Urinating superheroes

(Considerable frank talk about men’s bodies and sex between men, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Armed by two recent postings on urinals — January 1st ,”On urinals and the conventions of the men’s room”, and January 2nd, “The news for urinals” — I can reurn to an issue raised in another January 1st posting, “Holiday images”, with a section about a Christmas composition of superhero action figures by Indonesian photographer Edy Hardjo, who distributes photos of his entertaining compositions under the pseudonym Hrjoe. That Hrjoe posting had a quote from a Cultura Inquieta (CI) piece about Hrjoe’s work, describing his compositions and how he creates them. In the CI piece there’s a reference to one of Hrjoe’s works, with five superhero figures lined up against a wall, described in the following way:

Watch as Earth‘s mightiest heroes pee on a wall


At the time I doubted that this was quite the right way to think about #1, and now that I’ve written quite a bit about men pissing, I can explain why.

(In what follows I’ll continue my recent practice of mostly using the verb to piss and the (mass) noun piss (even though NOAD2 describes them as vulgar slang; for me, they’re everyday street talk) rather than the euphemistic (and, to my ear, infantile-sounding) slang to pee and pee or the more medical terms to urinate and urine.)

So, the CI piece sees #1 as a group of five guys pissing against a wall, certainly something that guys do, but very rarely in groups this large; usually it’s just one or two guys. You do get groups like this in men’s rooms, using gang urinals (either of the wall urinal or the trough urinal type) or in banks of solo urinals (either of the floor urinal or the mounted urinal type), but here, apparently, without partitions or walls separating the individual urinals. (All four of these types are illustrated in previous postings.) Why didn’t Hrjoe indicate these fixtures, rather than leaving them to the viewers’ imaginations?

(Again, hat tip to Mike McKinley, who pointed me to Hrjoe in the first place.)

I noted in earlier postings that Hrjoe has some difficulty finding appropriate-size props (at, I’d guess, affordable prices) in Jakarta (or by mail to Jakarta), so some of his compositions leave details to the imagination. Miniature urinals (of any of the four types I mentioned above) would, I imagine, be especially hard to come by.

But, whether you suppose that #1 shows fve superheroes pissing against a wall or five superheroes at urinals of one kind or another, the scene is decidedly odd.

First, all five of the superheroes presuably have their dicks out to piss, either though a fly or by opening their pants in front — we just can’t see this, because they have their backs to us — but the Hulk and Wolverine have also lowered their pants in the back, to expose and display their buttocks. That looks like a sexual display.

Then, the etiquette of pissing in front of other men dictates that you stare straight ahead, not looking at other guys. But except for the Hulk, the superdudes are all looking to one side or the other, apparently checking out other superdudes. That looks like cruising in public for sex. (I even have a Page linking to some postings on Sex in Public.) Maybe this is just a salacious fantasy on Hrjoe’s part — a number of his compositions are slyly naughty — but he might not know about how much sex goes on between men in public places, including the men’s rooms known as tearooms (or T-rooms), which men (some frankly gay, some identifying as bi, an astonishing number identifying as straight) frequent for these purposes. Some of these men’s rooms are essentially devoted to sex between men; they are located in such hard-to-find places that pretty much the only men who go there are guys looking for mansex.

In an ordinary tearoom, negotiation between men for sex takes place from stall to stall and is either consummated that way or leads to mansex within one stall. In a well-regulated ordinary tearoom, men who are using the place for toilet purposes only will not be imposed upon in any way by those who are using it as a sex venue.

But you can amp up from there. Guys will often (very carefully) cruise each other at the urinals and then move to a stall or to some other location for the sex. If the men’s room is truly remote and is heavily used as a tearoom, the action can be quite blatant, with urinal cruising leading to sex at the urinals or (to free the urinals up for other heavy cruisers) against a wall or even in the middle of the tearoom floor. The guys who are performing might enjoy putting on a show, and there might be guys who like to watch them. I have been in such places (but that was a very long time ago).

In any case, if you are so inclined, you can view #1 as a heavy-duty superhero tearoom fantasy.

At least one more of Hrjoe’s compositions can fairly easily bear a gay sexual interpretation:


(This has been cropped down from an even wider composition.)

Here, the superdudes come in couples, interacting with one another in various ways.

More on the photographer, from a 2/17/15 photographer profile, “Edy Hardjo Uses Superhero Action Figures To Create Hilariously Arranged Photo Scenes” (by Cynthia Boylan) on the Shutterburg.com site, an interview with him with this lead-in:

Photographer Edy Hardjo likes to put superheroes in some of the strangest of positions. Hardjo’s popular Facebook page is filled with hilarious images of action figures, including many iconic Marvel and DC chacters, in humorous and often human-like scenarios.

Hardjo was was born in Medan, Indonesia in 1973 and graduated college with a Chemical Engineering degree. He was married in 2004 and has two sons and a daughter. He currently lives with his family in Jakarta, Indonesia. All of which is a long way from the world of superheroes but that hasn’t stopped Hardjo from capturing his out-of-this-world images.

The man at work:


Wolverine abusing the Hulk, with (so far) Thor and Spiderman in attendance. The completed composition, with three more superheroes:


3 Responses to “Urinating superheroes”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    I’m surprised you haven’t come up with the biblical idiom “he that pisseth against the wall”, used several times in Samuel and Kings, the sense supposedly being that while a little boy just pees where he is, a more modest mature man turns to a wal before relieving himself. John Milton in his Areopagitica has some pungent comments.

    2 Kings 9:8a KJV – For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall.

    The Septuagint and the Vulgate translate mashtin b’qriy literally, as do the King James version and Martin Luther, but several modern translations avoid it.
    The Vulgate 4th century Latin translation is:
    usque manem mingentem ad parietem

    From the Latin third conjugation verb mingo, mingere, minxi, mictus, whence Italian mingitorio and medical English micturition.

  2. Meniscus Says:

    Much as I enjoy homoerotic images of superheroes, I’m more interested in information on actual tearooms. I’ve heard of them, but I have no idea where they are or how to find them. Is this the sort of thing that only exists in big cities?

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