OK then...warning, this gets graphic.
North American toilets tend to be siphoning toilets - that is, the water-ways in these toilets are designed with slightly smaller diameters than a non-siphoning toilet, so that the water-way will naturally fill up with water, each time it is flushed, thus creating the siphon action.
The recognised problem is the splashing that frequently occurs upon load. Due to the increased water, often higher water level, and area and size of wet target when released, the odds are increased dramatically.
How to avoid the dreaded splash
There are a few suggestions here:
- Watch this video on avoiding splashing yourself in a public toilet (graphic)
- Read this Lifehacker article (with video) on how to use toilet paper to weaken splash occurrences
- Follow further advice that a light towel or toilet paper (disposable) will reduce/eliminate splashback
- to clarify, if sitting, sit ON the toilet, do not perch:
- Aim when possible, for the porcelain, rather than the water. Try to angle where you're not hitting a surface at right angles to the surface, but along it instead. The change in velocity is less dramatic, and it will 'dribble' rather than splash.
- Experiment with different positions (if sitting) - further forward, further back, perhaps to a side.
- If peeing, try kneeling down; less velocity when the liquid hits the water
- If desperate, consider jumping away, but this can end up even worse...
Final, desperate solution - when in doubt and you need a technological solution, you can always rely on the Japanese to come up with something. I introduce - toilet knee pads!