by Shirley Kasser:
“You just need to get some adult diapers.”
Huh? Seriously? Before the advent of the She-P, such was the extent of the advice to female technical divers facing longer and/or colder dives who didn’t want to, or just couldn’t, hold it. Like many others, I had no desire to stew in my own juices, so to speak. In addition, I had my doubts about the capacity of those things. I pee a lot. Listening to the guys complain about their cath removal woes garnered zero sympathy from me. At least they could go!
While still diving wet, I began to do some research. Some products on the market for female hikers looked like possibilities, with some modifications. The solution seemed to be just there, dangling off into the middle distance. Yeah, I said “dangling.” Feel free to snicker.
Then, out of the blue, well… out of some wonderful Dutch folks, came a new term to our tech diving vocabulary, “She-P.” Looking a bit like a tubby black stingray after a trip to the country buffet, this little gizmo was the answer to all of those cross-legged, wiggling-dance prayers. My order for a new drysuit was placed on the same day as my order for one of these beautiful new pieces of art.
Having read lots of advice from the inventors and their then soon-to-be North American distributor, Laura, online, I was ready when the package arrived. I’d already installed my p-valve and completed the necessary landscaping. It was time to pee!
Now, let’s not skim over that landscaping bit. This device covers a wide swath of your girly bits. You think waxing sounds painful? Try ripping off a nicely glued She-P without having done the necessary hair removal preparation. Paramedics may be required. Have fun explaining things to them.
Shaving, and the stubbly regrowth, is nearly as bad as diving in a wet diaper. Waxing leaves a nice result, but if you’re diving a lot, the needed regrowth of hair before being able to wax again leaves much to be desired (refer to the previous paramedics note). Laser hair removal is the trick. It’s expensive, but worth every single curly-hair-removing penny.
With landscaping done and p-valve installed, we are ready for arts and crafts time. Get out the glue. There are multiple types of glue available, and some fairly detailed videos, so we aren’t going deep into detail here. However, like anything you want to be good at, you have to practice. Glue that baby on and slug down a Big Gulp. Depending on where you live, go outside and pee on a tree. Write your name in the snow. Or, if you live in the city, you might just want to practice in the shower.
Be patient with the gluing process. It takes practice and is no place for shyness about your body. The spray adhesive works, but I’ve found that the brush-on glue allows for easier repositioning when I miss. Did I mention, be patient? Ask questions, but ultimately, you have to experiment to find the right positioning for your body. Once it’s properly glued in place, I often forget it’s there. It warms up and becomes a part of me. It’s best to get glued up before heading to the boat or dive sites, but I’ve successfully glued up standing in the corner of a truck door. Practice makes perfect. Complacency and hurrying make for leaks. Don’t rush this bit.
This beauty attaches to a standard p-valve with no modifications required. A barbed fitting or quick disconnect work great. The choice is yours. Most kits come with tubing for you to cut to size. Keep in mind, you’ll be peeing out of that tube whenever you’re not suited up, so make it long enough to comfortably hit your target and connect into your p-valve. A bonus is that you can now use the urinal in the port-a-potties instead of having to drop trou and hover above that disgusting seat.
But wait, there’s more! Really need to pee but do not want to go to the marine head after that burrito-eating beer-drinking buddy has just had his morning constitutional down there? She-P makes peeing over the rail or into a bottle a breeze! Hiking the woods searching for that one special cave? Take a spot at a tree next to the guys without having to come out of your suit. The world is now your urinal.
WARNING: This device has been known to turn middle aged professional women into 6 year old boys, considering anything and everything a potential target for their new skill. You have been warned.
Have fun. Be patient with yourself. Ask questions. Keep trying. And DIVE DIVE DIVE!
– Shirley Kasser – Shirley@shediver.com