You're standing over a stall at a sporting event, about to open the pipes when you hear the horn that signals halftime. As you hear feet shuffling outside, the pipes are suddenly frozen. Someone swaggers in and decides to choose the urinal directly next to you. You know he can hear the deafening silence coming from your urinal, which just makes you panic more. Soon, the restroom is full of relaxed streams of urine. A line of men forms behind you while you begin coughing uncomfortably.
"Everyone's peeing but me. Everyone's peeing but me!"
Whether you're the guy at the urinal or the guy in line wondering why he's quietly pleading with his penis, if you're familiar with this scenario, you're far from the only one. It's called paruresis, the scientific term for pee-shyness (or "stage fright" or "stall stalling" or "pissterical dryness" or whatever it's called in your circle). People with this condition are unable to urinate in the presence of others, real or imaginary. Paruresis is more common in men, but it is not completely unheard of in women. Seven percent of the public, or roughly 17 million people, have claimed to feel the icy cold grip of paruresis clamp down on their junk at some point in their lives.
Not as terrible as the warm fuzzy grip of a spider down there -- but worse.
In the most severe cases, paruresis sufferers are only able to pee in their own homes when they know that they are completely alone -- and some even have to resort to the use of catheters to lure out the elusive stream. Paruresis becomes especially problematic in drug testing situations, which is why it has now become accepted as a valid reason not to participate in drug testing in the United Kingdom. Likewise, in the U.S., the recognition of paruresis as a legitimate medical condition has led to it becoming a valid reason for being excused from jury duty.