This New Magazine Is All About the Bathroom, for Reading in the Bathroom

updated Jan 27, 2020
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Credit: Minette Hand

Remember when you were a kid, going to family friends’ houses and discovering an entire library of books and magazines in front of the toilet? Or maybe that was your family’s bathroom. Over the years, many of those physical reading materials have disappeared as we’ve made the transition to biding our time on the toilet looking at our phones. But as readers of beautifully printed niche magazines know, print isn’t dead. And one of those magazines is here to prove that reading print in the bathroom isn’t dead either.

Meet Facility, a cleverly named new magazine for the bathroom, about the bathroom. The publication is seriously dedicated to its bit. According to Slate, it had its launch party in a bathroom. Here’s how Facility describes itself:

“Eating food and eliminating waste are fundamental to human experience. But while there is a robust culture around food, there’s virtually none around the toilet. Conversationally, architecturally, politically, artistically, we spend too little time celebrating or critiquing this space that we visit—and the things that we do there—every day. The bathroom has not been thoroughly plumbed. Facility’s rigorous study of toilets—toiletry, we might call it—explores the rich and multifarious sights, smells, textures, feelings, ideas, and routines behind the nicknames, beyond the placards.”

Is this a joke or is it high art? Why not both? Facility’s first issue sounds compelling, featuring “an interview with plumbers, bath riots on the El Paso-Juárez border, the origins of sex-segregated bathrooms, urine drinking, a history of fluorescent lighting. Plus reviews of pills, ductwork, glycerin, and mirrors.”

Right now, Facility is available in select locations across the country, mostly concentrated in New York and California’s Bay Area (you can find the full list of stockists here). Grab an issue and settle into your nearest facility.