Today is Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as the culmination of Mardi Gras—an annual hedonistic ritual wherein thousands flock to an otherwise quaint and charming city, sucking the aforementioned quaint charm out of it for a couple of weeks and leaving nothing but their money, blood, cum, piss, and shit. During this time, New Orleans is a lawless place, turning a blind eye to socially unacceptable behaviors (like women flashing their tits for beaded necklaces) in exchange for tourism revenue.
One thing that is absolutely not tolerated is public urination. A simple piss break on the side of a house can and will land you a night in the can. I don't know about you, but rubbing shoulders with inebriated schleps in a drunk tank is probably the worst buzzkill ever. Luckily, a new start-up called Airpnp has your back, bro. I shouldn't have to spell it out for you, but it's Airbnb for piss—instead of aggregating places to crash, it maps out readily available pay-to-pee toilets hosted by ambitious "entrepeeneurs."
After going through the whole "I-had-the-same-idea-years-ago" bullshit with myself, I decided to call up Max Gaudin, the co-creator and self-dubbed "PEO" of Airpnp. We talked about pee and poop and what your options are when you're shitfaced in an unfamiliar place and nature calls.
VICE: Is public peeing enough of an issue to warrant something like this?
Max Gaudin: Yeah, definitely. There's just not enough bathrooms for the amount of people everywhere. It's the number-one thing people get arrested for during Mardi Gras. The police don't tolerate it—they'll arrest you on the spot. One of the phrases we use is "If you use Airpnp, you won't spend the night in OPP." OPP stands for Orleans Parish Prison, which is the last place you'd want to end up spending the night.
When and why did you decide to pursue something like this?
The idea came to my partner Travis and I last year when we had to pee and couldn't find a place easily. We launched the site just in time for this year's Mardi Gras.
How does it work exactly? Can people list any prospective urinal, regardless if they own it or not? I can imagine plenty of disgruntled exes getting revenge on their former SOs by listing their bathrooms on the site.
In order to bypass this, you must have an active Facebook account in order to use Airpnp. That way you don't have just anybody off the street walking into your home. Also, people can rate their pee experience afterwards, which adds to the accountability factor.
What's the bare minimum requirement to have a bathroom listed?
All you need is a toilet. We have everything from Port-a-Potties to high-end bathrooms listed. Also, there are some perks depending on what toilet you choose. Some hosts have even offered a free beer included with the price of their pee.
Let's get down to brass tacks. How much is a pee-pee sesh going to run me?
The service Airpnp provides is free, but different toilets vary in price. The entreepeenuers set their price, and usually, it's as much as someone's willing to pay—some people have paid up to $20. I guess it's worth it to some. All transactions are currently handled offline and face-to-face. We like it that way, since it kind of provides this unintentional social aspect to it as well. I've heard stories about people becoming friends after using someone's bathroom.