An Open Letter To Men Who Spit All The Time: WTF Is Going On In Your Mouth?!

October 17, 2012  |  

I’d like to start out by thanking the man walking toward me on East 33rd between Fifth and Madison who spit at my feet just as we crossed paths on my way to lunch today. Before then I had no idea what I’d be writing about, then voilà: inspiration. So, nasty yuck mouth spit at a stranger’s feet, no manner’s having, rude man, this one is for you.

There’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask men for years now and it’s simply, what the eff is going on in your mouth?! Like for real. I keep waiting for a new scientific study to conclude that men are born with an excess of saliva in their mouths that forces them to uncontrollably release mucus and flem in public when and wherever their salivary glands see fit. As of this post, I ain’t seen nothing yet that explains the reason men of all walks of life seem to not know better than to hawk a wad of nastiness in their throats and expel of it on park benches, sidewalks, movie theaters, Subway platforms, stairwells, and pretty much any other open space in front of them. Gag me. No, literally, that’s what it does to me.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard that hair-ball-like hacking from a man I’ve passed on the street and felt like I had to duck for cover, similarly to the way I avoid pigeons who think it’s cool to swoop over my head when I’m minding my business. There are a lot of men like the one I encountered today who are just oblivious, or simply don’t care, that anyone else is around and may not want to watch them expel fluid from their mouth and don’t even try to shield their spitatry. Then there’s my neighbor who’ll at least wait until I pass his stoop to let it out, but the problem is he does it like the minute I walk by. Um, if I still have to hear it and feel the need to check my back for water marks after, you might as well just do it in my face. There are also a host of other people who think any surface is spitable. No sir. If we’re indoors, you need to keep your saliva inside — like in your mouth. If the urge to release mucus is that strong, find thyself a bathroom and get thee to it asap.

If I’m not actually hearing and seeing the saliva coming, I see spit bubbles every little where I go looking like manholes in a construction site that I need to avoid. Every time I leave the house it’s like I’m trying to ease on down the spit-ladden road trying to avoid the puddles. God forbid I should ever touch the bottom of my shoe and come in contact with some gross man’ bodily fluid.

I’d settle on the happy medium of men being free to spit in the grass, but it really needs to be out of eyesight and earshot of other people on the street. Look, this is coming from a woman who had braces for 18 months and was told by my orthodontist I would have an excess of saliva in my mouth during the time. Not once was I unable to control my salivary glands. Men, I’m sure you can do the same. It’s just basic common courtesy for your fellow man, errr woman kind. I don’t mind holding up an umbrella when it’s raining. But when I need one on a daily basis along with a pair of earplugs to avoid spitballs, we have a problem.

Does men’s constant spitting in public bother you?

Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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  • Joel Anderson

    They spit because they either smoke weed or black n milds.

  • KamJos

    I hate when it’s cold/flu season in NYC. Walking the sidewalk is like dodging landmines. So gross.

  • Kayo Halana Malie

    Yes, it does tremendously. It’s like, men have no respect for public space. I cannot stand when I am on a bus stop and all I hear is some guy spitting every where, every few minutes. Even when I arrive to a bus stop alone, there will be spit bubbles or wet spots all around.

    There was one a time I was on a bus and a male passenger actually spit on the floor of the bus. And then there was another time a male passenger opened a window and spit out of it, but it was so loud and disgusting and he did it more than once!

  • FartAtTheMoon

    I am blessing the earth.

  • SunshineBlossom

    I have seen that and my boyfriend does that as well, which irritates me to no end. Usually I have a parka with a plastic hood to shield me from the halitosis army. Brande girl I love your articles, you should do one on people that feel the need to cough up 50 organs in your face or on your arm…

  • Miss D

    I can’t stand that snorting-hacking sound people make when they cough up mucus. Is it that hard to excuse yourself and handle your biz in a bathroom?

  • Gigi

    I hate public spitting sooooo much that I couldn’t even read this entire article because I was becoming sick to the stomach just thinking about it.

  • Madison

    A gross, but needed to be discussed, topic!

  • SteelSky

    it’s a simple feedback loop: 1. spitting causes saliva to leave your body instead of being put to use coating and protecting your throat/mouth. 2. the salivary glands now have to replace this lost saliva because they sense your throat and mouth are too dry. 3. the increase in saliva production causes the spitter to spit even more, repeating step 1. and causes the cycle to start over.

    the solution is simple, stop spitting, and pretty soon you won’t need to spit any more.

  • Fee

    Soooooo gross! I live the same torture everyday.

  • sabrina

    O M G !!!!!! YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSS GIRL!!!!!!!! I ABSOLUTELY HATE THAT MESS TOO!!! I thought I was the only one grossed TF out at that. I alwayssss make a face whenever I see/hear someone spitting in my vicinity. And Lord knows I watch all my steps cuz I am NOT tryna step in that nastiness. My pet peeve to the maxxxxxxx!!!!!!!

  • Melissa Smith

    Does it bother me?! You have no Ida how much that is the most disgusting thing ever! Just reading our post had me gagging. You were to kind though, women are doing it to. I hate when I’m walking outside when I happen to look own and see a glob of spit, or I happen to look in someone’s face as they are hacking one up yuk yuck yuck

  • WhoMe

    Its funny I usually see men scratching themselves down there and picking their noses more than I see them spitting in public. But the spitting for both men and women could be due to not drinking enough water.

    • L-Boogie

      Not always. Sometimes something is just stuck in your throat.

      • Nikki

        How come it happens to some people but not others?

        • Miss K


  • It’s not just men, it’s women to. I’m not sure what’s going on. But I hate the part when the spit hits your face, and they keep on talking without acknowledging the fact they spit on you. I mean I want to step back a few feet but I don’t want to be rude or obvious.

    • SunshineBlossom

      If spit is hitting the face, you smack them on the mouth and run! Lol

  • Holasama

    My girl wants to party all time paartyyy alllll tiiiime/Eddie murphy

  • L-Boogie

    Spitting is necessary. I spit all the time and I am a woman. Sometimes when walking or running it is necessary to spit.

    • MLS2698

      The enzymes left from spit smell horrible, and the person who does it leaves the scene to never get a whiff of it. It’s gross.

      • L-Boogie

        True. However, the smell of your saliva may indicate a deeper problem.

        • Nikki

          That halitosis…

          • SunshineBlossom

            DEAD! Lmao

        • MLS2698

          So does spreading it all over the city for others to step in.