For some reason, yesterday was the day that I decided to find out just exactly what has been going on in my body for approximately the last 30 years. Apparently, a large number of males get the pee shiver. Not every one of them, but a fairly sizable sample. If you don't know, a pee shiver is an involuntary shiver that runs through your entire body usually right at the end of a pee. It's like a body quake - some sort of urine-induced seismic event. You don't have any control over it and you aren't really cold, it just happens. Until yesterday, I had no idea why. For years I theorized. I drew diagrams. I conducted interviews with the best minds in the scientific community. All to no avail. The pee shiver remained a mystery.
My own personal theory had to do with a drop in body temperature due to losing that large, liquid heat sink. Plus, everyone knows you lose something like 80% of your body heat through your head, and I figured just the act of hanging it out there could drop your core body temperature like 10 degrees, minimum.
So long story short, I never even thought to look it up. I was happy with my hypothesis, and it wasn't really a topic that came up in casual conversation on a regular basis. I didn't have to worry that someone would come up to me at a party and say, "That taco dip is great, isn't it? So. What's up with the pee shiver?" and then think I was ignorant when I had no good answer for them.
I resolved to get to the bottom of this mystery. I got back to my desk, and I didn't want to use my work PC to look up "pee shiver" on google (spies are everywhere) so I dropped myself an email to my home address to remind me to do the research when I got home, which I did.
Are you ready?
Nobody has ever studied it.
There are some theories, yes. But nobody has ever conducted an actual scientific study. Amazingly enough, the pee shiver -- this mystery that transcends time and space -- is not considered important enough to warrant an actual scientist doing any actual research.
So basically what I'm saying here is that my hypothesis holds as much water (so to speak) as anyone else's. If you're curious, here's the most plausible explanation I could find*:
The autonomic nervous system controls the body's involuntary muscles, including the digestive tract, heart, and bladder muscles. It also regulates your body's temperature control, making you sweat to cool off and shiver to warm up.
During urination, the autonomic system can get overstimulated. "In addition to the messages the system is sending to your bladder, it may also communicate with other areas," Cross notes. Hence the shiver.
This phenomenon can be a real health problem for some men: They can pass out at the urinal when their autonomic system cues a drop in blood pressure!
I can tell you this. I would not want to be the poor bastard that passes out in front of the urinal in our men's room. He would have to burn his clothes. Plus, people would be stepping over him to relieve themselves, because it's every man for himself in there. Nobody is about to spend any extra time in that hell hole just to pick up some pee-covered unconscious guy with his crank hanging out and drag him out of the way. Trust me, he will be peed over.
Something else just occurred to me. That new guy, the one who pisses with his legs spread and both hands placed high on the wall like he's being busted for possession? He might do that because he has really bad pee shivers, and he's afraid of passing out.
I won't judge him. I won't pee next to him, but I won't judge him.
* With a single Google search. In five minutes.