What women really think of Japanese toilet sound blockers
Many public, and some private, restrooms in Japan are equipped with devices to control toilet settings right next to the toilet. There are buttons for flushing, cleaning, and drying, all with adjustable levels. One bonus setting is the "sound blocker," used more by women than men. So what do Japanese women really think about using it?
I know the feeling. You really have to go so you close the door to the bathroom of a small apartment you're visiting. You sit on the toilet and can hear the voices and sounds of everyone right outside your door. "Ugh! They're gonna be able to hear me too!" No worries, that's what the sound blocker setting is for. When you do your business, you press a button and a loud flushing sound comes on. That's your chance! Get it out! You then walk out of the bathroom as if nothing happened. You're safe. "Now what were we talking about again?"
There are even small, portable sound blockers in many designs; small enough that you can hang them on your keychain or cellphone. Push the button and a loud flushing sound will let you save face. There's even an app!
Not every woman feels the need to use this, but others do, of course.
Here are some comments left by Japanese women in a recent survey:
"Of course I use it. It saves me from embarrassment."
"I do use it, but once is never enough for me, so I press the button twice, sometimes three times!"
Here are some comments from women who could care less.
"It's so obvious you're making your own noises when you use the sound blocker. Everyone knows what you're doing anyway."
"Who cares, I'm human."
"Having it hanging from your cellphone is like announcing to the world you're a loud one!"
...Only in Japan.