One of the most interesting physiological phenomenons that I have come across while drinking is the seal that is created in your bladder during imbibing escapades. If you have ever gone on a drinking “binge” as defined by people that don’t actually drink (i.e., 5 drinks in a day if you are a man or 4 drinks if you are a woman) than you know about this seal, and the horrors of breaking it.

Now, I don’t know how this seal is created, but I do have some theories. And when I say some theories, what I really mean is that I’ve never actually thought of the matter until now, and I am going to write the first thing that comes to mind. And the first thing that happened to come to mind this fateful morning goes a little something like this.

It’s common knowledge that having a drink a day is good for you. This, of course, implies that alcohol has the same properties as an apple (an apple a day etc.). After somebody tells you for the first time that a drink a day is good for you, you invariably ask about saving up the drinks from the week to use them all up on one weekend night. The people that don’t drink will of course tell you that drinking those 7 drinks in a night (or over the course of a day – binge drinking doesn’t have a specified time period in which the drinks must be consumed) results in binge drinking, which is, of course, bad.

I always discount this logic because I like drinking, and instead of moderation I opt for drinking as much as I can as often as I can. But let’s assume for a hot minute that I am wrong and “they” are right. What if when you drink one alcoholic beverage and it creates said seal around your bladder. This is not that farfetched, since we all know that alcohol has magical properties anyway, what if one of those properties happens to be preventing you from peeing often?

This is an interesting side effect of only having one beer, especially considering that the only time this handy ability would actually help is if you plan on drinking one beer twenty-two times in a night. It’s a catch 22, really (I’m pretty sure that’s how Heller came up with the term “catch 22″). You can only get the seal creating effects of alcohol if you don’t want it, or don’t care about it, but when you do want that wonderful effect (i.e., when you are binge drinking) you most certainly don’t get it, well not for long, anyway.

The breaking of the seal is the best and the worst feeling that you’ll have that night (unless it’s a good night, then it will just be the worst feeling). Everybody instinctively holds off as long as possible on breaking the seal so the relief is immense. They hold off because they know that once the seal is broken, the floodgates open. So while you could probably go 5 beers before your first restroom break while the seal is intact, after it breaks you will probably have to go after every beer, which can be extremely frustrating and immensely slow down your drinking. Standing in line for five minutes for the bathroom, and then another 5 minutes to get your drink is enough time just standing around to have finished an entire beer, it’s a quick pace, to be sure, but if you want to be winner, you have to be willing to sacrifice your body, just ask any professional athlete. (And yes, I did just compare drinking to a professional sport.)

Since I am a guy, breaking the seal for me is not as bad as my female counterparts. Generally, there is at least one more place to pee in the men’s restroom (two urinals can fit in the place of one stall). Also, guys have less preparatory work to commence urination, and less clean up after. In addition to having more places to pee in the bar, guys have unlimited places to pee on the way to and from the bar. Girls are limited to wearing a skirt and finding a reclusive bush. And while it is not necessarily uncommon to find a guy breaking his seal in the great outdoors (or in an ally on the way to the bar), finding a girl breaking her seal in public is a rare, and it’s not just because they are really good hiders. To get a girl to pee in public takes a great deal of alcohol and lowered inhibitions. If you are walking home from a bar, and a girl feels comfortable enough that she stops to pop-a-squat, she will hook up with you.


To quote Aaron Karo:

"Once you break the seal, […] the male bladder is no longer capable of storage and instead becomes a conduit from the bottle of Amstel Light directly to the toilet or, if it’s a real dive bar, an ice-filled trough."