WASHINGTON - In the small but controversial world of men’s problems, a new menace affecting over 90% of the male population has recently pushed erectile dysfunction aside to become the prominent topic of the day. The issue? Urine Stream Accuracy Disorder, commonly referred to as USAD.
While the issue is not a pretty one, it is widespread, and sources say it has existed in relative obscurity for decades. “The problem has always been there,” said longtime urinal user Kent Shute, “but up until now, nobody wanted to talk about it. It’s just something we all wished would go away by itself.”
USAD is a disorder which causes men of all ages to relieve themselves on the walls next to, above, or even underneath bathroom urinals. But while everyone can agree that the problem exists, there is huge debate as the to actual cause of the malady. In one corner is the healthcare industry, which insists that USAD is a biological condition easily treatable with prescription drugs.
Just last year, pharmaceutical giant Plaxico-Burress, Inc. received FDA approval of it’s new super pill “Tak-āme!”, the first medical approach to combating USAD. But public acceptance has been slow, due in part because initial marketing efforts were directed at the wrong demographic; women between the ages of 18 – 45.
“That problem has been corrected,” said PBI Chairman Tony Bruschetta. “We cleaned out the whole marketing department. Whacked ‘em all.”
But while PBI may have cleared that particular obstacle, what they haven’t yet overcome is the other reason for lackluster sales, namely the severe side-effects associated with Tak-āme!, most alarming of which is permanent blindness in over 16% of those treated, a condition which many think actually exacerbates the problem of urine stream accuracy. PBI has refuted the claims, saying the numbers are inflated, and has taking legal recourse in it’s effort to fight what it calls “a smear campaign”.
“It’s all smoke & mirrors,” Bruschetta said. “Nobody knows how many of those guys were blind in the first place. It’s not something we checked upfront. And even if those numbers were correct,” Bruschetta continued, “it certainly doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of Tak-āme! on the problem of urine stream accuracy disorder. Blind or not, guys hit the target. Our product works, and we’re confident that people are going to start forking over the cold hard cash to get it.”
On the other side of the USAD controversy is the International Coalition of Urinal Providers who counter that USAD is not a biological problem at all, but is instead due to engineering defects in urinal design.
“If you look at what’s out there today,” says I.C.U.P. spokesman Seymour Butts, “what you’ll see is that there’s no standardization. You’ve got [wall urinals of] different shapes, different heights, different materials, different colors; it’s just insane. And don’t even get me started on troughs. How’s a guy supposed to handle all that and still be able to concentrate?”
However, Butts admits that while all member organizations of the I.C.U. P. may concur that standardization is the key, there is discord within the group when it comes to agreement on a comprehensive solution. Some industry insiders think that special UWP’s (urinals of wide proportions) will relieve 95% of the problem, while others argue that only a combination of UWP’s coupled with other devices such as self-cleaning floor grates will be truly effective.
Also engaged in the fray are service organizations such as Gentlemen’s Helper, LLC, who argue that labeling USAD as either a simple biological or mechanical issue is a rush to judgment.
“It’s a behavioral condition,” insists GH president Lucy Cannon. “There’s just no quick fix for this type of thing, and we certainly don’t intend to provide one. We’re in this for the long haul.”
What GH proposes are specially trained on-site bathroom consultants, whose services range from simple recommendations & tactical advice, to actual “hands-on” assistance for those suffering from advanced stages of USAD. But while behavioral counseling holds promise to many, most analysts think these guys are way out.
As the controversy continues to rage and a real cure remains as of yet just a distant hope, the vast majority of men seem to be content just with that fact that the topic is finally getting some attention.
“People suffering with USAD are just like everybody else,” concluded Shute. “We just want to be able to pee straight.”
Rest assured, Mr. Shute, anyone using a public toilet wants that for you too.