• http://ivyai.blogspot.com Ivy

    Hi Heather, there’s bound to be some good advice here in the comments already. Just wanted to drop a note that I’m a fan of your work. Cheers to you!

  • buick

    Reading while pooping is the best part of my day. No one can disturb me, no one can complain. “I’m pooping!” is the only response ever needed.

    Everyone knows this pleasure at a subconcious level which is why everyone takes longer then 2 minutes to poop.

  • Ida

    Books?? What IS that magic connection between books and poop?
    Get me browsing for 5 minutes and suddenly poop *and* gas materialize.

    Library? Check.
    Used book store? Check.
    New book store? Check.

    And one time it happened at Storables, but I think that was just a freak coincidence.

    Someone needs to do a study on this, is all I’m saying.

  • http://www.design-newyork.com rothbeastie

    I have found relief from what I call “disgruntled colon” by drinking Evian. Not other bottled waters, just Evian. I can’t explain it. I decided it is that trace bit of magnesium, but who knows. It works like magic. Hope this helps. Also, I once ate an entire bag of WOW chips and nothing happened. I bought it specifically because the bag said, and I quote,”May cause anal leakage,” and how can you resist that? So I got a bag and a roll of toilet paper and waited for the excitement to begin and nothing happened, which I consider false advertising. So WOW chips don’t work on everyone.

  • http://www.dominocat.co.uk/panic domino

    SEVEN MINUTES??? I’m gutted. I just said, “how can I tell Dooce that?” and he replied that he was only that quick thanks to the pepperoni on his pizza last night.

    So, now you know. Pepperoni.

  • boo

    aw i’m sorry about your WOW chips experience. i swear though, i had assplosions from hell, and assplosions aren’t exactly the best thing ever. it’s one thing to poop nicely and solidly, and it’s a whole other thing to be having to clean out your toilet every 10 mn cos of an assplosion gone wrong.

    do they still make WOW chips?

  • viv

    Obviously, dooce, you are not alone in your bottom system travails. Thank you for making me feel better about my own lazy asschunks. Some say quality and frequency of poop may be related to inherited body and personality type (e.g., the Indian Aryuvedic philosophy says constipation is characteristic of people who have a strong Vata dosha). My OB (who noticed I had poop-in-waiting every time she did an internal exam) says that some people just have weak motor skills back there because the nerves don’t properly transmit the “poop sensation.” And especially after reading all 225+ comments here, I am fairly certain infrequent poop is just the way some bodies work.

    “Regular” for me means that I poop maybe once a week even though I drink at least 64 oz of water a day, exercise daily and eat, good fresh balanced meals frequently. It takes me two minutes on the bowl just to get “in the zone.” On average, it takes me 10-15 minutes for a satisfying release. Apparently I’ve been a once-a-weeker ever since I was born! For all my 35 years, my mom has regaled my relatives, my boyfriends and strangers at the grocery store with stories of the many ways she tried to get me to poop. From rectal thermometers in my newborn butt to glycerine suppositories to sitz baths to laxative gums as a kid. Nothing but once-a-week marble turds. For 35 years. At least it makes cleanup easy. My pediatrician then and my primary physician today have consistently said it’s just because my body is very efficient in using the food I put into it. But that doesn’t make me feel any better about the resulting butt fissures and grape bunch hemorrhoids.

    Might be hereditary. My husband also poops only before his weekly soccer games, and we have begotten a once-a-week pooper! Our son, born exactly three weeks after Leta, is famous in our new parent support group. His longest stretch was 14 days without so much as a wet fart. I was very concerned at first (and feeling left out that I didn’t have funny poop stories to tell at our parent group meetings), but all the baby books and my baby’s pediatrician say that this is normal (not common, but certainly not unusual) among breastfed babies because they process breastmilk so efficiently. Once he started solids, he graduated to twice a week.

    Some things that make it worse for me:

    1. Coffee – Unlike most of the previous posters, for me any amount of coffee will turn any poop that has been patiently waiting for the proper day of the week to evacuate the premises into an unyielding slab of granite unlikely to pass the bottom exit without the kind of push that causes babies to be born and makes grown men pass out with their pants around their ankles. As luck would have it, I live in Seattle where there’s a Starbucks to taunt me every three feet.
    2. Lack of sleep – It’s like my butt is too tired to evacuate the poop.
    3. Dairy – Cheese makes me constipated, milk gives me the runs. Go figure.
    4. Elevation – Everytime I go up to the mountains on a camping or skiing trip, the poop just stiffens up from the increase in atmospheric pressure.

    Some things that make it better:
    1. Belly massage – I press firmly against my belly in a slow downward motion, then I press firmly around my abdomen, following the track of my large intestine. Basically, I’m literally pushing out my poop with my hands.
    2. Belly dancing – On the bowl, I shift my weight from cheek to cheek, lean far forward, sit straight then lean backward, and do belly rolls between pushes.
    3. Bananas – One banana a day for me increases the poop frequency to about twice or thrice a week.
    4. Benefiber – No grit. No taste. In powder or liquid drops. You can put it in or on any food or drink, cold or hot. Unfortunately, very expensive.

    Never thought I had so much to say about poop. Thanks for the chance to do so.

  • http://www.threadsofgold.com j-ster

    This is the most number of comments i have ever seen on a site, i laughed myself silly! Im a once every two or three days kinda girl myself, but my housemate is a two or three times a day kinda girl, and is horrified by me. Please remember folks, normal is a very w_i_d_e range. f

    Oh, and if you ever have the problem where you wanna stop pooping but you cant, (and you’re not seriously ill in which case its way better to let it out) a teaspoonful of nutmeg stirred into hot milk will do the trick. Definitely only one spoonful tho, you dont wanna be backed up all week, trust me!

  • midwifegoddessannie

    All this talk of poop… and nobody has mentioned toilet paper… so we all know that America poops… but do you guys fold or scrunch? I would love to do a poll on whether the constipated ones fold… and the teflon pooping people scrunch…

    By the Way.. thats the official terminology for those speedy poops – “teflon coated”
    Even more mysterious is the phantom poop.. it comes out so fast that you don’t even know whether you have done it or not.. you have to check the superbowl to verify it’s existance.

  • http://www.debutaunt.com debutaunt

    Oatmeal. Nature’s broom.

  • midwifegoddessannie

    Which just goes to prove that NOBODY can talk the lingo of toilet humour… like a nurse. Its a coping mechanism from being exposed to TOO MUCH POOP.

  • thatgirl

    Having been regular all my life, once I hit 25, my system started to go haywire. I went from being able to anything and everything to becoming mildly lactose intolerant – so in the morning, I’d eat a huge bowl of cereal and then I’d be good to go. Now I’m 27 and it seems like my body has an adversion to pooping in my boyfriend’s immaculate bathroom. (I’ve never met a man before who got delirously happy at finding a clean bathroom at McDonald’s) Anyways, I only seem to get the urge to go at work. So god help me on long weekends!

    Meanwhile, my boyfriend LOVES to poop and only yesterday asked us at the dinner table whether we LOVE to poop or if it’s just something you’ve got to do.

  • http://kimba-bremen.com kim

    i read on the toilet, too. i don’t think there have been many times where i finished in – what was it? – like, 6 minutes.. and i am a happy camper if i get to do it twice within four days. oh, and i fold. but i don’t know if that counts for the poll, ’cause i’m german and in germany.. wishing you “good poop” ;o)

  • bigbigtruck

    Just posting to say “poop”.

    Hee hee, poop.

  • http://www.fuzzbean.net Fuzzbean

    Eat a can of baked beans for dinner, and nothing else. Wait 8 hours. Poop.

  • http://jessica.mccabe.nu Jayseaka

    Wow, lots of comments! I saw someone mentioned aloe tablets. I’ve tried a tablespoon of aloe vera juice (the flavoured stuff of course!)a day and within a couple day it was flowing out of me like a waterfall. Well not really but the point is that things were working as they should.

  • debmjax

    Now I have to think of some kind of explaination for the missing HOURS I’ve spent reading about poop…….maybe ALIENS???

  • http://jde.blogspot.com julia

    I have no advice on staying regular, but I MUST know what the prime pooping position is.

  • http://kitta.net Kitta

    This will go down as the biggest discussion online about pooping (or lack of it).

  • http://www.magneson.com Gary

    This is how I do it:

    Click on the one that says “Poop” mkay?

  • http://www.shelleylloyd.net/weblog/ shelley

    Keep eating those soybeans.
    Good luck, Heather!

  • http://www.vallie.com DJ Felt Tip

    New product idea! Poop Tarts! All the delicous goodness of Pop Tarts, but packed with fiber, caffeine, stool softener and herbal suppliments to help you poop!

    Oh yea, and has anyone ever seen a Japanese toilet? There’s no sitting, only squatting. I have no idea how someone poops into one of those things, not to mention enjoy a nice macworld article. Too uncomfortable.

  • http://bornfamous.com/blogs/ lavonne

    dooce, you could totally turn this one thread of comments into a book and sell it on your site. really.


  • http://www.sarahhatter.com SH

    “How do you stay regular?”

    FROZEN pop tarts, woman!

  • http://www.soapboxblog.com/stars M. Luminous

    I have to agree with Sherman… I think he was way back on comment 35 or something. I think that my lifetime’s supply of therapy is what has helped me get regular.

    I was a constipated little kid. And I mean seriouly constipated – I had the poop that came out like little rocks, after hours of crying on the toilet. My constipation was much to the confusion of my mother, who never ever fed us pop tarts, cheetos, or anything unhealthy. That woman seriously made her own tofu and ground her own whole wheat flour, so there is no way that my childhood constipation was caused by my diet. And then I went away to college and ate terrible cafeteria food and I have been totally regular since then.

    So I’m just saying that it isn’t always food. I can’t guarratee that it’s the 22 years of therapy either. I don’t know what it is. But my point is not to listen to the people who give you a hard time about your diet, because sometimes, it is something else entirely.

  • Kent Wenger

    I have to say that I object to your sexist comment that you’ve never known a male who could poop in under 30 minutes. :-)

    So, in the interest of science, I decided to time the procedure. It just took me four minutes and 25 seconds, counting walking to and from my office. Now this may be a little quicker than normal, since I was obviously thinking about it, but I’d say it’s pretty close to my average time.

  • Renee


    How do i stay regular…. i dont.
    I poo when my body lets me. I’ve also found reading junk mail in the loo keeps the focus on the actualy pooing rather than getting caught up in a book and forgetting i have my pants around my ankles!

  • http://ishane.blogspot.com iShane

    To stay regular, I eat at least one Chipotle burrito a week. While it usually results in at least one CFP (Chipotle Fire Poop), it is worth it, 1) for it’s yummy burrito goodness, and 2) the whole regular pooping…and I have awesome stinky gas that I can dispense at will.

  • Leah

    Definitely browsing in bookstores. Also libraries. But I hate public bathrooms so that’s a problem. Someday I am going to have a house where every wall is covered with bookshelves and the bathroom is cleaned everyday (not by me).

  • angela marie

    Well, I think it must be fate that I am the most constipated person next to dooce and I may (if I am quick enough) be the first to comment.

    I never knew I was constipated until I was about 22; I just thought I was in a bad mood. Once the doctor said, yes dear, this is constipation, I was thrilled. Thrilled because I thought that I could just ‘correct’ it. Not so.

    Anyway…I drink ALOT of water, I eat ALOT of raw veggies and I pray that the poop will pass.

    Now, at 37 and 4 pregnancies later (during pregnancy…ON iron pills…I was perfectly regular, go figure) I finally started taking Zelnorm. Wow! What a difference. I thought that Zelnorm was for people with IBS (it is). I thought IBS was only for diarrhea (it isn’t). It is making a difference in my life. WooHoo!

    You people who are regular and think if we ‘full of shit’ people just do this or that and it would be all better should just stop. Our bodies do not work the same. Out of my 4 children, two are regular joes (like hubby) and two are like me. Babysitters still can’t get over the fact that you don’t have to wipe poop off of their butts, you just have to be careful the little poop marbles don’t roll out of the diaper and onto the floor. Where the dog might mistake them for…well, nevermind.

  • stepmonster

    I had to tell you that I truly enjoy your blog. I suffer from IBS with a d/c combo which has resulted in a chronic fissure. Dear Girl, be careful. I do not know how to end constipation, but I do know that it can result in one of these guys! It’s agony…I wanted to also say I loved your post someone else’s ass….oh how I could relate to that one! peace out

  • http://www.debutaunt.com debutaunt

    Oh. Sorry. Forgot to use “poop” in my above comment.

    From M-W online (wow. it was the fifth entry)

    Main Entry: 5 poop
    Function: noun
    Etymology: poop, v., to defecate, break wind, from Middle English poupen to make a gulping sound; of imitative origin

  • Jenn

    Coffee, lots of it, keeps me regular. I know it isn’t very healthy but somebody has to keep Starbucks in business….

  • http://www.richardz.com/ RichardZ.com

    I just want to let you know that reading this post has made me want to poop –seriously. Before I do I just want to say that for every person their poop schedule is different (because we’re all unique and special poopers, uh, I mean people right?).

    However, here is a trick that I inadvertently learned. Drink strong coffee, preferably Starbucks (I grind whole bean in the morning and add probably twice the amount that normal people do). I’ve experienced ‘evacuation’ as you put it, within 30 minutes.

    Good luck pooping and keep on clenching!

  • Bob SF

    “I never knew I was constipated until I was about 22; I just thought I was in a bad mood. ” from the third comment had me rolling on the floor, as did “Clench-Cheeked Sprint” to the bathroom.

  • angela marie

    Man! You guys are fast! ;)

  • http://www.domesticgoddess.ca Jennifer

    I’m sure you’ve done this, but I thought I’d add my $0.02 (or less, I’m Canadian!).

    Have you had your thyroid tested? Just a thought.

  • http://www.nathanlogan.com Nathan Logan

    RE: eating small kittens for lunch.

    In case your supply runs out, I recommend this site, for excellent product and service:



    BTW, this is a ridiculous number of comments…

  • Spring

    What is this regular thing that you speak of?

    And thank you for posting the six minute rule. I now have reason to clean the library sized collection of mags off my bathroom floor.

  • http://www.busted-stuff.com Trish

    Holy crap! Um, no pun intended. With 264 comments, there’s no way to read through them to see if what I’m about to say has already been said, but: Men don’t actually take 30 minutes to poop. They use that time to read their magazine without interruption. And it works. I don’t go anywhere NEAR my husband when he’s on the toilet, so voila! 30 minutes of peace!

  • http://coldandgray.diaryland.com Cloudy

    I am sorry, but I do not have any advice about pooping, because I am lucky to never have really had any trouble in that area. I am posting a comment, because I am never usually quick enough to post a comment before you shut down the comments again. Love you, Dooce!

  • http://www.snyderland.com amy

    I have the same problem and am constantly battling my bowels. I noticed that when I stay away from sugar and dairy (both of which I could live off of alone) it becomes easier to poop more often. I also drink apple cider vinegar before every meal I eat at home and I take digestive enzymes before every meal.
    The biggest thing I think is my stress level. I’m a totally worrier and fixer. Do I actually fix people.. no, do I think I can? Yes. So I end up stressed out about stuff for days. Anyway when I hold onto stuff. So does my colon. I found some good stuff here:http://www.westonaprice.org/askdoctor/ask_constipation.html

  • Colleen

    wendy’s chili (large size) and apple cider. I am 7 months pregnant, works like a charm.

  • coolincanada

    I realize you have more than enough advice on this topic, and honestly I haven’t read all of the comments (in case this is a repeat) but I really simple way to solve the ‘butt rocks’ is Kellogg’s® All-Bran® Bran Buds. I don’t work for them, but my doctor recommended them for my high cholesterol. A handful of the cereal in your regular cereal or yogurt or whatever works wonders. Easy and works without glasses of slime (metamucil, etc). The key is the psyllium (silly-um). Don’t get the regular kind. Might as well eat cardboard. Just get it in your regular cereal isle. Good luck!

  • http://heather-anne.com Heatheranne

    I have no idea how to tell you to stay regular. By all accounts, I should be the most consitpated person on earth. I don’t eat meat. My diet includes a large amount of cheese.

    Have you talked to your doctor about this? Maybe they can give you some special poop pill or something. (There, my post contained the word “POOP”.)

    Good luck. I’ll send all the positive POOP vibes I can your way.

  • http://www.queenoframbles.com/blog Carrie

    I don’t know how you are going to read all these comments. I know I certainly didn’t. I poop 2-3 times a day and never have time to read anything while I’m doing so. . takes about a minute. I put crushed flax seeds on my morning cereal.

  • coolincanada

    Hi again,
    Sorry…did not mean the isle of cereal (although that would be fun) but the regular ole’ grocery aisle. I’m expecting twins, so I have double pregnancy brain!
    and p.s. POOP…because everything is friendlier with POOH!

  • Dre

    I feel guilty because I poop at least twice every day.

    I’m sorry, Heather.

  • http://www.imthezoot.com Zoot

    I have NO idea what to tell you about constipation because I’m regular (I’m sorry) but my husband says that your book LIES and there is NO WAY IN FREAKIN’HELL it can be good for you to poop in less that two minutes.

    Hee Hee.

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0002890/ Roberta Nevares

    I’ve never seen so many comments on ANY blog or topic before. Poop. The common denominator.