Like a lot of you, I was intrigued by AirPnP, the service that lets you use, and get an intimate glimpse into, a stranger’s bathroom, for a price. And while I didn’t need to use someone else’s bathroom, which is what the app was intended to, I still wanted to. After all, what kind of person actually signs up to let someone have a shit and shower in their bathroom?
So when I saw the chance to use a bathroom in a “Crown Heights mansion,” that was only a five-minute walk from my apartment and came with the option to use the shower, I decided it was now or never. And also that it was worth ten dollars to do this. So, like the ad requested, I shot a text message to the bathroom’s owners (“Hi there, I saw your bathroom on AirPnP. Is it possible to use your shower?”) and waited for a response.
I kept waiting. An hour went by. I can only imagine how bad I’d have felt, not to mention impatient and angry, if I’d actually had to take a piss, as opposed to just doing this out of morbid curiosity. And hour went by with no response, so I decided I’d call the number listed on the site. A few rings, and then an electronic voice telling me that there was no voicemail box for the number.
I mean, what if this really was a bathroom emergency? My dreams of showering in a stranger’s shower, surrounding myself with someone else’s idea of what brings cleanliness were flushed, barring some miracle of getting an apologetic text back along with an invitation to come on over.
I didn’t hold out hope though, and have walked away from the whole experience disappointed. Which is a shame, because not only did it send me crawling back to the same bathroom I’ve been using for months, apologizing and swearing I didn’t mean anything by it, but it also doesn’t allow me to meet the kind of person who’d rent out their bathroom for money. I’ve reached out to the creators of AirPnP for their thoughts on whether people who don’t respond could break the entire system, and we’ll be updating if they get back to us with their thoughts on the shitty treatment I received.