet policy is potentially putting staff in tricky situations and he told me to take it to HR. Which I did and their response is that he probably forgot to close the door.

Well I mean yeah hopefully so, but nobody has any way of knowing that and anyway that is not the issue. The issue is that my employer should not be facilitating a set-up where such ambiguous encounters can happen. I think, anyway. AIBU?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

KimberleyClark · 04/10/2022 16:09

mrsjohnnylawrence · 04/10/2022 12:12

I have never seen a shared area for a toilet on a train or plane @KimberleyClark
Have you? That would be a mixed sex toilets.

I think on trains they are single use toilets, which are not mixed sex, but single use. No shared area.

The toilet in my house is not mixed sex, it's single use; one at a time.

No shared area in the OP’s work toilet either.


cbatopainttheshed · 04/10/2022 17:27

334bu · 04/10/2022 15:32

How is the disabled toilet any different to the mixed sex toilet the OP has described?

The OP said individual cubicles not a separate room like a disabled toilet . Are there gaps at the top and bottom of the doors, does each individual cubicle have a sink and sanitary bin? If the only change is the signage, then the employer is putting their female staff at risk of voyeurism etc.

Op said 'self contained cubicles', which I read to mean contains the toilet and sink like a disabled toilet


DdraigGoch · 04/10/2022 20:26

I notice that the OP hasn't been back


Lcb123 · 04/10/2022 20:35

I’d personally just think that was an accident, unless it’s happened more than once. I prefer the mixed sex cubicles - saves the big ladies queue and it’s fairer to everyone


Jedsnewstar · 04/10/2022 20:38

cbatopainttheshed · 04/10/2022 11:14


The cubicles are self contained, the bloke in there was an idiot for not locking the door but that doesn't mean mixed toilets in general are bad.

We've had them at work for about 6 months now. I like them as the sink and mirror is in the cubicle so I can do my business completely in private.

How naive. Lots of men get off on this.


Iliveonahill · 04/10/2022 20:45

I was on a course last week which was held in a hotel that had mixed sex toilets. There was a main door that went into a small lobby, another door and then self contained cubicles. As I walked into the lobby part a man closely followed me in. I was immediately on my guard as I’ve never been in that situation before, I felt very vulnerable as I didn’t know him. The lobby was isolated. I was not happy.


cbatopainttheshed · 04/10/2022 21:09

@Jedsnewstar hilarious you assume I'm naive, if anything the total opposite. I work with sexual offenders. You're naive if you think men aren't 'getting off' on a whole host of daily things. Mixed sex toilets are the least of your worries if you're going to try and find something perverse and assume that the majority of men get their kicks from leaving a loo door unlocked!


allboysherebutme · 04/10/2022 22:38

I don't like them and think they could be dangerous.


lifeturnsonadime · 05/10/2022 08:50

This thread brings me to mind of something that happened last year when I was out with my family in Birmingham.

I went to the ladies toilets in Pret, (and they were single sex) , as I was washing my hands a Muslim lady wearing a beautiful dress came out of a cubical and asked me for help. Her period had started and she wanted to check if she'd bled in a noticeable way on her dress, she had.

I helped her as best I could to remove the stain.

This is what we lose by making toilets mixed sex. This isn't a frequent occurrence but it can and does happen, as as someone mentioned upthread, women miscarry on public toilets.

This woman wouldn't have been able to ask for help if it was a self contained cubical and she probably wouldn't have entered at all if it had been mixed sex.

Why on earth we would happily give this away to appease males I have no idea!

No benefit to women at all that I can see.


jewishmum · 05/10/2022 08:57

Nobody 'forgets' to lock a public toilet cubicle door! This just doesn't happen.


AlecTrevelyan006 · 05/10/2022 09:03

Man here :)

it is very common in mens toilets for cubicle doors not to be locked - especially if the bloke is simply using at as a urinal.

so I think some blokes just get into the habit of not locking the door behind them.

p.s. I don’t like mixed sex toilets either


Brefugee · 05/10/2022 09:17

They have introduced some mixed sex loos at my dc's school. I have advised my dd not to use them. I have advised my younger ds, who is in year 7 and feels intimidated by the older boys in the single sex loos, to use the mixed sex. So I have mixed feelings about them, but the bottom line is that the kids still have the choice of using single sex loos and I think that this is crucial in every environment.

so... girls have to be responsible for keeping your DS safe from the other boys? and girls have to responsible for keeping themselves safe? Stop passing the buck and say something.

Forgetting to lock the door? Give him the benefit of the doubt, OP, and ask HR to send a company wide email reminding people to close and lock the doors. If the same thing happens again shout, loudly, "FGS SHUT THE DOOR" so everyone knows? or contact HR again. Every time. Also you could get them to remind everyone to close lid before flushing. (but then people have to lift the lid to check they don't need to brush, so swings and roundabouts)

Personally? I have no issues around mixed sex if they are self contained units. Not so worried about sharing a washbasin although i can see how they are useful and discreet on occasions.

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